Education jargon and acronyms.
AP – assistant principal
BOSTES – Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards. In 2017 it became the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). Sometimes teachers still refer to it as ‘the Board’.
CAPA – creative and performing arts. For more information see creative arts.
COLA – covered outdoor learning area. Usually a covered structure in the playground which does double duty as a learning and play area.
Curriculum – the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) is responsible for the subjects taught in NSW schools, from Kindergarten to Year 12. Each school adapts the curriculum to suit their local context and the needs of their students.
DoE – NSW Department of Education
DP – deputy principal
EAL/D – English as an additional language or dialect
ERN – Enrolment registration number
ESL – programs for students with English as a second language.
Extracurricular – additional programs that do not relate directly to the content of a syllabus, for example, public speaking competitions, student newspapers, environmental clubs and so on.
FACS – Department of Family and Community Services
GATS – gifted and talented students. Gifted students are those whose potential is clearly above average in one or more of the following areas: intellectual, creative, social or physical. Talented students are markedly above average in one or more fields of human performance.
HSC – the Higher School Certificate is an internationally recognised qualification for students who have successfully completed secondary education in NSW.
HSLO – home school liaison officers work with school communities to encourage all students to attend school regularly.
ICT – information and communication technologies
IWB – interactive whiteboards. An electronic whiteboard which has internet capability.
KLAs – key learning areas are outlined in the NSW Education Act 1990. KLAs incorporate syllabuses which teachers use to program their teaching and learning.
LaST – learning and support teacher. A learning and support teacher helps students with disability or additional learning and support needs.
LBOTE – language background other than English. This includes students if they or one of their parents speaks a language other than English as their first language.
Learning and support team – school staff who meet regularly and work together to further support students with additional learning needs.
Literacy – the ability to read, write and understand information across all subject areas.
Marking guidelines – criteria teachers and examiners use to assess a student’s knowledge and skills in relation to the outcomes of a syllabus.
Mufti day – casual dress day. Schools sometimes allow students to wear something other than their uniform on a special day. It may also be related to a fundraising opportunity.
NAPLAN – National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy. Tests are held in literacy and numeracy for all students in Australia in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9.
NESA – NSW Education Standards Authority. NESA is responsible for setting the curriculum for all students in NSW – Kindergarten to Year 12. They also monitor teacher accreditation, school registration and home schooling.
Numeracy – working with numbers across all subject areas. This involves mathematical knowledge and understanding, problem-solving and literacy skills.
OC – opportunity class. Year 5 and 6 classes that operate in some primary schools for gifted and talented students. The application process includes school assessment scores and the results of the Opportunity Class Placement Test.
OOSH – out of school hours. Contact your principal for information about the availability of before and after-school care.
Outcomes – The knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes students are expected to develop through study in a subject.
P&C – local P&C associations are made up of parents, carers and community members. A school’s P&C meets regularly to participate in decision-making, developing policies and management plans, as well as fundraising.
PDHPE – personal development, health and physical education.
Pedagogy – the work or art of a teacher; teaching.
Principal – the most senior executive in a school.
PSSA – Primary Schools Sports Association. The PSSA provides opportunities for primary-age students to participate in competitive sport at state level and above.
RAM – Resource allocation model. The funding a school receives from the department – a needs-based model is used to determine the amount.
Reports – schools provide information about student learning in each subject twice a year. They include a snapshot of the student’s achievement with an A to E grade and include comments about areas of strength and suggestions for further development.
RFF – relief from face-to-face. Teachers use this time for planning, marking, reporting, attending meetings, organising educational resources and other tasks related to their work. Relief from face-to-face is timetabled and the class is taught by another teacher.
Selective high schools – schools for academically high-achieving students. There are both fully selective and partially selective high schools – where selective English, mathematics and science classes operate. The application process includes primary school assessment scores in English and maths together with the results of the Selective High School Placement Test.
SLSO – Student learning support officer
Special needs – students with special education needs. Teachers adjust their programs and assessment of students with special education needs.
Special provisions – adjustments to assist students with additional learning and support needs, including a disability, participate in education on the same basis as students without disability. See disability provisions for more information.
SRC – Student representative council
Stages of learning – there are 6 stages of learning from Kindergarten to Year 12:
- Stage 1 = Kindergarten to Year 2 (Kindergarten is referred to as Early Stage 1)
- Stage 2 = Years 3 and 4
- Stage 3 = Years 5 and 6
Syllabus – describes what students are expected to learn in a course. It includes aims, objectives, outcomes, content, assessment requirements and a glossary. Teachers use a syllabus to plan their teaching of a subject.