ACARA news, November 2014

Parents support moving NAPLAN online

26 November 2014

Parents support moving NAPLAN online

National Assessment Program – Civics and Citizenship test results show Aussie students actively engaged in society

26 November 2014

Today, the National Assessment Program – Civics and Citizenship (NAP – CC) Public Report 2013 has been released, showing that civics and citizenship student performance at the national level has remained relatively consistent and that many students across Australia are actively engaged in their communities, with a good understanding of civics and citizenship.

ACARA CEO Rob Randall said today, “Around 12,000 students from nationally representative samples of children in Year 6 and Year 10 participated in the 2013 NAP – CC assessments, which for the first time were conducted online.

“It’s pleasing to see that half of our young Australians have met or exceeded the challenging but achievable proficiency standard in civics and citizenship although the remaining half have yet to do so.”

Key points include:

- Civics and citizenship student performance at the national level has remained relatively consistent across assessment cycles both in terms of mean student achievement and the proportion of students performing at or above the Proficient Standard.
- While performance is consistent, we should also be asking what we can all do to improve on these results.
- The availability of a national civics and citizenship curriculum (available for use; awaiting final endorsement) that provides key content may, along with the teaching resources and professional development that will follow the curriculum, assist teachers and students to improve knowledge and understanding, skills and attitudes.

A survey, which students completed alongside the test, highlights the positive attitude Australian students have towards civics and citizenship:

- When asked about important behaviours for good citizenship, 80% of students rated participation in activities such as protecting the environment, promoting human rights, learning about Australia’s history and activities that benefit the local community as the most important behaviours for good citizenship.
- Over 90% of students endorsed the notion that Australia should support the cultural traditions and languages of Indigenous Australians (about 95% in Year 6 and 92% in Year 10)
- More than two-thirds of Year 6 students reported interest in what is happening in other countries (71%), global issues (70%), environmental issues in Australia (69%), and what is happening in the local community (65%).
- The majority of students reported involvement in peer support programs, class or school elections, extra-curricular activities and other school-related activities in the community.

ACARA Chair, Professor Barry McGaw said: "Students tend to experience civic engagement first within their school context, with these experiences important for fostering future participation in a democratic society. It is pleasing to see that so many students have positive attitudes to participation as active citizens."

Read the National Assessment Program – Civics and Citizenship (NAP – CC) Public Report 2013.


ACARA Deputy Chair's report on Centre for Curriculum Redesign conference

13 November 2014

ACARA Deputy Chair Professor Emeritus Brian Caldwell represented ACARA at a conference of the Centre for Curriculum Redesign (CCR), hosted by the International School of Geneva on 22–24 October.
The theme of the conference was Character Education for a Challenging Century.

Read the Deputy Chair's report (PDF 20 kb).

Remembrance Day

11 November 2014

Today we remember those Australians who have died or suffered in war and armed conflict around the world, particularly those who fought so bravely in World War I. Students from each state and territory represent the youth of Australia in the national ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. The Australian Curriculum: History ensures students have the opportunity to learn about Australia’s participation and experiences in wartime, and allows for reflection of our military history, its costs and impacts on our nation.

Lest we forget.

ACARA CEO wins the Australian College of Educators Award 2014

07 November 2014

ACARA CEO Robert Randall was last night awarded the Alan Laughlin Perpetual Award for leadership in education at the Australian College of Educators Inner Sydney Region Annual Awards 2014.

The award recognises outstanding contributions to quality leadership, and/or outstanding contributions to improving the quality of teaching in our schools.

Mr Randall has been with ACARA since 2009, holding positions of General Manager, Curriculum and Deputy CEO before being appointed CEO in November 2012.

At the presentation held at the University of Sydney, Rob was described as “an outstanding leader who through his extensive knowledge and relentless drive has led the development of the first national curriculum in Australia and positioned this country for exciting developments in the way student achievement is assessed and reported".

Congratulations, Rob!

ACARA welcomes new APPA president

06 November 2014

ACARA welcomes the appointment of Dennis Yarrington to the role of the president of the Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA), beginning in January 2015. We look forward to continuing to work with APPA to improve educational outcomes for primary students across Australia.

ACARA would also like to express its sincere thanks to outgoing president, Norm Hart, for the role he has played in supporting ACARA's work over the last four years.

Read APPA's media release (PDF 131 kb)

Response to IPA report on the Australian Curriculum: English

04 November 2014

A report released today by the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) contains factual inaccuracies about the role of an Australian curriculum.

ACARA was not contacted by The Australian for comment. If we had been, we would have advised the journalist that:

The Australian Curriculum F–10: English is organised around three strands, one of which is about literature. As a result, students are expected to study literature from the first year of school through to Year 10.

The Australian Curriculum: English does not prescribe specific texts to be studied in schools. Most school authorities, along with individual schools, determine what particular literature to use in classrooms. Some school and curriculum authorities provide lists of recommended texts.

The Australian Curriculum leaves this decision for school authorities to recommend the particular literature to be used in classrooms.

To read what the Australian Curriculum actually says about the study of literature, visit the Australian Curriculum website.

The curriculum was developed through extensive consultation, approved by the ACARA Board and endorsed by the Education Council (then known as the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood).

The recent report on the review of the Australian Curriculum includes recommendations regarding the Australian Curriculum: English. This review will be discussed at the Education Council meeting in December.

Annual Report 2014 released

03 November 2014

ACARA has tabled its Annual Report for 2013–14, which documents our achievements over the past financial year. You can see some of the highlights of our work.

Read the full Annual Report 2013–14 (PDF 3.4 mb)