DEC Scan Journal : August 2011
Scan Vol 30 No 3 August 2011 32 Why a new curriculum in NSW? n December 2010, Federal, State and Territory Education Ministers (MCEECDYA) agreed to endorse and publish the Australian Curriculum for English, Mathematics, Science and History (Foundation to Year 10), as the basis for implementation of the next stage of the curriculum development process. The Board of Studies NSW has developed new draft K–10 syllabus documents for English, Mathematics, K–6 Science and Technology, and 7–10 Science and History, using the agreed Australian Curriculum content in these areas as a key component. Specific benefits of aligning NSW syllabuses with the Australian Curriculum include: • a learning entitlement for all Australian students regardless of what school they attend or where it is located • national sharing of digitally-linked resources • continuity for the 80 000 students and many teachers who move interstate each year. In addition to aligning NSW syllabuses with the Australian Curriculum, the development of new syllabuses provides an opportunity to revise and update NSW syllabuses so that they: • emphasise a continuum of learning K–10 • are consistent and current • incorporate new cross-curriculum areas that take account of learning needs in the 21st century. What will the new syllabuses look like? The new syllabuses include the agreed content from the Australian Curriculum and retain many syllabus features familiar to, and valued by, NSW teachers. Draft versions of the new syllabuses for K–10 Mathematics, K–6 Science and Technology, and 7–10 Science and History are available on the Board of Studies NSW website (Figure 1). The draft K–10 English syllabus is anticipated to be available on the Board’s website from 1 August 2011. Features of the new syllabuses that will be familiar to NSW teachers include: • Stage based organisation • A syllabus structure comprising: – Rationale – Aims – Objectives – Outcomes – Content – Stage Statements • Life Skills outcomes and content for Years 7–10. Much of the content in the new syllabuses will be familiar to NSW teachers and will contain the degree of detail that NSW teachers value. There is some new content too. An overview of the key features of each syllabus, including specific similarities and differences between the current NSW syllabus and the new draft syllabus for each of Mathematics K–10, History K–10, Science and Technology K–6 and Science 7–10, is available on the Department of Education and Communities’ Curriculum and Learning Innovation Centre’s website <clic.det.nsw.edu.au/aust_curriculum>. New curriculum in NSW public schools Curriculumsupport Raju Varanasi is Director, NSW Curriculum and Learning Innovation Centre (CLIC). I Figure 1: The Australian curriculum in New South Wales, Board of Studies NSW <www.board- ofstudies.nsw.edu.au/> Much of the content in the new syllabuses will be familiar to NSW teachers and will contain the degree of detail that NSW teachers value.