The new Victorian Curriculum


As has been the practice for a number of years, the first SLAV conference for 2016 focussed on the role of teacher librarians and school library staff in the learning and teaching program.

The 18 March SLAV Conference entitled Student Centred, Curriculum Centred: Exploring the new Victorian Curriculum, was launched with keynote David Howes, Executive Director, Curriculum Division, Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA).  David introduced the new Victorian Curriculum  to delegates, explaining similarities, differences and integration with the Australian Curriculum (ACARA).  He emphasised that the new Victorian Curriculum supports the Victorian State Government’s goals for education which has as its aims:

Over the next 5 years:

  • 25% more Year 5 students will reach the highest levels of achievement in reading and maths.

Over the next 10 years:

  • 25% more Year 9 students will reach the highest levels of achievement in reading and maths.

  • 33% more 15 year olds will reach the highest levels of achievement in science.

  • More students will reach the highest levels of achievement in the arts.

  • More students will reach the highest levels of achievement in critical and creative thinking.

David also introduced the  Teaching and Learning Toolkit which is an ‘accessible summary of educational research’ designed to support quality learning and teaching.  Its layout is based on the research of Prof John Hattie, where from a series of explicit goals you delve into the site to discover research and practice to support the topic.  This will be an excellent professional learning tool for teachers.

Rhonda Powling captured the Twitter stream from the Conference to create this Storify which includes tweets relating to David’s presentation and others on the day (more about them to come).

SLAV delegates appreciated the depth of analysis and explanation provided by David who appreciates the role of the school library that is actively working with teachers and curriculum leaders to provide the best possible outcomes for students.  His full presentation is available on the Member’s section of the SLAV website.

Student blogging with Verona Gridley

Verona Gridley, classroom teacher at St Luke the Evangelist School has developed an excellent blog that acts as a resource for her students.

Screen shot 2010-10-30 at 8.33.36 AM

Verona explains how she uses JuniorsJig with her students.

When our students reflect on what they have learnt in class, they are proficiently taking out some of their implicit understandings and clearly documenting it in the form of a blog. By both reading and commenting on others’ blogs, students start to learn from each other. A blog is a tool. It is a learning tool that can be tapped into by students, parents, and the global community.

Our Class Blog has enabled me to integrate all curriculum areas by promoting multiple literacies and skills. Through reflection on our discoveries and experiences we are able to share and deepen our understandings. It shows growth over time of our new learning, connecting with experts and finding out from broader sources.

There are growing connections with readers that show the great advantages of being part of a network and receiving feedback from contributors within a broader community. Our class has received feedback from all corners of the globe. When we received comments from beyond the school community a new digital dimension is opened. Overseas teachers, students and parents are taking the time to read our blog and leave meaningful and thoughtful comments.

Students are aware, that they are able to reach out beyond the schoolyard to share discoveries and experiences and in turn touch someone enough to leave a thought or offer a new perspective. Our young students can reach an authentic audience, that gives feedback and contributes new ideas and thus become part of a tangible global community.

I love the idea of students having a global and authentic audience and I believe that students take more care and effort with writing that will be read and commented on by a number of people. Congratulations Verona for providing this opportunity for your students as well as using your blog to communicate with parents and friends of the school.

Free Global Education Conference 15-19 November 2010

Educator extraordinaire Steve Hargadon is organising a free global education conference to be held between the 15th and 19th of November.

Screen shot 2010-11-11 at 11.43.44 AM

To be held via Elluminate and in multiple time zones, each session will be recorded so if you are unable to ‘attend’ live, there is the opportunity to view later on.

Tracks include:

  • Teacher
  • Student
  • Curriculum
  • Policy and leadership
  • Global issues
  • Learning 2.0 and
  • Spanish sessions

A list of session titles, times and details can be accessed now as well and if you are interested in helping moderate a session (or more), there are details for that as well.

A fantastic initiative and way to connect with other educators on a global scale.

Heidi Hayes Jacobs – an Elluminate recording

Curriculum designer Heidi Hayes Jacobs was recently interviewed by Steve Hargadon in an Elluminate session.
Heidi Hayes Jacobs, editor of Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World, talks about the book, the contributors, and the ideas!
DR. HEIDI HAYES JACOBS, Executive Director of the Curriculum Mapping Institute and President of Curriculum Designers, Inc., is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of curriculum and instruction. Dr. Jacobs is the founder of Curriculum Designers, Inc., a company committed to helping educational systems implement integrated and more effective curriculum. She has served as an education consultant to schools nationally and internationally. She works with schools K-12 on issues and practices pertaining to: curriculum reform, instructional strategies to encourage critical thinking, and strategic planning.
This recording has now been made available to the public (go right to the bottom of the page linked for the recording link). Even if you have found Elluminate to be blocked in your school, recordings usually are easy to access. If you are interested in educational reform, then this one hour session is a must see!

