CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENT
Students in Victorian government schools learn traditional subjects such as English, mathematics, science, humanities, languages, and the arts; as well as physical and social learning with subjects such as health and physical education and civics and citizenship and interdisciplinary subjects like communication and information and communications technology (ICT). Within these subjects, students learn the physical, personal and social skills they need in life.
The following provides information on curriculum and assessment and outlines the guiding principles behind the teaching and learning programs in Victorian government schools:
- Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework
- Victorian Essential Learning Standards
- English Online Interview
- National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)
Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework
The Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework describes five key learning and development outcomes for children from birth to eight years. The outcomes provide a shared understanding and terminology for early childhood professionals and families to use when planning and discussing the learning and development of their children.
For more information, see: Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework
Victorian Essential Learning Standards
Victorian schools work to a set of guidelines, the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS), which outline what is crucial for all students to learn from Prep to Year 10. Schools use the Standards to plan their teaching and learning programs, including assessment and reporting of student progress.
The Standards work on five educational principles that underpin schooling for all Victorian students:
- Learning for all: the belief that all students can learn given sufficient time and support, and that good schools and good teaching make a positive difference.
- Pursuit of excellence: seeking to accomplish something noteworthy and admirable, individually and collectively, and perform at their best.
- Engagement and effort: acknowledging that student ability is only one factor in achievement and if students work hard and make an effort they improve.
- Respect for evidence: seeking understanding and truth through structured inquiry and the application of evidence to test and question beliefs.
- Openness of mind: being willing to consider a range of different views and consider different ways in which evidence is perceived and solutions can be reached.
There are three strands in the Victorian Essential Learning Standards that define what students should know and be able to do at different stages of learning:
- Physical, Personal and Social Learning: such as health and physical education and civics and citizenship.
- Discipline-based Learning: covering subjects such as the arts, economics, English, mathematics, geography and history.
- Interdisciplinary Learning: covering communication and information technology.
Each Standard describes what students are expected to know and be able to do at that level, and how well they should know and be able to do it. Schools also aim to give students life and social skills to understand the world in which they live and act effectively in it.
The Standards focus on the knowledge and skills of the student.
Standards are set at a challenging level, not minimum competence, to suit the age and developmental stages of students. This helps to ensure that students are stretched and encouraged to improve.
Over the 11 years of compulsory schooling, the Standards are set at six levels that recognise the different learning needs of students. The levels are associated with the following year levels:
- Level 1 - Prep
- Level 2 - Years 1 and 2
- Level 3 - Years 3 and 4
- Level 4 - Years 5 and 6
- Level 5 - Years 7 and 8
- Level 6 - Years 9 and 10
The Standards are also tested across the three main stages of your child’s learning at school, for more information, see: Stages of Learning
For more information on the Victorian Essential Learning Standards, see: VELS
ENGLISH ON-LINE INTERVIEW
At the commencement of each school year all Prep students in Victoria are assessed on reading, writing, and speaking and listening during the English Online Interview assessment period. Schools can elect to use the English Online Interview for students in Years 1 and 2 during the assessment period.
The English Online Interview takes the form of a one-to-one interview between a teacher and student, using texts and downloadable resources designed specifically for the Interview. Teachers record student responses directly into the online system to get a point-in-time overview of your child’s achievement. Teachers use this valuable information to plan learning activities.
For more information, see: English Online Interview
National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)
The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) involves students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 from all states and territories in Australia and is administered by each school.
The program assesses student skills in reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, punctuation and grammar) and numeracy.
National test results provide information on how students are progressing and support improvements in teaching and learning.
For more information, including guidelines, sample tests and material for parents, see: NAPLAN
STAGES OF LEARNING
The Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) are tested across the three main stages of your child’s learning at school. These Standards recognise the changing learning needs of students at different stages during their education.
The three main stages are:
- Prep to Year 4 (laying the foundations)
- Years 5 to 8 (building breadth and depth)
The VELS also divide the curriculum into six levels for student achievement over 11 years of schooling. The six levels are broadly associated with the years of schooling from Prep to Year 10.
For each stage your child will develop skills and learn subjects targeted to the level of understanding and comprehension expected at this age.
The following provides information about what your child will learn throughout these three main stages at school as well as what students will learn in Years 11 and 12:
For more information, see: