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Home > Senior secondary > Senior secondary Australian Curriculum

Senior secondary Australian Curriculum

Since 2010, Australia has been moving toward a national framework for schooling aimed at raising education standards and achieving nationally consistent curriculum, assessment and reporting.

The QSA, and Queensland's school sectors — Education Queensland, Queensland Catholic Education Commission, and Independent Schools Queensland — have provided the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) with advice and feedback during the development of the first 14 senior secondary Australian Curriculum subjects.


On 7 December 2012, the Australian education ministers approved the content descriptions and achievement standards for the first 14 senior secondary Australian Curriculum subjects as the basis for state courses.

The 15 Australian Curriculum senior secondary subjects are:

4 English courses:

  • Essential English: Focusing on literacy and language skills for effective participation in work, training and community, social and civic life
  • English: Focusing on language and literature and meeting the demands for further study, work and community, social and civic life
  • English as an additional language/dialect (EALD)
  • Literature

4 Mathematics courses:

  • Essential Mathematics: Focusing on applied Mathematics for everyday life
  • General Mathematics: Focusing on Mathematics suitable for preparation for further study with a moderate demand in Mathematics
  • Mathematical methods: Focusing on higher level Mathematics
  • Specialist Mathematics: For further study in Mathematics or engineering and students with a strong interest in Mathematics

4 Science courses:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth and Environmental Science
  • Physics

2 History courses:

  • Ancient History
  • Modern History

1 Geography course

Implementation in Queensland

States and territories are responsible for the structure and organisation of their senior secondary courses and for determining how they will integrate the Australian Curriculum content and achievement standards into their courses.

At this stage, no decision has been made about when Queensland schools should implement Australian Curriculum senior subjects.

Queensland schools are to continue to use the current QSA syllabuses until the revised syllabuses based on the Australian Curriculum are available. See memo 074/12.

The senior curriculum landscape

The Senior curriculum landscape paper provides an overview of the known and anticipated alignment of current QSA syllabuses with the Australian Curriculum senior courses. It notes specific issues for each learning area, giving some considerations for the future.

Further information

  • Keep up to date with the Australian Curriculum implementation, including details of professional development opportunities and the publication of resources, by signing up to receive QSA Connect and QSA memos.
  • Provide your input into draft shape papers and the draft Australian Curriculum by visiting the Australian Curriculum consultation page.
  • Read the Queensland consultation reports on the draft shape papers and the draft Australian Curriculum developed by the QSA in partnership with Queensland school sectors.
  • Tell us what you think about the website and how we can make it more useful, or ask a question, by emailing

Last updated: 24 March 2014

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