Consultation on the draft Australian Curriculum: English, mathematics, science and history

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority have just released the” draft Australian Curriculum for English, mathematics, science and history (K-10). It will be available for consultation and comment from 1 March 2010 to the end of May 2010.”

The website continues to explain the process:

How you can get involved in the consultation process

ACARA’s consultation processes for the draft Australian Curriculum will be conducted in partnership with state and territory curriculum and school authorities.

ACARA encourages involvement of all stakeholders during this key stage of curriculum development.

Opportunities will be available to provide feedback on the draft curriculum through:

  • Completion of an on-line survey
  • State/territory and national consultation forums
  • Some short-term, trialing activities with teachers and schools using the draft curriculum materials.

On-line survey

Teachers and other stakeholders in the broader education community will be able to review the curriculum materials and provide targeted feedback through an online survey. This will include the options of annotating the work, posing questions and providing written comments.

Stakeholder consultation forums

State and territory consultation forums

Throughout the consultation period, ACARA will conduct forums in each state and territory to gather feedback on the draft K-10 curriculum.

Participation in these consultation forums will be coordinated by the relevant state and territory education authorities.

National forums

In addition to the state and territory forums, ACARA will convene national forums during the latter part of April 2010, inviting nominated teachers, national professional associations, education and discipline academics, to provide expert feedback on the draft K-10 curriculum.

Trialing activities

ACARA, in collaboration with state and territory education authorities, have selected schools to be involved in some short-term trialing activities. About 150 schools will undertake a range of planning, teaching and assessing activities using the draft K-10 Australian Curriculum. The 150 schools include a cross-section of schools based on jurisdiction, geography, size, sector, and socio-economic status.

Schools will participate by developing teaching program/s and assessments, teaching part of the content and providing student work samples, and testing the functionality, accessibility and usefulness of the online curriculum.

This practical application will provide ACARA with very useful feedback to review and improve the draft materials.

All educators are urged to investigate and comment on proposals within the time frame.

VCE faces axe for national education certificate

An interesting article in today’s Herald Sun:

Laurie Nowell and Stephen Drill, August 30, 2009 12:00am

 VICTORIA’S VCE is set to be replaced by a national education certificate as schools move to an Australia-wide curriculum for years 11 and 12.

A paper created by the newly formed Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority and obtained by the Sunday Herald Sun reveals the transition to new national subjects and standards.

It reveals all state and federal education ministers have now made a commitment to introduce a kindergarten-to-year 12 national curriculum. Until now, a national curriculum has been planned only up to year 10.

Victorian Education Minister Bronwyn Pike yesterday said: “It’s inevitable that we move towards a national certificate.”

The plan will be discussed at a meeting of education ministers in Brisbane on September 28.

The move will spark controversy. Many teachers, educators and business groups support the scheme, saying it will help universities compare like with like.

But others say the move to what is expected to be called the “Australian Certificate of Education” will create a “homogenised” education system in which Victorian students are no longer taught about events such as John Batman’s settlement of Melbourne.

And they are outraged that Australian History is to be dumped as a separate subject.

Another concern is that, during the transition period, students studying state-based year 10 courses will not be prepared for year 11 national curriculum courses.

ACARA chairman Prof Barry McGaw said details of the year 11 and 12 national curriculum in the four core areas were being drafted and were due to come on stream in 2012.

He said a fully fledged “Australian School Certificate” could come after that.

“We have looked at the best curricula around the world. We believe we will be able to deliver a world-class system,” he said.

ACARA has been created as an education super-body.

It is a statutory authority of the Federal Parliament with powers to oversee curricula, assessment and the recently announced reporting on schools.

Under the plan, initially the year 11 and 12 national curriculum will apply to English, Maths, Science and History, but plans are in progress to extend it to other subjects.

Maths teacher and educational consultant Russell Boyle said the senior national curriculum was “a step in the right direction”.

“If students all around the country are to compete on an equal basis, then they should not only be doing the same curriculum, but be assessed in the same way,” he said.

But critics say the national curriculum will “dumb down” some subjects.

“You will have English students being able to avoid any kind of study of literature at all,” said former English teacher and business education consultant Angus Creasy.

Victorian Education Minister Bronwyn Pike confirmed the ACARA paper was a first step towards a national certificate. 


EduHound is a free US-based site that caters for K-12 teachers. Teaching resources are organised by topic and many topics are applicable to Australian curriculum. Topics include:


