The Australian Curriculum

The Australian Curriculum is designed to teach students what it takes to be confident and creative individuals and become active and informed citizens. It sets the goal for what all students should learn as they progress through their school life – wherever they live in Australia and whatever school they attend.

From the first year of schooling to Year 10, students develop knowledge and skills in eight learning areas:
• English
• Mathematics
• Science
• Health and Physical Education (HPE)
• Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS)
• The Arts
• Technologies
• Languages

The Australian Curriculum is considered to have three dimensions: the ‘learning areas’ (see above), the ‘general capabilities’ and the ‘cross-curriculum priorities’. These last two dimensions build across the curriculum and allow students to connect the content of the learning areas. The general capabilities are included in the content of all learning areas. These are the skills and abilities intended to help prepare young Australians to learn, live and work in the 21st century. The Australian Curriculum has seven general capabilities:
• Literacy
• Numeracy
• Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
• Critical and Creative Thinking
• Personal and Social Capability
• Ethical Understanding
• Intercultural Understanding

In a similar way, there are three cross-curriculum priorities critical to Australia’s future:
• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Histories and
• Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
• Sustainability

As students make their way from the primary years into the middle and senior years, the curriculum focuses more on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all eight learning areas. Students are also taught by an increasing number of specialist teachers and the curriculum is designed so that students develop skills for civic, social and economic participation.

As students move through their schooling they have more opportunities to make choices about their learning and to specialise in areas of interest as they approach and finish Year 10. The curriculum assists students to consider pathways for study in senior secondary schooling from a range of academic and vocational options

Every student is unique, with different needs and interests. Teachers use the curriculum to plan in ways that respond to those needs and interests. The Australian Curriculum is flexible, allowing schools and teachers to personalise student learning. The Australian Curriculum website gives advice on using the curriculum to meet the needs of students with disability; gifted and talented students; and students for whom English is an additional language or dialect. More information about the Australian Curriculum can be found on the ‘Parents’ page of the Australian Curriculum website.