Critical thinking

A course about the quality of thinking used to analyse a problem and ask questions of evidence to make informed decisions.

Students may undertake either 100 or 200 hours of study in Critical Thinking in Stage 5. Courses are structured in the following ways:

  • A 100-hour course consisting of Core 1 and Core 2 and one option
  • A 200-hour course consisting of Core 1 and Core 2 and four options.

Critical thinking provides students with the skills, tools and opportunities to improve their problem-solving skills and higher-order thinking skills. Students will conduct project work that provides opportunities to think critically, build creatively, write for an audience, and manage time and effort.

Professional learning

Course information for leaders

The Critical thinking course has been developed in consultation with schools that previously delivered the course as a school-developed board endorsed course, however, there have been significant changes to the course content and requirements.

Important information:

  • Critical thinking may be delivered as a 100 or 200-hour course
  • A set of resources has been published to support the implementation of Critical thinking in schools, including
    • course documents
    • sample scope and sequences
    • assessment advice.

Schools may need to consider the following if delivering Critical thinking:

  • provision of adequate time for planning and programming
  • resourcing, including
    • staffing
    • new teaching resources and materials
  • budget implications to upskill teachers, including casual release.

The course

Schools must use the Critical thinking course document (DOCX 156 KB) to develop educational programs for this course to comply with the Curriculum planning and programming, assessing and reporting to parents K-12 Policy and associated policy standards.

Scope and sequences are flexible documents and may vary according to local school contexts and student cohorts, provided they comply with the course documents.


Critical thinking assessment advice (DOCX 141 KB) is available to assist teachers to select a range of different activities for the purpose of assessing and reporting.

Department-approved elective courses are not eligible for credentialing on the Record of School Achievement (RoSA). Assessment activities should reflect the school's organisation of the course and provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their learning.

Teaching resources

Schools may choose to adapt or modify this content or use other materials suitable to their local context, provided they comply with the course documents.

For more information


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Curriculum and Reform
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