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Planning and programming


When it has been decided that a student should study one or more Life Skills courses, school planning should address the:

  • selection of appropriate personnel who will design and implement the pattern of study for the student
  • selection of Life Skills outcomes and content. This will form the basis of the student’s program of study in a particular subject
  • appropriate contexts for the student to demonstrate achievement of outcomes, eg school, community or workplace
  • indicative hours for each Life Skills course
  • resources required to help the school meet the needs of the student
  • teaching strategies that are appropriate to the age and abilities of the student
  • adjustments to teaching, learning and assessment experiences. These may be needed to enable the student to access the Life Skills outcomes and content
  • strategies for monitoring the student’s progress
  • ongoing collaborative planning. This assists the student’s successful transition through school to adult life.

Schools are not required to submit planning documentation to the NSW Education Standards Authority.


When programming for a Life Skills course, consider the following:

  • selected Life Skills outcomes and content. These should meet the student’s needs, strengths, goals, interests and prior learning
  • students are not required to complete all Life Skills outcomes
  • outcomes may be demonstrated independently or with support
  • students do not need to complete all the content to demonstrate achievement of an outcome
  • topics or modules within a course are suggestions only.

Years 7–12 Life Skills courses may be delivered independently or integrated with an equivalent regular course. Programming should reflect the way in which the course is delivered. For example, a teacher may deliver the Years 7–10 English Life Skills course and the Stage 5 English course within the same class. The teacher should develop a teaching and learning program that includes outcomes from both courses.

The Model for Programming Life Skills Outcomes and Content is a step-by-step guide to help teachers develop programs for Life Skills courses. Sample units of work for Life Skills courses can be found with the syllabuses.

Indicative hours

When programming Life Skills courses, all indicative hour requirements should be met. This will ensure the courses are credentialed on the RoSA or HSC. The indicative hour requirements for Life Skills courses are:

  • the same as the mandatory curriculum requirements in Years 7–10
  • 120 hours in each of Year 11 and Year 12 for 2-unit courses in Stage 6
  • 60 hours in each of Year 11 and Year 12 for 1-unit courses in Stage 6.

Part 3 of the video Life Skills: Advice on Planning, Programming and Assessment provides more advice about making the decision for a student to study one or more Life Skills course. You can also view Part 1: Decision-making, Part 2: Case study, Part 4: Assessing, or watch the complete video on YouTube here.

Part 3: Planning and Programming

For further information, see the ACE website.

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