At CPS we embrace a comprehensive curriculum with a strong emphasis on academic development along with social, emotional and physical development.
The Victorian Curriculum is based on eight learning areas and four general capabilities. The Learning Areas are – English, Mathematics, Science, Health & PE, Languages (ours being Japanese), The Humanities, The Arts and Technologies. The Capabilities are – Critical and Creative Thinking Capability, Intercultural Capability, Personal and Social Capability and Ethical Capability.
The Capabilities Unpacked a little further
As part of every child’s education, schools in Victoria are required to incorporate the four curriculum capabilities into what they teach. Let’s take a closer look at what these capabilities are and why they are so important.
- The critical and creative thinking capability teaches learners the ability to question, discern information (including fake news) and develop thinking strategies such as organising ideas, and recognising patterns and solutions. These skills are extremely important to a child’s education and well-being as they help young people to recognise choices and identify opportunities, and to develop passions, interests and goals. It allows young people to negotiate through the myriad of content uploaded to the web or published and communicated in the media, to ask the questions that will assist them to make growth in their learning, and to negotiate through difficult problems they may encounter.
- The ethical capability focuses on preparing students to make good decisions and understand consequences, and to consider the perspectives of others. This sets learners up to make better life choices and participate in and contribute to issues impacting on society at large e.g. global warming, homelessness in a more informed way.
- Personal and social capability prepares our children to be collaborative, develop resilience and manage relationships so that they can foster positive friendships and relationships and feel happy and secure. In Australia, 1/3 of marriages end in divorce, domestic violence is reported in 17% (1/5) of homes, and mental disorders (depression and anxiety) are on the increase in children and youth. Respectable friendships, a supportive social network, healthy communities and empathy as well as the ability to develop a strong personal identity prepares our young people to thrive but importantly stand up to bullying and to negative temptations, and to persist in the face of adversity i.e. to cope.
- Ethical capability – includes understanding of local and global cultures. It is there to support our learners to nurture social cohesion and the benefits that come from pooling together diverse strengths and perspectives, and to embrace globalisation and the opportunities it affords. With 1/3 of the Australian population born overseas, a functional multicultural society and a recognition that future study and work opportunities will have international associations and affordances is vital.
The capabilities are extremely important to all aspects of a child’s life and prepares them for success in their schooling, and for participation in society, future study and employment. A recent analysis by the Foundation for Young Australians of 4.2 million jobs advertisements revealed that the demand for critical thinking skills has increased by 158% over the past 5 years, likewise creativity, presentation (of ideas) and problem solving skills were in high demand.
This is not to say that existing subjects such as English and Mathematics should be put aside, on the contrary, the capabilities are part of, complementary and transferable across all areas of study and life. They include not only knowledge but skills and dispositions - they are a way of thinking, behaving, and learning that becomes part of the every child’s ‘toolbox for life’.
At Carnegie Primary school we are continuing to ensure the Capabilities are integral part of our school’s scope and sequence documents from Prep (Foundation) to Year 6.
More detailed information is available at: http://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/