Become a primary school teacher

Become a primary school teacher

Why teach at primary schools?

Primary school teach students from Kindergarten to Year 6. They plan and conduct an education programne to develop the literacy and numeracy, as well as the physical, emotional, intellectual and social growth of their students. It is suitable for someone who is:

  • passionate about helping students learn
  • patience and a sense of humour
  • enthusiasm and creativity
  • enjoy working with adolescents
  • academic ability
  • enjoy a challenge

What is the difference between primary and secondary teaching?

Primary teach a class for the entire year and work closely with their students and the community. Unlike secondary teaching you teach the whole curriculum rather than specialise in your own subject.

Primary school teachers need to continually update their subject knowledge and teaching methods through private study and professional development activities. With further training and experience, they may be promoted to a position of educational leadership, such as primary school principal.

Accredited courses and pathways

I don't yet have a degree

Macquarie University offers three full-time accredited degree programs that qualify you to work as a primary school teacher. The programs are also available in a part-time mode.

      Both degrees are accredited by The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW (BOSTES).

      To enrol in the above courses, all you need is to achieve the required ATAR. Due the unique structure of the course, you are NOT required to meet additional BOSTES
      requirements of a minimum of three Band 5 HSC results.

  • Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education) (Birth to 12)  equips you for teaching in long day care, preschool and primary school settings.

    The degree is accredited by The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW (BOSTES).
    To enrol in the above courses, you need to achieve the required ATAR and BOSTES requirements of a minimum of three Band 5 HSC results.

I already have a degree and would like to become a teacher

If you have a bachelor degree and satisfy the BOSTES Key Learning Areas (KLA) content requirements, the Bachelor of Education (Primary) is a two-year, full-time degree program that qualifies you to work as a primary school teacher. This program is also available in a part-time mode.

The primary key learning areas (KLAs) which include:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science and Technology
  • Human Society and its Environment
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
  • Creative Arts and Practical Arts.


I am a secondary school teacher but would like to retrain to be a primary school teacher

Secondary school teachers, who meet the above primary teaching Key Learning Area (KLA) requirements of the NSW Institute of Teachers, are able to retrain as primary school teachers by completing the six methodology units and appropriate professional experience units. You can complete these units through the Non-award program. You are advised to check with your employer before undertaking additional training that may lead to different teaching duties.

Entry requirements for 2016

From 2016, you'll need in addition to the ATAR, a minimum of three Band 5 HSC results, including one in English to enrol in an accredited undergraduate teaching degree from 2016.

Under BOSTES requirements, Macquarie can enrol students in our education double degrees* if they achieve the required ATAR but do not achieve Band 5 standards because the structure of these programs focus initially on full-year sequence of discipline studies (what you teach) prior to undertaking curriculum and pedagogical studies and supervised professional experience placement (how to teach).

What if I didn't achieve three Band 5's, including one in English?

For the Education double degrees* if you achieve the required ATAR, irrespective of the number of Band 5 results you achieve in the HSC, you are able to enrol in this degree as you will undertake a full-year sequence of discipline studies prior to undertaking curriculum and pedagogical studies and supervised professional experience placement. 

*This applies to: Bachelor of Arts with Bachelor of Education (Primary), Bachelor of Arts with Bachelor of Education (Secondary), Bachelor of Science with Bachelor of Education (Secondary).

If I don't achieve a minimum of three Band 5 HSC results, including one in English will it take longer to complete my degree?

No - assuming you complete the required subjects you will finish in the standard duration.

What if I didn't achieve the required ATAR score?

Please see our entry scheme and pathways information to select the best pathway forward for your University study.

How will these changes impact current students?

Macquarie University works closely with the NSW BOSTES which accredits initial teacher education courses. Any course changes that impact current students will be communicated to students directly via their MQ email.

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