Director of Academic Programs
2017 Curriculum Developments
This year will be an active year for curriculum development, both at a school level and on a state wide basis.
This week we received new senior syllabuses for all English, Mathematics, Science and History courses. These courses will align with the Australian Curriculum that is already being taught in other states. NSW has taken the Australian Curriculum and provided more detail in line with the educational expectations and conventions of syllabus development in our state. The new syllabuses will be released at the beginning of the year so that teachers have 2017 to prepare new programs, resources and assessments for Year 11 2018. The new courses will be delivered, with accompanying changes to HSC assessments and examinations, for Year 12 in 2019.
Year 8 and Year 10 are working from new Geography syllabuses that also align with the Australian Curriculum and were developed in NSW.
At a state level we have a newly named educational body overseeing teaching and learning which is called the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and replaces the Board of Studies. It combines teacher accreditation with curriculum development, school standards, learning, assessment and strategic direction for all schools in NSW. Click here for the link to the new NESA website.
Current Year 9 are the first year group where a minimum literacy and numeracy standard needs to be achieved before a student can be awarded a Higher School Certificate. All international research confirms that the best indicator for success in life after school (as measured by the OECD through employment, higher salaries and good health) are a student’s literacy and numeracy skills. This minimum literacy and numeracy requirement will be in place for the 2020 HSC and the minimum standard has been set at the level needed for effective functional literacy and numeracy in the adult world. The functional literacy and numeracy level is equivalent to a Band 8 in each of the NAPLAN reading, writing and numeracy tests or a pass on the online literacy and numeracy tests NESA offers to Years 10, 11 or 12 students. At Loreto Kirribilli we prepared for this changing requirement in 2016, where we offered additional course in literacy and numeracy to targeted students so that they could improve their confidence and competence in these core skills. The Academic Enrichment classes are now operating in Year 9 and I am confident they will make a difference to our students’ communication skills in their senior years.
The other new courses we offered for Stage 5 in 2016, Creative Communication and Physical and Sports Studies are now operating, with both teachers and students excited by these new learning possibilities. A STEM course is being developed within the school and will hopefully be available for Year 8 students to choose for Year 9 in 2018. Integrated STEM courses were delivered to students in 2016 and will be refined for 2017 classes. Extra-curricular offerings in this area will be advertised throughout the year.
At an operational level, assessment dates for Years 7-12 are currently being finalised by the Subject Coordinators and will be made available to students shortly.
Mr Richard Cameron has commenced his new position as Academic Programs Administration Coordinator and is working with students to resolve changes in their patterns of study in Years 9, 11 and 12. Year 9 and Year 11 are reminded that the window for changing subjects is only open for another three weeks.
Sandra Duggan (Ms)
Director of Academic Programs