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Civics and Citizenship

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Structure of the Civics and Citizenship domain

The Civics and Citizenship domain uses an eleven level structure to both reflect the design of the Australian Curriculum and to provide a consistent structure across all the AusVELS domains (for more details, please see Overview).  Each level includes a learning focus statement and from Level 3 a set of standards, organised by dimension.

Learning focus

Learning focus statements are written for each level. These outline the learning that students need to focus on if they are to progress in the domain and achieve the standards at the levels where they apply. They suggest appropriate learning experiences from which teachers can draw to develop relevant teaching and learning activities.


Standards define what students should know and be able to do at different levels and are written for each dimension. In Civics and Citizenship standards for assessing and reporting on student achievement apply from Level 3.


Standards in the Civics and Citizenship domain are organised in two dimensions:

  • Civic knowledge and understanding
  • Community engagement.
Civic knowledge and understanding

The Civic knowledge and understanding dimension focuses on the principles and practices that underpin civic institutions and civic life in communities and societies. Students explore concepts of democracy and the key features of Australian and other democracies. They develop knowledge and understanding of the origins and key features of the Australian political, government and legal systems. They develop understanding of the origins, uniqueness and diversity of Australia’s multicultural society. They learn about the principles and values which underpin Australian democracy, such as equality before the law, freedom of speech, democratic representation, accountability of government, social justice and respect for others. They explore the elements of sustainability in local, national and global contexts. They learn about the contribution democracy has made to Australia’s history and national identity and Australia’s place in the world.

Community engagement

The Community engagement dimension focuses on the development of skills and behaviours students need to interact with the community and to engage with organisations and groups. Students participate in processes associated with citizenship such as decision making, voting and leadership, using their knowledge of rules and laws of governance, and concepts such as human rights and social justice. They think critically about their own values, rights and responsibilities and those of organisations and groups across a range of settings, and explore the diversity in society.

Students explore and consider different perspectives and articulate and justify their own opinions on local, national and global issues. They refine their own opinions, values and allegiances. They apply their knowledge and skills in a range of community-based activities.

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