FAQS Support Materials
These questions relate to Pre-primary to Year 10 Languages.What are the years for the compulsory teaching of Languages?
Where schools do not have a Languages program in place the Authority requires schools to teach a minimum of one Language. The sequential timeline for implementation is as follows:
- in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6, commencing with Year 3 in 2018 (Year 4 in 2019, Year 5 in 2020, Year 6 in 2021); and
- in Years 7 and 8, commencing with Year 7 in 2022 (Year 8 in 2023).
The study of Languages is optional in Years 9 and 10.
Schools currently providing a Languages program, as prescribed within the Curriculum Framework, should continue to do so. The Authority's language-specific syllabuses will be available for familiarisation by teachers from Semester 2, 2016, with full implementation for Year 3 in 2018.
The sequential timeline enables schools the flexibility to make implementation decisions that best suit the needs of their students and school community.
The Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline does not mandate specified hours of learning. To assist teachers and schools to plan for and make decisions about how the curriculum is implemented in their schools the Authority is developing guidelines in relation to notional time allocation for learning areas.
The Authority will provide P–10 syllabuses in Chinese: Second Language; French: Second Language; German: Second Language; Indonesian: Second Language; Italian: Second Language; and Japanese: Second Language. The syllabuses for each of the Languages have been adopted and adapted from the Australian curriculum. Assessment and Judging Standards resources, including annotated student work samples, will be provided online within the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline.
No, the Authority will provide P–10 syllabuses for Chinese: Second Language only and schools may offer additional languages other than those provided by the Authority, using ACARA's Languages curriculum or a Language curriculum approved by the Authority.
National resources are available for teachers through Education Services Australia which provides teachers and schools with free, online resources through Scootle (www.scootle.edu.au). The P–10 syllabuses will provide the link to these online resources.
Support to schools implementing the P–10 Languages syllabuses will be provided by the school systems/sector and professional associations.
The School Curriculum and Standards Authority Board in consultation with stakeholders will provide advice on how Western Australian schools will be supported to use the Framework in the teaching of Aboriginal Languages.
Students who speak English as a second language or as an additional language or dialect, and whose use of Standard Australian English is restricted, may substitute further studies in English for the study of another Language.
Where their use of Standard Australian English is restricted, Aboriginal students may substitute further studies in English for the study of another Language.
If a student has a documented Individual Education Plan because they are unable to engage with the P-10 curriculum content, and this plan does not include Languages, then, it is not compulsory for these students to be studying a Language.
There will not be a process for schools to seek exemptions from teaching of Languages. The Authority does consider submissions from schools seeking recognition of well-established alternative curriculum (and/or reporting on student achievement) as meeting the requirements of the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline. Information about the Authority's P–10 alternative curriculum (and/or reporting on student achievement) recognition process is accessible within the Outline.
These questions relate to the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline available at http://k10outline.scsa.wa.edu.auWhat is the School Curriculum and Standards Authority?
The Authority's role is to provide quality curriculum, assessment and standards to enable all Western Australian students to become confident, creative learners and active, informed citizens who contribute positively to society.
The Authority replaced the Curriculum Council in May 2012. It is an independent statutory authority that is directly responsible to the Minister for Education. It is administered by a board consisting of seven members appointed for their expertise in education and assessment.
For further information go to http://www.scsa.wa.edu.au/internet/About_Us>
The School Curriculum and Standards Authority Act 1997 requires the Authority to:
- develop a curriculum and assessment outline for schools that sets out the knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes that students are expected to acquire
- establish standards of student achievement and provide for the assessment and certification of student achievement according to those standards
- provide for the development and accreditation of courses for schooling
- establish a database of information relating to students' participation and achievement during their school years
- prepare reports on the standards of student achievement attained in schools in Western Australia.
The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is an independent authority responsible for the development of a national curriculum, a national assessment program (including NAPLAN) and a national data collection and reporting program (including the MySchool website).
