Review of the Australian Curriculum
The new Australian Curriculum website, hosting the updated and approved Australian Curriculum, Version 9.0, has been launched. The specially built website, v9.australiancurriculum.edu.au has been designed with teachers for teachers and is one of the few in the world that has digitised the curriculum.
Endorsement of the Australian Curriculum, Version 9.0, followed a review undertaken in 2020/2021. ACARA worked with key education stakeholders and groups to define the approach and scope of the review. This work informed the review's Terms of reference (PDF 94 kb).
The review was also supported by our program of research which benchmarked the Australian Curriculum against the curricula of Singapore, Finland, British Columbia and New Zealand, and we sought feedback from state and territory jurisdictions through our annual monitoring process.
ACARA found the Australian Curriculum (Version 8.4) is consistent with some of the best curricula internationally and is well-regarded by teachers across the country but that it needed refining, updating and ‘decluttering’ to better support teachers.
ACARA held a 10-week public consultation process from April to July 2021. This was the first time the public had the opportunity to review and comment upon the curriculum in its entirety.
Feedback received from parents, teachers, students and principals, as well as, jurisdictions, academics, subject associations, and the general public was considered in finalising the curriculum.
In addition, primary teachers and experts reviewed the primary years content and 47 volunteer primary schools and their teachers tested the consultation draft primary curriculum as part of a Primary School Intensive Engagement Project.
As part of the review process ACARA engaged the Institute for Social Science Research at The University of Queensland to independently analyse the qualitative and quantitative data gathered via the three feedback channels; online surveys, email submissions and jurisdiction responses.
To access the current Australian Curriculum Version 8.4, visit the Australian Curriculum website.
The updated version 9.0 curriculum is available on the new Australian Curriculum Version 9.0 website.
Read consultation reports authored by The University of Queensland.
Governance and advisory structure
Australian Curriculum review: FAQs
What is the purpose of the review?
The Australian Curriculum has been in place for some time now, and education ministers agreed it was timely that it be reviewed to ensure it continues to meet the needs of students now and into the future. The aim of the review is to improve the Australian Curriculum from Foundation to Year 10 by refining, realigning and reducing the existing content of the curriculum.
When did the review start and how long will it take?
The review process commenced following Education Council's approval of the terms of reference for the review on 12 June 2020. ACARA is to complete the review by the end of 2021. If approved by education ministers, the revised Foundation to Year 10 Australian Curriculum will be released on a redesigned Australian Curriculum website by the start of 2022
What is the scope of the review? Which areas of the Australian Curriculum will be reviewed?
All eight learning areas from Foundation to Year 10 will be reviewed by the end of 2021, although the review of all 16 Languages subjects will take longer, with Chinese, French, Italian and Japanese completed first, by the end of 2021, and the other languages completed by 2023.
Why is the curriculum being reviewed now?
The Australian Curriculum has been in place for some time now and was last reviewed in 2014. In 2015, education ministers agreed that ACARA should undertake a six-year cycle of review of the Australian Curriculum to ensure it continues to meet the needs of students and it is best practice. The scope of the review has been informed by ACARA‘s research program, which included:
benchmarking the Australian Curriculum against the curricula of the education systems of Singapore, Finland, British Columbia and New Zealand
annual monitoring of the effectiveness of the Australian Curriculum with feedback from states and territories
participation in international projects such as the OECD 2030 Future of Education and Skills project
ongoing feedback from education authorities and teachers.
What happens with the feedback you received?
At the end of the consultation window, all feedback will be reviewed and considered in finalising the revised Australian Curriculum. The Institute for Social Science Research at The University of Queensland has been contracted to undertake an independent analysis of the data collected through the surveys and to develop reports to assist ACARA in making final revisions. The final revisions will then be provided to education ministers for their consideration and endorsement.
Will these responses be published?
Consultation feedback reports that provide a summary of the feedback and key themes arising will be published on the ACARA website. The reports will provide a summary of the demographics of respondents and reference the names of organisations that provided feedback, but will not include information about individuals who provided feedback.
Australian Curriculum Endorsed: FAQs
When will the revised curriculum be made available for schools to use?
The updated F-10 Australian Curriculum (Version 9.0) will be available on a new Australian Curriculum website in Term 2, 2022. It will be implemented in schools according to the timelines and approaches determined by their state and territory education and curriculum authorities.
The previous version of the F-10 Australian Curriculum (Version 8.4) will remain available on the current Australian Curriculum website. Both websites will remain live until such time as there is no need for schools to access Version 8.4 of the Australian Curriculum. It is unlikely that jurisdictions will expect teachers to teach the updated curriculum in 2022; however, it is likely that some jurisdictions will start supporting their teachers to become familiar with Version 9.0 in 2022 in preparation for starting to teach some or all learning areas from 2023.
How will the new website be an improvement on the current website?
The new website has been designed with the needs of teachers at the centre and teachers from across Australia have been involved in user experience testing for the new website. It will enable teachers to quickly and intuitively find relevant information and use and explore connections between the three dimensions of the Australian Curriculum.
How specifically did you lift standards around mathematics as requested by ministers?
Version 9.0 that went to the February ministers’ meeting had already raised standards in that students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in mathematics throughout their years of schooling. This has been made clear in Year level descriptions, content descriptions and achievement standards. Introducing specific content earlier and being clear about expectations has raised the standards for students, for example, Year 1 students are now expected to add and subtract numbers to 20, the expectation for mastery of the 10 + 10 addition and related subtraction facts has been moved from Year 3 to Year 2, and in Year 3 it is explicit about computation of large numbers without a calculator. Students are expected to recall and be proficient with multiplication facts for 2 in Year 2, then for 3,4,5 and 10 in Year 3, and all 10x10 in Year 4. The lifting of standards in primary levels also means that standards are lifted in secondary levels.
You were asked to be clear about what operations students need to be able to do without a calculator, can you advise what they are?
It was agreed the use of digital tools in mathematics is important to both the learning and doing of mathematics and needs to remain in specific content descriptions and content elaborations. To address the need to provide clarity for teachers around expectations content descriptions and the introductory section on computation, digital tool and algorithms have been edited. Addition and subtraction of three-digit numbers and times tables should be able to be demonstrated without calculators.
Australian Curriculum, Version 9.0, FAQs
Read Australian Curriculum, Version 9.0 FAQs.
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