The  Curriculum  Framework

   
In accordance with the Curriculum Council Act, 1997, the Curriculum Framework sets out “...the knowledge, understandings, skills, values and attitudes that students are expected to acquire”. The Curriculum Framework describes these requirements as a series of learning outcomes set out in the Overarching and eight Learning Area Statements.

These learning outcomes comprise the mandatory element of the Curriculum Framework which ALL schools in Western Australia must implement.

         ACKNOWLEDGEMENT      The information on this page is derived from the Curriculum Council .
                                                           Detailed information about any aspect  can be found on their website.

 

 

 AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK

The Curriculum Framework sets out what all students should know, understand, value and be able to do as a result of the programs they undertake in schools in Western Australia, from kindergarten through to year 12. Its fundamental purpose is to provide a structure around which schools can build educational programs that ensure students achieve agreed outcomes.

It is neither a curriculum nor a syllabus, but a framework identifying common learning outcomes for all students, whether they attend government or non-government schools or receive home schooling. It is intended to give schools and teachers flexibility and ownership over curriculum in a dynamic and rapidly-changing world environment.

 

 

AN OUTCOMES FOCUS

The Curriculum Framework makes explicit the learning outcomes which all Western Australian students should achieve. This focus on outcomes represents a major shift in school curriculum from a focus on educational inputs and time allocation toward one that emphasises the desired results of schooling.

The Curriculum Framework establishes learning outcomes for all students, regardless of who they are, which school they attend, where they are from, or what approach their school takes to help them achieve those outcomes. These learning outcomes are set out in this document within the Overarching and eight Learning Area Statements.

Schools and teachers will use the Curriculum Framework to develop their own learning and teaching programs according to their circumstance, ethos and the needs of their students.

 

 

THE K-12 APPROACH

An important feature of the Curriculum Framework is its kindergarten to year 12 approach. While particular stages of schooling make unique contributions and may require different approaches, the K-12 approach adopted by the Framework provides a picture of the total span of students’ schooling. It encourages a developmental and integrated approach to curriculum planning, teaching and learning. It enables students to progress smoothly through their education and avoids the major disjunctions between stages of schooling evident in some previous approaches to curriculum. It provides the basis for continuity and consistency in students’ education

 

 

THE CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK  IS FOR ALL STUDENTS

The Curriculum Framework is an inclusive framework for all students in Western Australia. Inclusivity means ensuring that all groups of students are included and valued.

The Curriculum Framework does this by:

  • specifying a wide and empowering set of outcomes for students to achieve;
  • providing a basis for programs that challenge all students and offer all groups of students opportunities to achieve these outcomes;
  • recognising and valuing the different knowledge and experience of different groups of students; and
  • taking into account the diversity among children and young adults in this State: for example, in terms of gender, languages, culture, learning capacity, socioeconomic background and geographic location.

A small number of students with specific physical or intellectual disabilities may not be able to participate fully in activities and programs designed to achieve certain outcomes set out in the Curriculum Framework.

 

 

OVERARCHING LEARNING OUTCOMES

The development of knowledge, skills and values is a lifelong process, and occurs in many places besides school. The Overarching Statement describes the outcomes which all students need to attain in order to become lifelong learners, achieve their potential in their personal and working lives and play an active part in civic and economic life. These outcomes apply across all learning areas and are the responsibility of all teachers. They are:

  1. Students use language to understand, develop and communicate ideas and information and interact with others.
  2. Students select, integrate and apply numerical and spatial concepts and techniques.
  3. Students recognise when and what information is needed, locate and obtain it from a range of sources and evaluate, use and share it with others.
  4. Students select, use and adapt technologies.
  5. Students describe and reason about patterns, structures and relationships in order to understand, interpret, justify and make predictions.
  6. Students visualise consequences, think laterally, recognise opportunity and potential and are prepared to test options.
  7. Students understand and appreciate the physical, biological and technological world and have the knowledge and skills to make decisions in relation to it.
  8. Students understand their cultural, geographic and historical contexts and have the knowledge, skills and values necessary for active participation in life in Australia.
  9. Students interact with people and cultures other than their own and are equipped to contribute to the global community.
  10. Students participate in creative activity of their own and understand and engage with the artistic, cultural and intellectual work of others.
  11. Students value and implement practices that promote personal growth and well-being.
  12. Students are self-motivated and confident in their approach to learning and are able to work individually and collaboratively.
  13. Student recognise that everyone has the right to feel valued and be safe, and, in this regard, understand their rights and obligations and behave responsibly.

