AusVELS provides a single curriculum for levels F-10 that incorporates the Australian Curriculum as it is progressively developed within a framework that reflects particular Victorian priorities and approaches to teaching and learning (F is the abbreviation for ‘Foundation’ which is now the common term agreed to by all States and Territories to refer to the first level of school for curriculum design purposes). AusVELS has been designed to ensure that schools and teachers are not required to manage two different curriculum and reporting frameworks during the development of the Australian Curriculum.
Donvale Primary School has implemented the Literacy and Numeracy domains of the new Australian Curriculum (AusVELS) into its teaching and learning programs. As deemed by the VCAA (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority), we will be transferring progressively from our Victorian Essential Learning Standards curriculum (VELS) to AusVels over a period of a few years.
What is AusVels?
AusVELS outlines what is essential for all Victorian students to learn during their time at school from Foundation (Prep) to Year 10. It includes the Australian Curriculum for English, Mathematics, History and Science and provides a single, complete set of common state-wide standards which schools use to plan student learning programs, assess student progress and report to parents.
AusVELS maintains the strands of Physical, Personal and Social Learning, Discipline-based Learning and Interdisciplinary Learning.
Strands, Domains and Dimensions
AusVELS is based on the VELS triple-helix structure of three interconnected areas of learning called strands.
The three strands are as follows:
|Physical, Personal and Social Learning||Students learn about themselves and their place in society. They learn how to stay healthy and active. Students develop skills in building social relationships and working with others. They take responsibility for their learning, and learn about their rights and responsibilities as global citizens.|
|Discipline-based Learning||Students learn the knowledge, skills and behaviours in the arts, English, humanities, mathematics, science and other languages.|
|Interdisciplinary Learning||Students explore different ways of thinking, solving problems and communicating. They learn to use a range of technologies to plan, analyse, evaluate and present their work. Students learn about creativity, design principles and processes.|
Domains are distinct bodies of knowledge, skills and behaviours within each strand.
The domains within AusVELS that are drawn from the Australian Curriculum learning areas (English, Mathematics, Science and History) are organised into Content Descriptions and Achievement Standards.
Content descriptions specify what teachers are expected to teach. The Achievement standards describes the quality of learning (the extent of knowledge, the depth of understanding and the sophistication of skills) that would indicate the student is well placed to commence the learning required at the next level of achievement.
The other domains within AusVELS that are drawn from the existing Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) are organised into learning focus statements and standards. The standards outline the essential knowledge, skills and behaviours students are expected to demonstrate within each domain. The learning focus statements suggest learning experiences that are based on the standards.
Content descriptions/Learning Focus statements and Achievement Standards/Standards for each domain are organised into dimensions. For example, the Arts is a domain organised by the Creating and making and Exploring and responding dimensions.
The domains and their dimensions are listed below.
We use an integrated curriculum to enhance student learning by making logical links between curriculum areas. We integrate the content areas of the curriculum including humanities, science, technology and health. We use the process areas of the curriculum – speaking, listening, reading viewing, writing, mathematics, drama, art/craft and music – to allow children to express their understanding of the curriculum content.
All teaching staff are involved in planning Integrated Units of Inquiry in four areas – Ourselves; Scientific and Technological World; Community; and Environment. Each term all levels explore the same Inquiry Unit. A set of ‘Throughlines’ common curriculum threads have been developed in each area. These ‘Throughlines’ ensure that the curriculum is developed consistently and sequentially across all levels.
High Ability Students
A challenging and varied program caters for all learning styles and intelligences within the classroom.
In 2013, we incorporated an extension learning program targeted at our senior students with high abilities. This program aims to support the ongoing development of student’s creative, problem solving and entrepreneurial skills.
The additional extension program, G.A.T.E.WAYS is also available.