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Everything you need to know about the

Updated Australian Curriculum

An up-to-date, quick and easy guide for
Maths Teachers and School Leaders

Looking for information about the Australian Curriculum update?

We’ve put everything you need to know in one place and, we'll be keeping it updated.

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Why is the curriculum being updated?

The Australian curriculum is reviewed every 6 years to ensure it maintains best practice. In June 2020, Australia’s education ministers came together and agreed to commence the review. While every state has their own curriculum, they are all based on the Australian curriculum, so this change will affect everyone. On this page, we’ll provide localised updates as much as possible to ensure content is relevant to your content.

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What's happening in your state?

According to an announcement from ACARA, "the updated curriculum, Version 9.0, is now available on a new website and will be implemented by schools according to the timelines set by education authorities in states and territories."

The Hon Stuart Robert MP, acting Education Minister for the Federal Government, has officially stated that the updated Curriculum "can be taught in Australian schools from 2023.

Take a look at possible timelines for your state or territory:

ACT, NT, WA SA, TAS, QLD
NSW
VIC
Timeline:

Late 2021
A consultation version of the revised Australian Curriculum: Mathematics is available. Revisions will be finalised and endorsed by education ministers.

May 2022
The revised curriculum is available on the new Australian Curriculum website.

2023
The states and territories have not yet formally announced when the revised curriculum needs to be implemented, but it’s possible that 2023 could be the first year of implementation.

NESA is currently undertaking the first comprehensive review of the curriculum in 30 years. This reform will take place alongside the current ACARA review of the Australian curriculum, which means elements of the ACARA review will inform the NESA syllabus review.
Timeline:

2022 K-2 English and Mathematics syllabuses

2023 K-2 curriculum | 3–10 English and Mathematics syllabuses

2024 K–12 curriculum

The structure and sequencing of content in the Victorian Curriculum: Mathematics is virtually identical to the current version of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics. So the changes made in the ACARA review are likely to have a big impact on the current Victoria curriculum. For example:

For Example:

Victorian Curriculum Content Description VCMNA247: Connect fractions, decimals and percentages and carry out simple conversions

Australian Curriculum Content Description ACMNA157: Connect fractions, decimals and percentages and carry out simple conversions

Timeline:

Late 2021
A consultation version of the revised Australian Curriculum: Mathematics is available. Revisions will be finalised and endorsed by education ministers.

Term 2, 2022
The revised curriculum is available on the new Australian Curriculum website.

2022
The VCAA has not yet formally announced what plans they have for making a matching update to the Victorian Curriculum: Mathematics. It’s possible that this update could take place in 2022.

2023
Implementation could happen by this point, if the VCAA does update the Victorian Curriculum: Mathematics in 2022. This is speculative since formal announcements have not yet been released. For example: Victorian Curriculum Content Description VCMNA247: Connect fractions, decimals and percentages and carry out simple conversions Australian Curriculum Content Description ACMNA157: Connect fractions, decimals and percentages and carry out simple conversions.

How is content structure changing?

1. Strands have changed, and Substrands have been removed
Substrands have also been removed
2. There are still Content Descriptions and Achievement Standards in each year

Content Descriptions are arranged into the six content strands in each year level. 

For example, Year 7 contains 30 Content Descriptions within the six strands, including this one in the “Number” strand:

"...round decimals to a given accuracy appropriate to the context and use appropriate rounding and estimation to check the reasonableness of solutions (AC9M7N05)"

Source

"Content descriptions specify the essential knowledge, understanding and skills that students are expected to learn, and teachers are expected to teach, in each year."

Source

Achievement standards tie together all of the Content Descriptions; addressing all Content Descriptions addresses the entire Achievement Standard.

For example, the Year 7 Achievement Standard begins with:

"By the end of Year 7, students represent natural numbers in expanded form and as products of prime factors, using exponent notation. They solve problems involving..."

Read the full text via ACARA

"Achievement standards – describe the expected quality of learning that students should typically demonstrate by the end of each year."

Source

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How is the content itself changing?

New topics have been added

New content has been added, primarily in secondary levels. There’s a stronger focus on mastering modern technologies with new content including:
3D coordinate systems in Year 8
Logarithmic scales in Year 10
"Networks" in Year 10
Making surveys using computers in Years 5 and 6
Creating probability simulations using computers in Years 8 through 10
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Free resources: take a closer look at the new content

We’re working on resources that will help you manage the introduction of new topics in your school, including lesson plans, classroom activities and sequencing documents. You can find the first two resources below. We will continue to release resources here, complete the form below to be the first to know when they’re available.

