What to expect this year from a decluttered school curriculum:

With millions of Aussie kids about to head back into the classrooms, students will benefit this year from a pared-back Australian curriculum. Here’s what you can expect for each year level in 2023.

Cluey Learning Monday, 2 January 2023

Dr Selina Samuels, Chief Learning Officer here at Cluey Learning, said the revamped Australian curriculum will be welcome by teachers given how busy the school days are with an already jam-packed curriculum. 

“Teachers often note how difficult it is to cover all the concepts in sufficient depth with room for differentiation and engagement,” she said. “Simplifying the curriculum does not mean making it simpler but instead will better enable students to embed the key foundational skills and knowledge and build their confidence as learners.” 

One core change will be a greater phonics-based approach in teaching children to read.

“Systematic phonics instruction has been shown to be particularly effective for younger readers, giving them skills to decode unfamiliar words,” said Dr Samuels. “Phonics instruction should be supported by an emphasis on reading comprehension, so students learn reading fluency and understanding.” 

On the greater emphasis on mastering core mathematical skills, Dr Samuels said this was an important revision.

“It is very important children acquire strong mathematical foundations early. A secure understanding of number and numerical patterns enables them to tackle more complex and abstract concepts as they progress. Students need to be fluent with numbers and to know how to apply appropriate problem-solving strategies.” 

There will also be a lifting of standards for Maths  in Year 1.

“In addition to securing an understanding of number and numerical patterns in the early years, there will be a focus of learning times tables to get better at addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Fluency and computational speed also give students greater confidence with Maths.”

Dr Samuels said there can be tell-tale signs a student requires additional academic support such as tutoring.

“For younger children, statements such as, ‘I hate Maths’ or ‘I’m just bad at English’ may suggest there’s a fundamental problem that needs to be addressed. Equally, if they’re refusing to engage in class, they may need additional support to build their confidence.”

For high schoolers, Dr Samuels said a student who routinely avoids doing homework in a certain subject, dismisses its relevance or the teacher’s ability may be avoiding revealing their own confusion.

“Equally, a student who’s very anxious about a subject, even if their performance is reasonable, may need additional support to build their confidence and self-efficacy. For high-ability students who are coasting, tutoring can challenge them so they don’t identify education with ‘being bored’.” 

Dr Samuels said starting tutoring early in the year gives students more time to establish good learning routines and ensures the academic support aligns with what they’re doing in class.

“Leaving tutoring until later in the year, perhaps in response to a poor assessment, means the tutoring is focused on fixing what was done wrong and is retrospective. It can be more effective to be proactive in building strong skills and knowledge to underpin the challenges a student will encounter during the year. 

“Tutoring can also build confidence by giving students the opportunity to ask questions and making them feel positive about themselves as learners. A student who is positive about learning is more likely to seek out opportunities to learn throughout their lives.” 

What each year can expect this year in English and Maths: 

Maths: Learning about numbers, counting, shapes, patterns, and basic measurement. 

English: Students will learn the alphabet, sounds of letters, and begin to build basic vocabulary and sentence structure. They will also learn to recognise their own name and start writing it. 

Advice: Read with kids daily and encourage them to point out and name objects in their environment. Practise counting, recognising letters and writing their name with them regularly. 


Year 1 
Maths: Students will learn about counting, identifying numbers, basic addition and subtraction, and shapes. 

English: Expanding on learning sight words, sounds of letters, simple words and sentences, and beginning to read and write simple stories. 

Advice: Practise counting, identifying numbers and reading with kids regularly. Encourage them to express their own ideas and thoughts in simple sentences whilst writing. 


Year 2 
Maths: Kids will learn about number theory, place value, sequences, rounding numbers, addition, subtraction, fractions and sequences. 

English: Students use strategies to recognise and decode words, learn about text purposes, audiences, create own texts and assess own writing and others. 

Advice: Help your child develop comprehension skills by asking questions as you read together. Asking ‘how did the person feel?’ helps kids think critically and teaches empathy.


