Curriculum is designed to develop successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens. Curriculum drives teaching and learning and is the core business of schools. Curriculum is much more than a document which outlines what is to be learnt or taught. Curriculum is dynamic and encompasses:
- the learning environment
- learning routines
- teaching approaches, strategies, methodologies
- learning activities
- assessment programs and methods
- values and ethos of the school
- relationships and behaviours amongst learners and teachers.
These are all interconnected and provide the experiences that contribute to student learning.
The Australian Curriculum
The Shape of the Australian Curriculum v 3.0 (October 2011) describes ACARA’s commitment to supporting equity of access to the Australian Curriculum for all learners and to developing a curriculum that will equip all young Australians with the essential skills, knowledge and capabilities to thrive and compete in a globalised world. All young Australians include students with multiple, diverse and changing needs that are shaped by individual learning histories and abilities as well as personal, cultural and language backgrounds and socio-economic factors.
The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is seeking to realise the intent of the Australian Curriculum in providing flexibility for teachers to meet the diverse learning needs of all Australian students.
While formal provisions for students with a disability is still in a draft process, Nemarluk school has actively contributed on behalf of these learners through participating as a trial school, providing feedback on draft documents, providing feedback through membership of the National Panel for Students with a Disability, and associations such as AASE and ASEPA. In the meantime we continue to work with both the Australian Curriculum and the NTCF.
The Northern Territory Curriculum Framework
Since 2002 the Northern Territory (NT) has had a mandated Curriculum Framework that identifies learning outcomes for all Northern Territory learners from Transition to Year 10. The NTCF describes what learners are expected to achieve and is used to determine what learners have achieved. The Northern Territory Curriculum Framework (NTCF) is an overarching document to guides schools in:
- providing a curriculum that maximises the capacity of all learners to achieve the standards described in the NTCF
- using evidence-based teaching and learning pedagogies to close the gap between learners’ current achievement levels and targeted outcomes
- assessing, monitoring and evaluating learners’ progress and achievement against NTCF standards using processes to support consistency of teachers’ judgements.
The principles of flexibility and inclusivity ensure that all learners can participate in curriculum. The NT Curriculum Framework is designed to include all learners by acknowledging, valuing and promoting multiple learning pathways within and across areas of learning; providing opportunities for school communities to select relevant and meaningful contexts for learning; providing broad assessment principles and guidelines.
Students with Disabilities
Access to the NT Curriculum Framework is a right for all learners. It is expected that curriculum is designed, implemented and assessed for learners with a disability so they are able to participate on the same basis as a learner without a disability. To meet these expectations:
- learners are consulted in the design of learning programs
- learning programs are designed based on the NTCF outcomes
- learning programs recognise the learning capacities and needs of the learner and describe adjustments to
- teaching, learning and assessment strategies necessary for the learner to participate
- teaching and learning materials are made available in a format that is appropriate for the learner
- assessment methods and processes enable learners to demonstrate the NTCF outcomes.