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Learning at Holy Cross

Holy Cross Catholic Primary School, Helensburgh is registered by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and is subject to its curriculum requirements.

Requirements include an educational program based on, and taught in accordance with, the outcomes of NESA syllabuses in the six Key Learning Areas (KLAs) of English, Mathematics, Science & Technology, Human Society and its Environment, Creative Arts, and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education.

In addition at Holy Cross, a course in Religious Education is taught in theory and practice.

Read more about our Key Learning Areas (KLAs)

Through the study of English students learn about the power, value and art of the English language for communication, learning and enjoyment.

Developing proficiency in English enables students to become confident communicators, critical and imaginative thinkers and lifelong learners. Students develop their language skills through activities involving speaking and listening, reading and writing, and viewing and representing. They learn about language and literature through working with a wide range of print, spoken, visual, media, multimedia and digital texts.

In each Year students must study examples of:

  • spoken texts
  • print texts
  • visual texts
  • media, multimedia and digital texts

Objectives: through responding to and composing a wide range of texts and through the close study of texts, students will develop knowledge, understanding and skills in order to:

  • communicate through speaking, listening, reading, writing, viewing and representing
  • use language to shape and make meaning according to purpose, audience and context
  • think in ways that are imaginative, creative, interpretive and critical
  • express themselves and their relationships with others and their world
  • learn and reflect on their learning through their study of English

The content includes the areas of:

  • Speaking and Listening
  • Writing and Representing
  • Handwriting and Using Digital Technologies
  • Reading and Viewing
  • Spelling
  • Grammar, Punctuation and Vocabulary
  • Thinking Imaginatively and Creatively
  • Expressing Themselves
  • Reflecting on Learning

The aim of Mathematics is for students to:

  • be confident, creative users and communicators of mathematics, able to investigate, represent and interpret situations in their personal and work lives and as active citizens
  • develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of mathematical concepts and fluency with mathematical processes, and be able to pose and solve problems and reason in Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability
  • recognise connections between the areas of mathematics and other disciplines and appreciate mathematics as an accessible, enjoyable discipline to study, and an important aspect of lifelong learning.

Knowledge, skills and understanding


Working Mathematically

  • develop understanding and fluency in mathematics through inquiry, exploring and connecting mathematical concepts, choosing and applying problem-solving skills and mathematical techniques, communication and reasoning

Number and Algebra

  • develop efficient strategies for numerical calculation, recognise patterns, describe relationships and apply algebraic techniques and generalisation

Measurement and Geometry

  • identify, visualise and quantify measures and the attributes of shapes and objects, and explore measurement concepts and geometric relationships, applying formulas, strategies and geometric reasoning in the solution of problems

Statistics and Probability

  • collect, represent, analyse, interpret and evaluate data, assign and use probabilities, and make sound judgements.
Values and attitudes


  • appreciate mathematics as an essential and relevant part of life, recognising that its cross-cultural development has been largely in response to human needs
  • demonstrate interest, enjoyment and confidence in the pursuit and application of mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding to solve everyday problems
  • develop and demonstrate perseverance in undertaking mathematical challenges.

Through studying Science and Technology students explore scientific and technological concepts and gain knowledge and understanding of the world. They develop skills in conducting scientific investigations and designing and producing solutions through learning about the Living World, Material World, Physical World, Earth and Space, and Digital Technologies. (NESA)

The Science and Technology K–6 syllabus content is organised into Stages from Early Stage 1 to Stage 3. The outcomes are presented as:

  • Skills
  • Knowledge and Understanding

The knowledge and understanding in Science and Technology K–6 are developed through the skills of Working Scientifically, and Design and Production. By the end of each Stage, students will have had opportunities to investigate scientifically and apply their knowledge and understanding in the creation of designed solutions.

The five content strands in Science and Technology K–6 are the basis for the continuum of learning for both Science Years 7–10 and Technology Mandatory Years 7–8. All five content strands are to be delivered by the end of each Stage. 

The five content strands are: 

  • Living World 
  • Material World 
  • Physical World 
  • Earth and Space 
  • Digital Technologies

Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE) is the study of how humans interact with the world, how society operates and how it is changing. Through the study of HSIE, students develop the skills to prepare them to actively and responsibly participate as informed citizens in the contemporary world.



The aim of Geography in Years K–10 is to stimulate students’ interest in and engagement with the world. Through geographical inquiry they develop an understanding of the interactions between people, places and environments across a range of scales in order to become informed, responsible and active citizens.


Knowledge and understanding


  • develop knowledge and understanding of the features and characteristics of places and environments across a range of scales
  • develop knowledge and understanding of interactions between people, places and environments



  • apply geographical tools for geographical inquiry
  • develop skills to acquire, process and communicate geographical information

Values and attitudes

Students will value and appreciate:

  • Geography as a study of interactions between people, places and environments the dynamic nature of the world
  • the varying perspectives of people on geographical issues
  • the importance of sustainability and intercultural understanding
  • the role of being informed, responsible and active citizens




The aim of the History syllabus is to stimulate students’ interest in and enjoyment of exploring the past, to develop a critical understanding of the past and its impact on the present, to develop the critical skills of historical inquiry and to enable students to participate as active, informed and responsible citizens.


Knowledge, understanding and skills

Early Stage 1 – Stage 3


  • develop knowledge and understanding about the nature of history and key changes and developments from the past
  • develop knowledge and understanding about key historical concepts and develop the skills to undertake the process of historical inquiry

Values and attitudes K–10

Students will value and appreciate:

  • history as a study of human experience
  • the opportunity to develop a lifelong interest in and enthusiasm for history
  • the nature of history as reflecting differing perspectives and viewpoints
  • the opportunity to contribute to a democratic and socially just society through informed citizenship
  • the contribution of past and present peoples to our shared heritage

The school’s Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) program aims to develop in each student the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to understand, value and lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

The three strands of PDHPE are:

  • Fundamental Movement & Physical Movement
  • Healthy Choices
  • Self & Relationships

There are eight content strands:

  • Growth and Development
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Personal Health Choices
  • Safe Living
  • Fitness and Lifestyle
  • Games and Sport Skills
  • Gymnastics
  • Dance

As part of maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle our school participates in ‘Crunch and Sip’. This involves eating fresh vegetables and fruit during the morning session to form positive eating habits and aide in sustaining concentration and energy levels in students. 

In addition to the PDHPE Syllabus requirements, other sporting opportunities are available for students. Read more about the sporting opportunities available to our students.

Creative Arts enables students to gain increasing understanding and accomplishment in:

  • visual arts
  • music
  • drama
  • dance

Students are able to appreciate the meanings and values that each of the art forms offer personally, culturally and as forms of communication.

Each KLA includes syllabuses that are inclusive of the learning needs of all students.

Syllabuses identify:

  • the knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes students are expected to develop at each stage
  • outcomes and content that describe what students are expected to know and do cross-curriculum priorities, general capabilities and other important learning for all students.

The primary (K-6) curriculum is organised into four Stages of learning:

Early Stage 1


Stage 1

Year 1 and Year 2

Stage 2

Year 3 and Year 4

Stage 3

Year 5 and Year 6

Most students will be working towards the outcomes for their Stage. Some students will be working towards outcomes that are above or below their Stage.

For more information on the NSW curriculum, visit the NESA website.

Did You Know: Holy Cross is committed to working in partnership with families and community in welcoming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students – supporting them to reach their full potential and to embrace their culture and identity. Read more here