The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) sets the curriculum expectations for what all Australian students from Foundation to Year 12 should be taught, regardless of where they live or their background. For more information, see the ACARA website.
Australian states and territories, and the systems and schools within them, are responsible for implementing the expectations of the Australian Curriculum, choosing contexts for learning, and organising and planning learning in ways that best meet their students’ needs and interests.
In New Zealand, the National Curriculum is composed of The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, which set the direction for student learning and provide guidance for schools as they design and review their curriculum.
Curriculum to Year 10 in the Australian Capital Territory
Responsibility for curriculum to Year 10 in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) sits with the ACT Education Directorate.
Schools follow the Australian Curriculum.
Senior secondary subjects and courses in the Australian Capital Territory
In the ACT there are the following categories of courses:
- A courses which are appropriate for Year 11 and 12 students.
- T courses which prepare students for higher education.
- R courses which provide personal development, recreational or community activities.
- M courses which provide appropriate educational experiences for Year 11 and 12 students who satisfy specific disability criteria.
- H courses which are designed and accredited by an Australian university. Successful completion of the course is recognised towards an undergraduate degree and senior secondary certificates.
- C courses which are BSSS accredited vocational programs delivered by Registered Training Organisations approved by the BSSS.
- E courses which are BSSS registered vocational programs delivered by Registered Training Organisations
- A, T and M courses may also offer assessment that that can lead to nationally recognised vocational qualifications.
For more information see the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies website.
Vocational Learning and VET in the Australian Capital Territory
Many ACT senior secondary colleges are Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses taught at these colleges are accredited through the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies. These courses will appear on the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate and contribute to the requirements of that qualification.
VET Certificates and Statements of Attainment that are achieved during a student’s senior secondary studies that are from non-school RTOs can be recognised on the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate.
Work Experience completed during senior secondary years is recorded on the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate
For more information see the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies website.
Curriculum to Year 10 in New South Wales
The majority of New South Wales (NSW) primary schools follow a continuum that is based on stages of learning:
- Early Stage 1: Kindergarten
- Stage 1: Years 1 and 2
- Stage 2: Years 3 and 4
- Stage 3: Years 5 and 6.
Learning in Kindergarten to Year 6 in NSW focuses on six Key Learning Areas (KLAs) – English, Mathematics, Science (including Science and Technology), Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE), Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE), and Creative Arts.
The majority of NSW secondary schools follow a continuum that is based on stages of learning:
- Stage 4: Years 7 and 8
- Stage 5: Years 9 and 10
- Stage 6: Years 11 (Preliminary) and 12 (HSC).
Students in Years 7 to 10 are required to study English, Mathematics, Science, HSIE (including History and Geography), and PDHPE in each of Years 7 to 10. Students are also required to complete a specified number of hours of study in Creative Arts (Visual Arts and Music), Technology Education and Languages.
The NSW curriculum is delivered by schools teaching the NSW syllabuses. View the Kindergarten to Year 10 NSW syllabuses on the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW (BOSTES) website.
Senior secondary subjects and courses in New South Wales
Years 11 (Preliminary) and 12 (Higher School Certificate or ‘HSC’) form the sixth and final stage of learning in NSW and are when a student may achieve their HSC or RoSA.
In NSW a subject is an area of study that may have several different courses (eg the subject ‘Japanese’ has five courses: Beginners, Continuers, Extension, Heritage and Background Speakers). The two main types of Year 11 (Preliminary) and Year 12 (HSC) courses studied are Board Developed Courses and Board Endorsed Courses. Life Skills courses are available to meet the diversity of learners.
Vocational Education and Training in NSW
NSW students have the option of studying vocational education and training (VET) courses at school, TAFE NSW or other registered training organisations (RTOs). NSW VET courses must meet national standards under the VET Quality Framework.
Curriculum to Year 10 in the Northern Territory
Responsibility for curriculum to Year 12 in the Northern Territory (NT) sits with the NT Board of Studies (NTBOS).
Senior secondary subjects and courses in the Northern Territory
- The Northern Territory has a service agreement with the South Australian Certificate of Education Board of South Australia (SACE Board) to deliver the SACE curriculum to their students, which is recognised through the NT Board of Studies (NTBOS) as the Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (NTCET).
- The first 15 Australian Curriculum senior secondary subjects are being implemented within the SACE curriculum.
Vocational Learning and VET in the NTCET
Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses taught at registered training organisations (RTOs) are accredited through the SACE Board of SA and recognised towards a students’ NTCET.
VET Certificates and Statements of Attainment that are achieved during a student’s senior secondary studies can be recognised on the NT Certificate of Education and Training.
For more information on VET Recognition within the NTCET, see the SACE website.
Curriculum to Year 10 in New Zealand
The national curriculum covers subjects that are taught at primary and secondary schools and the standards students should reach in each subject.
