Program Rationale

The programs each provide a sequence of explorations addressing the curriculum requirements for the entire year. Teacher planning within each unit or exploration may be needed only on a term by term basis or as designated by individual schools.

It is emphasised that WhatWhen presents just one arrangement of ACARA requirements into programs for Year Levels 1 to 6. Teachers preferring to construct their own yearly program frameworks will find the steps to program development described here a useful guide and a complementary resource in incorporating the Australian curriculum into their own programs.

Each program unit starts with exploring a particular genre or text type and then developing the exploration cohesively and meaningfully through process and language focal points to creating texts, again, focussed on aspects of relevant Content Descriptions. The explorations are sequenced vertically, building on previous learning to facilitate development of student learning through the curriculum requirements.


The rationale for the development of the WhatWhen program relies on the Year Level Descriptions ACARA provides at the introduction to the Content Description requirements for each year level  and on those Content Descriptions and Elaborations.

The Year Level Descriptions identify student engagement with a variety of specified texts as basic to learning development at each year level and WhatWhen bases each building block of its program on a text exploration. Recommended text types for each year level are given in the ACARA Year Level Descriptions as above. Integration across the strands to construct a balanced unit also follows the ACARA recommendations set out in the Year Level Descriptions.

Within the year level, WhatWhen builds a framework of sequenced explorations, mindful of previous learning sequence for developing student concepts, understandings and skills.

Developing the WhatWhen framework can be described broadly in the following steps:

i) Determining and listing the required text type explorations. The ACARA Content Descriptions themselves may readily identify text types explorations needed to develop understandings, however in some cases it may be necessary to investigate suggestions contained in the Elaborations to identify additional text explorations which provide enabling steps towards specific understandings.

ii) Identifying the texts to be created (and the portfolio possibilities thereby created) during and at the completion of the exploration or program unit.

iii) The aligning of the language concepts appropriate to each exploration.

iv)  Sequencing text type units in a mix to build on and reinforce previous learning.

Ongoing routine Content Descriptions foci become apparent during this process. For example: Handwriting, Spelling of commonly used and new words and Reading and Comprehension exercises. Many teachers will have sub-programs of these operating in their classrooms. Incorporating the Content Description emphases will provide timely reinforcement.

Program development requires constant reference to, and arrangement of, the year’s requirements to create a sequential, meaningful and inclusive framework of units. It may be helpful to download hard copies of the year’s requirements in order to put together a physical chart.

The programs each provide a sequence of explorations for the entire year, whereas teacher planning within each unit or exploration may be needed only on a term by term basis or as designated by individual schools.