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Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS)

Victorian schools work to a set of guidelines, the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS), which outline what is crucial for your child to learn from Prep to Year 10.

Both primary and secondary schools use the VELS to plan teaching and learning programs, including assessment and reporting student progress.

Five educational principles

The VELS work on five educational principles that are the basis for the education of your child and all Victorian students:

  • Learning for all: the belief that all students can learn given sufficient time and support, and that good schools and good teaching make a positive difference.
  • Pursuit of excellence: seeking to accomplish something noteworthy and admirable, individually and collectively, and perform at their best.
  • Engagement and effort: acknowledging that student ability is only one factor in achievement and if students work hard and make an effort they improve.
  • Respect for evidence: seeking understanding through structured inquiry and the application of evidence to test and question beliefs.
  • Openness of mind: being willing to consider a range of different views and consider different ways in which evidence is perceived and solutions can be reached.

Three strands of learning

There are three strands in the VELS that define what your child should know and be able to do at different stages of learning:

  • Physical, Personal and Social Learning: such as health and physical education and civics and citizenship.
  • Discipline-based Learning: covering subjects such as the arts, economics, English, mathematics, geography and history
  • Interdisciplinary Learning: covering communication and information technology.

VELS for different year levels

Each Standard describes what your child should know and be able to do at that level. Schools also aim to give students life and social skills to help them understand and take part in the world we live in.

The Standards focus on the knowledge and skills of the student. They are set at a challenging level, not minimum competence, to suit the age and developmental stages of your child. This helps to make sure that your child is encouraged to improve.

VELS levels

Over the 11 years of compulsory schooling, the Standards are set at six levels that recognise the different learning needs of students. The first four levels are associated with these primary school years:

  • Level 1 - Prep
  • Level 2 - Years 1 and 2
  • Level 3 - Years 3 and 4
  • Level 4 - Years 5 and 6.

For more information on how the Standards are tested across the three main stages of your child’s learning at school, see: Stages of Learning

For more information on the Victorian Essential Learning Standards, see: VELS