For more information go to http://www.acara.edu.au/home_page.html
The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (2008) follows the Hobart (1989) and Adelaide Declarations (1999). These declarations identify the priorities called national goals for schooling in Australia. The declarations have been endorsed by all Australian education ministers and are used to set the direction for schooling across Australia.
The guiding principles of the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline are consistent with the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians.
No, schools will not need to continue to focus on the overarching outcomes of the Curriculum Framework. The Western Australian curriculum does not have overarching outcomes but does address the need for a cross-curriculum focus through the inclusion of seven general capabilities and three cross-curriculum priorities which are embedded, where appropriate, into the curriculum content in all learning areas.
The Australian curriculum uses the word Foundation to describe the year before Year 1. In Western Australia, this is called Pre-primary.
It is expected that all schools in Western Australian schools, including home education providers and approved international schools, will implement the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline. However, in certain circumstances, teachers will continue to use their professional judgment in modifying the curriculum to suit the needs of individual students or groups of students (eg EAL/D students, students with special needs).
The learning areas (and subjects) of the Western Australian curriculum are:
- Humanities and Social Sciences (including Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business, Geography, History, Work Studies)
- The Arts (including Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music, Visual Arts)
- Health and Physical Education
- Technologies (including Design and Technology, Digital Technologies).
Teachers will need to change some of what they teach as the Western Australian curriculum defines specific content and achievement standards for each year. The Western Australian curriculum also has a twenty-first century focus which includes three cross-curriculum priorities areas and seven general capabilities which are embedded, where appropriate, into the curriculum content in all learning areas.
Western Australia has adopted ACARA's Phase 2 and 3 Australian curriculum to meet the needs of Western Australian students and teacher by developing year-level syllabuses from Pre-primary to Year 10 in Health and Physical Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, Technologies and the Arts. Achievement Standards will be based on the Western Australian curriculum. Teachers should access the syllabuses and associated resources through the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline and not through the ACARA website.
Links to support materials can be found in the Resources section of the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline.
National resources are available for teachers through Education Services Australia which provides teachers and schools with free, online resources through Scootle (www.scootle.edu.au). There are numerous commercial and not for profit organisations, such as the professional associations, that have developed new resources to support the Curriculum.
Support to schools implementing the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline will be provided by the Department of Education, Catholic Education WA and the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia.
A PowerPoint presentation about the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline (http://k10outline.scsa.wa.edu.au/home/resources/presentations) is available for schools to use.
The Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline does not mandate specified hours of learning. Guidelines, with notional hours, to assist teachers and schools to plan for and make decisions about how the curriculum is implemented in their schools will be published by the Authority during Semester 2, 2016.
Support materials for mainstream and special education teachers of students with disabilities, and students for whom English is an additional language or dialect (EAL/D) can be found in the curriculum section of the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline.
The Authority is currently trialling Abilities Based Learning and Education Support (ABLES) curriculum and an assessment tool with a group of Western Australian schools with the view to making these resources available to all schools in 2016.
Abilities Based Learning Education, Western Australia (ABLEWA) provides curriculum materials and an assessment tool that supports the teaching and learning of students with disability and additional learning needs.
ABLEWA provides a suite of curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and reporting resources that assist teachers in recognising and responding to the diverse learning needs of all students, and in assessing and reporting student learning, monitoring student progress and providing accurate intervention advice.
The Authority invited a group of 16 cross-sectoral schools to participate in a validation trial of curriculum materials and the assessment tool. The resources used in the ABLEWA trial are the Abilities Based Learning Education Support (ABLES) curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and reporting resources developed by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victoria; the University of Melbourne; and the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.
The ABLEWA trial will provide feedback to the Authority in readiness for future access to the resources within the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline by all Western Australian schools.
The Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline includes information about early childhood curriculum and assessment to support the development of high-quality learning across Kindergarten and Pre-primary programs.