Download your FREE resources:

Get the discussion paper, student worksheets and videos, assessments and more

Networks

Errors in Measurement

Probability Projects

Are you ready for the new curriculum?

The new Australian Curriculum "can be taught in Australian schools from 2023.”
Source

Teachers implementing Maths Pathway already have a solid plan...

Find out more and get FREE Topic Planners

Students will need to use technology

There are some Content Descriptions which specify that technology must be used.

describe the position and location of objects in 3 dimensions in different ways, including using a three dimensional coordinate system with the use of dynamic geometric software and other digital tools (AC9M8SP03) Source

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Plot 3D coordinates with our new virtual manipulative

We’ve designed virtual manipulatives to assist teachers with new technology requirements. Take a peek at our demo that lets you plot 3D coordinates and see how they look.
Try it out

Students will need to design simulations in probability

Students will need to design simulations in probability

There is also a requirement to design simulations in probability, in Years 9 and 10.

This implies that all students will need to learn something like spreadsheeting, with functions such as =RANDBETWEEN() and =COUNTIF() allowing students to design their own probability simulations.

Year 9:

“Design Simulations” (AC9M9P03)

Design and conduct repeated chance experiments and simulations, using digital tools to compare probabilities of simple events to related compound events, and describe results.

Source

Year 10:

“Design Simulation” (AC9M10P02)

Design and conduct repeated chance experiments and simulations using digital tools to model conditional probability and interpret results.

Source

Some things have been removed

In line with the objective to ‘declutter’ the curriculum, some relatively small and self-contained content from F-10 has been removed or reduced. Some notable changes include:
Triangular numbers in Year 7 has been removed.
Operations with algebraic fractions in Year 10 has been removed.

Some things have been integrated together

There are also areas which are no longer called out as separate in the structure, like “Money and Financial Mathematics”. But these haven’t actually been removed completely, instead they are integrated into other topics by mentioning financial contexts specifically. For example:

use mathematical modelling to solve practical problems, involving rational numbers and percentages, including financial contexts; formulate problems, choosing representations and efficient calculation strategies, using digital tools as appropriate; interpret and communicate solutions in terms of the situation, justifying choices made about the representation (AC9M7N09) Source

Combined Content Descriptions

There are also areas where several smaller Content Descriptions have been combined together into a larger one. For example:
Before
Extend and apply the distributive law to the expansion of algebraic expressions (ACMNA190)

Factorise algebraic expressions by identifying numerical factors (ACMNA191)

Simplify algebraic expressions involving the four operations (ACMNA192)
After

Create, expand, factorise, rearrange and simplify linear expressions, applying the associative, commutative, identity, distributive and inverse properties (AC9M8A01) Source

Some things have been moved into different years

Some content has been moved between year levels; usually resulting in students encountering some elements for the first time in a later year level. For example, percentages are now first introduced in Year 5, rather than in Year 6:

recognise that 100% represents the complete whole and use percentages to describe, represent and compare relative size; connect familiar percentages to their decimal and fraction equivalents (AC9M5N04) Source

Read the latest blog on the curriculum change:

Student and Teacher

Why the curriculum review won’t work – on its own

READING TIME: 4 MINUTES

Cluttered and complex. That’s how teachers describe the Australian Curriculum. Well, it was how they described it. The 2021 curriculum review is...

Are you ready for the new curriculum?

The new Australian Curriculum "can be taught in Australian schools from 2023.”
Source

Teachers implementing Maths Pathway already have a solid plan...

Find out more and get FREE Topic Planners

Read Maths Pathway's response

We’ve been keeping up with the curriculum review since it began 2 years ago. We've been working hard on resources that will help you manage the change in your school, including lesson plans, classroom activities and sequencing documents. You'll find those resources on this page in our our blogs.

Now that the new Australian Curriculum is live, we're working to give Maths Pathway teachers the ability to ‘switch it on’ in the Maths Pathway portal when it’s time for their school to implement. That means you can move to the new curriculum when you’re ready, easily and quickly.
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Don't miss the free teacher resources:
Take a closer look at the new content
We’re working on resources that will help you manage the introduction of new topics in your school, including lesson plans, classroom activities and sequencing documents. You can find the first two resources below. We will continue to release resources here, complete the form below to be the first to know when they’re available.

Download your FREE resources:

Get the discussion paper, student worksheets and videos, assessments and more

Networks

Errors in Measurement

Probability Projects

What are teachers and education leaders saying about the change?

Curriculum review news

Want to stay up to date?

Complete the form below and we’ll let you know when new information is added to this page.
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