Primary education focusses on foundation learning across a range of subjects and competencies but especially in literacy and numeracy. At secondary school students learn a broad and balanced curriculum, with some specialisation possible in Years 11 to 13.
Schools that teach in the English language use the New Zealand Curriculum. Schools that teach in the Māori language use Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (a curriculum based on Māori philosophies).
Curriculum to Year 10 in Queensland
The Queensland kindergarten learning guideline provides advice for planning, interacting with children, monitoring and assessing, and sharing information in kindergarten contexts (children aged 3½–4½ years).
In Queensland, Years P–10 curriculum is based on the Australian Curriculum and Queensland Curriculum.
Year 10 students in Queensland:
- complete Senior Education and Training Plans (which detail what, where and how students will study during their senior phase of learning)
- are registered with the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) and a learning account is created for them. The student’s learning account records their school subject enrolments and the results of any completed studies, which contribute to the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE).
Senior secondary subjects and courses in Queensland
Queensland schools offer young people more choice and greater flexibility in the senior phase of learning (Years 11 and 12). Students can choose from academic subjects, vocationally-based subjects and courses, including traineeships and apprenticeships, recognised studies, and university subjects undertaken while at school.
Students work towards achieving a QCE or Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA).
Students completing Year 12 in 2019
Courses of study that may contribute towards the QCE for students completing Year 12 in 2019 are organised into four categories.
- Core courses include Authority and Authority-registered subjects.
- Preparatory courses are generally used as stepping stones to further study or training, e.g. VET Certificate I qualifications, employment skills, development programs and recognised certificates and awards.
- Enrichment courses provide students with opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge at a higher level, e.g. recognised certificates and awards, structured workplace or community‑based learning programs, accredited VET courses and school-based courses.
- Advanced courses go beyond the scope and depth of typical senior secondary schooling, e.g. university courses and diploma or advanced diploma programs undertaken while at school.
For more information, visit the Year 12 subjects section on the QCAA website.
Students completing Year 12 from 2020
Queensland has introduced a new QCE system starting with Year 11 students in 2019. To support the introduction of the new system, QCAA has redeveloped its suite of senior syllabuses and made some changes to the categories of learning that contribute towards the QCE.
Courses of study that may contribute towards the QCE for students completing Year 12 from 2020 are organised into three categories.
- Core courses are usually undertaken by students during the senior phase of learning. They include Applied and General subjects, VET qualifications at Certificate II level and above, and school-based apprenticeships and traineeships.
- Preparatory courses provide foundational learning for further education and training. They include Short Courses in literacy and numeracy, VET Certificate I qualifications and some recognised studies.
- Complementary courses generally go beyond the scope and/or depth of what is considered senior schooling. They include Short Courses in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages and Career Education, university subjects undertaken while at school, VET Diploma and Advanced Diploma qualifications and some recognised studies.
For more information, visit the Year 11 (new QCE system) senior subjects section on the QCAA website.
Vocational education and training in Queensland
In Years 7–10, students generally access work education programs and work experience.
In Years 9–10, schools can offer a short course in Career Education, and in Year 10 — entry-level Certificate I qualifications.
Students in Years 10–12 in Queensland may access vocational education and training (VET) through:
- a school, which is also a registered training organisation (RTO)
- a non-school RTO
- school-based apprenticeships and traineeships.
Information about VET options available to students can be obtained by contacting the relevant school or visiting www.training.gov.au.
For information about VET courses that can contribute towards a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE), visit the QCAA website.
Curriculum to Year 10 in South Australia
The Australian Curriculum is taught in schools in South Australia from Reception to Year 10. The curriculum learning areas are:
- Humanities and Social Sciences
- The Arts
- Health and Physical Education
Elective for Year 9 and Year 10 students:
- Work Studies.
For more information, visit Curriculum for Reception to Year 10 (sa.gov.au).
Senior secondary subjects and courses in SA
Years 10 to 12 students in South Australia study towards the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE).
There are two stages of the SACE:
- Stage 1, which usually begins in Year 10 with the Personal Learning Plan, and continues through Year 11.
- Stage 2, which is usually undertaken in Year 12.
Each subject or course that is successfully completed earns ‘credits’ towards the SACE. Students receive a final grade from A to E for each Stage 1 subject and A+ to E– for Stage 2 subjects.
To qualify for the SACE students must:
- complete a minimum of 200 credits
- achieve a C grade or better in the Stage 1 compulsory requirements
- achieve a C– grade or better in the Stage 2 compulsory requirements.
The compulsory requirements are:
- Personal Learning Plan — 10 credits at Stage 1
- literacy — at least 20 credits from a range of English subjects (Stage 1 or Stage 2)
- numeracy — at least 10 credits from a range of mathematics subjects (Stage 1 or Stage 2)
- Research Project — 10 credits at Stage 2
- other Stage 2 subjects — at least 60 credits from a range of Stage 2 subjects.
The remaining 90 credits can be gained through additional Stage 1 or Stage 2 subjects or Board-recognised courses of a student’s choice (such as vocational education and training or community learning).
