St Michael's understands the importance and value of The Victorian Curriculum as it is a curriculum which provides a single, coherent and comprehensive set of prescribed content and common achievement standards, which schools use to plan student learning programs, assess student progress and report to parents. The Victorian Curriculum assits teachers to understand what is essential for students to achieve from Foundation to Year 10, in Victorian schools.
Learning Areas and Capabilities
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 includes both knowledge and skills. These are defined by learning areas and capabilities. This curriculum design assumes that knowledge and skills are transferrable across the curriculum and therefore are not duplicated. For example, where skills and knowledge such as asking questions, evaluating evidence and drawing conclusions are defined in Critical and Creative Thinking, these are not duplicated in other learning areas such as History or Health and Physical Education. It is expected that the skills and knowledge defined in the capabilities will be developed, practised, deployed and demonstrated by students in and through their learning across the curriculum.
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 learning areas are a clear and deliberate reaffirmation of the importance of a discipline-based approach to learning, where learning areas are regarded as both enduring and dynamic.
Their enduring nature rests in their different epistemologies, or ways of understanding, and the associated skills they provide for students. Each of the learning areas provides and is defined by a unique way of seeing, understanding and engaging with the world. For the Arts, the Humanities and the Technologies, students engage in and through disciplines, which provide discrete content descriptions and achievement standards.
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 includes capabilities, which are a set of discrete knowledge and skills that can and should be taught explicitly in and through the learning areas, but are not fully defined by any of the learning areas or disciplines. A key distinction between the Australian Curriculum F–10 and the Victorian Curriculum F–10 is the provision of content descriptions and achievement standards in the four capabilities.
The four capabilities in the Victorian Curriculum F–10 are:
- Critical and Creative Thinking
- Personal and Social
The Australian Curriculum F–10 includes three additional general capabilities:
- Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 design does not include these three general capabilities as separate learning areas or capabilities with discrete knowledge and skills.
Given the inclusion of a Literacy strand in English, and the proficiencies of understanding, fluency, problem solving, and reasoning in Mathematics, it is unnecessary to define Literacy and Numeracy as a distinct curriculum. The learning of the skills and knowledge defined by the ICT general capability are now embedded in student learning across the curriculum.
There is considerable research that identifies the importance of the teaching of literacy and numeracy and ICT in the context of the different curriculum areas. It is both appropriate and necessary that the literacy, numeracy and ICT requirements be embedded in the curriculum areas.
While much of the explicit teaching of literacy occurs in the English learning area, it is strengthened, made specific and extended in other learning areas as students engage in a range of learning activities with significant literacy demands.
In the Victorian Curriculum F–10, the knowledge and skills that underpin numeracy are explicitly taught in the Mathematics strands Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability and reinforced and further exemplified in and across other curriculum areas. Through this process, students recognise that mathematics is widely used both in and outside school and learn to apply mathematical knowledge and skills in a wide range of familiar and unfamiliar situations.
Information and Communications Technologies
In the Victorian Curriculum F–10, the ICT general capability skills are either specifically embedded in the content descriptions of Mathematics, Media Arts, Geography, English and Digital Technologies or schools have the flexibility to determine how these skills will be used in their teaching and learning programs for other curriculum areas.
The Literacy, Numeracy and ICT general capabilities from the Australian Curriculum F–10 are therefore represented in the Victorian Curriculum F–10 as embedded in each curriculum area and are not discrete areas against which teachers should report student progress.