Time is running out to provide feedback on the Australian Curriculum Review with the closing date of 8 July fast approaching. Feedback is being sought on Learning Areas, General capabilities and Cross-curriculum priorities. You can find the survey and a range of resources to support your response on the Australian Curriculum Review page.
As many states have adapted the Australian Curriculum or developed their own syllabus documents, we may think responding to the Australian Curriculum review is not a priority, especially given how time poor teachers are currently. However, the Australian Curriculum 'outlines the core knowledge and skills to be taught to students from Foundation to Year 10, wherever they live in Australia' ACARA, 2021. This is worth remembering. Of key importance, is the development and refinement of state documents currently and the need to ensure they continue to align with the Australian Curriculum. This is particularly relevant in New South Wales at the moment. Therefore monitoring and responding to changes at a national level can and should also be linked to what is occurring at a state level to ensure the best for Australian students in the future.
ACARA has been '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' ACARA, 2021. In considering this purpose it is important to look closely at the content descriptions, elaborations and achievement statements.
In regards to the Australian Curriculum English, overall it remains a well organised and a usable document for teachers. However, some of the changes in the Foundation to Year 2 levels will have implications for teachers, students in their classrooms and the use and purchase of resources. The inclusion of the terms 'decodable and predictable texts' in the early years has the potential to limit the richness of texts used in classrooms while narrowing the view of reading. This also has consequences for the kinds of texts and resources that schools feel pressure to purchase. This is a significant shift from all the work surrounding the initial implementation of the Australian Curriculum with an emphasis on quality literature particularly in the Foundation to Year 6 years.
Another aspect to pay close attention to is the content, particularly in terms of Phonics and Word Knowledge. Again, in 2011, much time and expertise was drawn upon to develop the initial Australian Curriculum. Unfortunately some adjustments to content have resulted in incorrect use of terminology and a lack of cohesion and clarity for teachers.
For more extensive comments on the review visit the Foundation for Learning and Literacy site. A completed survey form has been provided and the Foundation encourages you to use the document in order to submit your own responses.
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