Vocational learning and VET in the SACE
The SACE enables students to include a significant amount of Vocational Education and Training (VET) in their SACE studies. Students can gain recognition for up to 150 SACE credits at Stage 1 and/or Stage 2 for successfully completed VET, including school-based apprenticeships and traineeships. These recognition arrangements help students to build coherent pathways in the SACE and enable students options to focus their SACE on particular VET industry areas of interest.
For more information, visit VET page on the SACE website.
Curriculum to Year 10 in Tasmania
Tasmania has joined all states and territories in endorsing and implementing the Australian Curriculum.
From 2012–2017 implementation of the Australian Curriculum in Tasmanian schools has included English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography and Health and Physical Education from F (Prep) to Year 10, Humanities and Social Sciences include learning opportunities across History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship and Economics and Business for students F (Prep) to Year 10.
All Australian Curriculum areas have now been endorsed (excluding AUSLAN). Implementation will continue according to the agreed timeline.
Curriculum implementation in Tasmanian government and non-government schools is overseen by the Department of Education, Catholic Education Office and Independent Schools Tasmania.
Senior secondary subjects and courses in Tasmania
Senior Secondary courses in Tasmania are accredited by the Office of Tasmanian Assessment, Standards and Certification (TASC). Course documents and related materials can be found under the ‘courses’ menu at http://www.tasc.tas.gov.au
Courses have designated levels of complexity (Level 1 – 4 in senior secondary). These levels correspond to those of the Australian Qualifications Framework. Courses at Level 3 and 4 are externally assessed by TASC and contribute to the calculation of ATAR.
Courses have designated size values (5, 10 and 15). These size values are indicators of the length of courses (size value X 10 = nominal delivery hours).
Vocational Learning/VET in Tasmania
Curriculum to Year 10 in Victoria
The Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) sets out five Learning and Development Outcomes and eight Practice Principles to guide early childhood professionals in their work with families and their babies, toddlers and young children from birth to eight years.
The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), in partnership with the Department of Education and Training, are responsible for development of resources to support the ongoing implementation of the VEYLDF.
Foundation to Year 10
The Victorian Curriculum Foundation–10 (F–10) sets out what every student should learn during their first eleven years of schooling. The curriculum is the common set of knowledge and skills required by students for life-long learning, social development and active and informed citizenship.
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 incorporates the Australian Curriculum and reflects Victorian priorities and standards.
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 four capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social, Intercultural and Ethical capability.
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 also includes the Towards Foundation Level which supports a small cohort of students with disabilities. This curriculum provides content and standards with a focus on progressing students from pre-intentional to intentional engagement with learning.
Victorian government and Catholic schools are required to use the Victorian Curriculum F–10 developed and published by the VCAA. Independent schools may use the Victorian Curriculum F–10 as a model and resource for the effective implementation of the Australian Curriculum.
The AusVELS curriculum was the initial incorporation of the Australian Curriculum areas of English, Mathematics, History and Science into the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS). The AusVELS curriculum will continue to be available until December 2016.
Senior secondary studies and courses in Victoria
Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)
Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)
Vocational Education and Training (VET) in VIC
Vocational Education and Training (VET) can be undertaken as part of the VCE or VCAL senior secondary certificates. Recognition in the VCE or VCAL can be achieved through:
Curriculum to Year 10 in Western Australia
The Pre-primary to Year 10 Western Australian curriculum provides a coherent and comprehensive set of prescribed content and achievement standards which schools will use to plan student learning programs, assess student progress and report to parents.
The Pre-primary to Year 10 Western Australian curriculum is available within the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline.
Senior secondary subjects and courses in WA
The Year 11 and 12 curriculum is taught as courses. Students choose a range of courses to meet the requirements for a WACE.
Students choose from a range of courses to meet the requirements for the WACE. The courses are divided into List A and List B. List A includes The Arts, languages and social sciences. List B includes mathematics, science and technology. English courses are found in List A. Health and Physical Education courses are found in List B.
Courses and programs
Students can choose their courses from a range of course and program types.
There are five course types. ATAR, General, VET industry specific and Foundation courses contribute to the WACE. There are also Preliminary courses. Preliminary courses do not contribute to the WACE.
Endorsed programs and VET qualifications can also be studied in Year 11 and Year 12 and can contribute to a WACE.
Information about the senior secondary courses and programs in WA is available on the Authority website.
Vocational Learning and VET in WA
There are two ways that VET can contribute towards the WACE
- VET industry specific courses are Authority-developed WACE courses where a full nationally recognised qualification is delivered and assessed according to industry specific standards with mandatory workplace learning included. Achievement of these qualifications will contribute towards the WACE as course units.
- VET credit transfer in the WACE refers to any nationally endorsed qualification or nationally recognised accredited course that is used by a student to contribute towards their WACE.
Information about VET in WA is available on the Authority website.