The Australian Curriculum

Implementation of the Australian Curriculum

What is the Australian Curriculum?
The Australian Curriculum sets out what all Australian states and territories have agreed that young people should be taught through specific curriculum content and the learning expected at points in their schooling through achievement standards.

The Australian Curriculum has been developed through strong and committed collaboration between the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and curriculum specialists from all states and territories representing public and private education sectors.

How will the Australian Curriculum be implemented in schools in the WA?
The implementation of the Australian Curriculum is determined by each state and territory according to the requirements of their own context. The WA Department of Edcuation allows schools to consider the specific context of the school structure and philosophy when implementing the curriculum.

All WA schools are required to provide students with opportunities to learn the knowledge and skills to meet the Achievement Standards for each year group.

What is the real educational benefit of this change for students?
Increasingly, in a world where knowledge itself is constantly growing and evolving, students need to develop a set of knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that apply across learning area content and equip them to be lifelong learners able to operate with confidence in a complex, information-rich, globalised world.

Once the F – 10 curriculum is implemented across Australia, students will be assured of receiving a common, better sequenced, and more comprehensive curriculum as the basis of learning. All students, regardless of whether they live in an urban or rural setting, or in a large or small state or territory, will have access to a well-resourced, common, world-class curriculum designed to provide them with the knowledge and skills needed for success in the twenty first century.

What are the core subject areas in the Australian Curriculum?
Schools are expected to provide learning opportunities in English, Mathematics, Science, History, and Health and Physical Education for all students from F – 10.

The relative emphasis given to each of the eight learning areas varies across the stages of schooling according to factors such

  • making literacy and numeracy priority areas in the early years;
  • increasing emphasis on all eight learning areas in the upper primary years and in years 7–8; and
  • creating greater opportunities for students to choose learning pathways that build individual needs and interests in secondary schooling.

What support is available to students in moving over to the Australian Curriculum?
The gradual implementation of the Australian Curriculum has been designed to minimise the impact of changes on students and to help ensure that a curriculum of high quality continues to be provided.

The Australian Curriculum has been developed at a national level, in consultation with each state and territory. The release of the curriculum is being managed in three phases. In each phase consultation is undertaken with all stakeholders. All stakeholders including schools and parents are encouraged to participate in the consultation process.

What are the implications if a child moves between schools once the Australian Curriculum has been widely implemented?
Adopting a common Australian curriculum and assessment framework has many benefits, some of which include:

  • parents and students can expect that students will learn the same important understandings and skills regardless of where they live in Australia,
  • teachers across Australia will be using the same standards and work samples to determine grades and to report on student progress, and
  • knowledge gaps caused when students currently move between schools will be minimised because students will continue to study within the nationally agreed framework.