Primary School Guides

Read our Primary School Survival Guide to help your child navigate their first years of school.

An overview of the Primary School Survival Guide

The Primary School Survival Guides are resources to help students and their parents prepare for each primary school year. Each Primary School Guide provides detailed information about each year of Primary School to help parents make the right decisions for their child.


What’s explained in The Primary School Survival Guides?

In each Primary School Guide, we present:

  • An explanation of the subjects students will undertake
  • An overview of the subject outcomes for English, Mathematics, and Science
  • Information about the NAPLAN assessments
  • An overview of the various assessments students will undertake through Primary School
  • Useful advice to help students achieve their academic goals
  • Information relevant to OC classes and the Selective School Entrance test.


Who should read the Primary School Survival Guides?

These Primary School Survival Guides are written for parents and guardians of primary aged children to help them navigate their way through the challenges and demands of primary school.

You’ll find that many of your concerns are common amongst parents and will be clarified by these guides.


The Stages of Primary School

In NSW, and across Australia, learning is broken into stages. Each Stage of learning comprises two years of a child’s education. For example, Years 1 and 2 make up Stage 1.

This allows schools and education departments at state and federal levels to be aligned in terms of student outcomes and essential content across different education systems.

The flowchart below will help you see the progression of stages and years in primary school.

Primary school survival guide flowchart of the stages of primary school

You can find detailed information on Stages 2 and 3 in our Primary School Survival Guides.

Stage 2:

Stage 3:



Throughout primary school, your child will grow their knowledge on the same subjects from Kindergarten to Year 6. These subjects are listed below.

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science and Technology
  • History
  • Geography
  • Creative Arts
  • Aboriginal Languages
  • Languages


You can find the syllabi and stage statements for each subject at every stage of primary school with the links below.

1. Years 1-2: Stage 1 syllabus

2. Years 3-4: Stage 2 syllabus

3. Years 5-6: Stage 3 syllabus

Note that the language(s) that your child will study depends on their school choice.


Stage 1

Stage 1 marks the start of your child’s formal education. During this stage, your child will acquire many skills fundamental for their later years.


Subjects in Years 1 & 2

In Years 1 & 2, students start having clear subjects. In addition, students are exposed to a wide variety of subjects and, depending on school, have the opportunity to begin the formal learning of a language.

The subjects students will focus on the most are:

  • English
  • Maths

In addition, students will be exposed to:

  • Science and technology
  • Geography
  • History
  • Physical Education, Health and Personal Development
  • Creative Arts
  • Languages (where offered)

Key Milestones

  • Begin Stage 1
  • Develop the fundamental skills of handwriting, sounding out words, and recognising numbers, sequences, time, chance and money
  • Complete Stage 1


Stage 2

In Stage 2, your child’s academic achievement will be formally measured with their first NAPLAN assessment and the Opportunity Class Placement Test. These standardised tests will allow you to see how well your child performs compared to the rest of the state and the country.


​Key Milestones

The important milestones and achievements for Stage 2 are:

  • Begin Stage 2
  • Year 3 NAPLAN Assessment
  • Opportunity Class Placement Test for Year 5
  • Complete Stage 2


Stage 3

Stage 3 is the final stage of primary school. Your child will have the chance to sit the NAPLAN in Year 5, and the Selective School Entrance Test in Year 6. Good results in both of these exams may be required to gain entry into the high school of your choice.


Key Milestones

  • Begin Stage 3
  • Year 5 NAPLAN Assessment
  • Applications for Selective School Test (to be sat in Year 6)
  • Selective School Entrance Test
  • Complete Stage 3


Now you know what to expect, read the specific

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