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Australian National Curriculum V9: Education Update

This article details updates to the Australian National Curriculum and explains what the changes mean for parents and teachers.

Written by Amy Fairhurst, Master of Teaching and Parenting

Australian schools form one of the leading education systems in the world. High standards and consistency across the country are top reasons for achieving this status. Over 10 years ago, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) used an extensive and collaborative curriculum development process to produce the Australian National Curriculum. This article details updates to the Australian National Curriculum and explains what the version 9 changes mean for parents and teachers.

Why do we need a national curriculum?

According to ACARA, having a national curriculum helps “all young Australians to become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens”. We sit on a united front. No matter where your child learns across Australia, the goal remains the same. Of course, as with all school curriculum, this process remains evolutionary, updates are essential, feedback critical and new versions released as needed.

A national curriculum also benefits families making an interstate move. The transition to a new school is much easier when all schools are reading from the same page.

When does the new curriculum come into effect?

Version 9.0 of the Australian Curriculum was endorsed by education ministers on 1 April 2022. Schools across the country began implementing the new curriculum (Version 9.0) from 2023 according to their own timelines. That means that this year, in 2024, schools Australia wide are welcoming, adjusting, and improving your kids’ education! Be kind to your teachers everyone, this process takes time, but with time, improvement happens, and our children receive a better education.

As a parent and teacher myself, I wear two hats; the teacher hat, concerned about what this adjustment means to schools, teachers and my students, and my parent hat, concerned about what this means for my own children.

As a teacher, this means easier access and more direct focus on the core curriculum. “[With] a reduction in content [21% reduction in fact], as well as better alignment between achievement standards and content descriptions, and improved links between learning areas and the general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities” (Australian Government, Department of Education, 2022), I have more time to invest in the well-being of my class.

As a parent, this means more support for my children, more focussed learning experiences, and time to develop socially, emotionally, and physically.

What’s new in the new curriculum?

Teacher assisting student in the classroom
Portrait Of Teacher Helping Pupil Using Computer In Classroom

Version 9 of the National Curriculum has several key changes. Some of these include: More attention to “essential mathematical facts, skills and processes”; “prioritising Australian history within a global context”; the “addition of privacy and security in the Digital Technologies curriculum”; and “strengthening the focus on students being physically active”. The safety of our children is at the core of these changes. How good is that?!

Teachers can go to www.australiancurriculum.edu.au and click ‘Learn More’ to find links to a ‘Website Tour’ or ‘F-10 Curriculum’. Scroll down this page to see a detailed description of the ‘Three Dimensions of the Australian Curriculum’ and ‘Latest on the Australian Curriculum’. You might notice the new search platform when accessing the curriculum. It’s clear and concise, and allows for ‘quick select’, or ‘advanced select’ options to choose from. It’s very user friendly and accessible.

Parents, follow the same link above, and click ‘Parent Information’ on the top toolbar. This takes you to a clear overview of what the site offers you. It provides links to Resources, including ‘Handy Links’ and ‘FAQs’ for parents. These colourful pages can be downloaded and printed as desired and used to help you understand what exactly your child will be learning.

Where to go from here? Start exploring! Follow these links to the newest and clearest information on Version 9 of the National Curriculum:

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Joanne Crane

Joanne loves speaking directly to people of all ages through the medium of writing, sharing tips and knowledge for families and kids to help everyone get the most out of life. Her focus is on the development of resilience, confidence and independence in children, and on helping families engage and create lasting memories. Self-esteem, self-respect and self-worth are vital skills that Joanne believes children need to learn early to help them grow as adults.

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