ALIA Schools Online Forum: Victorian Curriculum – Day 4

Victorian Curriculum

Capabilities (Secondary focus)

Welcome to the fourth day of our online forum focusing on The Victorian Curriculum F-10.

Today we ask participants to take some time to explore the Capabilities section of the new curriculum from a Secondary school perspective. Following this we encourage you to make a related post. For example you may like to highlight some key similarities or differences between this and the Australian Curriculum or discuss how you are currently using the capabilities in your school.

We look forward to reading your responses.

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4 thoughts on “ALIA Schools Online Forum: Victorian Curriculum – Day 4

  1. I asked for a comment from our Head of Learning on implementing the Australian Curriculum in an F-10 school. Here are his comments:

    As an independent school we are able to follow The Australian Curriculum or The Victorian Curriculum. We decided as a P-12 school to follow The Victorian Curriculum. Our decision was based around the support on offer and what we thought we would of more benefit to our students.

    There has been a whole school approach to this. I have been working closely with my colleague in the Junior School (Primary School). We believe that consistency is key in making the transition streamline. Many areas of the school have already been following the relevant Victorian Curriculum documentation, and have been actively updating their own curriculum documents. We use online curriculum mapping program called ‘ATLAS.’ It allows staff to see where gaps exist in their documentation. It also helps to avoid the doubling up documentation. We are devoting time for staff to work in groups. We also present and run curriculum meetings and workshops with our staff.

    The school strongly believes that every child deserves to be challenged and enriched. Our curriculum reflects this. We have been transitioning away from textbook resources. Staff are encourages to create their own resources that cater to the needs of learnings. This provides opportunity for students to explore topics in a variety of ways. It also allows for differentiation to occur. Office365, and in particular OneNote, allow resources to be created, shared and modified with relative ease. Students can also easily collaborate within designated spaces. In effect, what it helps to create is an interactive and flexible learning resource.

    Such changes though can place demands on teaching staff. Our Library team have developed an excellent digital presence on our School Portal called ‘My Library Resource.’ The Library team have worked with curriculum leaders to develop learning platforms that are able to change and evolve. Students benefit more from this tailor-made approach. Students can enter the site, select a subject and a year level and explore various resources that relate to topics being studied.

    For educators the big challenge is catering for the needs of all students, regardless of their level of attainment. We want all students to be engaged and interested in their learning. We want all of them to have success with the study of the Victorian Curriculum and the VCE. Gone are the days when it was acceptable to teach from a textbook. Learning opportunities needs to be broader than this. It is very difficult to spark interest with a narrow focus on one resource. Technology is enabling us to do more. Initiate is important though. Teachers need to dream about what they want for their students and collaborate with others to help make it happen.

    Grant Finlay
    Deputy Head of Senior School – Learning
    Westbourne Grammar School, Victoria

  2. At first I didn’t mind that the general capabilities of literacy, numeracy and ICT were repositioned in the Victorian Curriculum F-10 because they are all encompassing in the learning areas. However on further reflection I think that the remaining capabilities should have the same consideration. I have read a lot about 21st century learning, global and digital citizenship etc and therefore the remaining capabilities should be all encompassing as well. The Critical and Creative Thinking capability is challenging as we want our students to be purposefully in their thinking. At our school we have been giving some extra thought as to how we can ensure our girls can develop the finer points of thinking that will assist in their inferred reading of texts. The school library is investigating how we support this capability with a particular focus in Year 7. Would love to hear how other schools address this capability.

  3. As with any skill, the Critical and Creative Thinking capability is best taught in the context of the curriculum. In my experience, students benefit most from scaffolding, explicit teaching and opportunities to practice and apply the skill. Inferential thinking could be introduced in Year 7 and it would be desirable to revisit the skill in Years 8 and 9 in progressively more sophisticated forms.

  4. Thanks Sandra for this idea. I agree that teaching in context is the way to go. However it is surprising that sometimes this is a hard sell to some teachers.

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