Four-year-old Matthew Riley could face more time at the desk when the new curriculum comes in.
Four-year-old Matthew Riley could face more time at the desk when the new curriculum comes in. Kerri Burns-Taylor

Kids without pre-prep may struggle

AS the new Australian Curriculum makes its way through the final stages before being rolled out across Queensland schools, there are concerns children who haven’t attended a pre-prep program may struggle to keep up.

The new curriculum is being developed by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority and will be progressively rolled out across the state from next year.

Warwick mum-of-three Marie Brennan will get a firsthand view of the changes when they come into effect next year and said the decision to enrol her twins Adam and Joel, 4, in kindy this year has helped prepare them for the changes ahead.

Mrs Brennan said she had researched the new system and supported the changes but conceded kindy would make the leap to primary school a lot smoother.

“The boys will be some of the youngest in the group but I think because they have had kindy this year I think they will be fine,” she said.

Mrs Brennan said she was pleased to see the signs of a more structured curriculum in her daughter Sophie’s prep class this year and said her daughter loved it.

ACARA board member Lesley Englert said the transition to a national curriculum made sense, mainly because it was the practical option for testing purposes.

Queensland school children have not performed as well as other states in the test and Ms Englert said there was a reason.

“The major reason is about 80% of the students do pre-prep programs and are far more prepared than this state,” she said.

“But Queensland is improving and I think this focus on literacy and numeracy will help.”

Ms Englert said the day-to-day activities prep students engage in will not be much different from those of the current system, except it will be more explicit. There will be a bigger emphasis on reading and writing.

“We’re not saying they can’t play but we will be using play to deliver the curriculum, not just having play and hoping they will stumble across educational elements,” she said.

“Its not significantly different but there is just a slightly higher expectation about what they can learn and want to learn at that age,” she said.

Kaleena Marriott took to the Daily News Facebook page yesterday to express her concerns about how the changes would affect kids who did not complete a pre-prep program.

“Yet another example of kids being made to grow up too quick,” she said.

“What about the kids that don’t go to day care or kindy before they start school?

“They just get shoved into the hard stuff straight away. Not cool.”

 

What will change?

  • Prep students will abide by a more structured program, which is less play based and more focused on literacy and numeracy
  • NAPLAN will be drawn from a uniform curriculum.
  • For more information visit www.acara.edu.au/curriculum/curriculum.html.


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