Another New Curriculum? YES - it will be OK!

Term: 1 Year: 2016

Every time there has been a change of curriculum, I’m sure you’ll agree, there has been a bit of panic.

During my ten years as an educator there have been several changes to the curriculum: CSFII, VELS, AusVELS and now the Victorian Curriculum F-10 and the Australian Curriculum. Although the new Victorian Curriculum was released in September 2015 (The Australian Curriculum for the Visual Arts was still waiting to be endorsed), I have no doubt that many teachers would have been confused about which document they should use at the end of last year.

In the midst of report writing and end of year chaos, sitting down with the new curriculum might have been a daunting task – I’d like to assure you it will be ok! 
In the most basic terms, the Australian Curriculum is an umbrella curriculum; each state can use it or incorporate their own standards and priorities to create a state specific curriculum e.g. the Victorian Curriculum. Victorian government and Catholic schools are required to use the Victorian Curriculum. However, Independent schools may use the Victorian Curriculum F–10 or the Australian Curriculum. Both documents are available to be used now, as 2016 is a transition year from AusVELS, and reporting with the Victorian Curriculum will start in 2017.

Informed by consultation, the Victorian Curriculum takes on board feedback and responds to issues of a crowded curriculum, the need to recognise discipline based learning and is structured as a continuum of learning. All of which are wins for teachers and students, especially in the Arts! There are now separate content descriptions and standards for each area of the Arts, no more sifting through to find which Assessment Standard relates to your Visual Arts topic! Of course we will all need to adapt to the new terminology, but the guts of teaching the Visual Arts remains the same.

My best advice is to trust that you know the content you teach and that this new curriculum just gives you more of chance to validate to all the Visual Arts and other Learning Areas you are already covering! Check out the Victorian Curriculum website (www.victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au) it’s a great tool and there is still more to come.

It’s a lot to take in, but the great thing is that there is help available. The VCAA is available to speak at your network meetings and Zart is offering several workshops in Term 1 to assist with the transition. 

Dee Zabel
Zart Educational Consultant

To contact the VCAA:
Curriculum Manager Visual Arts
Kathryn Hendy-Ekers
Ph: 9032 1697
Email: hendy-ekers.kathryn.L@edumail.vic.gov.au

Supporting teachers in creative education