ACARA news, December 2014

The Australian Curriculum supports students to use mathematics in the workplace

24 December 2014

A recent study conducted by the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT), the Australian Industry Group (AI Group) and the Office of the Chief Scientist found young people often have trouble transferring the quantitative mathematics skills learned at school to workplace situations. The research project involved 12 teachers who were selected to ‘drill down’ and examine 12 volunteer workplaces.

ACARA welcomes this report and the perspectives it provides on the teaching of mathematics in schools and what might be done to aid young people transfer this learning into workplace and other settings.

ACARA is committed to ensuring students have the opportunity to receive the best education possible through the development of a world-class curriculum – one that provides students with a solid educational foundation to build upon for the future. The curriculum presents knowledge and understanding as well as skills we would like all students to learn as they progress through school. One of the stated aims in the curriculum is that through the content we aim to ensure students investigate, represent and interpret situations in their personal and work lives and as active citizens.

Individual schools are best placed to determine how maths content is taught in their school and are supported through the comprehensive and rigorous content contained within the Australian Curriculum: mathematics, which can be taught through a range of contexts, including the workplace.

The Year 9–10 elective subject, work studies, specifically addresses skills that are required for workplaces, including numeracy, and provides the opportunity to transfer mathematical knowledge and skills into workplace settings.

Other areas of the Australian Curriculum also support students transferring mathematical skills to the workplace. For example, the ability to use digital technologies to support numerical and statistical functionalities are covered in the technology and science curricula across year levels.

Annual National Report on Schooling 2012 released

19 December 2014

The Education Council has released the Annual National Report on Schooling 2012.

The report provides a range of information on schooling in Australia in 2012.

See the report on the ACARA website.

My School website updated with attendance data by Indigenous status

17 December 2014

As a part of a COAG (Council of Australian Governments) initiative to help improve student attendance rates and therefore lead to better learning outcomes, the My School website has today been updated to include student attendance data based on indigeneity.

My School has always published attendance data. What’s new is that the data have been collected in a consistent fashion and the average student attendance rates will be reported for all students, Indigenous students and non-Indigenous students.

From 2015, this data will be reported twice a year along with a new measure of the proportion of students attending school more than 90 per cent of the time.

ACARA statement on Education Council decisions

15 December 2014

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) welcomes the Education Council’s decision to seek advice from ACARA on the findings of Review of the Australian Curriculum report released on 12 October 2014.

ACARA Board Chair Professor Barry McGaw said: “We welcome the Council’s decision. It provides an opportunity to address some issues about the Australian Curriculum raised by educators and members of the broader community.”

“The four themes presented in the Australian Government’s initial response to the review – uncrowding the curriculum, parental engagement, improving accessibility and rebalancing the curriculum – will assist a productive discussion with states and territories and other stakeholders about adjustments to be made to the Australian Curriculum," said Professor McGaw.

Does withdrawing students from NAPLAN simply defeat its purpose?

10 December 2014

Following the publication of today’s 2014 NAPLAN National Report, the Australian Parents Council (APC) has urged parents not to withdraw their children from NAPLAN.

Read the APC media releases regarding withdrawals from NAPLAN

NAPLAN is an important national resource

10 December 2014

Minister for Education, the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, today reiterated the Australian Government's support for NAPLAN. "Parents and teachers know that NAPLAN is an important national resource where we are able to see at the individual, school, state and national level how our kids are performing. Every parent should have access to how their student is doing against national standards and in comparison with his or her peers as well as teachers, schools and education authorities," said Mr Pyne.

Read NAPLAN helps put students first media release

Student achievement in NAPLAN stable across most areas

10 December 2014

The 2014 NAPLAN National Report has been published, confirming the initial findings of the summary information released in August that overall student achievement has remained stable for each year level and most domains.

The report provides nationally comparable data on the 2014 national and state/territory results for each test domain: numeracy, reading, writing and language conventions (spelling, and grammar and punctuation). School-by-school results will be available on the next version of the My School website, to be published in March 2015.

ACARA has today also published the 2014 NAPLAN Test Incidents Report. Test incidents can include cheating, security and other general breaches.

Read the full 2014 NAPLAN National Report
Read the ACARA media statement (PDF 52 kb)
Read the NAPLAN 2014 Test Incidents report (PDF 91 kb)

A new young historian of the year

02 December 2014

Angus Christie, a Year 5 student from the Hutchins School in Tasmania, has been named the 2014 Australian Young Historian of the Year. Angus’s winning submission looked at Australia’s participation in the Vietnam War.

Senator the Hon. Scott Ryan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education, presented the $1000 prize and a plaque to Angus Christie at the National History Challenge Awards ceremony in Canberra.

The Australian Curriculum – history ensures students of all ages, in all states and territories have an opportunity to learn about Australia and the world’s past, which helps them understand how past events can transform the future.

Read more in the Australian Young Historian of the Year media release by Senator the Hon. Scott Ryan.

2014 NAPLAN National Report: coming soon

01 December 2014

Stay tuned for the public release of the 2014 NAPLAN National Report on Wednesday 10 December 2014.


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