The English curriculum is built around the three interrelated strands of Language, Literature and Literacy. Teaching and learning programs should balance and integrate all three strands. Together the strands focus on developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in listening, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating. Learning in English builds on concepts, skills and processes developed in earlier years, and teachers will revisit and strengthen these as needed.
In Years 5 and 6, students communicate with peers and teachers from other classes and schools, community members, and individuals and groups, in a range of face-to-face and online/virtual environments.
Students engage with a variety of texts for enjoyment. They listen to, read, view, interpret and evaluate spoken, written and multimodal texts in which the primary purpose is aesthetic, as well as texts designed to inform and persuade. These include various types of media texts including newspapers, film and digital texts, junior and early adolescent novels, poetry, non-fiction and dramatic performances. Students develop their understanding of how texts, including media texts, are influenced by context, purpose and audience.
The range of literary texts for Foundation to Year 10 comprises Australian literature, including the oral narrative traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as well as the contemporary literature of these two cultural groups, and classic and contemporary world literature, including texts from and about Asia.
Literary texts that support and extend students in Years 5 and 6 as independent readers describe complex sequences, a range of non-stereotypical characters and elaborated events including flashbacks and shifts in time. These texts explore themes of interpersonal relationships and ethical dilemmas within real-world and fantasy settings. Informative texts supply technical and content information about a wide range of topics of interest as well as topics being studied in other areas of the curriculum. Text structures include chapters, headings and subheadings, tables of contents, indexes and glossaries. Language features include complex sentences, unfamiliar technical vocabulary, figurative language, and information presented in various types of graphics.
Students create a range of imaginative, informative and persuasive types of texts such as narratives, procedures, performances, reports, reviews, explanations and discussions.
By the end of Year 6, students understand how the use of text structures can achieve particular effects. They analyse and explain how language features, images and vocabulary are used by different authors to represent ideas, characters and events.
Students compare and analyse information in different texts, explaining literal and implied meaning. They select and use evidence from a text to explain their response to it. They listen to discussions, clarifying content and challenging others’ ideas.
Students understand how language features and language patterns can be used for emphasis. They show how specific details can be used to support a point of view. They explain how their choices of language features and images are used.
Students create detailed texts elaborating on key ideas for a range of purposes and audiences. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, using a variety of strategies for effect. They demonstrate understanding of grammar, make considered choices from an expanding vocabulary, use accurate spelling and punctuation for clarity and make and explain editorial choices.
The proficiency strands Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning are an integral part of mathematics content across the three content strands: Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. The proficiencies reinforce the significance of working mathematically within the content and describe how the content is explored or developed. They provide the language to build in the developmental aspects of the learning of mathematics.
At this year level:
Understanding includes describing properties of different sets of numbers, using fractions and decimals to describe probabilities, representing fractions and decimals in various ways and describing connections between them, and making reasonable estimations
Fluency includes representing integers on a number line, calculating simple percentages, using brackets appropriately, converting between fractions and decimals, using operations with fractions, decimals and percentages, measuring using metric units, and interpreting timetables
Problem Solving includes formulating and solving authentic problems using fractions, decimals, percentages and measurements, interpreting secondary data displays, and finding the size of unknown angles
Reasoning includes explaining mental strategies for performing calculations, describing results for continuing number sequences, explaining the transformation of one shape into another, explaining why the actual results of chanceexperiments may differ from expected results
By the end of Year 6, students recognise the properties of prime, composite, square and triangular numbers. They describe the use of integers in everyday contexts. They solve problems involving all four operations with whole numbers. Students connect fractions, decimals and percentages as different representations of the same number. They solve problems involving the addition and subtraction of related fractions. Students make connections between the powers of 10 and the multiplication and division of decimals. They describe rules used in sequences involving whole numbers, fractions and decimals. Students connect decimal representations to the metric system and choose appropriate units of measurement to perform a calculation. They make connections between capacity and volume. They solve problems involving length and area. They interpret timetables. Students describe combinations of transformations. They solve problems using the properties of angles. Students compare observed and expected frequencies. They interpret and compare a variety of data displays including those displays for two categorical variables. They evaluate secondary data displayed in the media.
Students locate fractions and integers on a number line. They calculate a simple fraction of a quantity. They add, subtract and multiply decimals and divide decimals where the result is rational. Students calculate common percentage discounts on sale items. They write correct number sentences using brackets and order of operations. Students locate an ordered pair in any one of the four quadrants on the Cartesian plane. They construct simple prisms and pyramids. Students list and communicate probabilities using simple fractions, decimals and percentages.
The Science Inquiry Skills and Science as a Human Endeavour strands are described across a two-year band. In their planning, schools and teachers refer to the expectations outlined in the Achievement Standard and also to the content of the Science Understanding strand for the relevant year level to ensure that these two strands are addressed over the two-year period. The three strands of the curriculum are interrelated and their content is taught in an integrated way. The order and detail in which the content descriptions are organised into teaching/learning programs are decisions to be made by the teacher.
