The Foundation – Year 10 Australian Curriculum outlines the core knowledge and skills to be taught to all Australian students. It sets consistent expectations for what every student should learn and to the standard of that learning. The national curriculum was introduced to improve the quality, equity and transparency of Australia’s education system. The full set of Foundation – Year 10 curricula for all eight learning areas was endorsed by education ministers in September 2015.
The Australian Curriculum sets the expectations for and outlines the core content that all young Australians should be taught regardless of where they live in Australia. How and when the Australian Curriculum is implemented is the responsibility of states and territories. In some jurisdictions such as Queensland, the Australian Curriculum is implemented as it is presented on the Australian Curriculum website; in other jurisdictions such as NSW, the Australian Curriculum is adapted and presented in a different form, in this case called the NSW syllabus.
Regular reviews and updating are essential to ensure the curriculum remains world class and meets the needs of students. The Australian Curriculum was last reviewed in 2014. The 2015 Australian Government review of ACARA recommended that ACARA undertake a six-year cycle of review and this was agreed by education ministers in 2015. On 12 June 2020, Australia’s education ministers agreed to the terms of reference for the current Review and tasked ACARA to complete the review by the start of 2022.
The Review aims to improve the Australian Curriculum across all eight learning areas (English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts, Technologies, Health and Physical Education, and Languages) from Foundation to Year 10 by refining, realigning and decluttering the content of the curriculum.
The Review of all eight learning areas commenced following education ministers’ endorsement of the terms of reference in June 2020, and ministers asked that ACARA complete the Review by the start of 2022.
Preparations for the Review have been underway since 2015 when education ministers agreed that ACARA undertake a six-year cycle of review of the Australian Curriculum. That preparation included a five-year program of research that has informed the terms of reference and shape of the Review. For the languages, Chinese, French, Italian and Japanese will be completed first, with the remaining 12 languages completed by 2023.
The updated version of the Australian Curriculum, once approved by education ministers, will be made available on an improved, redesigned Australian Curriculum website at the start of 2022.
Feedback can be provided by completing an online survey. There are separate surveys for each learning area, the general capabilities and the cross-curriculum priorities. The surveys can be found on the Australian Curriculum consultation website: https://australiancurriculum.edu.au/consultation/consultation-surveys/.
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.
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.