About the Australian Curriculum

Introduction

The Australian Curriculum sets the expectations for what all young Australians should be taught, regardless of where they live in Australia or their background. ACARA draws on the best national talent and expertise, and consults widely to develop the Australian Curriculum and resources.

Education plays a critical role in shaping the lives of young Australians and contributing to a democratic, equitable and just society that is prosperous, cohesive and culturally diverse.

The rationale for the introduction of the Australian Curriculum centres on improving the quality, equity and transparency of Australia’s education system.

  • Quality – an Australian Curriculum will contribute to the provision of a world-class education in Australia by setting out the knowledge, understanding and skills needed for life and work in the 21st century and by setting high standards of achievement across the country.
  • Equity – an Australian Curriculum will provide a clear, shared understanding of what young people should be taught and the quality of learning expected of them, regardless of their circumstances, the type of school that they attend or the location of their school.

The commitment to develop a national curriculum reflects a willingness to work together, across geographical and school-sector boundaries, to provide a world-class education for all young Australians. Working nationally makes it possible to harness collective expertise and effort in the pursuit of this common goal. It also offers the potential of economies of scale and a substantial reduction in the duplication of time, effort and resources.

Development of the Australian Curriculum

About the Learning areas/subjects

The Australian Curriculum is made up of 8 learning areas. These learning areas are English; Mathematics; SCience; Humanities and Social Sciences; The Arts; Technologies; Health and Physical Education as well as Languages. For more information on these learning areas please click here.

ACARA has also published the Australian Curriculum: Work Studies, which is an optional subject.

Work Studies

The Australian Curriculum: Work Studies Years 9–10 delivers a school-based subject that provides opportunities for students to undertake vocational learning and develop work-readiness skills in preparation for further study towards a skilled occupation or further education after leaving school. This elective curriculum will be available for students in Years 9 or 10 (one-year subject), or across Years 9–10 (two-year subject). The curriculum will also focus on further strengthening the general capabilities of the Australian Curriculum, and includes features such as applied learning and work exposure.

About the General capabilities

General capabilities comprise one if the three deminsions of the Australian Curriculum. They encompass knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that, together with curriculum content in each learning area and the cross-curriculum priorities, assist students to live and work successfully in the twenty-first century. They play a significant role in realising the goals set out in the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA) 2008 that all young people in Australia should be supported to become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens.

The Australian Curriculum includes seven general capabilities. These are:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Information and communication technology capability
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Personal and social capability
  • Ethical understanding
  • Intercultural understanding.

In the Australian Curriculum, general capabilities are addressed through the learning areas and are identified wherever they are developed or applied in content descriptions. They are also identified where they offer opportunities to add depth and richness to student learning in content elaborations.

For further information on the general capabilities and to access learning continua, click here.

About the Cross-curriculum priorities

The Australian Curriculum gives special attention to three cross-curriculum priorities:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
  • Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
  • Sustainability

The cross-curriculum priorities are embedded in the curriculum and will have a strong but varying presence depending on their relevance to each of the learning areas.

Curriculum Version History

Change to the key elements of the curriculum (rationale, aims, content descriptions or achievement standards) will be recorded with a change to the version number before the point, e.g., from 2.n to 3.n. Updates to the curriculum such as additional information or editorial changes, will be noted by a change to the number after the point. The appropriate version number will also be visible on any documents downloaded and printed from the Australian Curriculum website.