Over Years 3 to 6, students develop their understanding of a range of systems operating at different time and geographic scales. In Year 6, students explore how changes can be classified in different ways. They learn about transfer and transformations of electricity, and continue to develop an understanding of energy flows through systems. They link their experiences of electric circuits as a system at one scale, to generation of electricity from a variety of sources at another scale and begin to see links between these systems. They develop a view of Earth as a dynamic system, in which changes in one aspect of the system impact on other aspects; similarly they see that the growth and survival of living things are dependent on matter and energy flows within a larger system. Students begin to see the role of variables in measuring changes and learn how look for patterns and relationships between variables. They develop explanations for the patterns they observe, drawing on evidence.
By the end of Year 6, students compare and classify different types of observable changes to materials. They analyse requirements for the transfer of electricity and describe how energy can be transformed from one form to another to generate electricity. They explain how natural events cause rapid change to the Earth’s surface. They describe and predict the effect of environmental changes on individual living things. Students explain how scientific knowledge is used in decision making and identify contributions to the development of science by people from a range of cultures.
Students follow procedures to develop investigable questions and design investigations into simple cause-and-effect relationships. They identify variables to be changed and measured and describe potential safety risks when planning methods. They collect, organise and interpret their data, identifying where improvements to their methods or research could improve the data. They describe and analyse relationships in data using graphic representations and construct multi-modal texts to communicate ideas, methods and findings.
Australia as a nation
The Year 6 curriculum moves from colonial Australia to the development of Australia as a nation, particularly after 1900. Students explore the factors that led to Federation and experiences of democracy...
The Year 6 curriculum moves from colonial Australia to the development of Australia as a nation, particularly after 1900. Students explore the factors that led to Federation and experiences of democracy and citizenship over time. Students understand the significance of Australia’s British heritage, the Westminster system, and other models that influenced the development of Australia’s system of government. Students learn about the way of life of people who migrated to Australia and their contributions to Australia’s economic and social development.
The content provides opportunities to develop historical understanding through key concepts including sources, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy and significance.
These concepts may be investigated within a particular historical context to facilitate an understanding of the past and to provide a focus for historical inquiries.
The history content at this year level involves two strands: Historical Knowledge and Understanding and Historical Skills. These strands are interrelated and should be taught in an integrated way; they may be integrated across learning areas and in ways that are appropriate to specific local contexts. The order and detail in which they are taught are programming decisions.
A framework for developing students’ historical knowledge, understanding and skills is provided by inquiry questions through the use and interpretation of sources. The key inquiry questions at this year level are:
By the end of Year 6, students identify change and continuity and describe the causes and effects of change on society. They compare the different experiences of people in the past. They explain the significance of an individual and group.
Students sequence events and people (their lifetime) in chronological order, and represent time by creating timelines. When researching, students develop questions to frame an historical inquiry. They identify a range of sources and locate and compare information to answer inquiry questions. They examine sources to identify and describe points of view. Students develop texts, particularly narratives and descriptions. In developing these texts and organising and presenting their information, they use historical terms and concepts and incorporate relevant sources.
A diverse and connected world takes a global view of geography and focuses particularly on the concepts of place and interconnections. Students learn about the diversity of peoples and cultures around the world, the indigenous peoples of other countries, the diversity of countries across the world and within the Asia region. They reflect on cultural differences and similarities, and on the meaning and significance of intercultural understanding. The focus of study becomes global, as students examine Australia’s connections with other countries and events in places throughout the world, and think about their own and other people’s knowledge of other countries and places. Students’ mental maps of the world and their understanding of place are further developed through learning the locations of the major countries in the Asia region, and investigating the geographical diversity and variety of connections between people and places.
The inquiry process provides opportunities to gather and represent data, which should be used to inform decisions when planning and implementing action on significant global issues.
The content of this year level is organised into two strands: Geographical Knowledge and Understanding and Geographical Inquiry and Skills. These strands are interrelated and should be taught in an integrated manner, and in ways that are appropriate to specific local contexts. The order and detail in which they are taught are programming decisions.
A framework for developing students’ geographical knowledge, understanding and skills is provided through the inclusion of inquiry questions and specific inquiry skills, including the use and interpretation of maps, photographs and other representations of geographical data.
The key inquiry questions for Year 6 are articulated below.
By the end of Year 6, students explain the characteristics of diverse places in different locations at different scales from local to global. They describe the interconnections between people and places, identify factors that influence these interconnections and describe how they change places and affect people. They describe the location of selected countries in absolute and relative terms and identify and compare spatial distributions and patterns among phenomena. They identify and describe alternative views on how to respond to a geographical challenge and propose a response.
Students develop geographical questions to frame an inquiry. They locate relevant information from a range of sources to answer inquiry questions. They represent data and the location of places and their characteristics in different graphic forms, including large-scale and small-scale maps that use cartographic conventions of border, source, scale, legend, title and north point. Students interpret data and other information to identify and compare spatial distributions, patterns and trends, infer relationships and draw conclusions. They present findings and ideas using geographical terminology and graphic representations in a range of communication forms. They propose action in response to a geographical challenge and describe the expected effects of their proposal.