The Australian Curriculum
ACARA is responsible for the development of the Australian Curriculum. Development of the curriculum is guided by the 2008 Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (PDF 978 KB) and the Shape of the Australian Curriculum v4.0 (PDF 401 KB).
Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians
The 2008 Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians
was agreed to by all Australian education ministers. It commits to supporting ‘all young Australians to become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens’. This document provides the scope for the development of the Australian Curriculum.
Shape of the Australian Curriculum
The first version of the shape paper was published in 2009 to guide the development of the Australian Curriculum for English, mathematics, science and history. Revised versions provide a background for the implementation of approved curriculum and the context for further development of the Australian Curriculum.
The Shape of the Australian Curriculum v4.0 was approved by the ACARA Board in late 2012. Annual consultation on the Shape paper promotes ongoing discussion about the shape of the Australian Curriculum as a whole.
In line with the Shape of the Australian Curriculum, the development of the Australian Curriculum has been guided by two other documents – the Curriculum Development Process v6.0 detailing the process for curriculum development from Foundation to Year 10 (F–10) and the Curriculum Design Paper v3.1 detailing the specifications for the F–12 Australian Curriculum.
The curriculum development process involves four interrelated phases:
A broad outline of the Foundation to Year 12 (F–12) curriculum for a learning area/subject firstly as an Initial Advice Paper and then as the Shape of the Australian Curriculum: are developed. This paper, developed with expert advice, provides broad direction on the purpose, structure and organisation of the learning area. Along with the Curriculum Design Paper, it is intended to guide writers of the curriculum. It also provides a reference for judging the quality of the final curriculum documents for the learning area. This phase includes key periods of consultation including open public consultation as well as targeted consultation with key stakeholders.
Teams of writers, supported by expert advisory groups and ACARA curriculum staff, develop the Australian Curriculum. This includes the development of content descriptions and achievement standards. Writers are guided by ACARA’s Curriculum Design Paperand advice from the ACARA Board. Writers also refer to national and international curriculum and assessment research, state and territory curriculum materials, and research on the general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities. The draft Australian Curriculum for the learning area/subject is released for public consultation and subsequent modification in the light of feedback.
The writing phase incorporates the process for validation of achievement standards and culminates in publication of the Australian Curriculum for the learning area/subject.
The curriculum is delivered to school authorities and to schools in an online environment in time for school authorities, schools and teachers to prepare for implementation. Implementation and support are the responsibilities of state and territory school and curriculum authorities. ACARA works with state and territory curriculum and school authorities to support their ongoing implementation planning.
Monitoring and evaluation
Processes are put in place to monitor and review the Australian Curriculum. Monitoring will be coordinated by ACARA and will include partnerships with state and territory curriculum and school authorities where subject data gathering is required.
To learn more about the progress of curriculum development for each learning areas, go to the Learning areas/subjects pages.