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Civics and Citizenship

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  1. 3-4
  2. 5-6
  3. 7-8
  4. 9-10

Levels 3 and 4

Levels 3 and 4 Description

The Level 3 and 4 curriculum introduces students to democracy in the context of the familiar and personal as well as the purpose of local government and the services it provides to the community. It explores an understanding of democracy as rule by the people through learning about decision making within communities. Students consider the purpose of creating rules for groups and how rules and...

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Levels 3 and 4 Content Descriptions

Government and Democracy

  1. Identify features of government and law and describe key democratic values (VCCCG001)
    Elaborations
    1. listing the key features of government
    2. creating a concept map of democratic values using examples
  2. Identify how and why decisions are made democratically in communities (VCCCG002)
    Elaborations
    1. making a decision as a whole class by allowing everyone to have a say and a vote
    2. conducting role plays which allow for equal presentation of viewpoints about a citizenship topic
  3. Explain the roles of local government and some familiar services provided at the local level (VCCCG003)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating what local government does, including the services it provides such as libraries, health, environment and waste, parks, pools and sport, arts, and pet management
    2. describing how local government services may affect the lives of students
    3. using online sources to identify local government services

Laws and Citizens

  1. Explain how and why people make rules (VCCCL004)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying how some rules can protect the rights of others, for example rules in the classroom
    2. identifying who has the authority to make rules, for example at school or in a sporting club
    3. investigating and explaining cultural norms behind some rule making, such as removing shoes before entering places of cultural significance
  2. Distinguish between rules and laws and discuss why rules and laws are important (VCCCL005)
    Elaborations
    1. distinguishing between ‘laws’ (for example speeding in school zones) and ‘rules’ (for example sun safety in the school)
    2. explaining the purpose of laws and recognising that laws apply to everyone in society
    3. discussing examples of laws and why they are important to students’ lives

Citizenship, Diversity and Identity

  1. Investigate why and how people participate within communities and cultural and social groups (VCCCC006)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying groups in the local community and exploring their purpose
    2. investigating ways they could participate in a school or community project, for example raising money for a local or regional aid project that they have studied, or helping reduce pollution
    3. discussing the motivations of people who have contributed to communities, for example local community volunteers, leaders and elders
  2. Describe the different cultural, religious and/or social groups to which they and others in the community may belong (VCCCC007)
    Elaborations
    1. describe cultural, religious and/or social groups to which they and others in the community may belong and explain how belonging can shape personal identity
    2. listing and comparing the different purposes, beliefs, traditions and symbols used by groups
    3. recognising that the identity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Australia is shaped by Country/Place, language and knowledge traditions

Levels 3 and 4 Achievement Standard

By the end of Level 4, students explain how decisions can be made democratically and the role of local government. They recognise the importance of rules and distinguish between rules and laws. They describe how people participate in their community as active citizens and factors that shape a person’s identity and sense of belonging.

Levels 5 and 6

Levels 5 and 6 Description

The Level 5 and 6 curriculum introduces students to the key values of Australia’s liberal democratic system of government and the key institutions of Australia’s democratic government, including state/territory and federal parliaments, and the court system. Students learn about representative democracy and voting processes in Australia. Students expand on their knowledge of the law...

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Levels 5 and 6 Content Descriptions

