SYDNEY — Gameshow-like wordplay and writing with shaving foam are among teaching methods suggested in a revamped syllabus for the youngest students in the southeastern Australian state, New South Wales.
The draft advice suggests teachers create a sense of excitement about words and lead games, such as having students describe a particular word to a partner without saying the nominated word.
“The new school curriculum will give teachers more time to concentrate on deep learning by reducing the hours teachers spend on non-essential learning and compliance requirements,” states the draft advice.
Handwriting lessons on letter form would start in the sand, on the carpet, or with a handful of shaving foam.
The advice is part of a draft syllabus New South Wales wants to start rolling out next year for kindergarten to year 2.
The draft was released by the New South Wales Education Standards Authority on August 2 for consultation.
Diversity is also a key factor in English teaching advice, with students using nonverbal communication systems to be provided with opportunities to learn new vocabulary in those systems. The development of language will be supported by examples, understandably, pictorial.
The draft also stresses teachers be measured in their approach to Aboriginal English users, as the dialect is not “poor English,” as well as incorporating Dreaming stories told by elders into classroom activities.
Those learning handwriting would also be taught to develop their keyboarding skills.
The new curriculum would explicitly prioritize early mathematics and emphasize the development of reasoning to support more profound understanding.
On the back of consultation with teachers and other stakeholders, the Math syllabus features more content using money.
Coins and notes are used to teach context for counting and grouping in early algebra lessons.
A digital platform will underpin the syllabi’s use, offering teachers resources and examples.
Subjects will be more closely aligned with the latest evidence and research by prioritizing the foundational areas of learning in the early years, Sarah Mitchell, New South Wales Education Minister, said.
“The first round of consultation also identified the need for additional teaching advice, so we have provided further guidance and information, with practical advice and more helpful examples,” she said.
“The Curriculum Reform is continuing throughout the Covid-19 pandemic as we build an evidence-based, world-class curriculum; through this consultation, teachers are helping build and refine content and outcomes. The new curriculum removes any ambiguity for teachers and comes with explicit teaching advice.”
The English and Mathematics syllabi from K to 2 will be released later this year on the platform and then trialed in 2022. If the interactive digital platform delivers successfully, the reforms will be fully implemented in 2023, helping teachers integrate syllabus materials and access other resources for enhanced teaching.
The consultation will run until August 23.
Edited by Saptak Datta and Krishna Kakani
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