This Assessment in the HSC resource has been designed to address the need for greater teacher and student understanding of the NESA HSC requirements and marking criteria for the creative arts practical and performance works. Data collected through creative arts professional learning evaluations and the statewide staff room shows a need for published student work samples of HSC practical and performance works to better understand the requirements and criteria. By viewing the annotated student work samples provided, teachers and students can identify the requirements and marking criteria in action to improve practice in assessment, feedback and reporting in Stage 6 creative arts.

For teacher professional learning, this resource can be used in conjunction with Stage 6 creative arts professional learning, such as the online self-paced modules; 

For classroom use, this resource is a building block for assessment knowledge. Teachers can use this resource to unpack the NESA HSC requirements and marking criteria to assist students in selecting the most appropriate options to suit their skills and interests. Work samples represent various approaches and levels of achievement, to allow a range of students to see themselves represented in this resource. There are a variety of features throughout the resource to assist teachers and students in understanding the requirements and marking criteria, including embedded NESA advice , interactive pop-up annotations, downloads, videos, voice-overs and transcripts. Teachers should adjust the use of this resource for their teaching and learning context, considering the needs of;

  • EALD students 

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

  • students with a disability and/or additional needs

  • high potential and/or gifted students. 

This resource aims to support teachers in improving student HSC outcomes and achieving elements of the Schools Excellence Framework. 

  • Learning culture – showing students exemplars to build educational aspirations and ongoing performance improvement across the learning community. Students can also take responsibility for their achievements. 

  • Assessment and reporting – improved understanding of the NESA marking criteria will allow for consistent, school-wide practices for assessment in the creative arts curriculum. 

  • Student performance measures – improving student outcomes in the HSC.

  • Effective classroom practice – setting high expectations through making explicit the quality criteria. 

Whether using this resource for professional learning or as a classroom tool, Assessment in the HSC can support teachers in addressing the Australian Teaching Standards listed below from graduate through to lead level. 

  • 2.3 curriculum, assessment and reporting 

  • 3.1 establish challenging learning goals 

  • 3.6 evaluate and improve teaching programs 

  • 4.1 support student participation

  • 5.1 assess student learning 

  • 5.2 provide feedback to students on their learning 

  • 5.3 make consistent and comparable judgements 

  • 5.5 report on student achievement

  • 6.1 identify and plan professional learning needs 

  • 6.2 engage in professional learning to improve practice 

  • 6.3 engage with colleagues and improve practice 

  • 6.4 apply professional learning to improve student learning. 

The creative arts curriculum team from the NSW Department of Education have collaborated with NESA, Australian Independent Schools, Sydney Catholic Schools and The Arts Unit to create this resource. We wish to acknowledge and thank each sector and our consultation group, consisting of a range of early career to experienced teachers who voluntarily gave up their time during the writing and focus group process. Should you have any feedback, concerns or questions when using this resource, please reach out to the team via the Creative Arts Statewide Staffroom or email

Resource features


Courses consist of a series of pages; use the 'previous page' and 'next page' links located at the top and bottom of the page to move through the resource. Select the menu button to show course sections. 

Image showing the Menu and 'previous' and 'next' links.


Zoom function

Some samples on this site feature a zoom function. Use the + and - icons to zoom in and out of work sample features. Note: annotation icons may move out of frame when using the zoom function.

Screenshot of the bottom toolbar of an embedded pdf



Some pages on this site feature audio narration. Use the player controls to play, pause, restart and adjust the speed of the narration.


Interactive transcripts are available for audio narration. There is an option to reveal or hide them.

Audio player showing controls and transcript reveal hide function.


Embedded NESA website

This resource frequently refers to the NSW Education Standards Authority requirements and pages from the website are embedded for reference. In these embedded frames, you may need to scroll to find the relevant section.

The image below shows how the text is highlighted when using the finder function or 'control f' to search for 'Requirements for Dance', making it easier to locate on the NESA website when scrolling.

finding text and audio player visual example