Australian Curriculum update

boys in classroomWith the first phase of the Australian Curriculum underway, schools around the country have begun planning for and implementing the new Foundation to Year 10 English, mathematics, science and history curriculum structures.

It is expected that Phase 2 (geography, languages and the arts) and Phase 3 (health and physical education; technologies, economics and business; and civics and citizenship) will be implemented once Phase 1 subjects are fully operational. Meanwhile, the senior secondary curriculum (Years 11 and 12) is still in drafting stages, with drafts released for all phase 1 subject areas.

Australian Curriculum implementation timeline

Queensland schools have already adopted the Australian Curriculum for English, mathematics and science from Prep to Year 10. Teachers are also becoming familiar with the new history curriculum, which will be implemented in 2013. See the Queensland Studies Authority for more information.

Victorian schools have delayed the rollout until 2013. Victoria has also taken a slightly different approach by making the decision to incorporate phase one subjects into the AusVELS curriculum structure designed by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) to provide the benefits of a national approach while still reflecting Victorian priorities.

New South Wales schools will implement the Australian Curriculum in 2014. It is expected that the planning phase will begin in 2013.

What's been happening in 2012?

  • Arts curriculum draft released
    The Australian Curriculum: The Arts draft was released by ACARA earlier this month. The draft has revealed that all Australian students will study dance, drama, media arts, music and visual arts from Foundation until Year 10. From Year 9, it is expected that students will be able to choose a specialisation in one or more of the above areas. Students will also engage with cross-curriculum topics that combine the arts with complimentary study areas, including Arts and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures, Arts and Australia's Engagement with Asia, and Arts and Sustainability.

    The curriculum will recognise the relationship between the arts industry and the community, with ACARA citing that it will link the arts industry with schools, increase community participation and promote future careers in the field.
  • Victorian Government raises concern about un-Australian curriculum
    The Victorian Government has questioned the level of Australian history that will be taught under the senior secondary history curriculum, with Australian history not featuring as a stand-alone subject in senior years. Nationally, history will be taught through two streams: modern history and ancient history, with Australian history studied as part of the modern history curriculum.
  • Push for sex education to be taught nationally
    The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition and Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS (YEAH) have called on the federal government to consider standardised teaching of sex education across the country by adding it to the National Curriculum. A survey commissioned by the two groups found that 80 per cent of respondents supported a national approach. This request was submitted during the consultation period for the draft of the health and physical education curriculum and is now pending review.

Consultations open
ACARA is conducting consultations on the draft curriculums for senior secondary years (English, mathematics, science and history) and the arts. The senior secondary consultations close on 20 July, while consultations for the arts curriculum (Foundation to Year 10) close on 23 September. Before submitting feedback, you must register on ACARA's Australian Curriculum Consultation website. All Australian Curriculum consultations are open to the public.

Further information

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