Are you new to teaching CAFS or just want to know the secrets of successful CAFS teachers? 

We asked Nicole Wheeler, presenter of ACHPER NSW’s Teaching Stage 6 CAFS for the first time workshop, to provide her top tips for achieving success when teaching CAFS.

1.Know the syllabus inside and out
Ensure you know what is covered throughout each module and what the direct and indirect links are between prelim and HSC syllabus content.

2. Refer to ‘wellbeing’ throughout your teaching.
We may not know what questions are going to be asked in the HSC exam for the Options, but we do know that wellbeing is part of the marking criteria for question C. It is therefore important to build knowledge and understanding of wellbeing throughout the course, so that students can clearly link wellbeing into their response to question C.


3. Practice exam questions, often.
Ensure your students know the glossary verbs and how to write in enough detail to match the weight of the question. Do not just wait until a few weeks before the exam to practice past papers. Give students questions at least fortnightly, so that they can see how the content they have learnt can be turned into an exam question. There is no point to knowing everything on the syllabus if the students don’t know how to adapt it to exam-style questions under time limits.

4. Show students how to summarise their work effectively.
A lot of the time we assume students know how to summarise but more often than not they are merely rewriting what was taught in class. As you finish each dot point in the prelim syllabus scaffold how to summarise and slowly as you progress through the course remove the scaffold so that by the time the students are beginning the HSC course, they know how to summaries effectively.

Teach students that it’s not about memorising. It’s about understanding the concepts and thinking outside the box. They need to know their work inside out to write about it effectively in an exam.

5. Create a class environment where class discussion is encouraged, and questions are welcome.
For most of the syllabus there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer. If students can back up their ideas with examples and correct terminology, they can argue a different point to their classmates.

6. Acronyms are a CAFS student’s best friend.
Teach the acronyms to students so that they know how to remember key terminology. If there is no acronym for a particular section, then as a class make one. Create posters and put them around the room and refer to the acronyms throughout the course. If students do not know they correct terminology, they will never receive a Band 6.

October 2021

Nicole Wheeler

About Nicole Wheeler
Nicole is currently a TAS teacher at Camden High School and has been teaching CAFS for 10 years. She is a HSC CAFS exam marker, for both short and extended responses. Nicole has presented at ACHPER workshops and conferences for the past 6 years and is passionate about mentoring teachers in CAFS.

Join Nicole for ACHPER NSW Teaching Stage 6 CAFS for the first time workshop.

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