 

 

VALUES IN THE CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK

Values are fundamental to shaping curriculum. In recognition of this, the Curriculum Council has identified and endorsed as one of its Principles, a set of core shared values to underpin the Curriculum Framework.

The Overarching Statement provides an overview of the five clusters of core shared values while the expanded set of thirty-two values is listed below. Each of the eight Learning Area Statements explicitly or implicitly endorses these values in a manner suited to the area.

 
VALUES  VALUES  VALUES  VALUES  VALUES
   1.   
A PURSUIT OF KNOWLEDGE AND A COMMITMENT TO ACHIEVEMENT OF POTENTIAL
         The lifelong disposition toward the quest for knowledge, as each person strives to understand the social and natural worlds and how best to make a contribution to these worlds. Each person is encouraged to achieve his or her potential in all respects and, through critical and creative thinking, to develop a broad understanding of his or her own values and world views.
  1.1   The pursuit of personal excellence: Each person should be encouraged to achieve his or her personal best in all undertakings and to respect the achievements of others.
  1.2   Domains of human experience: Each person should be encouraged to develop an understanding of all the domains of human experience; physical, emotional, intellectual, aesthetic, social, moral and spiritual.
  1.3   Empowerment: Each person should be encouraged to develop critical thinking, the creative imagination, interpersonal and vocational skills, and basic competencies in the various forms of disciplined inquiry.
  1.4   Knowledge: Each person should recognise the tentative and limited nature of knowledge.
  1.5   Values systems: Each person should have the opportunity to explore different values and the right to develop a personal value system.
  1.6   Critical reflection: Each person should be encouraged to reflect critically on both the cultural heritage and the attitudes and values underlying current social trends and institutions.
  1.7   World views: Each person should be equipped with the tools to critically examine world-views (both religious and non-religious), especially those dominant in his or her background and school community.
   2.   
SELF ACCEPTANCE AND RESPECT OF SELF
         The acceptance and respect of self, resulting in attitudes and actions that develop each person’s unique potential — physical, emotional, aesthetic, spiritual, intellectual, moral and social. Encouragement is given to developing initiative, responsibility, ethical discernment, openness to learning and a sense of personal meaning and identity.
  2.1   Individual uniqueness: Each person should acknowledge his or her own uniqueness and be encouraged to develop self-respect and dignity.
  2.2   Personal meaning: Each person should develop a sense of personal meaning and identity, and be encouraged to reflect critically on the ways in which that occurs.
  2.3   Ethical behaviour and responsibility: Each person has freedom of will, is responsible for his or her own conduct and should be encouraged to develop discernment on ethical issues and to recognise the need for truthfulness and integrity.
  2.4   Openness to learning: Each person should welcome opportunities for learning from all sources, including the formal study of the learned disciplines; from investigations, contemplation and the cultural tradition; and from people of divergent views.
  2.5   Initiative and enterprise: Each person should have the confidence to show initiative and be enterprising in his or her approach to life’s challenges.
   3.   
RESPECT AND CONCERN FOR OTHERS AND THEIR RIGHTS
         Sensitivity to and concern for the well-being of other people; and respect for life and property. Encouragement is given to each person to be caring and compassionate, to be respectful of the rights of others, and to find constructive ways of managing conflict. This includes the right to learn in a friendly and non-coercive environment.
  3.1   Compassion and care: Each person has a right to receive care and compassion and have a life of dignity, free from harassment and discrimination.
  3.2   Equality: Each person has equal worth and basic rights, regardless of differences in race, gender, age, ability, religious belief, political affiliation, national origin, citizenship, regional
  3.3   Respect: Each person should respect those of different opinion, temperament or background.
  3.4   Open learning environment: Each person has the right to a friendly learning environment free of coercive or indoctrinative elements, whether in the explicit or implicit curriculum.
  3.5   Individual differences: Each person differs in his or her readiness and ability to learn and has the right to be given access to available knowledge at a level appropriate to his or her developmental needs and interests.
  3.6   Cooperation/Conflict resolution: Each person should strive to work cooperatively and to resolve conflict peacefully while respecting differences and valuing the other person.
  3.7   Family/home environment: Each person should recognise the importance of a secure and caring family/home environment.
   4.   
SOCIAL AND CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY
         The commitment to exploring and promoting the common good and meeting individual needs without infringing the basic rights of others. This includes the encouragement of each person to participate in democratic processes, to value diversity of cultural expression, to respect legitimate authority, to promote social justice and to support the use of research for the improvement of the quality of life.
  4.1   Participation and citizenship: As a democratic society, Australia should encourage its members to participate in the political process and to contribute to community services consistent with good citizenship.
  4.2   Community: Interpersonal cooperation and social responsibility are encouraged.
  4.3   Diversity: The richness of many cultural expressions is recognised, and diversity in the context of shared community life is welcome.
  4.4   Contribution: Society has something to gain from every individual life, and should maximise the opportunities for all persons to contribute to the common good.
  4.5   Authority: People should respect legitimate and just authority structures and the rule of the law, while recognising and observing human rights.
  4.6   Reconciliation: Strategies of cooperation and reconciliation are preferred to coercion and confrontation, especially where groups or individuals are in conflict.
  4.7   Social justice: The right of each person to a fair share of society’s economic and cultural resources is recognised.
  4.8   Responsibility and freedom: People have the right to choose their way of life, and are responsible for the impact of their choices on nature and other community members.
  4.9   Benefits of research: Society should support the advancement of knowledge in all its domains, promote scholarship and research that promise to improve the quality of life and share the benefits as widely as possible.
   5.   
ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY
         The commitment to developing an appreciative awareness of the interdependence of all elements of the environment, including humans and human systems, and encouraging a respect and concern for Australia’s natural and cultural heritage and for forms of resource use that are regenerative and sustainable.
  5.1   Cultural heritage: The cultural heritage of Australia, including Aboriginal sacred and archaeological cultural heritage, should be respected and maintained.
  5.2   Conservation of the environment: The management of the environment should take into account the need to preserve its diversity and balance for the future.
  5.3   Sustainable development: There is a need to continue to develop natural resources to sustain human life. This should be done in a way consistent with long-term ecological sustainability and rehabilitation practices.
  5.4   Diversity of species: Each person should recognise a need to preserve native habitats and arrest the extinction of presently-surviving native species.