Kindergarten Guidelines, that complement the Early Years Learning Framework and the Western Australian curriculum, are now available to support seamless transitions within and across early years settings.
For more details on this see: http://k10outline.scsa.wa.edu.au/home/early-years/kindergarten-curriculum-guidelines.
The Arts curriculum is based on the requirement that all students will study at least two of the five Arts subjects from Pre-primary to Year 6. It is a requirement that students study a performance subject and a visual subject.
In Years 7 and 8 all students will study at least two of the five Arts subjects. It is recommended that students study a performance subjects and a visual subject.
In Years 9 and 10 the study of The Arts is optional. This acknowledges that in Years 9 and 10 schools/students may wish to engage in higher levels of specialisation in particular learning areas.
In The Arts, it is desirable that schools provide students with the opportunity to engage with all five Arts subjects across Pre-primary to Year 10.
The Technologies curriculum is written on the basis that all students will study both Technologies subjects from Pre-primary to the end of Year 8. Within Design and Technologies (Engineering principles and systems; Food and fibre production; Food specialisations; Materials and technologies specialisations), students have the opportunity to study at least one of the contexts.
In Years 9 and 10 the study of Technologies is optional. This acknowledges that in Years 9 and 10 schools/students may wish to engage in higher levels of specialisation in particular learning areas.
In Design and Technologies, it is desirable that schools provide students with the opportunity to engage with all contexts across Pre-primary to Year 10.
These questions relate to the Reporting Policy: Pre-primary–year 10 available at http://k10outline.scsa.wa.edu.au/Reporting_policyWill the School Curriculum and Standards Authority's Reporting Policy: Pre-primary to Year 10 be revised?
Minor revisions will be made to the Reporting Policy: Pre-primary to Year 10 and released in Semester 2, 2016.
Achievement standards indicate the quality of learning (the extent of knowledge, depth of understanding and sophistication of skills) that students should typically demonstrate at particular points in their schooling. For example, students who have been taught the content of the Year 3 curriculum are expected to be able to demonstrate the knowledge, understandings and skills described in the Year 3 achievement standard for that subject/learning area.
No, each achievement standard describes the quality of learning (the extent of knowledge, the depth of understanding and the sophistication of skills) that would indicate the student is well placed to commence the learning required for the next year of schooling. The quality of learning described within the achievement standards will be further illustrated through annotated work samples.
Annotated work samples are a collection of different students' work from a particular year level to assist teachers to make judgments about the extent and quality of student achievement in relation to the standards. The annotated work samples illustrate the typical work expected by a student at a particular level of achievement.
ACARA has provided portfolios of work samples described as 'Satisfactory', 'Above satisfactory' and 'Below satisfactory' for Foundation to Year 10 English, Mathematics, Science and History. During 2013-15, work has been undertaken by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority to develop annotated work samples which align with the five-point reporting scale to be used in Western Australian schools. These annotated work samples are being progressively added to the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline.
The achievement standards for Humanities and Social Sciences (Society and Environment), Health and Physical Education will be published in the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline before the commencement of the 2016 school year with Technologies, The Arts and Languages progressively published during 2016.
The annotated work samples for Humanities and Social Sciences (Society and Environment), the Arts, Languages, Health and Physical Education and Technologies will be published in the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline in 2016.
Currently in Western Australia, student achievement in a learning area from Years 1–10 is reported on a five-point scale. The use of the five-point scale will continue and will also be used in the Pre-primary year.
In the Pre-primary year schools report using achievement descriptors but without letter grades. The achievement descriptors used may be system-based or school-based or those provided by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority, but must align with the achievement standards described in the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline.
In Years 1–2 schools report using system-based or school-based achievement descriptors or those provided by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority, and may use the letter grades. The achievement descriptors used must align with the achievement standards described in the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline.
For Years 3–10 the grades A-E and descriptors provided by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority are required.