Government and Democracy

  1. Discuss the values, principles and institutions that underpin Australia’s democratic forms of government and explain how this system is influenced by the Westminster system (VCCCG008)
    Elaborations
    1. explaining the role of the monarchy and its representatives in Australia including the Governor-General, and the parliaments and courts in Australia's system of government
    2. discussing the meaning and importance of the values and principles of Australian democracy such as freedom, representation, majority rule, equality, fairness and justice
  2. Describe the roles and responsibilities of the three levels of government, including shared roles and responsibilities within Australia's federal system (VCCCG009)
    Elaborations
    1. clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the three levels of government (local, state/territory and federal)
    2. identifying instances where there may be multiple levels of government involved, for example in relation to the environment such as management of the Murray-Darling river system
  3. Identify and discuss the key features of the Australian electoral process (VCCCG010)
    Elaborations
    1. exploring the secret ballot and compulsory voting as key features of Australia’s democracy
    2. recognising the role of the Australian Electoral Commission in administering elections that are open, free and fair
    3. clarifying who has the right to vote and stand for election in Australia
    4. discussing the democratic ideas behind preferential voting and proportional representation
    5. explain the process of voting and democratic ideas behind voting though conducting a class survey and using preferential voting to determine an outcome
  4. Identify the roles and responsibilities of electors and representatives in Australia's democracy (VCCCG011)
    Elaborations
    1. considering the responsibilities of electors, such as enrolling to vote, being informed and voting responsibly
    2. identifying the characteristics that would make for a 'good' representative at the local, state/territory or national level

Laws and Citizens

  1. Explain how state/territory and federal laws are initiated and passed through parliament (VCCCL012)
    Elaborations
    1. discussing where ideas for new laws can come from, for example in response to a community concern
    2. investigating the stages of the passage of a bill
    3. observing an Australian parliament in session, in situ or virtually
  2. Explain how and why laws are enforced and describe the roles and responsibilities of key personnel in law enforcement, and in the legal system (VCCCL013)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying different types of laws in our community and explaining who enforces them (road laws – police; health laws – public health department; pollution laws – environmental protection officer)
    2. investigating how laws protect human rights, for example sex, disability, race and age discrimination law
    3. identifying and researching the different people associated with law enforcement (such as quarantine and customs officials, and police) and the legal system (such as judges and lawyers)

Citizenship, Diversity and Identity

  1. Identify who can be an Australian citizen and describe the rights, responsibilities and shared values of Australian citizenship and explore ways citizens can participate in society (VCCCC014)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating how people become Australian citizens
    2. discussing the Australian citizenship pledge to explore the values and dispositions that characterise Australian citizenship
    3. clarifying the formal rights and responsibilities of Australian citizenship
    4. explaining personal roles and actions as a citizen in the school and in the community
  2. Identify different points of view on a contemporary issue relating to democracy and citizenship (VCCCC015)
    Elaborations
    1. analysing where points of view differ about an issue and clarifying the reasons for the points of view others have taken
    2. investigating an international human rights or environmental issue and research the responses of the Australian government and other nation's governments
    3. participating in a relevant democratic process, for example in school decision-making process such as student council
  3. Investigate how people with shared beliefs and values work together to achieve their goals and plan for action (VCCCC016)
    Elaborations
    1. discussing how and why people volunteer for groups in their community, for example rural fire services, emergency services groups and youth groups
    2. using social media to share and discuss ideas about how people can work together as local, regional and global citizens, for example to develop sustainable communities
    3. investigating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and the services they provide
  4. Examine the concept of global citizenship (VCCCC017)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying the obligations people may consider they have as global citizens, such as an awareness of human rights issues, concern for the environment and sustainability, and being active and informed about global issues
    2. describing dual citizenship and its implications for identity and belonging
    3. using a current global issue, such as immigration across borders and clearing native forests to establish palm oil plantations, to discuss the concept of global citizenship

Levels 5 and 6 Achievement Standard

By the end of Level 6, students identify the values that underpin Australia’s democracy and explain the importance of the electoral process. They describe the purpose of key institutions and levels of government in Australia’s democracy. They explain the role of different people in Australia’s legal system and the role of parliaments in creating law. They identify various ways people can participate effectively in groups to achieve shared goals. Students explain what it means to be an Australian citizen and how people can participate as global citizens. They analyse contemporary issues and use evidence to support a point of view about civics and citizenship issues. They identify possible solutions to an issue as part of a plan for action.

