The body representing Australian primary school principals has put the call out for simplification of the junior curriculum, hoping to boost literacy and numeracy from their concerning lows.

The Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA) says the latest Federal Government review of the national curriculum should be geared towards the basic skills.

“The core of primary school curriculum should be literacy, numeracy, science and social education,” APPA president Norm Hart says.

“In other subject areas that there is simply too much material for primary teachers to cover in their classrooms every year.

“We're worried that [the curriculum] won't allow for the deeper understanding that we want to have in literacy and numeracy.

Mr Hart says he wants the curriculum to be; “provided for our students in a rich school experience that covers the arts and physical education and all of the other subject areas, but in a way that really focuses on those four core pieces of learning.”

The current review is part of an effort by Education Minister Christopher Pyne to reform the education system, making it more focused on his perception of the benefits of Western culture.

In a speech to the Institute of Public Affairs, Mr Pyne lamented the lack of theology in the teaching of history.

“An in depth study of the impact of Christianity, despite it being undeniably intertwined with the development of Western Civilisation for two thousand years, doesn't make it into the curriculum,” Mr Pyne said.

The review has been undertaken by former teacher and ex-Liberal Party staff member Kevin Donnelly along with academic Kenneth Wiltshire.

The two men will look to overturn unfavourable parts of the Gonski Review of education funding, which was compiled by six expert panellists, hundreds of professionals and stakeholders, and more than 7000 written submissions from the public.