Breaking down the curriculum in SA

The South Australian Government recognises four stages of learning:

  • Early stage
  • Primary years stage
  • Middle years stage
  • Senior years

Early stage

From birth to age seven, children are in the early stage of learning. This includes childcare, preschool (kindergarten), reception and Years 1 and 2 of primary school. Children can begin preschool at four years of age (Aboriginal children at three years), while Reception begins at age five or six. Years 1 and 2 are commenced at ages six and seven.

The national Early Years Learning Framework guides the learning and development of children from birth to five years of age. Programs are designed to encourage children’s communication, discovery, imagination and creativity.

 In Reception (Foundation) to Year 2, students’ learning is centred on the Australian Curriculum. Priority is given to literacy and numeracy development. Students are also exposed to the Health and Physical Education, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, Arts and Technologies, and Languages curricula.

Primary years stage

The primary years stage includes Years 3 to 5 of primary school, covering children aged eight to 10. Students’ learning is based on the Australian Curriculum, with a continued emphasis on literacy and numeracy.

Middle years stage

The middle years stage of learning includes Years 6 and 7 in primary school and Years 8 and 9 in high school. It covers children aged 11 to 14. Unlike in other states, where Year 7 marks the entry into secondary school, South Australian students commence high school in Year 8.

Secondary years stage

Students aged 15 to 17 are generally in the secondary years stage of learning, which covers Years 10 to 12 of high school. They may choose to complete Year 12 and gain the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE), commence other education and training options or enter the workforce.

All young people under the age of 17 must attend full-time schooling, training or work for a minimum of 25 hours per week.

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