ACARA news, May 2015

National Reconciliation Week: 27 May - 3 June

27 May 2015

National Reconciliation Week is celebrated each year between 27 May and 3 June. This is a significant week for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Australia and will be celebrated with community events across the country.

The cross-curriculum priority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures provides teachers and schools with content and learning opportunities relevant to the goals of Reconciliation Week.

Public consultation: Turkish and Hindi language curriculam

20 May 2015

Language curricula for Turkish and Hindi have been released for public consultation. You can find the language curricula and provide feedback on the curricula at the Australian Curriculum: consultation website.

Eleven languages have been released as a part of the Australian Curriculum: languages (Chinese, French, Indonesian and Italian in 2014; and more recently, Arabic, German, Japanese, Korean, Modern Greek, Spanish and Vietnamese).

ACARA’s CEO, Robert Randall, said today: “When students learn another language, they become better communicators, both in their first language and in the language they are learning. Learning a language will also help young people to improve their understanding and appreciation of the world in which they live. It allows students to develop deeper understanding of different cultures and, in an increasingly globalised world, it should improve opportunities and employability.

"The suite of language curricula developed by ACARA will allow young people to retain and enhance their first language, while also providing a range of choices for other students to learn a language beyond English.”

His Excellency Mr Reha Keskintepe, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Australia, said: “Language, culture and ethnicity are inherently interlinked. Children can connect best with different cultures, their family, history, identity and religion through language. With 150,000 Australians of Turkish origin, we acknowledge ACARA's valuable efforts to include the Turkish language in the Australian national curriculum”.

Additional language curricula still to be developed are AUSLAN, Classical Greek and Latin.

What's next for NAPLAN

18 May 2015

Last week's NAPLAN tests may have been the last paper-based tests for this group of students. From 2017 (when this cohort is due to be tested again), NAPLAN will be delivered online on an opt-in basis over two–three years, with all students online from 2019. Watch our video of ACARA CEO Robert Randall explaining what research has been done so far for NAPLAN online.

NAPLAN embargo period – test material not to be shared yet

15 May 2015

NAPLAN 2015 has concluded for most students, with around one million students from Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 taking the assessments.

A reminder that a strict embargo on NAPLAN test material remains in place until Friday 22 May 2015.

That means that you cannot post any NAPLAN materials (such as the questions or prompts) online, including social media, during this embargo period. This includes items such as photographs or videos of current tests, or referencing specific questions that are a part of this year's NAPLAN tests.

Keep NAPLAN in perspective

12 May 2015

Today, around one million students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 start NAPLAN for 2015. You can help your student keep NAPLAN in perspective – it’s four hours, four times in their life over seven years of schooling.

20150424 NAPLAN chalkboard 180

Click on the image to see the full version (PDF680 kb)

Outgoing ACARA Chair's interview with Daily Telegraph

11 May 2015

Before the end of his tenure on 7 May 2015, ACARA's outgoing Chairman, Professor Barry McGaw, was interviewed by Bruce McDougall from the Daily Telegraph.

Read the article on the Daily Telegraph website.

It's NAPLAN week

11 May 2015

NAPLAN starts tomorrow. Some nervousness is natural – just as a student may find other school events or end of term tests a little confronting. As a parent, you can support your child by treating NAPLAN test days just like any other school day and reassuring them that some nervousness is normal but they have nothing to be concerned about. See 10 tips for taking tests by Clinicial Psychologist Andrew Fuller.

NAPLAN is not high-stakes testing. It is about identifying as early as possible a child’s strengths and areas for development. Remember, testing a student’s knowledge of literacy and numeracy is not new. State-based basic skills tests have been given to students in Australian schools for decades, but were brought under the national umbrella in 2008 (ACARA took over the management of NAPLAN in 2010).

NAPLAN tests what is taught in classrooms and the best preparation is for teachers to teach the curriculum.

Read the NAPLAN 2015: the last paper-based test for some media release (PDF 48 kb).

How does My School link to NAPLAN?

08 May 2015

Next week, around one million students will participate in the annual NAPLAN tests. Student reports will be distributed in August–September and school-level NAPLAN data will be published on the My School website early next year.

Parents can now compare the 2014 NAPLAN results for their child’s school with the results of schools with similar students. See our new infographic below which shows how NAPLAN gets people talking.


Click on the image to see the full version (PDF 290 kb)

Improving the Australian Curriculum

08 May 2015

ACARA is seeking to improve the learning of all young Australians through the development of a national curriculum. Work is underway to improve the Australian Curriculum, addressing themes endorsed by the Education Council. These themes are: uncrowding the curriculum; rebalancing the curriculum; improving accessibility for students with disability; and parental engagement.

ACARA is undertaking a program of work of developing, consulting and seeking agreement in relation to proposed actions. This includes undertaking targeted consultation with key stakeholders, including state and territory curriculum, and school authorities and practising teachers, around any changes.

See our new factsheet on what ACARA is doing to address themes to improve the Australian Curriculum (PDF 185 kb)

What is in those NAPLAN tests?

07 May 2015

What students learn about literacy and numeracy in the classroom is what ends up being assessed in NAPLAN. Check out our new graphic that explains this connection. You can also see example test questions for yourself on the NAP website.

NAPLAN test questions

Click on the image to see the full version (PDF 540 kb)

ACARA farewells outgoing Board Chairman, Prof. Barry McGaw AO, and fellow Board members5 May 2015

05 May 2015

Professor Barry McGaw AO has chaired the ACARA Board since the Authority commenced in 2009, as well as its predecessor, the Interim National Curriculum Board (April 2008 to May 2009). Professor McGaw’s term as Chair concludes on 7 May 2015.

Commenting on the past seven years, Professor McGaw highlighted the progress ACARA has made, and paid tribute to all those that have contributed to improving the learning outcomes for all young Australians:

“We have a 21st century Australian curriculum setting expectations for all young Australians and in which there is growing interest from other parts of the world. We now have an Australian curriculum in all learning areas from Foundation to Year 10 and in some areas for Years 11 and 12. English, mathematics, science and history to Year 10 have been implemented throughout the country. Other curriculum areas are ready for implementation as individual states and territories are ready."

Read Barry's full farewell in the latest ACARA Update extra.

Watch Barry's farewell video.

NAPLAN 2015: information for parents

04 May 2015

Want to know more about NAPLAN? You can check out our NAPLAN 2015 parent brochure (PDF 127 kb), as well as factsheets for parents of students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. There is also general information about NAPLAN on the "Parent/carer support" page of the NAP website.

Farewell held for outgoing ACARA Chair, Professor Barry McGaw AO, and fellow Board members

01 May 2015

ACARA’s outgoing Chair, Professor Barry McGaw AO, was farewelled yesterday by members of the education community from across Australia.

Professor McGaw, whose term as chairman of ACARA’s Board concludes on 7 May, thanked all those for their contribution to ACARA’s work and to improving the learning of all young Australians.

“It has been a wonderful professional experience to be involved in ACARA. I have worked with remarkable colleagues on ACARA’s Board and staff and in other agencies throughout the country. My term is up but I will now watch with great interest as others build fine national structures on the foundations we have laid,” Barry said.

Barry’s term as Chair finishes on 7 May, along with Board members Tom Alegounarias, Helen Wildash and John Firth.

20150501 Barry McGaw last Board meeting April 2015
Last Board meeting for ACARA Chair Professor Barry McGaw

201505011 departing Board members
Departing ACARA Board members (from left to right):
John Firth, Helen Wildash, Professor Barry McGaw and Tom Alegounarias