Australian Curriculum

Implementation of Senior Secondary Australian Curriculum in the ACT


The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has developed senior secondary Australian curriculum for English, mathematics, history and science. This was endorsed by state and territory Education Ministers in December 2012. During 2013, ACT college teachers have worked collaboratively to integrate the Australian Curriculum into ACT courses. On the basis of advice from its Accreditation Panels, the Board of Senior Secondary Studies (BSSS) has now accredited the courses for delivery in colleges from 2014.

Will all ACT colleges be implementing the senior secondary Australian Curriculum in 2014-2015?

Implementation of the courses integrating Australian Curriculum is at the discretion of the college Board and principal until full implementation occurs. Colleges may implement one or more of the courses. Contact your college for more information on plans to implement courses integrating Australian Curriculum.

What does the senior secondary Australian Curriculum include?

Each course integrating the Australian Curriculum has been classified as either 'A' or 'T', as occurs for all BSSS accredited courses. The range of courses is indicated in the following table.

Learning area ACT Course
English English T
Essential English A
Literature T English/Literature T (combination of units from English T and Literature T)
Geography Geography T
HistoryAncient History T
Modern History T Ancient/Modern History T (combination of units from Ancient History T and Modern History T)
Mathematics Essential Mathematics A
Mathematical Applications T
Mathematical Methods T
Specialist Mathematics T Maths Applications/Methods T (concurrent study of Mathematical Applications T and Mathematical Methods T)
ScienceChemistry T
Biology T
Earth and Environmental Science T 
Physics T

Key: ‘T’ refers to courses accredited to contribute to a Tertiary Entrance Statement (TES), Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR), and the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate. ‘A’ refers to courses accredited to contribute to the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate but not the TES and ATAR.

How have courses integrating Australian Curriculum subjects been packaged?

Unit value:

Courses integrating Australian Curriculum consist of 4 units. A unit equates to a BSSS standard (1.0) unit (minimum of 55 hours). In most cases the units will be delivered on a semester basis. Half standard (0.5) units ('a' and 'b') have been identified largely for students who leave early or start late in a unit.

Course Types:

Units in ACT courses integrating Australian Curriculum can be used to form a minor and major, and in some cases, where the courses can be combined, a major minor and double major. Units from other courses cannot be included in these courses. However, units from these courses can be included in the previously accredited BSSS English, history, mathematics and science courses to complete a major minor or double major, providing there is no duplication of content.

How will student achievement be assessed and reported?

Student achievement will be assessed and reported using the current BSSS A-E grade descriptors.

How will course scores be calculated?

Course scores continue to be calculated in the same way as currently occurs ie. based on a student's best 80% unit scores in the course.

How will courses integrating the Australian Curriculum be reported on the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate?

Courses that integrate the Australian Curriculum will be reported on the Senior Secondary Certificate in the same way as all other BSSS accredited courses. They will not be identified separately as Australian Curriculum.

More Information:

Further information on the senior secondary Australian Curriculum is available at: Australian Curriculum website.

Enquires could also be directed to the:

ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies
GPO Box 158

Phone: (02) 6205 7181