ALIA Schools Online Forum: Victorian Curriculum – Day 1

Victorian Curriculum

Introduction

Welcome to the first day of the ALIA Schools Online Forum: Victorian Curriculum F-10.

Over the coming week we encourage our participants to take a small amount of time each day to think about our focus questions and learn a little bit more about the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. We suggest that you also post a response here on our blog to share your thoughts and understandings with other participants.

Our daily plan for the forum is:

 Day/Date Focus
1: Wed 27/4 Introduction/Overview
2: Thu 28/4 Learning Areas
3: Fri 29/4 Diversity of Learners

Weekend Break

4: Mon 1/5 Capabilities (Secondary)
5: Tue 2/5 Capabilities (Primary)
6: Wed 3/5 Final Thoughts & Resourcing. Certificates

Today we ask participants to read through the following information which is derived from the VCAA website. You can read the full version here: http://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/

Following your reading of the information below, we ask participants to post a short comment or reflection regarding your understanding of the Victorian Curriculum F-10 so far. We look forward to reading your responses.

Victorian Curriculum

The Victorian Curriculum Foundation–10 (F–10) sets out what every student should learn during their first eleven years of schooling. The curriculum is the common set of knowledge and skills required by students for life-long learning, social development and active and informed citizenship. It incorporates the Australian Curriculum and reflects Victorian priorities and standards.

The Victorian Curriculum F-10 is a single, coherent and comprehensive set of content descriptions and associated achievement standards to enable teachers to plan, monitor, assess and report on the learning achievement of every student. It incorporates and reflects much of the Australian Curriculum F-10, but differs in some important respects, most notably the representation of the curriculum as a continuum of learning and the structural design.

Victorian government and Catholic schools are required to use the Victorian Curriculum F-10. Independent schools may use it as a model and resource for the effective implementation of the Australia Curriculum.

The Victorian Curriculum F-10 includes both knowledge and skills. These are defined by learning areas and capabilities. This curriculum design assumes that knowledge and skills are transferrable across the curriculum and therefore are not duplicated. For example, where skills and knowledge such as asking questions, evaluating evidence and drawing conclusions are defined in Critical and Creative Thinking, these are not duplicated in other learning areas such as History or Health and Physical Education. It is expected that the skills and knowledge defined in the capabilities will be developed, practised, deployed and demonstrated by students in and through their learning across the curriculum.

The design of the Victorian Curriculum F-10 is set out as:

learning areas

Learning areas

The learning areas are a clear and deliberate reaffirmation of the importance of a discipline-based approach to learning, where learning areas are regarded as both enduring and dynamic. Their enduring nature rests in their different epistemologies, or ways of understanding, and the associated skills they provide for students. Each of the learning areas provides and is defined by a unique way of seeing, understanding and engaging with the world. For the Arts, the Humanities and the Technologies, students engage in and through disciplines, which provide discrete content descriptions and achievement standards.

Capabilities

The capabilities, which are a set of discrete knowledge and skills, can and should be taught explicitly in and through the learning areas, but are not fully defined by any of the learning areas or disciplines. A key distinction between the Australian Curriculum F–10 and the Victorian Curriculum F–10 is the provision of content descriptions and achievement standards in the four capabilities.

The Australian Curriculum F–10 includes three additional general capabilities:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

The Victorian Curriculum F–10 design does not include these three general capabilities as separate learning areas or capabilities with discrete knowledge and skills. Given the inclusion of a Literacy strand in English, and the proficiencies of understanding, fluency, problem solving, and reasoning in Mathematics, it is unnecessary to define Literacy and Numeracy as a distinct curriculum. The learning of the skills and knowledge defined by the ICT general capability are now embedded in student learning across the curriculum.

There is considerable research that identifies the importance of the teaching of literacy and numeracy and ICT in the context of the different curriculum areas. It is both appropriate and necessary that the literacy, numeracy and ICT requirements be embedded in the curriculum areas.

Literacy

While much of the explicit teaching of literacy occurs in the English learning area, it is strengthened, made specific and extended in other learning areas as students engage in a range of learning activities with significant literacy demands.

Numeracy

In the Victorian Curriculum F–10, the knowledge and skills that underpin numeracy are explicitly taught in the Mathematics strands Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability and reinforced and further exemplified in and across other curriculum areas. Through this process, students recognise that mathematics is widely used both in and outside school and learn to apply mathematical knowledge and skills in a wide range of familiar and unfamiliar situations.

Information and Communications Technologies

In the Victorian Curriculum F–10, the ICT general capability skills are either specifically embedded in the content descriptions of Mathematics, Media Arts, Geography, English and Digital Technologies or schools have the flexibility to determine how these skills will be used in their teaching and learning programs for other curriculum areas.

The Literacy, Numeracy and ICT general capabilities from the Australian Curriculum F–10 are therefore represented in the Victorian Curriculum F–10 as embedded in each curriculum area and are not discrete areas against which teachers should report student progress.

The Victorian Curriculum F–10 is structured as a continuum across levels of learning achievement not years of schooling. This enables the development of targeted learning programs for all students, where the curriculum is used to plan in relation to the actual learning level of each student rather than their assumed level of learning based on age.

Each curriculum area includes content descriptions explaining what is to be taught and achievement standards describing what students are able to understand and do. The achievement standards are provided in 11 levels for English and Mathematics or in five or six bands for all the other learning areas and capabilities

The focus is on the five curriculum areas of English, Mathematics, The Arts, Health and Physical Education, and Personal and Social capability. These areas all have a standard at Foundation. In the early years of schooling, schools may choose to structure teaching and learning programs around the five outcomes of the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF).

Full adoption of the Victorian Curriculum F-10 to occur by 2017.

http://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/

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5 thoughts on “ALIA Schools Online Forum: Victorian Curriculum – Day 1

  1. I was wondering if someone from Victoria can explain why a Victorian curriculum has been developed. Other states are using the Australian Curriculum.
    Sandra

  2. Although in an independent school and therefore not bound by the Victorian curriculum, we do use it to structure planning across the school. From what I have read here, there seems to be a substantial shift in manner of delivery of the curriculum and wonder how schools will be able to incorporate these changes effectively within the given time frame.

  3. I like the idea that literacy should be covered by each subject, in context, but should not be overlooked. There’s a real opportunity for libraries to support students skills in the general capabilities via good literature and information literacy.

  4. In March this year I heard a keynote address delivered by Dr David Howes, Executive Director of Curriculum, VCAA. He gave a solid response to the issue raised by Sandra which left me feeling more comfortable about Victoria’s decision, although I had hoped we would be able to compromise and have an Australian Curriculum. The differences with the General Capabilities – Literacy, Numeracy and ICT having their own ‘silo’ seems to have been a major difference and is explained in the documentation. The Victorian government wanted to be able to respond to Victorian curriculum needs – two special areas being respectful relationships in response to the recent commission and also world views and religion. There are other differences which I am sure people have noticed, such as the inclusion of a learning continuum for students in special schools. He also emphasised that the Victorian Curriculum is here for the long haul and that we should be reassured that the emphasis is on student engagement and learning. I hope I have represented him fairly in these brief notes.

  5. If literacy and numeracy are embedded in our curriculum and therefore not separate identities why aren’t other states doing this as well? Why also, are catholic schools required to follow the victorian curriculum but independent schools aren’t?

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