Positive education information by leading professionals to teachers & parents since  2000




Back to School T4

Launch of "Colours of Australia" 


We were pleased to be at the launch at the NSW State Library, of the next magnificent book for young children, by multi-talented Indigenous author Bronwyn Bancroft. 


The official launch of the book was made by long-term friend of the author, The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO (Former Governor-General).


Bronwyn has written and illustrated many books for children that have become firm favourites with many families, including the Bryce family) that have been passed onto the next generation.  She is also an illustrator and designer. Her latest book is "Colours of Australia" - more about the book in the What's New section.





NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has wished more than 77,000 students the very best as the 2016 HSC written exams get underway with English today. Mr Piccoli said all students should feel extremely proud, especially those about to begin their final school examinations after 13 years of school.


NSW has a long-term trend of increasing numbers of students completing Year 12. In 2016 nearly 5,000 more students will sit HSC exams compared to five years ago. This year, 69,350 students, the highest number on record, are on track to achieve the HSC credential. 118 written exams will be conducted over the next three weeks until exams finish on Friday 4 November with Design and Technology.

Interesting facts for this year's HSC

  • The three most popular elective courses are Maths, Biology and Business Studies
  • French, Japanese and Chinese are the most popular languages studied
  • Hospitality and Construction are the most popular VET courses
  • Each exam will be reviewed at least six times before more than 700,000 exam papers are printed
  • Around 350 students will sit HSC exams overseas
  • More than 5500 markers will work across NSW in 11 marking centres and from home
  • Each student will have their English exams marked by at least 11 markers, and their Mathematics exam by at least six markers


Students will receive their results via email, SMS and online from 6am on Thursday 15 December.

Read the latest in What's New - books reviews for parents, teachers and children in K-Yr12.



The Sydney Writers’ Festival and BOSTES have again teamed up to present events for students in Years 9 to 12, following the success of the Best of the Fest program last year. The Student Sessions 2017 will feature dynamic thinkers speaking on a range of subjects linked to the NSW curriculum. The sessions will run on two dates:


  • Monday 22 May 2017 – Roslyn Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay
  • Thursday 25 May 2017 – Riverside Theatres, Parramatta


More information, including a full program and booking details, will be released in February 2017





11, 15 & 16 November at 11:00am

for students in years 10 & 11


This play by Chris Isaacs is a powerful look at racial bias amongst young people and is an excellent and acclaimed play (from the Black Swan Theatre Company in Perth) that deals with important social issues surrounding indigenous culture in Australia.

An opportunity to see a great new Australian play in its East Coast debut, presented by experienced young professional actors. Each schools performance will be followed  by a discussion with the cast and producer discussing both the themes of the play and any other questions the students may wish to ask the actors regarding acting techniques.  Visit the website for bookings and more information. Presented by Lambert House Productions.

STA Travel

1790 – an Australian history play, available for school productions


“1790” is a play exploring the unique and extraordinary relationship between the first Governor of NSW, Arthur Phillip, and Bennelong of the Eora people. With a cast of 15-35, it is a fantastic script to work on for a school production.



Despite being on the potentially dull and dry topic of Australian history, “1790” is fast-paced, dynamic and surprisingly funny. It provides plenty of opportunities for acting, stage crew, costume design and technical roles. It was co-written in 2014 by historian Robert Thomson and Pete Malicki.


The play can be read on www.petemalicki.com. If you’d like to know more, or to discuss rights, please contact Pete on petemalicki@gmail.com or phone 02 9419 3501.

Record number of HSC students finish school this year


Data released by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) today shows a record 69,350 students will be hitting the books this month to study for their final HSC exams.

  • 2016 HSC enrolment statistics
  • 69, 350 students are on track to achieve the HSC this year
  • 77,163 students are enrolled in one or more HSC courses
  • 51% are female. 49% are male
  • Joshua and Emily are the most popular first names for students.
  • Smith and Nguyen are the most popular surnames
  • The cohort includes 864 sets of twins and 18 sets of triplets


Maths, Biology and Business Studies are the most popular elective subjects. French is the most popular language and Japanese is the most popular Asian language. Hospitality is the most popular vocational course.

New Australian maths resource released



Teachers who want support to implement the proficiencies in the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics have some additional guidance with the release by ACARA of a new mathematics resource.


The four proficiency areas students are expected to develop in the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics – understanding, fluency, problem-solving and reasoning – are explored in this new resource.


The resource provides illustrations of practice and student work samples, gathered from a number of primary and secondary schools from different sectors across Australia; it has been designed to assist teachers to incorporate the proficiencies into teaching practice... Read More  on the Australian Curriculum website

The Footpath Library's


The Footpath Library’s Epic! Short Story Competition is currently open for all primary and secondary students in Australia. To take part, students need to submit an original 300 word story on the theme of ‘Friendship’ before 30 September 2016 (AEST 5pm).


Chair of the 2016 judging panel, author Ken Spillman, says: “The Footpath Library’s Epic! Short Story Competition provides an awesome opportunity for school students to exercise their creative selves, have some fun, get involved in a fantastic cause, and have their work read by top Aussie authors. Oh, and did I mention the cool prizes? “We will be awarding six major prizes in for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in two age-based categories primary  and secondary Students.  “Students recognised on the Honour rolls will receive book packs from our partner publishers and, for the first time we will also have a prize for the School with the most entries. Winners and Honour Rolls for both primary and secondary categories will be announced in Term 4 2016. For more information or to enter your school' go to the Footpath Library's competition page.

What makes a Good Teacher Great?


At the recent BOSTES ceremony celebrating NSW top teachers, they asked Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers “What makes a good teacher great?” This is what they said.


Online gaming can boost school scores


Teenagers who regularly play online video games tend to improve their school results, according to new research from RMIT University. School students who visit Facebook or chat sites every day are more likely to fall behind in maths, reading and science.

Associate Professor Alberto Posso, from RMIT’s School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, investigated the results of testing by the globally recognised Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Posso said video games could help students to apply and sharpen skills learned at school. “Students who play online games almost every day score 15 points above the average in maths and 17 points above the average in science.“

When you play online games you’re solving puzzles to move to the next level and that involves using some of the general knowledge and skills in maths, reading and science that you’ve been taught during the day,” he said. “Teachers should consider incorporating popular video games into teaching – so long as they’re not violent ones.”

Posso said it was important to recognise that other factors could have a major impact on teenagers’ progress.  Indigenous students or those from minority ethnic or linguistic groups were also at greater risk of falling behind than those using Facebook or chat every day.

Guiding Children Through Difficult Times


We spoke with Liliane Grace, speaker, coach and author of The Mastery Club, about a recent survey showing that children in Australia are worrying about what is happening in the world with terrorist attacks and are concerned for their safety. Read Liliane Grace's article,  "Guiding Children Through Difficult TImes" to see what she recommends.

Trial Quiet Hour Shopping for Autistic Shoppers in the UK

An Asda superstore staged a "quiet hour" to help autistic and disabled shoppers over the weekend.

Escalators, in-store music and display TVs were all turned off and customers were given a map of the store featuring pictures instead of words.


Simon Lea, manager of the Asda Living store at Manchester Fort, told the paper he came up with the idea to help people who felt intimidated or stressed by noise and disturbance. Now, eight other shops .... Read More in The Independent

Ally Fashion

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