Issue 21
Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Welcome to the ACARA Update

In this edition:

Special Education in the Australian Curriculum

Last year ACARA published Guidance for using the Australian Curriculum for students with special education needs. We are now working to develop additional curriculum content and achievement standards for school age students with special education needs who are working towards the Foundation* level of achievement. This comes as part of ACARA’s commitment to develop an Australian Curriculum that is inclusive of every learner.

This work is complex and challenging, but when complete it will make Australia one of the few nations in the world with a model of curriculum provision for these students.

ACARA has drawn on research conducted here and abroad that shows how students with special education needs learn. In addition, we are currently consulting with experts and practitioners to develop possible models of curriculum provision, based on the general capabilities that are the foundation for learning (literacy, numeracy, and personal and social competence) and the four cognitive shifts that occur prior to students being ready to engage with the Foundation Year level curriculum.

Information about the progress of this work will be provided in future ACARA Updates.

For more information, please visit
or contact Margaret Lynch, Senior Project Officer, Special Education on 02 8098 3211 or

*The term Foundation or Foundation Year has been used as a nationally consistent term for the year of schooling prior to Year 1 for the purpose of the Australian Curriculum.


Expressions of Interest for Languages curriculum writers and advisory panel members

Over the next few months the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority will be finalising the curriculum shaping phase for languages.

ACARA is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified and experienced curriculum writers and advisory panel members to assist in the development of the Australian Curriculum: Languages.

The Australian Curriculum: Languages will include the development of language-specific curricula and a Framework for Australian Languages (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages). The selection and staging of language-specific development will be determined by the outcome of consultation on the draft Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages paper.

Curriculum Writers

Expressions of interests are being sought for:

Writers will have extensive knowledge, understanding and expertise in teaching languages or related experience in the languages learning area/s; experience in writing and developing curriculum and/or achievement standards within and beyond the classroom; and language-specific expertise.

The selection process will take into consideration the level of experience and expertise in the specific-language, as well as writing skills, experience in working collaboratively, and representation across stages of schooling and across states and territories to ensure that the curriculum is of the highest quality.

It is envisaged that the writing of language-specific curriculum will be a staged process. Selection of writing panels for specific languages will occur in accordance with the curriculum development process and timeline for each specific-language.

Advisory Panel Members

Expressions of interests are being sought for:

Panel members will have extensive knowledge, understanding and expertise in the area of languages and some experience in the development of curriculum and/or achievement standards.

The advisory panel will assist ACARA and the curriculum writers by providing advice on draft curriculum including content descriptions, elaborations and achievement standards at key stages in the curriculum development process.

Applications for curriculum writers and advisory panel members will be available through the ACARA website from tomorrow (Wednesday 20 April 2011) at

Please note that as part of the application process, all applicants will require approval in writing by their current employer prior to submission. All applicants must also ensure they are available for an induction session in ACARA’s Sydney office prior to the commencement of writing; the date of which will be discussed when offers are made to successful applicants.

Expressions of Interest close Friday 27 May 2011 at 5:00pm (EST).

For further information, please contact Suzanne Bradshaw on 02 8098 3149 or

For further information, visit

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