Australian Curriculum Review consultation

Your feedback is now invited on proposed revisions to the Australian Curriculum. Responses will help ensure the Australian Curriculum continues to remain world-class and meets the needs of students.

On 12 June 2020, Australia’s education ministers agreed it was timely to review the Foundation – Year 10 Australian Curriculum, which outlines the core knowledge and skills to be taught to students from Foundation to Year 10, wherever they live in Australia.

Talking the Australian Curriculum review video - transcript

The Review looks to improve the Australian Curriculum by refining, realigning and decluttering the content so it focusses on the essential knowledge and skills students should learn and is clearer for teachers on what they need to teach.

We have consulted widely with teachers, education stakeholders and curriculum experts, and now we want to hear what you think about the proposed revisions to the Australian Curriculum.

The consultation period is from Thursday 29 April to Thursday 8 July. Feedback can be provided on:

Learning Areas General capabilities Cross-curriculum priorities
  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Science
  • Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS)
    • HASS Foundation – Year 6
    • History Years 7–10
    • Geography Years 7–10
    • Civics and Citizenship Years 7–10
    • Economics and Business Years 7–10
  • Health and Physical Education
  • Technologies
    • Digital Technologies
    • Design and Technologies
  • The Arts
    • The Arts Foundation – Year 6
    • Dance Years 7-10
    • Drama Years 7-10
    • Media Arts Years 7-10
    • Music Years 7-10
    • Visual Arts Years 7-10
  • Languages
    • French
    • Japanese
    • Chinese
    • Italian
    • Note: other Languages subjects and pathways to follow in later stages
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Digital Literacy (previously known as ICT Capability)
  • Ethical Understanding
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • Sustainability

The review of all learning areas is to be completed by the end of 2021 and the updated version of the F-10 Australian Curriculum, once approved by Ministers, will be made available on a newly designed Australian Curriculum website for the start of 2022.

The new website will present the curriculum in an improved format, showing greater connections across the curriculum and being more helpful and intuitive for teachers to use. You can watch a short video showing the new website prototype.

Giving feedback

During consultation, you can provide feedback through our online surveys, which will ask you to respond to statements about the proposed revisions. You can provide feedback on any learning area, general capability or cross-curriculum priority.

Before starting a survey visit the specific learning area, general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities pages on this website and view the consultation curriculum for your area of interest.

You can view the survey questions before commencing a survey on the consultation surveys page.

The online survey includes open fields to allow you to provide general comments about what you think we have improved and what you think needs further improvement.

You can also send general comments or questions about the Australian Curriculum Review to [email protected]

Resources

The three dimensions of the Australian Curriculum
Australian Curriculum website redesign - prototype tour
Parents tell us what they think of the Australian Curriculum

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 views and experiences of teachers are key to the review process. Around 360 teachers and curriculum experts from across the country have been involved in 18 new reference groups ACARA established specifically to inform the Review.

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.

No. The focus of the Review is on content refinement and reduction within the existing three dimensions and organising structure of the Australian Curriculum. The eight learning areas, seven general capabilities and three cross-curriculum priorities remain, as do the structural elements of content descriptions, achievement standards and content elaborations.

Yes. The terms of reference for the Australian Curriculum Review required ACARA to revisit and improve, where necessary, the learning continua for the general capabilities and the organising ideas for the cross-curriculum priorities with reference to current research.

For both dimensions, we have reviewed recent research and worked with experts to identify opportunities for updating. Evidence and information gathered in this process were used to refine and propose revisions for consultation and feedback through ACARA’s reference and advisory groups.

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.

Core concepts were developed to assist the Review to identify and prioritise what is essential for students to learn in each learning area.

The terms of reference for the Review required ACARA to refine and reduce the amount of content across all eight learning areas of the Australian Curriculum F–10 to focus on essential content or core concepts.

In the review process, core concepts helped identify the essential content students should learn to develop a deep and increasingly sophisticated understanding in each learning area.

Core concepts are the big ideas, understandings, skills or processes that are central to a learning area. They anchor a coherent curriculum and give clarity and direction about what matters.

A recent mapping of curricula across OECD countries as part of the OECD 2030 Education and Skills project found an increasing number of countries have made a clear distinction in curriculum between ‘key concepts’ and ‘facts and procedural knowledge’ to facilitate deeper learning.

Focusing on ‘core concepts’, ‘big ideas’ or ‘essential learning’ is a common strategy used by countries such as British Columbia and Wales to avoid content overload and to support effective learning by keeping the developmental needs of children in mind.

In the Curriculum Review Guidelines paper, you will find more details on the use of core concepts during the review process. The curriculum in each learning area also includes specific information on the core concepts in that learning area under the ‘organisation of the learning area’ section.

The idea of core concepts is not new to the Australian Curriculum. Core concepts have a place in most learning areas in the current curriculum, although they are named and used differently across the learning areas.

For example, core concepts are not new to the Australian Curriculum in Science, Technologies or Humanities and the Social Sciences (HASS).

  • The current Science curriculum uses core concepts to frame content in the science understanding strand. In the proposed revisions, these concepts have been retained with minor modifications, and core concepts have been developed for all strands.
  • The current Technologies curriculum has ‘key ideas’ for Technologies and ‘key concepts’ for Digital Technologies. These have been refined and renamed as ‘core concepts’ in the revised curriculum. 
  • The existing HASS curriculum currently identifies the core concepts important to each of the learning area’s disciplines. These concepts have been refined so that the core concepts in F–6 allow for a clearer progression of conceptual development into the discipline-specific core concepts in Years 7–10 within each of the subjects – History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship, and Economics and Business.

Core concepts are not another structural layer of the curriculum for teachers to understand or to teach. They are described in the introductory background information if teachers wish to read about them. Content descriptions and achievement standards remain the focus for teaching, learning, assessment and reporting.

While the prime purpose of the core concepts in the Review is to help make decisions about essential content, feedback from teachers in the reference groups indicated that teachers may find this information useful to gain a deeper understanding of the learning area. 

The public consultation window is 10 weeks, from 29 April until 8 July 2021.

Revisions to all eight learning areas (English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts, Technologies, Health and Physical Education, and Languages), five general capabilities and three cross-curriculum priorities are available for consultation.  

This is a public consultation – anyone can provide feedback. Feedback will help us ensure the Australian Curriculum remains world class and meets the needs of students.

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/.

The online survey can be completed by individuals or groups, such as schools and professional associations. The learning area survey is designed so you can give high-level feedback about the overall proposed revisions or more detailed feedback about specific year levels.

The consultation version of the Australian Curriculum for each learning area is provided in three formats. You can choose the format that best suits you – a full version showing all the curriculum elements, a version showing just the scope and sequence of learning, and a comparative document showing the proposed revisions against the current curriculum.

Yes. You will notice each content description in each curriculum has a code, and elaborations are numbered. To make comments about a specific content description or elaboration, simply refer to the code or number.

You may also choose to make comments on a specific year level of a curriculum – for example, Foundation – rather than commenting on the entire Foundation – Year 10 curriculum in a given subject.

Yes, you can save it and go back. You are able to enter responses in the survey until you submit your feedback, but please note you will not be able to go in and change responses after you submit it. For more information, please refer to the survey information sheet.

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.  

The review of all 16 languages will be undertaken in stages, with Chinese, French, Italian and Japanese completed first and along with other learning areas. The remaining 12 languages will be reviewed by the end of 2023.

Consultation feedback reports summarising all feedback received will be available on the ACARA consultation website, following education ministers’ approval of the final revisions. The updated curriculum will be available on an improved, redesigned Australian Curriculum website at the start of 2022.