Levels 7 and 8

Levels 7 and 8 Description

The Levels 7 and 8 curriculum provides a study of the Australian Constitution and how its features, principles and values shape Australia’s democracy. They explore the responsibilities and freedoms of citizens and how citizens can participate in Australia’s democracy. They look at how the rights of individuals are protected through the justice system, how laws are made and the types...

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Levels 7 and 8 Content Descriptions

Government and Democracy

  1. Describe key features of government under the Australian Constitution, including the separation of powers, the Executive, the role of the Houses of Parliament, and the division of powers (VCCCG018)
    Elaborations
    1. explaining the significance of the Magna Carta and evaluating its legacy in establishing the role of parliament and the separation of powers
    2. describing the purpose of the Australian Constitution
    3. investigating the concept of the separation of powers between the legislature, executive and judiciary and how it seeks to prevent the excessive concentration of power
    4. describing the role of the Governor-General and the different roles of the House of Representatives and the Senate
    5. describing the difference between the Governor General as executive government in the constitution and Prime Minister and Cabinet as executive government under the Westminster system
    6. investigating the division of powers between state/territory and federal levels of government using an issue such as water management, education or health
    7. explaining the roles of the Senate and the House of Representatives as outlined in the Australian constitution
  2. Discuss the freedoms that enable active participation in Australia's democracy within the bounds of law, including freedom of speech, association, assembly, religion and movement (VCCCG019)
    Elaborations
    1. explaining how each freedom supports active participation in Australia's democracy and discussing how and why the 'bounds of law' can limit these freedoms
    2. considering the circumstances that can lead to dissent in a democracy
  3. Explain how citizens can participate in Australia's democracy, including the use of the electoral system, contact with their elected representatives, use of lobby groups, interest groups and direct action (VCCCG020)
    Elaborations
    1. comparing the effectiveness of different forms of participation in Australia's democracy
    2. investigating how elected representatives can advocate on behalf of citizens
    3. analysing how opinion polls are conducted and the ways they are used in democratic debate
    4. explaining how to enrol to vote in Australia and the role of the Australian Electoral Commission in the electoral process
  4. Describe the process of constitutional change through a referendum (VCCCG021)
    Elaborations
    1. describing the process by which referendums to change the Australian Constitution are initiated and decided
    2. investigating examples of attempts to change the Australian Constitution by referendum, for example the successful vote on the Constitution Alteration (Aboriginals) 1967 or the unsuccessful vote on the Constitution Alteration (Establishment of Republic) 1999

Laws and Citizens

  1. Explain how Australia’s legal system aims to provide justice, including through the rule of law, presumption of innocence, burden of proof, right to a fair trial and right to legal representation (VCCCL022)
    Elaborations
    1. discussing the role of the Magna Carta in establishing the principle of a fair trial
    2. discussing the elements of a 'fair trial', including citizens' roles as witnesses and jurors
    3. exploring how Australians can receive access to justice and legal representation, such as through legal aid
    4. discussing the meaning and importance of the rule of law, presumption of innocence, and burden of proof
  2. Compare how laws are made in Australia, including through parliaments (statutory law) and courts (common law), and explain different types of laws, including executive law (delegated law), criminal law, civil law and the place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customary law (VCCCL023)
    Elaborations
    1. comparing some examples of statutes and common laws and the way they are made
    2. distinguishing statutory and common law from executive law (delegated law)
    3. discussing examples of recent laws passed through parliaments that enact government policy
    4. explaining the difference between criminal law and civil law
    5. considering the significance of customary law for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
    6. describe an example of the process of law making

