Publication Date



This study provides the first Australia-wide picture of what is expected of students taking five subjects—English (including Literature), Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Australian History—in the final years of secondary school. The study addresses three broad questions: What is currently taught in these five subjects across Australia? This question is addressed through an analysis of the content of senior school curricula in the five subjects in all Australian states and territories. The study documents similarities and differences in approaches and in the content (subject matter and skills/understandings) emphasised in state and territory curriculum documents. What is the 'essential' content (subject matter and skills/understandings) that all students should be acquiring through these subjects, regardless of the state or territory in which they live? This question is addressed by asking selected experts in the five subject areas to make judgments about existing and missing content in senior curricula. What standard of performance is expected of students in these subjects, and how do these expectations vary across states and territories? This question is addressed through an analysis of state and territory descriptions of the highest grade (eg, A; Band 6; Very High Achievement) awarded in each subject.

Place of Publication



Department of Education, Science and Training


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