An Overview for Parents

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.

What are the learning areas of the Australian Curriculum?

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

In the early years, priority is given to literacy and numeracy development as the foundations for further learning. As students make their way through the primary years, they focus more on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all eight learning areas.

In Secondary schooling, students are taught by specialist teachers. The curriculum is designed so students develop skills for civic, social and economic participation. Students also have opportunities to make choices about their learning and to specialise in areas of interest. There are three dimensions in the Australian Curriculum.

How is the Australian Curriculum organised?

The Australian Curriculum is organised into learning areas and subjects. Some learning areas bring a number of subjects together: Humanities and Social Sciences includes History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship, and Economics and Business; The Arts includes Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and Visual Arts; Technologies includes Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies.

General capabilities are included in the content of the learning areas. These are the skills and abilities intended to help prepare young people to learn, live and work in the 21st century. The Australian Curriculum has seven general capabilities:

  • Literacy

  • Numeracy

  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability

  • Critical and Creative Thinking

  • Personal and Social Capability

  • Ethical Understanding

  • Intercultural Understanding

In a similar way, there are three priorities critical to Australia’s future:

  • Culture

  • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia

  • Sustainability

They build across the curriculum and allow students to connect the content of learning areas.

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.

                                                                                                                         adapted from The Australian Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting Authority