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Standards and Learning Focus Statements

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The standards outline the essential knowledge, skills and behaviours students are expected to demonstrate within each domain. The learning focus statements suggest learning experiences that are based on the standards.

The standards are written for all students. Advice is provided on how programs can be modified for students with English as a second language (ESL) and students with a disability.



Standards define the essential knowledge, skills and behaviours that students should know and are able to do at different levels of schooling. Teachers use the standards to plan teaching programs and use them as the basis of assessment and reporting of student achievement.

The standards are set at a challenging competence level and are based on research indicating what students at that level are developmentally capable of achieving. For this reason, standards are introduced when it is developmentally appropriate.

The table below shows the level when standards are introduced for each domain and the relationship between VELS levels and Year level. Hyperlinks will take you to the standards for either the VELS level or domain.

VELS Level 1 2 3 4 5 6
School Level Prep Yr 1 & 2 Yr 3 & 4 Yr 5 & 6 Yr 7 & 8 Yr 9 & 10
Physical, Personal and Social Learning
Health and Physical Education * * * * * *
Interpersonal Development * * * * * *
Personal Learning     * * * *
Civics and Citizenship     * * * *
Discipline-based Learning
The Arts * * * * * *
English * * * * * *
The Humanities     *      
  - Economics       * * *
  - Geography       * * *
  - History       * * *
Languages Other Than English       * * *
Mathematics * * * * * *
Science     * * * *
Interdisciplinary Learning
Communication       * * *
Design, Creativity and Technology     * * * *
Information and Communications Technology   * * * * *
Thinking Processes     * * * *

The standards provide a sequence of development that enables students to build their knowledge and skills in each domain. Students usually work towards demonstrating achievement of the standards over a two year period. Students demonstrate their achievement of the standards using a wide variety of learning activities and tasks that includes both formative and summative assessment.

While the standards are generally aligned with the school years as shown in the table above, individual students may be working above or below the expected level. Teachers should provide appropriate teaching activities that are aimed at the relevant level of each individual.


Learning focus statements

Learning focus statements are provided at each level for each domain. They suggest the types of learning experiences students require to develop their knowledge, skills and behaviours for that domain.

The learning focus statements are not a syllabus nor do they prescribe specific teaching methods.

For levels where standards are not written, it is important for the types of learning experiences from the learning focus statements to be included in the teaching program. This allows students to develop background knowledge and understanding of these domains and will assist them in achieving the standards at levels when they apply.

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