Teachers To Get First Look At New Curriculum

SA Gov

South Australian public school students will receive a new, innovative curriculum – with the Malinauskas Labor Government today releasing the first four subjects of the South Australian Curriculum for Public Education.

The South Australian Curriculum for Public Education will be an adapted version of the Australian Curriculum to respond to local feedback from students, teachers and employers, and deliver the best graduates for a changing world.

The new curriculum is being developed for every subject, with English and Mathematics a key focus, along with Arts and Languages.

The key changes of the curriculum include:

  • A bigger focus on reading in English – inspiring students to read more and use their literacy skills on a daily basis.
  • Teaching students the important life skills they need for everyday life through a strong focus on financial literacy in mathematics.
  • Decluttering the curriculum to give teachers the time they need to teach topics in depth.
  • Adding important qualities such as resilience and empathy into each subject area for the first time – qualities employers are increasingly demanding of graduates.
  • A stronger focus on the process of art creation in the arts curriculum to strengthen students’ techniques and skills.

It comes as grants worth more than $12 million are being provided by the State Government to two leading South Australian arts organisations – Carclew and Patch Theatre – to help continue educating tens of thousands of South Australian students each year.

Both organisations support schools by delivering arts education, opportunities and experiences to students, which today included the Minister for Education, Training and Skills Blair Boyer visiting Kilkenny Primary School to see a ceramics workshop provided to students through the Carclew in Schools program – which has been funded by the Malinauskas Labor Government.

The four-year funding announcement comes as the first iteration of key components of the new curriculum for public education – including the arts learning area – is being shared with teachers across the state for their feedback.

For the first time since the Australian Curriculum was developed and released in 2010, the latest version is being comprehensively adapted by the Department for Education to ensure it best meets the needs of South Australian students – and fits within the South Australian context.

The first four subject areas will be made available through a newly developed website that will be a hub for teachers, allowing them to provide feedback and support pilot work.

The adapted curriculum, developed for Reception to Year 10 in 8 learning areas, will be introduced and refined in a phased approach, expected to be completed in 2027.

As put by Blair Boyer

We have listened to industry, students and teachers about what the South Australian curriculum needs – and this curriculum brings together what we want students to know, what they need to be able to do, and who we want them to be.

South Australia led the nation with our focus on phonics. Now we’re leading the nation with a focus on maths improvement – and that means making sure students have the numeracy and financial literacy skills for everyday life.

The arts and languages are also important because they teach students how to think about the world around them and their place within it. In the updated arts curriculum for example, we want to teach students about being creative, empathetic, respectful and confident – all qualities they will need in other areas of their lives.

This important work will support teachers in delivering teaching that connects across multiple curriculum areas, and in a way that’s engaging for their students, rather than delivering rigid blocks of information.

South Australia is unique with organisations like Carclew and Path – and we’re proud to be providing them the funding they need to deliver outstanding outcomes for children and young people across the state.

As put by the Department for Education Chief Executive Professor Martin Westwell

The release of Version 9 of the Australian Curriculum, in tandem with the department’s new strategy for public education, has provided a timely opportunity to adapt the curriculum for South Australian public schools.

This is a significant step and means we can focus on what is most important for our children and young people to learn, enhancing student agency, and enabling them to apply their learning to real-world situations.

Subject learning remains crucial, but the emphasis needs to shift from the passive reproduction of processes and facts to capabilities, both general and subject-specific, conceptual understanding, deep thinking and the ability to apply knowledge across various situations.

We have been working with teachers and leaders to understand what is important to them, and have also engaged with Educators SA, the South Australian Primary Principals Association and the South Australian Secondary Principals Association on our consultation process.

As put by the Principal of Kilkenny Primary School Alex Narcys

The Arts provides a platform for students to express themselves, to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings, to be imaginative, to play and to be creative and to engage their hands, bodies, hearts and minds as they learn.

Kilkenny Primary School and Preschool is committed to providing all learners with a vibrant and engaging arts curriculum and opportunities to experience the joy of the arts.

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