Aaron Burr

Acceptable Use Policies


Adequate Yearly Progress


American Presidents**


Analyzing Quotes**

Art Museums


Black History



Book Reports

Branches of Government**


Cause and Effect**

Character Education



Conflict Resolution**


Cyber Safety

Data-Driven Instruction

December Holidays

Descriptive Language**

Differentiated Instruction



Earth Day**




Education Statistics

Einstein, Albert


Emergency Preparedness




Essay Writing

Exploration Article**

Fact or Opinion?**

Feature Article**


Fire Safety

First Amendment**


Forensic Science

Freedom of Information




Global Climate

Global Warming**

Good Sportsmanship**



Henry VIII



Iberian Lynx**

ICT Literacy




Interview Article**



July 4th


King Tut

Language Arts


Literacy / Reading

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth

Maps and Globes**

Martin Luther King, Jr.**




Middle East**

Mission Statements

Monarch Butterflies**


Museum Lessons




News Writing**

New York

Nonfiction Text Features**

Norman Conquest






Persuasive Writing

Pi Day



Polar Science

PowerPoint Templates

Presidents Day**

Professional Learning Communities

Project-based Learning

Public Speaking

Reading Comprehension**




Remembering September 11**


Reporting on School Lunch**

Research Paper Strategies

Science News**

Scientific Method**







STEM Equity

Technology Planning

Technology Research & Reports



U.S. Constitution

U.S. States

U.S. Supreme Court

Violence Prevention

Visual Arts



Water Conservation**


Women’s History**

World History

World Languages


 As well, there are lesson plans, daily newsletters and more.

Feature wiki – Whitefriars College, Donvale

Whitefriars College teacher librarian Karen Kearney has developed a wicked wiki for VCE classes! Karen outlines the development of the resource; ‘The Theatre Studies boys at our school have been studying Wicked – The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz as part of their curriculum.  It’s one of the plays on our VCE list.’

Wicked front page

Wicked front page

Karen explains how the wiki came about. ‘Earlier this year I attended the SLAV Conference featuring Will Richardson. Closely following this, all of Whitefriars College Library Staff, along with another staff member, completed the SLAV Web 2.0 “23 Things” course. These PD activities gave me many ideas of different and exciting ways in which information could be presented. Having already started blogging, I decided to try my hand at a Wiki.

‘Wikis have been used in the past at Whitefriars College. We have been a laptop computer school for many years now, and have a great intranet. Wikis for classroom use have been developed as part of the intranet, but I wanted something on the internet which many people could share.’

Karen continues, ‘Setting up a wiki really couldn’t have been simpler. Wikispaces  was suggested as a good location for an educational Wiki. Following my first effort I found myself with a nice Wiki, complete with advertisements all down the side! After discussion with a colleague, I discovered that Wikispaces offer a place where teachers can create a Wiki without fees, and without advertising, for educational purposes.’

Karen says, ‘I have long had an interest in musical theatre, and was delighted to hear from our Theatre Studies boys that they were going to study Wicked – The Untold Stories of the Witches of Oz, as part of their VCE curriculum. I have seen the show on Broadway, and our Australian production, so knew it well. Furthermore, technical aspects of theatre fascinate me so I set out to find many articles on the Internet which take a back stage look at the show. I came up with many relevant articles, interviews, reviews, podcasts and YouTube videos, all of which discuss different aspects of the show.  This information supports, and extends, that already provided by the Theatre Studies teacher. 

Costumes, lighting, set design

Costumes, lighting, set design

‘The Teacher Librarian in me wanted to bring a reading perspective to the Wiki, and so I added a page about Gregory Maguire, the author of the book Wicked.  Several of his books are listed there, as is his web site.  Perhaps this might encourage some of our students to explore his other work.


Gregory Maguire's books

Gregory Maguire's books

Finally, when the Wiki was near completion, Karen sent the link to the Theatre Studies class, their teacher, and other students and teachers she thought would be interested.  She then sent an email to the OZTL_Net Teacher Librarians list, asking that anyone who wished to share the link should do so with their students and teachers.  Karen does warn potential users that ‘YouTube video links have been included and I’m aware that not all schools will be able to view those.’

Thanks to Karen for sharing her valuable resource with us! Well done Karen.

Feature blog – Mossgiel Park Primary School

Lisa Hill is the Director of Curriculum and teacher librarian at Mossgiel Park Primary School in Endeavour Hills. She has developed a comprehensive and engaging library blog that features categories such as “Reader of the Week”, “News” and information of interest to their IASL Bookmark Project partner school. 

Front page

Front page

Lisa has also created a resource post for the current Year 5/6 project including task requirements, a slideshow and links to research sites. She has lots of video and word files embedded into the site, for both students and teachers to explore and to link to the curriculum.  

Lisa completed the SLAV Web 2.0 course and says, ‘Although I don’t think I had any really clear aims in setting up the blog, I mainly wanted to show our library program to our IASL partner school. I also wanted the children’s parents to be able to look at what we are doing in library; this was an element of library promotion.’  

Book Week

Book Week

Lisa continues, ‘Ultimately I want the blog to be a motivating activity for students. I encouraged them to make comments after I uploaded a photo of a literacy week activity we had, and eventually I want to have student wikis and pages about projects, but that seems like a long way off at the moment!’ 

Getting to know the library

Library teddies

As Director of Curriculum (and teacher librarian!) at Mossgiel Park Primary School, Lisa has really led by example in developing this blog. Here’s hoping that other Mossgiel Park teachers are inspired by her creativity, resourcefulness and sheer hard work.