In 2011 Merrimac State School commenced the transition to the Australian Curriculum. ACARA is responsible for the development of the Australian curriculum from Kindergarten to Year 12.
ACARA’s work in developing the Australian curriculum is guided by the 2008 Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians.The Melbourne Declaration commits "to supporting all young Australians to become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens", and to promoting equity and excellence in education. The Australian curriculum will "equip all young Australians with the essential skills, knowledge and capabilities to thrive and compete in a globalised world and information rich workplaces of the current century." The national curriculum will be accessible to all young Australians, regardless of their social or economic background or the school they attend.
ACARA works collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders including teachers, principals, government, state and territory education authorities, professional education associations, business/industry, community groups and the broader public.
The implementation of the Australian curriculum in English, mathematics, science and history has been completed. A second phase of work has begun to develop the Australian curriculum for languages, geography and the arts.
As a third phase of Australian curriculum development, ACARA has provided advice to the Ministerial Council on Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA) in regards to the development of the whole curriculum, covering all of the learning areas indicated within the 2008 Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Agreement was reached at the MCEECDYA April meeting on phase 3 learning areas and timetable for development.
The Australian Curriculum: English, is organised around three interrelated strands:
- Language: The Language strand involves the development of a coherent, dynamic and evolving body of knowledge about the English language and how it works.
- Literature: Students learn to interpret, appreciate, evaluate and create literary texts such as narrative, poetry, prose, plays, film and multimodal texts, in spoken, print and digital/online contexts.
- Literacy: Students apply their English skills and knowledge to read, view, speak, listen to, write and create a growing repertoire of texts.
The Australian Curriculum: Mathematics, is organised around three content strands:
- Number and algebra
- Statistics and probability
- Measurement and geometry
The Mathematics Curriculum embeds the proficiencies of understanding, fluency, reasoning and problem solving. It is assumed teachers will make use of available digital technology, including calculators in teaching and learning contexts.
The Australian Curriculum: Science, is organised around three interrelated strands:
- Science understanding
- Science inquiry skills
- Science as a human endeavour
Learning science engages students in meaningful ways and prepares students to use science for life and active citizenship so that they can function effectively in a scientifically and technologically advanced society. The study of Science provides a foundation for specific learning pathways leading to senior secondary science as well as science and engineering courses at university and technical and vocational education and training.
The Australian Curriculum: History is organised into two strands:
- Historical knowledge and understanding
- Historical skills
Australian history is taught within a world history context, and not limited to world history from an Australian perspective. Studies in Years 7 -10 investigate four historical periods and includes overviews and depth studies. Strong emphasis is placed on the process of historical inquiry and integrating the concepts of historical understanding, including evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, empathy, significance, perspectives and contestability