 

 

LEARNING  AND  TEACHING

The following principles about learning and teaching are based on what we value and our beliefs about the learning environment schools should provide and contemporary research and professional knowledge about how learning can be supported. As such, they lead school and classroom practices which are effective in helping students to achieve the outcomes in the Curriculum Framework.  These principles are:

  • Opportunity to learn
  • Connection and challenge
  • Action and reflection
  • Motivation and purpose
  • Inclusivity and difference
  • Independence and collaboration
  • Supportive environment

 

 

ASSESSMENT

A primary purpose of assessment is to enhance learning. Another purpose is to enable the reporting of students’ achievement. Assessment practices have a powerful impact on learning and teaching and we have addressed the issues of what evidence to collect, how to collect it and how to interpret it. Developing a shared understanding of the outcomes enhances the validity and consistency of judgements about students’ learning. In turn, this improves learning and teaching by improving the quality of information upon which teachers and students act. Teachers are  then able to report more credibly to other teachers, parents and the wider community.

Whether at the level of the classroom, school or system, assessment information should enable judgements to be made about students’ progress towards the desired outcomes in a way that is fair and contributes to continued learning. Thus, assessment information should enable teachers and students to know what students can do assisted and what they can do unassisted and what they can do when working in groups and when working alone. It should enable them to distinguish between work that is original and non-routine and work that is reproductive or memorised. Fair assessment is based on criteria which are valid and transparent and applied with consistency and without discrimination. These in turn require an assessment regime based upon multiple kinds and sources of evidence. Assessment is likely to enhance learning when the criteria are valid and explicit and when the assessment activities are themselves educative.

 

 

 

The Scope of the Curriculum Framework

 

PHASES OF DEVELOPMENT

This is the concept of the maturing child achieving the outcomes. It focuses on the ways that learning might progress at four overlapping phases of development. While not intended to be prescriptive, it gives some guidance about the typical sorts of curriculum experiences students might need at each phase to best achieve the outcomes. It is recognised that each student is developing and achieving in different ways, at different stages and at different rates. The Learning Area Statements build on this section in relation to the outcomes and content specific to each area.

  • EARLY CHILDHOOD                                                 (typically kindergarten to year 3)
  • MIDDLE CHILDHOOD                                              (typically years 3 to 7)
  • EARLY ADOLESCENCE                                            (typically years 7 to 10)
  • LATE ADOLESCENCE/EARLY ADULTHOOD      (typically years 10 to 12)

 

 

LEARNING  AREA STATEMENTS

The eight learning areas below include a detailed statement of how each is linked to each of the above aspects of the overall Curriculum Framework.  Each of these is in PDF format.