Victorian Curriculum and AusVELS

Victorian Curriculum

The Victorian Curriculum was released in September 2015. When implemented, it will replace AusVELS. Most schools will begin teaching the Victorian Curriculum at the start of the 2017 school year.

(Schools MAY begin teaching one or more Victorian Curriculum subjects from 2016 if they wish.)

The Victorian Curriculum can be found here.

Some key changes from AusVELS to Victorian Curriculum:

  • Historical Skills will now be called Historical Concepts and Skills.
  • Historical Concepts and Skills are listed before Historical Knowledge to highlight their importance.
  • Historical Concepts and Skills focus on sequencing chronology, using historical sources as evidence, identifying continuity and change, analysing causes and effect and determining historical significance.
  • Victoria now has good continuity in skills from P–12.
  • Schools will report on achievement at the end of two years instead of every year. E.g. report on Level 7 & 8 achievement at the end of Level 8.
  • In Levels 7-10, there will be no overviews. Instead, students will address the key aspects of overviews in the form of skills, e.g. ‘Describe and explain the broad patterns of change over the period from the Ancient to the Modern World’ (7/8).
  • The term ‘depth studies’ will no longer apply, as there will be no overviews to distinguish them from.
  • A new mandatory Level 7-8 study, 'Aboriginal and Torres Strait and Islander peoples and cultures' has been created.
  • ‘Investigating the ancient past’ 'has been removed, but elements of it will remain in the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander topic (above) and in the 'Ancient world and early civilisations' knowledge: 'The different methods and sources used by historians and archaeologists to investigate history and/or a historical mystery'.
  • Several former options (including 'the Black Death', 'Movement of peoples' and 'Progressive ideas and movements') have largely been embedded into other topics, removing duplication. E.g. Black Death is covered under 'Medieval Europe' knowledge: 'One significant challenge and one development faced by the society that caused progress or decline' (VCHHK120), and under Renaissance Italy knowledge. It's important to view the ELABORATIONS.
  • The Holocaust and the rise of Hitler can be found in elaborations VCHHK147 and VCHHK145 respectively.
  • Topics with several options to choose from (e.g. 'The European and the Mediterranean world' at Level 7/8) now have a common structure for each option, leading to better parity and consistency.
  • A political crisis can now be studied under 'The globalising world' at Level 9/10.
  • Level 3/4 students may now briefly study foundational myths and narratives, inc. Greek myths and the Olympic Games, under 'One significant narrative, myth or celebration from the past'.
  • Level F-2 History is now called 'Personal and Community Histories', while Level 3/4 is called 'Community and First Contacts'.
  • 'The Western and Islamic World' (Level 7/8) is now called 'The European and Mediterranean World'.
  • There are four Capabilities that students are expected to demonstrate achievement in: Critical and Creative Thinking; Ethical capability; Intercultural capability; and Personal and Social capability. These should be addressed by the WHOLE SCHOOL over the period F-10. It is NOT expected that each Capability will be taught in each subject or Level, necessarily.
  • There is no reference to 'Cross-curriculum Priorities' (Aboriginal histories and cultures, Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia and Sustainability). Instead, these topics are addressed where appropriate throughout the curriculum.

Guiding principles for the Victorian Curriculum can be found here. The new approach is based on 'whole-school curriculum planning' which is explained here.

Review of the Australian Curriculum

On 12 December, state and territory education ministers met with Minister Pyne to discuss the Donnelly/Wiltshire review of the Australian Curriculum.

In Victoria, the announcement of the revised curriculum was delayed by consideration of the federal review. See Victorian Curriculum above.

Find FAQs about the Donnelly/Wilsthire review at the federal Education Department website here. Read the full report by the review team here.

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