curriculum Archives - Page 3 of 5 - Education Matters Magazine

STEM curriculum: Encouraging engagement

Amid growing concern over the past decade about the levels of engagement with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects by Australian students, Deakin University’s Russell Tytler explores gaps in the STEM curriculum.

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indigenous history to be taught in HSC

Changes to HSC syllabus to take effect in 2018

The NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Services (BOSTES) has released draft syllabuses for 17 HSC courses in English, history, maths and science in a bid to modernise education for the ‘Asian Century’.

BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias said in a media release that the draft syllabuses allow for deeper learning opportunities to students and “a richer engagement in the subjects they choose for their senior years of school”.

“Increasing content depth also supports more analytical assessment enabling us to also redesign High School Certificate (HSC) exam questions.

“For maths courses, common content and marking is being introduced to ensure students studying the higher level maths courses are recognised and to reduce any perceived incentive to study maths below their ability for an ATAR advantage,” Mr Alegounarias said.

Proposes Changes at a Glance:

  • English – Mandatory unit will focus on spelling, grammar, vocabular and punctuation
  • Mathematics – Statistics to be included in all courses. Increased emphasis on problem solving
  • Science – Promotion of critical thinking over rote learning of facts
  • History – Further opportunities to study Asian history, feminism and Indigenous leaders. Also, deeper analysis of WWII and its impact

Speaking to AAP, Mr Alegounarias also indicated that revisions to English seek to overcome a 30-year trend in education “to underplay grammar”.

BOSTES has proposed modern history electives to highlight the role of women and Indigenous leaders such as Pemulwuy, Eddie Mabo and Faith Bandler, but some syllabuses in technology and Asian language courses won’t be reviewed until next year.

Once confirmed, the new syllabuses will be taught to Year 11 students in 2018, giving teachers a year to adapt.

The drafts are open for public consultation until August 31.

What does the new Victorian Curriculum mean for you?

This article has been provided courtesy of Jacaranda.

In September 2015, the Victorian Government announced the new Victorian Curriculum as a key pillar of its plan to become the ‘Education State’.

As many teachers will know, change in curriculum is not new in Victoria, and the state has long been at the forefront of innovation in curriculum development. A quick snapshot of the past two decades alone reveals a commitment to ongoing reform and to improving learning outcomes for students.

Here’s a summary of the major innovations:

1995: The Curriculum and Standards Framework (CSF) was first implemented in Victorian schools.
2000: The CFS was republished as the CSF II. The CSF described explicitly what Victorian students should know from years prep through to Year 10 in eight key learning areas.
2006: The CSF II was replaced by the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) which was built on the strong foundations of the CSF but also emphasised the interdisciplinary skills students needed to succeed in the world; skills such as how to relate to each other, how to understand the world and how to communicate ideas.
2013: The Australian Curriculum in Victoria (AusVELS) was implemented.
2015: The Victorian Government introduced the new Victorian Curriculum, which can be implemented from 2016 and must be implemented by 2017. The curriculum ‘is the common set of knowledge and skills required by students for life-long learning, social development and active and informed citizenship.’1

As with any curriculum change, there are differences will need to be factored in. While teachers in Victorian schools have proven themselves highly adept at incorporating practical and aspirational elements of each curriculum reform phase, managing the transition can be an overwhelming task. In particular, the 2017 Victorian Curriculum not only introduces several changes that apply across all learning areas, but a number of subject-specific changes as well.

Victorian Curriculum by Jacaranda.
Guide to the new Victorian Curriculum by Jacaranda.

The overall impact, therefore, will inevitably vary by subject. To find out what the 2017 Victorian Curriculum means for you, download Jacaranda’s fact sheet. There’s one for each learning area: Mathematics, Science, Humanities, English and Health and Physical Education. This definitive guide will provide:

      Summary of the key changes that all teachers must implement
      Description of the General Capabilities
      Outline of structural and content changes for each learning area
      Insights from our publishing team


We hope the fact sheet is a useful resource to help teachers gain confidence going into 2017. If you have any additional questions about what the curriculum changes mean for you, don’t hesitate to email us.

1. Source:

Coding matters for primary students

Coding matters: Core concepts for digital learning

Coding is just one part of the new Australian Digital Technologies curriculum that allows students to develop an understanding of being able to use, and create with, digital technologies. Bec Spink reports.

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