Year 3 
Maths: Operations advance with multiplication and division, times tables, length, area, volume, capacity, mass and time. Students construct graphs and learn mathematical terminology. 

English: Understanding complex language features, sentence structures and expanding vocabulary. Learning high-frequency sight words, punctuation, role of literary devices, illustrations and diagrams.  

Advice: Stay positive and check on your child’s emotional wellbeing, especially in the lead up to NAPLAN. Run through spelling and times tables regularly. 


Year 4 
Maths: Patterning and fractions increase. Greater understanding of 3D shapes, maps, and role of chance in statistics and probability. 

English: Learning about complex language features, varied sentence structures and expanded vocabulary. Greater fluency in reading and understanding of language conventions expected. 

Advice: Listen to your child read out loud. Read widely – fiction, non-fiction, magazines, anything that your child is interested in.


Year 5 
Maths: Learning about decimal points, formal algorithm, calculating money using percentages, appreciation of space and time.   

English: Reading and analysing texts containing complex sequences, non-stereotypical characters and events that may shift in time. Consolidate paragraph-writing skills. 

Advice: Ask questions and connect with your child’s teacher about the best way to help them at home.


Year 6
Maths: Learning numbers can be positive or negative, applying rules for order of operations, add and subtract decimals in real-life contexts and learn to use a Cartesian plane.  

English: Build on analytical skills, gain greater insight into choices made by creators of texts and how these impact readers. Work on extended pieces of writing: imaginative, persuasive and analytical. 

Advice: Help your child increase organisational skills and self-reliance.


Year 7 
Maths: Explore number and algebra, measurement and geometry, statistics and probability. Students develop a range of mental and technological strategies to enhance computational skills.  

English: Engaging with novels and newspapers, poems and plays, digital media and dreamtime stories. Focus on creative and persuasive writing where students will find their voice. 

Advice: Support your child in organising their homework schedule or study plan but be mindful of creating a foundation of independent study.


Year 8 
Maths: Consolidating algebraic skills, covering financial mathematics, ratios and rates, linear and non-linear relationships, data, circles, cylinders and properties of geometrical figures. 

English: A huge range of texts will be explored – novels and newspapers, poems and plays, digital media and dreamtime stories. Focus on essays, oral presentations, creative and persuasive writing. 

Advice: Encourage your child to create schedules and plans to deal with the increased workload.


Year 9 
Maths: Covers algebra, measurement, geometry, statistics, probability and trigonometry.  

English: Students engage in higher order reasoning and will have ideas challenged. Students to consider their own position in the world as a creator and responder.  

Advice: Talk to your child about elective choices and how this might affect workload and future study options.


Year 10 
Maths: Students choose either Standard Mathematics or Mathematics Advanced. In Standard, students build on algebraic techniques, linear and non-linear graphs.  

English: Encountering new texts – hybrids of visual, spoken and written, featuring ethical and global dilemmas, challenging and unpredictable plots.  

Advice: Talk to your child about what they might like to study during senior years and following graduation. Make sure they understand how their selection might impact ATAR results.


Year 11 
Maths: Splits into specialist subjects with state-by-state variations. Each builds on the Year 7 – 10 curriculum: numbers and algebra, measurement and geometry, statistics and probability.  

English: Splits into specialist subjects with state-by-state variations. Study texts that are more abstract and ambiguous which require deep thinking. Focus on analytical and creative writing. 

Advice: Encourage your child to compile study notes. This is a great habit for Year 12. Find a system whether it’s visual cues, colour coding etc. Remind them that all mistakes are learning opportunities.


Year 12 
Maths: Depending on course taken, new areas of study are introduced or advanced including calculus, networks, data analysis, recursion and financial modelling, matrices, and random variables.

English: Depending on course, students explore the significance of texts’ distinctive qualities and how to compose creative and analytical texts. A great deal of emphasis on writing to time for exams.

Advice: Consolidate effective study habits. Take advantage of after-school study programs, groups and tutoring.

Cluey Newsletter

Our expert tips. Your inbox.

Follow us on Facebook