History and geography will be scrapped as separate subjects in the new national primary curriculum and schools will be forced to teach phonics-based reading from next year.
The back-to-basics curriculum — to be considered by state and territory education ministers next month — will cut the content taught in the primary years.
A new Humanities and Social Sciences subject will merge the existing topics of history, geography, civics and citizenship, and economics and business into a single learning area, The Weekend Australian can reveal.
The new curriculum will also mandate the use of phonics to teach children to sound out words and syllables, instead of making them learn by heart or guess words through the contentious “whole language’’ approach still favoured in many schools.
Education Minister Christopher Pyne said the new curriculum would have a “laser-like focus’’ on literacy and numeracy.
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