The Curriculum Framework – Understanding by Design

The College believes that a rigorous and viable curriculum contributes positively to high student achievement and outcomes.

PCC has adopted the Understanding by Design[1] (UBD) approach to plan and implement curriculum utilising the curriculum repository, Eduplanet21.  The College is gradually implementing UBD as part of its 2019-2023 Strategic Plan.

Scope and Sequence (Yearly Overview)

Teachers are expected to create a yearly Scope and Sequence of Term Units of Inquiry and topics for each Key Learning Area or subject area.  These are to be completed before the commencement of each academic year in skeletal form as a minimum.

Units of Inquiry (Term Planning)

Teachers plan units of inquiry using the PCC UBD Curriculum Unit Planning Template available from the Eduplanet21 curriculum repository or College Planning Templates provided on Teacher Workroom. T:\College Curriculum\College Curriculum 2019\Blank Planning Proformas

  • Teachers and teaching teams are encouraged to plan collaborative units of inquiry that make explicit the expected knowledge, skills and understanding each learner will achieve.
  • All units of work are to be planned and uploaded prior to the commencement of the term in which they will be offered.
  • The Director of Teaching and Learning is responsible to support teacher curriculum planning and monitor they meet the required goals.
  • Portside Christian College has begun to map the curriculum F-12 using the Area Content and Achievement goals of the Australian Curriculum and SACE. 
  • Senior School Curriculum is determined by the SACE Board.  All Learning Assessment Plans are to be provided to the SACE Coordinator by the advised date.

The Curriculum Planning Calendar is available to staff to see an overview of ‘big rock’ events to assist in planning assessment tasks.  This is available on T:\College Curriculum\Curriculum Planning Calendar

Related Policies and Links

PCC UBD Curriculum Unit Planning Template


Ongoing Planning (Weekly Planning)

In addition, a weekly timetable/program of work should be detailed to the extent that it can be easily followed by another teacher, including a relieving teacher. Teachers will be provided with a weekly planning diary for this purpose.

Teachers are to plan a Scope and Sequence and a series of Units of Inquiry for each learning area they teach and save them in the appropriate Eduplanet21 Curriculum Repository and/or Teacher Workroom. T:\College Curriculum\College Curriculum 2019\Completed Planning, so they can be modified from year to year. This process is monitored and supported by the Director of Teaching and Learning.

Related Policies and Links

Understanding by Design (UbD) Workbook (Extract)    


Curriculum, Assessment, Reporting and Teaching and Learning Programs are overseen by the Director of Teaching and Learning.  All teaching staff will meet regularly with a member of the Teaching & Learning Team to discuss, evaluate and develop effective programs to support each learner to success.

Programs remain the property of the College and planning, including weekly planning documents/diaries must be stored in the classroom at the end of the year.

Collaborative Planning

Understanding by Design [3](UbD) is a way of thinking that makes the goal, evidence and learning activities aligned and explicit. UbD planning is more effective when done collaboratively enabling staff to question and think more deeply about the curriculum and the desired learning in each curriculum area.  Opportunities will be provided throughout the year for staff to plan collaboratively.  However, staff are also required to make their own arrangements to create regular team meetings.  The Teaching and Learning Team are available to take part in these meetings if required.

Planning for Differentiation

Teachers are to work collaboratively with the Director of Teaching and Learning and Head of Inclusion Support to plan differentiated approaches for students with special needs.  Differentiation strategies are to be identified in weekly and termly planning documents and reflect the Individual Learning Plan or Adjustment Plan of identified students.  As a result of pre-tests and formative assessments, differentiation will often be required for students without formal adjustments.

Planning from a Biblical Perspective

The College has adopted God’s Big Story 1.0 (Christian Schools Australia) as an approach to plan units of inquiry that include an authentic and integral biblical perspective.

Each unit is to clearly state goals from a biblical perspective that are included in assessment and teaching and learning activities.

The College is an Interdenominational College and recognises there may be differences in doctrine between churches, for example, in areas such as baptism, communion, tongues and end-times.

The primary focus in curriculum is the core values of orthodox Christianity without denying the differences mentioned above.  Other doctrinal issues are discussed but categorical statements are not made.  The College has a set position only on those matters covered in the College’s Statement of Faith and the College Position Statements are made electronically available via Related Policies and Links sections.

Related Policies and Links

Connecting Learners with God’s Big Story 1.0, CSA, 2016 (Starling et al).

[1] McTighe and Wiggins (2017). Understanding by Design-Professional Development Workbook ASCD

[2] Ibid

[3] McTighe and Wiggins (2017). Understanding by Design-Professional Development Workbook ASCD