Australian schools will have a new curriculum to teach after Education Ministers today endorsed the revised Version 9.0 of the Australian Curriculum.
At a virtual meeting on Friday, Commonwealth, state and territory Education Ministers agreed the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has met key objectives to refine, realign and declutter the curriculum, with a focus on reducing content in primary years and lifting quality.
Acting Minister for Education and Youth Stuart Robert said the Australian Curriculum is now a much stronger document which can be taught in Australian schools from 2023.
‘The Australian Curriculum now sets a higher standard for educational achievement in Australia going forward. It has been decluttered, allowing teachers to focus on what matters most, and it is evidence-based, with phonics now embedded in the teaching of English, for example,’ Minister Robert said.
‘Importantly, Ministers also noted that they will consider continuous updates to the curriculum so that more iterative improvements can be made in the future,’ Minister Robert said.
‘In our February meeting, the Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments requested further revisions to two of the learning areas: Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) and Mathematics.
‘The Commonwealth took a strong view on the improvements needed and is pleased that the ACARA worked with experts to further progress this version’.
‘In the final version agreed today, Australian History content is now compulsory in both Year 9 and 10, where it had previously been optional. This will strengthen how our young people appreciate our prosperous, democratic country.
‘Importantly, this means high school students will learn post-settlement history from the period 1750 to the First World War. They will also learn the impact of post-Second World War migration in Australia and the significant contributions migrants have made to Australia’s success.
‘Indigenous History remains a prominent part of the curriculum and is embedded across Foundation to Year 10, and for the first-time students will learn Deep Time Indigenous History as a compulsory part of Year 7.
‘A clearer Maths curriculum brings the introduction of key concepts into line with our international counterparts and focuses on mastery of the basics in primary years.
‘In February, all Ministers agreed to request further revisions the Mental Health content within the Health and Physical Education (HPE) learning area.’
ACARA recommended, and all Ministers supported this further iterative work to the Mental Health content be completed by the end of 2022. This will allow time for ACARA to engage closely with experts.
‘The Morrison Government wants to again acknowledge the mums and dads, teachers, experts and the broader community who participated in the public consultation process. What our students are taught at school matters and the Australian Government will ensure subsequent review processes involve the most relevant experts and allow for public engagement.’