On 21 June ACARA distributed a letter to school principals providing an overview of the developments for the My School website, following the first meeting of the My School Working Party. The Working Party expects to present its recommendations to ministers at the end of August 2010.
ACARA has released the draft Shape Paper for geography for public consultation. Feedback will be used to further revise the draft Shape Paper, which will then be published as The Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Geography. The paper will guide the writing of the final K–12 geography curriculum. A survey has been developed to help support the national public consultation process, which will run till 27 August 2010.
A new teaching strategy being trialled at Victorian Catholic and public schools has been found to produce dramatic gains in primary students' literacy. The strategy emphasises collaboration between teachers in the examination and use of students' literacy assessment data. Research on the strategy has been conducted by the Catholic Education Office Melbourne (CEOM) and the Assessment Research Centre at the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education. See article in The Age 21 June 2010. For background information see article in Curriculum Leadership 15 August 2008.
An article in The Sydney Morning Herald 21 June 2010 highlights the role of principals and high-performing teachers in the improvement of a school's professional learning culture.
Professional actors have shown classroom teachers ways to incorporate elements of drama into classroom activites as part of a program organised by the University of Sydney. The program has been expanded after an evaluation found that it improved student outcomes. See University of Sydney news item 3 June 2010.
A researcher at Queensland University of Technology is examining patterns of underachievement among gifted children. Underachievement in gifted children is most common between the ages of 10–14, and may be due to peer pressure, very high expectations from parents and teachers, or to having other priorities. See QUT media release 16 June 2010.
ACT Minister for Education and Training Andrew Barr has announced new measures to encourage parents' participation on school boards. See Minister's statement 22 June 2010.
A new report by the Auditor General has addressed the issue of post-Year 10 retention rates in Tasmania. See statement 22 June 2010 by state Minister for Education and Skills Lin Thorp. See also article in The Mercury 23 June 2010 and article on ABC News 22 June 2010. A further report on ABC News 22 June 2010 covers concerns about the workload of post-Year 10 teachers in Tasmania.
NSW Minister for Education and Training Verity Firth has announced a new policy requiring students transferring to new schools to speak with a school counsellor about the reasons behind their transfer. The new policy is part of wider government efforts to tackle bullying in schools. See Minister's statement 23 June 2010.
The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program calls on students to grow and cook their own food. An evaluation of the program has found that it increased students' confidence in relation to both cooking and gardening, as well as their willingness to try new foods. See University of Melbourne news item 21 June 2010.