Victorian Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Sydenham Natalie Hutchins marked the start of the new Digital Technologies curriculum with a tour of Taylors Lakes Primary School’s new Coding and Technology space.
The space will be used by students and teachers from Taylors Lakes Primary and surrounding schools to hone their digital coding and critical thinking skills.
The school will draw on funding it has received under the Victorian Government’s $566 million equity funding boost to employ a full-time specialist coding teacher in 2017.
The new Victorian curriculum – which will be implemented in government and Catholic schools in 2017 – includes a strong focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.
One of the new learning areas, Digital Technologies, focuses on developing students’ thought processes in order to unravel problems, and then design and generate digital solutions.
The Victorian Government is investing $21.6 million to support teachers implementing the new curriculum and has set ambitious targets to boost student performance.
This includes a 25 per cent increase in the number of year nine students reaching the highest level of achievement in maths and 33 per cent more 15-year-olds reaching the highest levels in science.
The Government is also investing $125 million to create 10 Tech Schools, which will provide a shared campus for students from neighbouring secondary schools to access leading edge technology and resources for STEM subjects.
The STEM Catalysts initiative is training 60 teachers across 30 secondary schools to become experts who help fellow teachers bring science, technology, engineering and maths alive for Year 7 and 8 students.