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Strands, Domains and Dimensions

AusVELS is based on the VELS triple-helix structure of three interconnected areas of learning called strands.

The three strands are as follows:

Physical, Personal and Social Learning

Students learn about themselves and their place in society. They learn how to stay healthy and active. Students develop skills in building social relationships and working with others. They take responsibility for their learning, and learn about their rights and responsibilities as global citizens.

Discipline-based Learning

Students learn the knowledge, skills and behaviours in the arts, English, humanities, mathematics, science and other languages.

Interdisciplinary Learning

Students explore different ways of thinking, solving problems and communicating. They learn to use a range of technologies to plan, analyse, evaluate and present their work. Students learn about creativity, design principles and processes.

Domains are distinct bodies of knowledge, skills and behaviours within each strand.

The domains within AusVELS that are drawn from the Australian Curriculum learning areas (English, Mathematics, Science and History) are organised into Content Descriptions and Achievement Standards.

Content descriptions specify what teachers are expected to teach. The Achievement standards describes the quality of learning (the extent of knowledge, the depth of understanding and the sophistication of skills) that would indicate the student is well placed to commence the learning required at the next level of achievement.

Content elaborations are included for these domains. These elaborations are intended to provide additional clarity by way of illustrative examples only. They are not statements of mandatory content.

The other domains within AusVELS that are drawn from the existing Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) are organised into learning focus statements and standards. 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.

All the domains are written for all students. However, English as an additional language (EAL) learners are simultaneously learning a new language and the knowledge, understanding and skills of the curriculum through that new language. They require additional time and support, along with informed teaching that explicitly addresses their language needs, and assessments that take into account their developing language proficiency. A national EAL document is being produced that will support the Australian Curriculum. In the interim, advice about how to use the AusVELS curriculum with EAL students is available here.

Most students with disabilities can engage with the curriculum provided the necessary adjustments are made. For a small percentage of students whose learning is well below the standards at Foundation, additional curriculum content is required. Most of these students have a significant intellectual disability. The ‘Towards Foundation Level AusVELS’ materials provides the additional curriculum content and standards to ensure the curriculum is inclusive of every learner.

For more advice in regard to curriculum provision and students with disabilities, please see the AusVELS Students with Disabilities Guidelines (PDF). Additional advice and support is also available from the DEECD Abilities Based Learning and Education Support (ABLES) website.

Content descriptions/Learning Focus statements and Achievement Standards/Standards for each domain are organised into dimensions. For example, the Arts is a domain organised by the Creating and making and Exploring and responding dimensions.

The domains and their dimensions are listed below. The domains that are drawn from the Australian Curriculum are marked by the symbol AC.

Civics and Citizenship
  • Civic knowledge and understanding
  • Community engagement
The Arts
  • Creating and making
  • Exploring and responding
  • Listening, viewing and responding
  • Presenting
Health and Physical Education
  • Movement and physical activity
  • Health knowledge and promotion
  • Reading and viewing
  • Writing
  • Speaking and listening
Design, Creativity and Technology
  • Investigating and designing
  • Producing
  • Analysing and evaluating
Interpersonal Development
  • Building social relationships
  • Working in teams
The Humanities
  • Humanities knowledge and understanding
  • Humanities skills
Information and Communications Technology
  • ICT for visual thinking
  • ICT for creating
  • ICT for communicating
Personal Learning
  • The individual learner
  • Managing personal learning
The Humanities – Economics
  • Economic knowledge and understanding
  • Economic reasoning and interpretation
Thinking Processes
  • Reasoning, processing and inquiry
  • Creativity
  • Reflection, evaluation and metacognition
  The Humanities – Geography
  • Geographic knowledge and understanding
  • Geographical skills
  The Humanities – HistoryAC
  • Historical Knowledge and Understanding
  • Historical Skills
  • Communicating in a language other than English
  • Intercultural knowledge and language awareness
  • Number and Algebra
  • Measurement and Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Science Understanding
  • Science as a Human Endeavour
  • Science Inquiry Skills





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