Scope and Sequence Charts and Planners
One common approach schools use when developing curriculum programs, especially in the primary years, is to develop a two-year scope and sequence which outlines units of work in the teaching and learning program across the school years related to one VELS level. Level 1 charts address the Prep year only. The charts sometimes also include co-curricular programs.
Each VELS level scope and sequence chart can be compiled into one document to show the overall curriculum development for the whole school for example from Level 1 to Level 4 or Level 5 to Level 7.
Units of work might have one or two major domain focuses (often from the Discipline-base strand) and links to other relevant domains from the Physical, Personal and Social and Interdisciplinary strands. The charts scope the domains and dimensions that address the ‘big ideas’ or Throughlines across the whole school. The charts also show the development of complexity and/or a local perspective to a national or global perspective in the ‘big ideas’.
Some schools organise their units of work according to an even and odd year as in the Darley Primary School and Lakeside Lutheran College examples. This enables schools to manage the curriculum to prevent duplication of units of work from one year level to the next and provides clear indication of what themes or topics and domains have been addressed and what will be addressed. This curriculum planning tool is particularly useful when students are in multi-age or composite classes.
Regular review and auditing ensures that the three strands are being addressed across the school in a comprehensive manner. During the review the units might be changed to reflect local/national/global issues, or the order of the units might be changed from term to term to match other important events such the Olympic Games or the Commonwealth Games.
English and Mathematics will have specific time allotted for teaching and learning activities to develop the skills, but might also be integrated into units of work. For example:
- explanation or procedural texts may be linked to a science unit of work
- scale and area may be embedded in a geography unit when analysing national parks.
Planners might also be used to chart units of work for a discipline/subject or integrated units of work by the year level teacher over the course of a year.
Darley Primary School - Scope and Sequence Summary Chart (PDF - 318KB)
This example of a scope and sequence chart summary shows for levels 1 to 4:
- themes that will be addressed for each term over two years
- the domain/s focus for the themes.
Lakeside Lutheran College - Middle Years Planner (PDF - 195KB)
This example of a planner for the Middle Years (Years 5 to 8) identifies the:
- overall theme for the school and Middle Years
- learning focus for each term for VELS Level 4 and 5
- overarching key questions
- Lutheran Life-long Qualities for Learning that supports each overarching question and unit focuses
- unit titles
- domain focus from the Physical, Personal and Social Learning and Interdisciplinary strands.
Manchester Primary School - Topic Planner Level 4 (PDF – 77KB)
This example of a planner is used for each VELS Level and by the specialist teachers to record:
- the titles of units of work for the year
- the major domain/s focus of each unit of work
- links to local events or other curriculum programs
- planned excursions/incursions
- text type focus for the term or for each unit of work.
A two year cycle (odd and even) is used to plan and organise units of work which are reviewed and audited at the completion of the cycle.