Implementation of new national curriculum for schools focus of Notre Dame conference

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Summer 12-2-2013

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia

Publication Place



Making the Australian Curriculum Come Alive for English and Mathematics was the theme of a two day conference hosted by The University of Notre Dame Australia's (UNDA) Fremantle Campus at the end of January.

Attracting over 500 teachers and teaching assistants from schools around Western Australia, the conference was designed to provide guidance for classroom teachers and education assistants about the new national curriculum which is being implemented in 2014.

Participants were engaged in practical workshops which looked at content and pedagogy of the Australian Curriculum with the hope of assisting key staff to make strategic decisions for 2013 and beyond.

Keynote presenters were Associate Professor Alyson Simpson from Sydney University who presented Children’s Literature and the Australian Curriculum, and Charles Lovitt, one of Australia’s leading Mathematics educators, who spoke on Breathing Life into the Mathematics Curriculum. Professor Dianne Siemon from RMIT also contributed significantly to the program, as did academics from each of WA’s universities.

"The conference also provided the valuable opportunity for education assistants to have a professional learning experience alongside their teacher colleagues as they come to terms with implementing a new national curriculum," explains Lorraine Day, Senior Lecturer in the School of Education.

"With the Australian Curriculum now becoming a reality in our schools, we aimed to provide real examples of what the national curriculum should look like in action."

Feedback from conference participants was extremely positive. Staff from local Fremantle Catholic primary school, Our Lady of Fatima, agreed that the hands on resources they received were extremely valuable.

Their feedback included:

"We came out with ideas to commence programming straight away."

"I learnt about using better quality of questions rather than using a greater quantity of questions."

"I now have an ACARA (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority) app for my iPhone!"

Professor Michael O'Neill, Dean of the School of Education, Fremantle, said the University has a responsibility to engage with teachers in the classroom.

"It is important to us that we provide high quality professional development. It is always a delight when we can give back to our partners in schools who work with us in the training of tomorrow's teachers. In addition, conferences like these further teachers' own professional networks as they connect with colleagues from other schools and academics within WA and interstate," said Professor O'Neill.

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