Version Release Date Release Notes
8.3 14/12/2016
  • Inclusion of Australian Curriculum: Languages (Classical and Auslan)
8.2 30/06/2016
  • Revised identification of General Capability and Cross Curriculum Priority tagging of content descriptions and content elaborations to sub-element level
8.1 16/12/2015
  • Inclusion of Australian Curriculum: Languages (Hindi, Turkish and the Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages)
  • Parent support materials published
8.0 18/10/2015
  • Endorsed revised Foundation – Year 10 Australian Curriculum: English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts, Technologies and Health and Physical Education
  • Endorsed Foundation – Year 10 Australian Curriculum: Languages for Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Modern Greek, Spanish and Vietnamese
  • Endorsed Australian Curriculum: Work Studies, Years 9–10
7.5 21/5/2015
  • Revised identification of General Capability and Cross Curriculum Priority tagging
7.4 31/3/2015
  • Inclusion of Australian Curriculum: Languages (Arabic, German, Japanese, Korean, Modern Greek, Spanish and Vietnamese)
  • Inclusion of 20 Illustrations of Primary Curriculum Management
7.3 5/1/2015
  • Updated Technologies glossary
7.2 8/10/2014
  • Inclusion of Australian Curriculum: Work studies Years 9-10
  • Inclusion of a Humanities and Social Sciences learning statement
  • General capability and cross curriculum priority tagging displaying in elaboration view
7.1 25/8/2014
  • New icons for each general capability and for most cross curriculum priorities
  • Revised identification of general capabilities for all subjects and a new presentation of the identification
  • Revised cross curriculum priorities in English, mathematics, science, history and a new presentation of the identification
  • Collapsible show/hide navigation panel in the Curriculum Browser page
7.0 21/7/2014
  • Inclusion of Australian Curriculum: Languages (Chinese, Indonesian, Italian, French)
  • Redesign of website, navigation and inclusion of additional functionality
6.0 18/2/2014
  • Inclusion of Australian Curriculum: The Arts F-10
  • Inclusion of Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship 3-10
  • Inclusion of Australian Curriculum: Economics and Business 5-10
  • Inclusion of Australian Curriculum: Technologies F-10
  • Inclusion of Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education F-10
5.2 16/12/2013
  • Revision of Physics Unit 4 – The Standard Model content descriptions
  • Minor revisions to Physics glossary terms
  • Revised student diversity advice materials and added personal illustrations of learning
5.1 05/08/2013
  • Inclusion of senior secondary Australian Curriculum (content and achievement standards) for Geography
5.0 20/05/2013
  • Inclusion of Australian Curriculum : F-10 Geography
4.2 13/03/2013
  • Glossary entries added for senior secondary subjects
  • Examples in context added for senior secondary science subjects
4.1 31/01/2013
  • General Capabilities
    • General Capabilities Learning Continua – Revised and additional levels included
    • Overview revised
    • Literacy and Numeracy introductions revised to address student diversity
    • Title of Ethical behaviour changed to Ethical understanding
    • General capabilities identified at element level in learning area content descriptions
  • Student Diversity support materials published
4.0 10/12/2012
  • Inclusion of senior secondary Australian Curriculum (content and achievement standards) for 14 subjects in English, Mathematics, Science and History
  • Revised home page to access F-10 curriculum and Senior secondary curriculum
3.0 23/01/2012
2.0 17/10/2011
1.2 08/03/2011
  • Minor editorials to content descriptions
  • Glossaries: revised for English, mathematics, history and science
  • Cross Curriculum Priorities: updated descriptions (general and learning area); additional information of organising principles; revised icons
  • Scope and Sequences: PDF scope and sequence charts included for download and print
  • ScOT topics: revised topics for to better align with thesaurus for English, mathematics, history and science
  • Revised student diversity information sheet
  • Additional support document for mathematics glossary
  • A number of minor editorials
1.1 13/12/2010
  • Revision of mathematics glossary
1.0 08/12/2010
  • Initial release

ACARA has been funded by the Australian Government and all state and territory Governments to develop the Australian Curriculum. Curriculum has been published for 8 learning areas. These areas are English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts, Technologies, Health and Physical Education and Languages.

All curricula were fully endorsed by State and Territory Education Ministers and are published on this website.

Implementation of the Australian Curriculum is the responsibility of state and territory Government Authorities and may be implemented differently from state to state. If you require further information regarding the implementation, please contact your state or territory curriculum authority.

The Australian Curriculum provides the content that students will learn but does not provide grades against that content. A to E grades are generally determined by state and territory curriculum and school authorities.

The Australian Curriculum is an online resource. ACARA does not sell or provide printed copies of the Australian Curriculum. The Australian Curriculum website provides a print/download function that can be used to download and print the Australian Curriculum in formats. Click here to download or print the Australian Curriculum.

ACARA has developed different resources to help teachers to implement the Australian Curriculum. These resources include student work samples that are aligned to subject specific achievement standards; enhancing the proficiencies in the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics and cross curriculum connections including areas such as consumer and financial literacy, Food and Fibre, Food and wellbeing and Outdoor Education.

ACARA also provides video illustrations on how other schools have implemented the Australian Curriculum in areas such as STEM, primary schooling and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures.

ACARA does not endorse or recommend any external resources or material to use to implement the Australian Curriculum. For further information on the use of external resources, please contact your state or territory curriculum authority.

Although all State and Territory Education Authorities have agreed to embrace the Australian Curriculum, ACARA does not mandate which subjects are to be taught. Implementation of the Australian Curriculum is the responsibility of state and territory authorities, please contact your local authority for further information. 

ACARA does not have authority over how the implementation of the Australian Curriculum in schools or the amount hours a subject is to be taught throughout the year. Implementation of the Australian Curriculum is the responsibility of state and territory authorities, please contact your local authority for further information. 

If you require additional information or help regarding the Australian Curriculum or the use of the Australian Curriculum website, please contact using the contact details found in the footer of this website.