Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Core subjects to be prioritised in new curriculum rollout

NSW Education and Early Learning Minister, Prue Car says the Government will take more time to garner feedback from relevant stakeholders before reforming the NSW Curriculum.

Announcing the change at a teachers’ conference in Sydney, Minister Car (pictured) told teachers that instead of having to learn, plan for and get ready to teach 100 new syllabuses over the next two years, the new syllabuses would be staggered, with core subjects to be prioritised.

This will also provide teachers more time to ensure the new Maths and English curriculum across years 3 to 10 are ready for full implementation Day 1, Term 1, 2024.

She said feedback from teachers and advisory groups was that the current curriculum reform schedule is unworkable, that the timeline is too challenging and as a result it is putting more pressure on teachers at a time when NSW is already grappling with a teacher shortage crisis.

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“It is essential that we get a new curriculum in front of students and teachers to improve educational outcomes – and our teachers need to be given the right amount of time to do this so they can give their very best to their students,” said Minister Car.

“We are committed to working with teachers, as we address student learning outcomes across the state.”

Each new syllabus requires teachers to undertake professional learning, develop new lessons and assessments, and ensure consistent reporting to parents – all of which takes time, she said.

“A strategic rollout will mean teachers have adequate time to consult and get to know the new syllabuses and the time to implement them well.”

For example, instead of an unworkable release of 26 syllabuses for consultation in Term 2, the NSW Government will prioritise the syllabuses that are core learning in Term 3.

This includes:

  • Consulting on four mandatory K to 6 syllabuses: Creative Arts, Human Society and its Environment, Personal Development Health and Physical Education (PDHPE), Science and Technology;

Consulting on four mandatory 7 to 10 syllabuses: Geography, History, PDHPE, Visual Arts;

Releasing: new 11 to 12 Health and Movement Science syllabuses and extend implementation to 2025 for examination in the 2026 Higher School Certificate;

The shift in timeframes means all new syllabuses will be delivered to teachers by 2027 – in line with the intent of the Masters Curriculum Review, that outlined a 10-year delivery timeframe.

A full reform timeline will be redeveloped and published by NESA.

“If we are to give students the strongest foundations for success in life then we need to give their teachers time to get to know the English and Maths curriculum and implement them well,” said Ms Car.

“Instead of an unworkable release of dozens of syllabuses per term this year, I’ve asked NESA to lead with those that are core to improving learning outcomes for students.”

“With almost 100 syllabuses still to be released, I am confident that we have found the right pathway to ensure a new curriculum is successfully implemented to improve student outcomes,” she said.

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