Process for investigating the Australian Curriculum

Process for Investigating the Australian Curriculum

What will you need?

  • The Australian Curriculum website
  • A hard copy of your subject content on A3 paper with space to write notes (Nick will provide this).
  • Some work samples from your own students

What is the

  • What does  your (or the schools) program in this subject area currently look like? Describe how it looks in your classroom including structures, topics, assessment, reporting etc.. This would be a broad overview in note form.
  • Australian Curriculum: Investigate the AC subject content (requires time to investigate the Australian Curriculum and compare it with your current program).

IMPORTANT to do this
properly you will need to go on the website and open the ELABORATIONS.

    • What do I currently teach that is not required?
    • What do I do that is required?
    • What is new that I have never taught before?


  • How will I (can I) make the Australian Curriculum work in a composite classroom? At present there is no magic bullet to make this work. It is up to the teacher and school to make it work as best we can in our context.


  • Achievement Standards/Work Samples
    • Have a look at the Work Sample Portfolio for your subject/year level. This will have multiple samples within it. Each sample is supposed to represent a satisfactory result.
    • Will the assessment tasks I currently use allow my students to meet the Achievement Standard?
    • Will the assessment tasks I currently use allow my students to meet the Achievement Standard to a high
    • Compare the work sample portfolios from the AC website with our own student samples. Have some
      discussion around this.

      • Do we consider them above or below the standard our students would be expected to achieve at a particular
        year level (the portfolio samples are at a satisfactory standard)?
      • How do we assess and provide an A-E or word equivalent result based on the Achievement Standard? What tells us
        an ‘A’ or ‘Excellent’ is justified for a piece of work?

        • Using current work samples and discussing our expectations as a group to arrive at some common understandings about what makes an ‘Excellent’ piece of work. Similar to a moderation process used at Years 11/12. Have a go at marking work using the Achievement Standards and discuss within your group.
        • Have a go at creating some assessment tasks using the Achievement Standards. Select an assessable element
          from the content and create a task that uses the Achievement Standards to assess this.

Australian Curriculum Work Sample Portfolios

ACARA has returned the work samples to the Australian Curriculum website. Some improvement has been made with a portfolio of work samples available instead of just one as was originaly provided. The samples provided show achievement to a satisfactory level. As the Australian Curriculum is used throughout schools in 2012 these samples will be updated and improved on as samples are collected from teachers teaching the AC.

“These initial work sample portfolios do not constitute a complete set of work samples – they provide evidence of most (but not necessarily all) aspects of the achievement standard”. ACARA

Just a quick glance shows that the number of samples varies depending on the subject and year level, for example there are 4 samples in the Year 1 science portfolio, 8 samples in the Year 10 science portfolio and 6 samples in the Year 1 English portfolio.

These samples will be important in the familiarisation process and hopefully provide some insight into how to assess against the Achievement Standards.

If you are interested I have provided some links to a few portfolios so you can quickly check them out.

Year 1 English portfolio

Year 5 English portfolio

Year 9 English portfolio

Reception science portfolio

Year 3 science portfolio

Year 10 science portfolio

Year 2 maths portfolio

Year 4 maths portfolio

Year 7 maths portfolio