Introducing whole-school curriculum planning

The curriculum planning portal offers school leadership a range of resources to support planning and documenting a comprehensive school-wide curriculum.

In Victoria the school curriculum is set out in the Victorian Curriculum
F–10, released in September 2015. The curriculum defines the common and core set of knowledge and skills that are required both for life-long learning and active and informed citizenship.

The teaching and learning program is the school-based plan for delivering this common set of knowledge and skills in ways that best utilise local resources, expertise and contexts. Schools have flexibility in the design of their teaching and learning program. Flexibility enables schools to develop particular specialisations, areas of expertise and innovation, while ensuring the mandated curriculum is delivered.

Guidelines to inform curriculum planning and reporting were first published in February 2014, and have been revised to align with the Victorian Curriculum F–10. The revised guidelines provide advice for Victorian schools on the effective use of the curriculum to develop whole-school teaching and learning plans and to report student learning achievement.

The key points set out in the guidelines are:

  • Defined curriculum content is the basis for student learning
  • Curriculum planning will be based on two-year bands of schooling rather than each year level
  • Schools should develop and publish a whole-school curriculum plan that documents their teaching and learning program
  • Schools must report student learning against the achievement standards in the curriculum
  • Schools will be able to report student learning to students and parents in formats that best suit local school communities rather than through a single centrally prescribed format.

Whole-school curriculum planning plays a key role in enabling schools to deliver the curriculum for all students and reflects the decisions, resources and priorities of the school.

Whole-school curriculum planning involves four interrelated layers:

  • By School – a high-level summary of the coverage of all the curriculum areas, reflecting the school’s goals, vision and any particular areas of specialisation or innovation
  • By Curriculum Area – the sequencing of key knowledge and skills across the years of schooling to support a progression of learning
  • By Year Level – a coherent program from a student perspective that enables effective connections across curriculum areas
  • By Unit / Lessons – specifying Victorian Curriculum F–10 content descriptions and achievement standards, activities and resources to ensure students of all achievement levels are able to progress

The four layers of curriculum planning described in this resource apply equally to the implementation of the Victorian Curriculum F–10 or AusVELS. This resource uses the Victorian Curriculum F–10 terminology, so the term 'Curriculum Area' replaces 'Domain', and refers to the learning areas and capabilities. During 2016, an example in each layer of curriculum planning will be added to demonstrate how the Victorian Curriculum F–10 could be used to design a teaching and learning program.

Additional information to assist schools with their curriculum planning is available in Hints and Tips and Resources.

We would like to acknowledge the many schools that have been involved in supporting the development of these curriculum planning materials.

Self-assessment tool

The interactive self-assessment tool has been designed to support a school leadership team to review the four essential interrelated layers of the whole-school curriculum plan and identify any areas that require further improvement.

Start the assessment

Examples of whole-school curriculum plans

Whole-school curriculum documents that cascade through the four interrelated layers.

The examples offered are indicative of the types of documents schools prepare but are not prescriptive or definitive.

View the examples