Grades will be based on demonstrated achievement relative to expected learning as described by the achievement standards for each learning area/subject, for each year of schooling.
School reports should also include a teacher assessment of student's attitude, behaviour and effort, an overall teacher comment and any additional information the school considers relevant. Schools are advised to not use the A-E scale to report on these attributes.
In the Pre-primary year, schools are required to report in English and Mathematics and are strongly encouraged to report in Science. Schools may also choose to report in other learning areas. Schools report using achievement descriptors but without letter grades. The achievement descriptors used may be system-based or school-based or those in the table above, but must align with the achievement standards described in the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline.
For Pre-primary, school reports should include:
- a teacher assessment of the student's attitude, behaviour and effort;
- a description of the student's progress in personal and social learning;
- an overall teacher comment; and
- any additional information the school considers relevant.
No, because Kindergarten is not a compulsory year of schooling, the School Curriculum and Standards Authority does not require schools to report on children's achievement in Kindergarten. Reporting on children's progress in Kindergarten is a system/sector/school decision.
No, the School Curriculum and Standards Authority will not be providing a reporting template for schools to use.
Yes, however for students with disability or other identified learning needs, it may be more appropriate to report achievement using other monitoring tools, such as documented plans/individual education plans or the EAL/D (ESL/ESD) Progress Map.
In some circumstances, there may be a need to provide a differentiated program to groups of students (e.g. Year 10 Advanced Mathematics or modified English). Grades against the achievement standards for that year of schooling will be required for these students. However, the school may choose to provide additional information to report achievement on the content which has been taught to these groups of students.
The achievement standards should not be used as a 'checklist' of skills and understandings. Teachers should make a holistic professional judgement of a student's level of achievement against the achievement standard based on the knowledge, understandings and skills that have been demonstrated during the reporting period. However, it is expected that during the course of the year, teaching programs will give students the opportunity to demonstrate all of the understandings and skills described by the achievement standard.
No, the achievement standards describe a range of expected achievement. Students are able to demonstrate an excellent level of achievement (an A grade) having been taught the curriculum content of that year level.
No, student achievement of the general capabilities does not have to be reported. The general capabilities define knowledge, understanding, skills, behaviours and dispositions that can be developed and applied across the curriculum and are embedded into the curriculum where appropriate.
Achievement standards describe the expected achievement for students who have been taught all the curriculum content for that year of schooling. In mid-year reports, teachers should make a professional judgement regarding the level of achievement that the student is demonstrating relative to the achievement standard, taking into account the curriculum that has been taught and assessed to that point in time. Students demonstrating excellent achievement at that point in time would be awarded an A grade, students demonstrating satisfactory achievement would be awarded a C grade.
The achievement standards are a resource to support planning. The standards provide a holistic statement of the quality of learning expected of students who have been taught the content for that year of schooling. It is expected that, during the course of the year, teaching programs will give students the opportunity to demonstrate the understandings and skills described by the achievement standards.
The achievement standards describe a developmental progression based on the curriculum content for each year, which is built on content from the previous year/s. As schools implement the Western Australian curriculum, it is recognised that the prior learning expected for the student may not have been included in the teaching program in previous years. During the transition to the Western Australian curriculum, assigned grades should take into account the curriculum content that has been taught up to that time.
In the context of multi-age classes, students may not have been taught all the curriculum content described in their year of schooling. Teachers should make a professional judgement regarding the level of achievement against the achievement standard appropriate for the school age of the student. In this process, the teacher should make an on-balance judgement that takes into account the curriculum that has been taught and the aspects of the achievement standard that have been assessed within the reporting period.
In addition to formal end-of-semester reports, schools and teachers report informally in a variety of ways, including but not limited to; information sessions, interim reporting, parent-teacher discussions, informal discussions between parents and teachers and annotations in homework diaries or journals. Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students will also receive a report on their literacy and numeracy achievement through participation in the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests.