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Australian Curriculum Geography. Consultation draft. 16 January 2012. Learning areas. The Melbourne Declaration identifies eight learning areas including: Humanities and Social Sciences – history, geography , economics, business studies and civics and citizenship.

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australian curriculum geography

Australian Curriculum Geography

Consultation draft

16 January 2012

learning areas
Learning areas

The Melbourne Declaration identifies eight learning areas including:

Humanities and Social Sciences – history, geography, economics, business studies and civics and citizenship

organisation of the australian curriculum
Organisation of the Australian Curriculum

The Australian Curriculum:

  • is being developed for F-10 and Years 11-12
  • is described in Years not Stages
  • has content descriptions not outcomes in F-10
  • uses outcomes for Years 11 and 12
general capabilities
General capabilities

Information and communication technology competence (ICT)

Critical and creative


Ethical behaviour





Personal and social competence



  • The Board of Studies NSW will develop a NSW Geography syllabus
  • The Minister will approve the geography syllabus.
time allocation
Time allocation
  • The time allocation provided for writers of the Australian Curriculum: Geography is the same as the time for history.
  • Analysis and feedback should be based on how successfully the curriculum can be taught in the time allocated to geography for 7-12 or for the geography component of HSIE K-6.
content strand descriptors
Content Strand Descriptors

The geography curriculum is organised into two interrelated strands:

  • Geographical Knowledge and Understanding
  • Geographical Inquiry and Skills
concepts for geographical understanding
Concepts for geographical understanding

The curriculum explains key geographical concepts for the development of geographical understanding:

  • place
  • space
  • environment
  • interconnection
  • sustainability
  • scale
  • change.
geographical knowledge and understanding
Geographical knowledge and understanding

This strand includes the investigation of the facts, generalisations, principles, theories and models developed in geography.

Students apply their geographical knowledge to new situations or to solve problems by thinking and planning for action.

geographical inquiry and skills
Geographical Inquiry and Skills

This strand includes skills used in the process of geographical inquiry:

  • observing and questioning
  • planning, collecting and evaluating
  • processing, analysing, interpreting and concluding
  • communicating
  • reflecting and responding.

Geographical inquiry and skills are in two-year bands that correspond to NSW stages.


curriculum structure
Curriculum Structure
  • Content Descriptions:
  • The geography curriculum is structured around content descriptions.
  • It includes:
  • Content descriptions which specify what teachers are expected to teach (mandatory)
  • Elaborations which are examples that illustrate each content description (non-mandatory).
curriculum structure1
Curriculum Structure
  • An example of a Content description (mandatory) and its Elaborations (non-mandatory) from Year 7.
  • Why people live where they do (Unit 2)
  • There are differences and similarities in the way of life of people living in urban, rural and remote places in Australia.
  • Elaborations
  • Investigate how population density tends to decline with increasing distance from urban centres
  • Explaining ‘remoteness’ and comparing demographic characteristics of urban, rural and remote places
  • Describing the advantages and disadvantages of living in different kinds of places, for example, regional towns, rural areas and remote places.
achievement standards
Achievement Standards
  • Provided at the end of each year and include reference to both strands.
  • An Achievement standard is a statement of the learning typically expected of students for that year.
  • (e.g. the depth of their understanding, the extent of their knowledge and the sophistication of their skills)
  • Work samples illustrate achievement of the standard.
activity optional
Activity (optional)

This activity is based on the Achievement Standard for Year 6.

Read through the achievement standard.

Discuss if this is consistent with the knowledge and understanding and skills which you would expect for students at the end of a Year 6 geography course.

Analyse the achievement standards from K-6 or for Years 7-10 to see if they identify appropriate progression of achievement.

curriculum focus
Curriculum focus

Each stage has an identified curriculum focus:

  • Foundation to Year 2: Exploring local and more distant places
  • Years 3-4: Investigating places
  • Years 5-6: Analysing and managing places
  • Years 7-10: Regional and global places in an environmental and human geography context.
what students will learn k 6
What students will learn K-6

Geographical knowledge and understanding is organised according to ‘Place’, ‘Space’ and ‘Environment’ for each school year.

Geographical inquiry and skills is organised in stages.

what students will learn 7 10
What students will learn 7-10

Two units of study are identified for each year, one with a physical geography focus and the other with a human geography focus.

Geographical Inquiry and skills are organised in stages.

year 7
Year 7
  • Environment Resources – uses water as a case study.
  • Why people live where they do – investigates the environmental, economic and social and other factors that might influence decision making.
year 8
Year 8
  • Landscapes – the forces, processes and factors which physically shape landscapes and people who use them.
  • Personal and community geographies – focuses on defining and understanding place and space with scope for fieldwork.
year 9
Year 9
  • Biomes and food security - personal and global patterns of food production and consumption and impact on the natural environment, including sustainability.
  • Navigating global connections - the nature of Australia’s regional and global connections and their impacts, now and in the future.
year 10
Year 10
  • Environmental challenges and geography - the geographical understanding and management of environmental challenges and their impacts at a variety of scales.
  • Global wellbeing – the nature and measurement of global wellbeing; the inequalities that exist at a variety of scales and programs that address these issues.
the draft curriculum

Australian Curriculum

Geography 11-12

the draft curriculum

structure of the senior curriculum
Structure of the Senior Curriculum
  • Units 1 and 2 are designed to follow on from learning in Years 7-10 and are a foundation for the study of geography at a senior level
  • Units 3 and 4 require greater rigour in applying the understandings and skills of geography.
unit 1 the changing biophysical cover of the earth
Unit 1: The changing biophysical cover of the earth
  • Focuses on the changing biophysical environment including the processes, effects and management
  • Students will undertake an in depth study of one of the following processes and responses both globally and through case studies from Australia and other countries:
    • Deforestation
    • Agricultural expansion
    • Rangeland modification
    • Urbanisation
unit 2 sustaining places
Unit 2: Sustaining places
  • Focuses on the economic, social and environmental sustainability of places and their associated challenges.
  • Students will select one of two contexts to study:
    • Metropolitan and regional centres
    • Regional centres and rural places.
unit 3 environmental risk management
Unit 3: Environmental risk management
  • Focuses on the identification and management of environmental risks and their relationships to people.
  • Students will undertake an in depth study of one environmental risk:
    • An environment placed at risk as a result of the use of a natural resource
    • An environmental hazard.
unit 4 a world in the making
Unit 4. A world in the making
  • Focuses on the investigation of global interconnections and their impact on people and localities.
  • Students will undertake studies of:
      • People living in an interconnected world
      • The material world – including global cities and globalisation
      • Interdependence – including transnational organisations at a variety of scales and the use of technology to disseminate perceptions of places and events.
your feedback is important
Your feedback is important

After your discussions and analysis of the geography curriculum your feedback would be appreciated. Send your feedback directly to:

Anne Southwell

Phone 9886 7156