A new focus on writing, grammar and punctuation in the new Australian state curriculum

The New South Wales (NSW) 3rd to 10th year education curriculum will undergo major changes as policy makers seek to address the issue of poor performance.

The Draft curriculumPublished for consultation on Friday, it proposes a shift back to math memorization and puts more emphasis on writing skills.

It is based on the K to 2 curriculum draft released in late 2021 and re-mandatory phonics learning.

The proposed curriculum also makes teachings of writing responsibilities for English teachers.

Today, all teachers are expected to teach their students how to write in the style of the subject they need. For example, a science teacher teaches students how to write a science report in minimal emotional and descriptive language.

However, as a result, Australia’s writing standards have dropped dramatically in recent decades, and according to NAPLAN results, one in five grades in 2018 failed to meet the writing standards.

Education policy expert Glenn Fahey told The Epoch Times that the 9th year of NAPLAN’s writings best predicts student performance after graduating from school.

Fahei said the problem is that all students enrolling in high school are expected to already have good basic writing skills and are simply expected to master different styles of different subjects. I said there is.

“Of course, many students aren’t effective writers when they start school, and even when they graduate from high school,” he said.

Traditionally, English teachers have delved into the basics of writing, such as grammar, sentence patterns, and punctuation. However, today’s English teachers emphasize stories about literary studies and writing development.

“In fact, some English teachers already have some resistance because they don’t feel they need to teach different genres of writing,” Fahey said. “They say that doing them is beyond the scope of the English subject.”

The English Teachers Association told The Sydney Morning Herald that the change would put an “unnecessary burden” on the subject because of the different literacy abilities.

“I think it’s a shame to put the sentence patterns and all that stuff back into pure English,” says Eva Gold, ETA Executive Officer. Said..

Little girl reading
Living books bring the subject to life. (Evgeny Atamanenko / Shutterstock)

Many current English teachers are not confident in teaching the basics of writing, as writing standards have declined over the decades.

A survey of more than 4,000 teachers in New South Wales found that half were self-aware that the task of “teaching writing” was inadequate ().pdf).

Caroline DiRusso, a CXLaw consultant, said he needed to explain to law graduates how to use possessive apostrophes.

“I don’t know how you end up as a graduate of a prestigious law firm, and you don’t know how to use the possessive apostrophe,” Di Russo said. Said Sky News Australia.

There is also a shift in the math curriculum to focus on more traditional teaching and learning approaches, including memorizing the basics of basic math.

Fahey said international standards welcome further emphasis on memorization, as Australian educators do not fully emphasize practice.

“One of the reasons why memorization and everyday problems are important [in maths] That’s because it develops student autonomy, “he said. “Students need to try to solve a problem every time they encounter it, without having to apply specific algorithms and certain arithmetic on a daily basis.”

The national curriculum is also currently undergoing a final review before it ends in April. The NSW curriculum may move on rock steps and follow the instructions of the national curriculum.

NSW Education Standards Bureau Welcome public feedback About the curriculum proposed until May 2nd.

Rebecca Chu


Rebecca Zhu is based in Sydney. She focuses on Australia’s economy, property and education. Do you have a hint? Contact her at [email protected]