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Student diversity

The Shape of the Australian Curriculum v3.0 (December 2012) describes the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority's ( ACARA ) commitment to:

  • supporting equity of access to the Australian Curriculum for all learners
  • developing a curriculum that will equip all young Australians with the essential skills, knowledge and capabilities to thrive and compete in a globalised world.

All young Australians include students with multiple, diverse and changing needs that are shaped by individual learning histories and abilities as well as personal, cultural and language backgrounds and socio-economic factors. Students with specific educational needs include but are not limited to:

  • students with disabilities that have a physiological basis
  • students with educational needs arising primarily from socioeconomic, cultural and/or linguistic factors where there may be some form of educational disadvantage
  • students whose difficulties in accessing learning do not appear to be directly or primarily attributable to educational disadvantage arising from impairment, or to socioeconomic, cultural and/or linguistic factors or psychological needs
  • students with identifiably different patterns of educational development and orientation.

Working with the Australian Curriculum

Special educational needs

The QCAA is committed to equity in education. The needs of students with specific educational needs must be considered in a proactive way, for example through designing inclusive learning and assessment programs, and providing opportunities for alternative assessment arrangements.

Supporting students with disabilities

The QCAA and ACARA provide a range of resources to build understanding and assist with the implementation of inclusive strategies that support students with disabilities.

Inclusive strategies

Inclusive strategies enable the full range of learners to participate in learning experiences on the same basis.

Teachers use the inclusive strategies to make adjustments to teaching, learning experiences and assessment tasks to enable all students to demonstrate knowledge, skills or competencies.

Adjustments to teaching, learning and assessment can be grouped into five broad areas: timing, scheduling, setting, presentation and response. Evaluating the use and effectiveness of any adjustment is necessary to ensure meaningful student participation and achievement.

Use of inclusive strategies

The inclusive strategies should be considered in combination when planning, developing and documenting the adjustment of learning experiences and assessment.

For example, when planning an assessment task, the teacher may need to consider adjusting the timing, setting, presentation and response to ensure the student is given the opportunities to demonstrate their learning.

Inclusive strategies resources

For information and resources to support Queensland schools with implementation of the Australian Curriculum, see the Australian Curriculum in Queensland.

Further information

For further information about students with disabilities see:

QCAA website

ACARA website

Policies and advice to support the educational needs of students with disabilities are informed by:

  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cwlth)
  • Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Cwlth)
  • Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians

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