#teensexting | #sexting | Shock changes for students under ‘chainsawed’ syllabus


Schools won’t teach students to tell the time until Year 2 or recite times tables until Year 4, under a simpler syllabus to start next year.

A “chainsawed” national curriculum has stripped subjects from history, slowed down primary school lessons and postponed the teaching of key maths and science concepts so kids have more time to master the basics of literacy and numeracy.

Year 1 students will no longer be taught to tell the time on a clock with hands, or to use fractions – waiting until Year 2 when they are “more conceptually ready” at the age of six or seven.


Students Ria (left) and Arnav (right) at Glen Waverley Primary School in Melbourne. A simpler syllabus to start next year will mean students would be taught to tell the time until Year 2. Picture: Nicki Connolly

Students learning a foreign language will focus more on speaking and writing, instead of analysing cultural differences in English.

Kids in physical education lessons will spend more time playing games and sport, with less classroom theory.

But they will be taught about respectful relationships, including laws relating to abuse, consent and sexting – with kindy kids taught to ask and share.

Naming and ordering the seasons has been taken out of Year 2 maths, as it is “not essential mathematical content” and is already taught in Year 1 science.

Rote learning of the times tables – otherwise known as “multiplication facts” – for the easier numbers of 2, 5 and 10 will be moved from Year 3 to Year 4, when multiplication of other numbers is now taught.



The curriculum change to be released today by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) states that Year 3 students “are developing their understanding of multiplication through computational thinking approaches and modelling, groups and arrays rather than rote learning facts”.

But other key maths concepts will be taught earlier – percentages in Year 5 instead of year 6, with pi for measuring circles taught in Year 7 instead of Year 8, and Pythagoras theory taught in Year 8 rather than Year 9.

Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers chief executive Allan Dougan said rote learning of the times tables was important for children in “early to mid primary school”.

“Understanding things like times tables combined with automaticity make for really successful and sustainable learning outcomes for young people,” he said.


Students (L-R) Fletcher Holmewood, Maddy Ayliffe, Joshua Bignold, Zachary Burton and Molly Sinclair as St Cecilia’s Catholic Primary School in NSW. Picture: Toby Zerna

Students (L-R) Fletcher Holmewood, Maddy Ayliffe, Joshua Bignold, Zachary Burton and Molly Sinclair as St Cecilia’s Catholic Primary School in NSW. Picture: Toby Zerna


ACARA’s director of curriculum, Janet Davy, said teachers and principals had found the existing curriculum “unwieldy and difficult to navigate”.

“Giving them more time to teach essential content in a more in-depth matter is important,” she said.

“We do not want to have teachers to have to spend excessive time interpreting the curriculum.”

The review focuses on maths and science – subjects in which Australian students tanked in recent global tests – and was ordered by former Education Minister Dan Tehan, who vowed to “take a chainsaw to the curriculum”.

The slimmed-down syllabus will be released for public comment today, before its introduction next year.

Little change has been made to the English curriculum, although it will be stripped of lessons on using software such as Word or PowerPoint.

Software will be taught in digital technology lessons instead, where students will learn more about cyber-safety and privacy.

Primary school students will study fewer topics in social studies as it was considered “too broad with too many areas for teachers to focus on”.

All high school students will learn about systems of government, Aboriginal history, migration to Australia, and both World Wars – but four other topics will be stripped from the curriculum.

Three topics that must now be seeded into all subjects – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, Australia’s ties with Asia and sustainability – will now be confined to the most suitable subjects, with a focus on Aboriginal studies in social sciences, ties with Asia in history or commerce, and sustainability in science.

Originally published as Shock changes for students under ‘chainsawed’ syllabus


Community Newsletter SignUp

Source link