Citizenship, Diversity and Identity

  1. Describe how Australia is a secular nation and a multi-faith society (VCCCC024)
    Elaborations
    1. defining the terms ‘secular’, ‘multi-faith’ and ‘diverse society’ and discussing their relevance to Australia today
    2. identifying trends regarding religious observance in Australian society using the Australian Bureau of Statistics and other data sources
  2. Identify how values can promote cohesion within Australian society, including the values of freedom, respect, inclusion, civility, responsibility, compassion, equality and a ‘fair go’ (VCCCC025)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying values shared by Australians and deciding which ones could also be considered universal values
    2. identifying how human rights values are consistent with Australian values
  3. Explain how groups express their identities, including religious and cultural identity, and how this expression can influence their perceptions of others and others’ perception of them (VCCCC026)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating how and why different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are maintaining and strengthing their identities and how this contributes to Australia's national identity
    2. investigating how and why the visible aspects of people’s cultural identity (for example dress, gestures, traditions/customs, accent/language) can influence interactions between people
    3. considering how Australia’s location in the Asian region influences interactions between Australians an those living in the region
  4. Examine how national identity can shape a sense of belonging and examine different perspectives about Australia’s national identity, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' perspectives (VCCCC027)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating representations of Australian identity evident in national day events (such as Anzac Day), and in the media and popular culture, to analyse different perspectives on the interpretation of national identity
    2. explaining contemporary influences on the shaping of Australian national identity, such as the natural environment, immigration, attitudes to Asia and Reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians
    3. using personal stories to explore how individuals relate to national identity and how it impacts on their sense of belonging in the Australian community
    4. investigating the extent of ethnic diversity in Australia

Levels 7 and 8 Achievement Standard

By the end of Level 8, students explain features of Australia’s system of government, and the purpose of the Constitution in Australia’s representative democracy. They analyse features of Australian democracy, and explain features that enable active participation. They explain how Australia’s legal system is based on the principle of justice, and describe the types of law and how laws are made. Students identify the importance of shared values, explain different points of view and explain the diverse nature of Australian society. They analyse issues about national identity in Australia and the factors that contribute to people’s sense of belonging. They identify ways they can be active and informed citizens, and take action, in different contexts.

Levels 9 and 10

Levels 9 and 10 Description

The Level 9 and 10 curriculum builds students’ understanding of Australia’s political system and how it enables change. Students examine the ways political parties, interest groups, media and individuals influence government and decision-making processes. They compare Australia’s system of government with another system of government in the Asian region. Students examine Australia’s roles...

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Levels 9 and 10 Content Descriptions

Government and Democracy

  1. Discuss the role of political parties and independent representatives in Australia’s system of government, including the formation of governments, and explain the process through which government policy is shaped and developed (VCCCG028)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating how the contemporary party system operates in Australia’s liberal democracy and how governments are formed in parliament
    2. discussing the meaning of key concepts such as parliamentary majority, the opposition, hung parliament, minority government, party platform, and mandate
    3. investigating the role of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the bureaucracy and the parliament in policy-making
    4. discussing the development of government policy such as health, education, disability
  2. Explain the values and key features of Australia’s system of government compared with at least one other system of government in the Asia region (VCCCG029)
    Elaborations
    1. categorising the key features of Australia’s system of government, for example democratic elections and the separation of powers, and comparing and contrasting these to the key features found in another country in the Asia region, such as Japan, India or Indonesia
    2. interviewing people with connections to a country in the Asia region to compare the values they associate with the system of government in that country, with those of Australia
  3. Analyse how citizens’ political choices are shaped, including the influence of the media (VCCCG030)
    Elaborations
    1. analysing a range of strategies used to persuade citizens’ electoral choices such as public debate, media, opinion polls, advertising, interest groups and political party campaigns
    2. discussing how social media is used to influence people’s understanding of issues
  4. Explain the Australian government’s roles and responsibilities at a global level, including provision of foreign aid, peacekeeping and the United Nations (VCCCG031)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying and explaining the types of participation that Australia has in the Asia region and internationally, for example exchange programs, peacekeeping, election monitoring, health programs, disaster management
    2. investigating Australia’s involvement with the United Nations, for example representation in the organisation and adherence to conventions and declarations that Australia has ratified

