New national school curriculum out

FRASER Coast principals were tight-lipped yesterday as details of a proposed national school curriculum emerged.

A draft curriculum in the four learning areas of English, mathematics, science and history will be released by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority for widespread consultation.

“It is now time to engage the education and broader community across Australia in a conversation about what it is we want our young people to learn in these four areas,” ACARA board chair Professor Barry McGaw said.

Feedback from teachers, parents and the general public will be sought from today until May 23.

The final curriculum for Prep to Year 10 will be available to be taught in Australian schools from 2011. Proposals for Years 11 and 12 will be released next month.

The Chronicle contacted a number of Fraser Coast schools yesterday but principals were reluctant to comment without closer analysis or a full briefing on the plan.

Former teacher and Hervey Bay mum Belinda McNeven welcomed the plan, proposed by Kevin Rudd in the lead-up to the 2008 federal election.

“When you’re an Australian child it should be reasonable for you to move from school to school and not suffer as a result. You should be able to move without detriment to your academic performance,” the Fraser Coast’s deputy mayor said.

“There should also be a consistent national standard that Australian education aspires to.

“A parent should be able to have confidence that there are consistent levels of numeracy and literacy.”

Mr Rudd yesterday described the plan as a “back to basics” approach to education that would return history, grammar, literature and phonetics to the classroom.

Butchulla elder Frances Gala said yesterday the government’s proposed inclusion of Sorry Day in the new national history curriculum was “a major breakthrough for Aboriginal people in this country”.

“For decades in our schools, even when I went to school, it’s been as though we never existed thousands of years ago.

“Now at least Sorry Day in the curriculum will help students and teachers ask the questions that will bring light on our past as well as our present.”

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