ACARA news, October 2014

Education ministers agree to move NAPLAN online

31 October 2014

At a meeting of Australian education ministers today, the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments agreed to move and fund NAPLAN online. This decision will see NAPLAN testing available in schools to trial from 2016.

Last week the Commonwealth put $24.7 million on the table to develop the platform for NAPLAN online; today states and territories committed to roll it out across the country.

Read the Minister for Education, the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP media release

Happy World Teacher's Day!

31 October 2014

ACARA would like to wish all teachers a happy World Teachers’ Day. Although celebrated in most countries on 5 October, in Australia the day is celebrated on the last Friday of October. Thank you to all teachers for your hard work and commitment to our nation’s children.

20141031 Happy World Teachers Day 120

click on the image
to see the full version

Teachers win in Prime Minister's prizes for science

30 October 2014

Congratulations to the two science teachers who became recipients of the 2014 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching at an event held yesterday in the Great Hall of Parliament House, Canberra.

Brian Schiller from Seacliff Primary School in Adelaide won the Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools, with Geoff McNamara from Melrose High School in Canberra winning the Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools.

The prizes are awarded annually to two teachers who have made an outstanding commitment to effective and creative science teaching in Australia. The science teaching prizes comprise an award certificate, a silver medallion and lapel pin, and a cash prize which is shared with the school.

Read the joint media release from the Prime Minister and Minister for Industry

Day for Daniel 2014

28 October 2014

Friday 31 October marks Day for Daniel – a day to raise awareness of child safety, protection and harm prevention.

Educators have a responsibility to help teach children about keeping safe. Mr and Mrs Morcombe recently developed the Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum, which provides teaching ideas and lesson plans about child safety for teachers to use. Teachers can also access information in the Australian Curriculum, which covers child safety matters such as identifying people who help children to be safe, recognising safe and unsafe situations, knowing how and when to seek help online and phone safety.

You can support the Daniel Morcombe Foundation by wearing red on Day for Daniel, hosting an event/activity or making a donation. Visit the Day for Daniel website for more information.

Message from the Chairman: ACARA welcomes the move to better and faster assessment

25 October 2014

ACARA’s Chairman, Professor Barry McGaw AO, welcomed today’s announcement by the Commonwealth Minister for Education, the Hon. Minister Pyne, of a commitment from the Australian Government of $24.7 million to move NAPLAN online.

“ACARA looks forward to moving NAPLAN online as soon as possible – to provide better assessment, more precise results and faster turnaround of information,” said Professor McGaw.

Read ACARA's media release (PDF 106 kb).

Please direct all media enquiries to: Robyn Ziino, Director, Communications and Strategic Relations: 0404 746 263

Professor Emeritus Brian Caldwel to represent ACARA in Geneva

22 October 2014

This week, ACARA’s Deputy Chair, Professor Emeritus Brian Caldwell, represents ACARA at an international conference of the Centre for Curriculum Redesign (CCR).

Professor Caldwell said, “I am pleased and honoured with the opportunity to represent the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) at this conference. ACARA is one of many organisations supporting this event, and it is important for ACARA to be at the forefront of efforts to improve the quality of education for all students, regardless of their country or jurisdiction. This conference is an opportunity to learn first-hand more about leading educational developments in practice and to bring back to Australia information that is leading edge development in curriculum”.

The conference, titled ‘Character Education for a Challenging Century’, is held in Geneva from 22 to 24 October 2014 and is driven by the question, ‘What should students learn for the 21st century?’

The conference is supported by a range of public and private institutions and organisations, including the OECD, UNESCO and World Bank; jurisdictions in Australia, Canada and Finland; leading universities such as MIT and Stanford; foundations and not-for-profit organisations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; and corporations including Google, IBM, intel and Microsoft.

Keynote speakers include Andreas Schleicher, Director, Education and Skills Directorate at OECD; Professor Linda Darling-Hammond from Stanford University and Charles Fadel, Founder and Chair, CCR, and author of 21st Century Skills book. Dr Michele Bruniges, Director-General of the NSW Department of Education and Communities, will contribute during a panel presentation.

Among other features, the conference will showcase successful government, education and corporate partnerships that address character education in formal and informal settings. It is intended to achieve a global consensus through agreement on a Geneva Declaration.

National Children's Week

21 October 2014

National Children's Week is from 18 to 26 October and this year marks the 25th anniversary of Australia’s commitment to the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.

At Parliament House on Monday, Assistant Minister for Education, the Hon. Sussan Ley MP, said Children's Week was an opportunity to acknowledge the work of dedicated educators in Australia.

“We know that education plays a critical role in shaping a child’s future and promoting their right to be active participants on all matters affecting them,” Ms Ley said.

Read the Celebrating National Children’s Week media release.

ABC Radio National: ACARA chairman discusses civics and citizenship

14 October 2014

ACARA Chairman, Prof. Barry McGaw, recently took part in a discussion for Radio National’s Big Ideas program, talking about the importance of civics education.

Listen to the show on the ABC RN website: Big Ideas: civics and citizenship

Message from the Chairman, ACARA, regarding the report of the Review of the Australian Curriculum

13 October 2014

The Board and staff of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) will take the opportunity to read the report of the Review of the Australian Curriculum now that it has been released. ACARA notes that Minister Pyne will discuss the report with state and territory ministers at the December meeting of the Education Council. ACARA will offer comments and advice to that Council meeting.

Professor Barry McGaw AO
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

Please direct all media enquiries to: Robyn Ziino, Director, Communications and Strategic Relations: 0404 746 263

NAP - ICT Literacy sample assessments start on 13 October

10 October 2014

From Monday 13 October around 12 000 Australian students from Years 6 and 10 will be sitting the National Assessment Program – Information and Communication Technology Literacy (NAP – ICT Literacy) tests online. These students have been randomly selected from over 650 government, Catholic and independent schools in metropolitan, rural and remote locations around the country.

The assessment will be held between 13 October and 7 November in New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland and Victoria; and between 20 October and 14 November in the Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania.

Read more in the latest ACARA Update

View our video about the NAP – ICT Literacy assessment

QCAA develops school resources for G20 Leaders Summit

10 October 2014

On 15 and 16 November world leaders will descend upon Brisbane to make decisions on key economic and financial policy issues at the G20 Leaders’ Summit.The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) – in partnership with the Department of Education and Training and with the assistance of other government agencies and tertiary institutions – have developed a package of G20 teaching and learning resources for schools.

These resources will provide schools and teachers with opportunities to explore the relevance of the G20 with their students and deliver engaging and relevant learning experiences.

The teaching and learning resources package  (PDF 562 kb) includes:

  • P–12 learning activities that deliver Australian Curriculum content and senior curriculum outcomes
  • an interactive G20 world map
  • a virtual field trip of the G20 Leaders’ Summit meeting site, using Google Earth
  • a series of audio-visual presentations by G20 experts from Griffith University.

You can access the teaching and learning resources on the QCAA website or watch the video ‘Bringing G20 to the classroom’ on the G20 video gallery.

Work studies curriculum released: helping young people navigate the world of work

08 October 2014

Today ACARA has released the Australian Curriculum: Work Studies – a world-class, future-oriented curriculum for students in Years 9–10. Work studies is a stand-alone curriculum and has been designed as an elective subject.

The work studies curriculum is a response to key work-related issues young people are facing today and in the future. It provides young people with the essential knowledge, understanding and skills for participation in the rapidly changing world of work, aiming to help them plan and shape their future and make a contribution to the wider community.

The work studies curriculum is now available for use, but is awaiting endorsement from the Education Council.

Read ACARA media statement (PDF 47 kb).

See the Australian Curriculum: Work Studies on the Australian Curriculum website.

20141008 work studies curriculum


More languages curricula are available in the Australian Curriculum

03 October 2014

ACARA has made available seven new languages curricula to the Australian Curriculum: for Arabic, German, Japanese, Korean, Modern Greek, Spanish and Vietnamese.

While the curricula for these seven languages are yet to be finalised, the validation versions are being released as a part of the Australian Curriculum development process. The final curricula are scheduled for approval by the Education Council in the coming months.

Validation versions of the curricula are available to view in PDF format on the 'Languages' page of the ACARA website.