The NSW curriculum is up for debate, and a key influencer lent an ear to St Johns Catholic High School teachers and students on Thursday.
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NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) CEO David De Carvalho visits several schools each term to hear input from teachers and students about the curriculum.
He took a particular interest in the program St Johns has developed for its Indigenous students.
He spent an hour with Aboriginal students and even picked up some didgeridoo basics.
“I was just so impressed with the depth of understanding of local Indigenous culture and the pride with which the students here carry their culture and the understanding of their history,” he said.
Mr De Carvalho would like to see a similar learning model adopted across the state.
“NESA is in the middle of doing a statewide consultation into our own own organisational commitment to Aboriginal education,” he said.
“We’re travelling around the state, talking to teachers, students and Aboriginal communities about that, I think it’s really important.”
NESA has recently made changes to the HSC syllabus.
“I’m always interested to hear how we can do our job a bit better,” Mr De Carvalho said.
“Most teachers we speak to about the recently released HSC courses are pleased with the changes we’ve made, the fact we’re focusing on greater depth of understanding rather than breadth, we’re introducing less school-based assessments so students have more opportunity to do learning rather than simply being assessed all the time.”
There are more changes to come.
“Our current technology course still refers to floppy discs so it’s a bit outdated,” he said.
“Teachers are looking forward to the updated course.”
He expects to play an active role in the impending NAPLAN review.
“The education council has commissioned a review on the way results are reported on the My Schools website, I think that review will look into how questions are structured and the syllabus, and that review is something we’ll be involved in pretty actively,” Mr De Carvalho said.
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