Laws and Citizens

  1. Explain how Australia’s international legal obligations shape Australian law and government policies, including in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (VCCCL032)
    Elaborations
    1. listing some of the international agreements Australia has ratified and identifying examples of how each one might shape government policies and laws, for example the protection of World Heritage areas
    2. researching the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
    3. identifying how international conventions and declarations have shaped Australian government policies with regard to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  2. Describe the key features of Australia’s court system, including jurisdictions and how courts apply and interpret the law, resolve disputes and make law through judgments, and describe the role of the High Court in interpreting the Constitution (VCCCL033)
    Elaborations
    1. creating a visual representation of the court jurisdictions in Australia
    2. categorising sample cases in relation to the courts in which they would be heard, for example cases from criminal, consumer, family, human rights and environmental law
    3. describing the role of a particular court, for example a supreme court, a magistrates court, or the Family Court of Australia
    4. analysing how court judgments impact on the development of law, for example the role of precedents
    5. examining the jurisdiction of the High Court
    6. investigating an example of a High Court judgment in interpreting and applying Australian law, such as the Mabo decision
  3. Discuss the key principles of Australia’s justice system, including equality before the law, independent judiciary, and right of appeal (VCCCL034)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying the key principles and explaining what is meant by each principle and discussing how each works to protect citizens and contribute to a fair society
    2. identifying and explaining factors that can undermine the application of the principles of justice, for example bribery, coercion of witnesses, trial by media, and court delays

Citizenship, Diversity and Identity

  1. Analyse contemporary examples and issues relating to Australian democracy and global connections, including key aspects of citizenship in a pluralist society (VCCCC035)
    Elaborations
    1. explaining how a particular non-government organisation (NGO) contributes to the Australian community and how Australians participate though membership of NGOs
    2. choosing a particular social media campaign and explaining the ways that it contributed to active citizenship
    3. creating an article, argumentative essay, panel discussion or debate about a contemporary issue
  2. Discuss challenges to and ways of sustaining a resilient democracy and cohesive society (VCCCC036)
    Elaborations
    1. discussing the concept of ‘cohesive society’ using examples from contemporary events in Australia or in other countries to identify factors that support cohesiveness
    2. considering threats to Australian democracy and other democracies, such as the influence of vested interests, organised crime, corruption and lawlessness
    3. identifying the safeguards that protect Australia’s democratic system and society, including shared values and the right to dissent within the bounds of the law
    4. investigating processes by which individuals and groups resolve differences in Australian communities, for example negotiation, mediation and reconciliation
  3. Discuss how and why groups, including religious groups, participate in civic life (VCCCC037)
    Elaborations
    1. researching the work of a non-government organisation (NGO), philanthropist or community group, and how and why they contribute to the Australian community
    2. investigating the concept of 'the common good' using examples of how religious groups participate to foster interfaith understanding or social justice
  4. Examine the influence of a range of media, including social media, in shaping identities and attitudes to diversity and how ideas about Australian identity may be influenced by global events (VCCCC038)
    Elaborations
    1. analysing how media represent different groups in Australian society and assessing the impact those representations have on community cohesiveness, for example, a human rights campaign that uses social media
    2. examining stories of how Australian citizens' perspectives on their role in the global community have been influenced by their experiences of living and working in other countries
    3. debating the concepts of ‘global identity’ and ‘global citizenship’ and their implications for Australian citizens

Levels 9 and 10 Achievement Standard

By the end of Level 10, students evaluate features of Australia’s political system, and identify and analyse the influences on people’s electoral choices. They compare and evaluate the key features and values of systems of government, and analyse Australia’s global roles and responsibilities. They analyse the role of the High Court and explain how Australia’s international legal obligations influence law and government policy. They explain the key principles of Australia’s system of justice and analyse the role of Australia’s court system. They analyse a range of factors that influence identities and attitudes to diversity. Students evaluate a range of factors that sustain democratic societies and analyse ways they can be active and informed citizens in different contexts, taking into account multiple perspectives and ambiguities.

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