General capabilities make up one of the three dimensions of the Australian Curriculum. They describe key understandings, skills and dispositions important for young Australians to live and work successfully now and in the future. The F–10 Australian Curriculum includes seven general capabilities:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Digital Literacy (formerly Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability)
  • Personal and Social capability
  • Ethical Understanding
  • Intercultural Understanding.

The general capabilities are not stand-alone subjects but are taught through the learning area content in the Australian Curriculum. Not all general capabilities will be developed in every learning area. They are only included in learning area content where they can be developed in authentic and meaningful ways.

The Review has improved the learning continua for the general capabilities with reference to current research. The Australian Curriculum has also been decluttered by improving the relationship of the general capabilities to the content of the learning areas, so teachers can focus on teaching essential content.

Literacy and numeracy were not reviewed in this process as they have already been reviewed and improved as part of the online formative assessment initiative. You can view the National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions here


Overview of the key proposed revisions

  • The ICT capability has been renamed Digital Literacy to align with international developments and the findings of recent national reports.
  • The description of each general capability and its learning continuum has been revised to refine the language and improve the clarity for teachers, update the developmental progression and ensure that the understandings, skills and dispositions are current and relevant for Australian students.
  • Each general capability has been embedded in the content descriptions of learning area curricula where that learning is essential – for example, Digital Literacy in the content of the Digital Technologies curriculum; Personal and Social capability in Health and Physical Education; Critical and Creative Thinking in The Arts.
  • The content elaborations in all learning areas have been significantly revised and improved to ensure they only include authentic illustrations of how the general capabilities can support the teaching and learning of the learning area content.

Australian Curriculum Review – the process

ACARA looked at the latest research and worked with experts in each capability to identify opportunities for updating. An analysis of the learning continuum for each was undertaken to ensure it still reflected current research and that the current descriptions were aligned across levels and within sub elements.

Evidence and information gathered in this process was used to refine and propose revisions to the continua for consultation and feedback through ACARA’s reference groups and advisory groups.

Download the General capabilities consultation documents

The following documents contain introductory information and the revised learning continua for each general capability. They also provide the current continua so you can easily compare to the proposed revisions.

You can access the primary level scope and sequence charts that combine all the learning areas and are presented by year level