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Overview

Student diversity

ACARA is committed to the development of a high-quality curriculum for all Australian students that promotes excellence and equity in education.

All students are entitled to rigorous, relevant and engaging learning programs drawn from the Australian Curriculum: Technologies. Teachers take account of the range of their students’ current levels of learning, strengths, goals and interests and make adjustments where necessary. The three-dimensional design of the Australian Curriculum, comprising learning areas, general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities, provides teachers with flexibility to cater for the diverse needs of students across Australia and to personalise their learning.

More detailed advice has been developed for schools and teachers on using the Australian Curriculum to meet diverse learning needs. It is available under Student Diversity on the Australian Curriculum website.

Students with disability

The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005 require education and training service providers to support the rights of students with disability to access the curriculum on the same basis as students without disability.

Many students with disability are able to achieve educational standards commensurate with their peers, as long as the necessary adjustments are made to the way in which they are taught and to the means through which they demonstrate their learning.

In some cases, curriculum adjustments are necessary to provide equitable opportunities for students to access age-equivalent content in the Australian Curriculum: Technologies. Teachers can draw from content at different levels along the Foundation – Year 10 sequence. Teachers can also use the general capabilities learning continua in Literacy, Numeracy and Personal and social capability to adjust the focus of learning according to individual student need.

Adjustments to the delivery of some practical aspects of lessons will be necessary to ensure some students with physical disability can access, participate, and achieve on the same basis as their peers. This might involve students using modified tools, materials or equipment to create solutions. Teachers may also need to consider adjustments to assessment of students with disability to ensure student achievement and demonstration of learning is appropriately measured.

English as an additional language or dialect

Students for whom English is an additional language or dialect (EAL/D) enter Australian schools at different ages and at different stages of English language learning and have various educational backgrounds in their first languages. While many EAL/D students bring already highly developed literacy (and numeracy) skills in their own language to their learning of Standard Australian English, there are a significant number of students who are not literate in their first language, and have had little or no formal schooling.

While the aims of the Australian Curriculum: Technologies are the same for all students, EAL/D students must achieve these aims while simultaneously learning a new language and learning content and skills through that new language. These students may require additional time and support, along with teaching that explicitly addresses their language needs. Students who have had no formal schooling will need additional time and support in order to acquire skills for effective learning in formal settings.

A national English as an Additional Language or Dialect: Teacher Resource has been developed to support teachers in making the Australian Curriculum: Foundation – Year 10 in each learning area accessible to EAL/D students.

Gifted and talented students

Teachers can use the Australian Curriculum: Technologies flexibly to meet the individual learning needs of gifted and talented students.

Teachers can enrich student learning by providing students with opportunities to work with learning area content in more depth or breadth; emphasising specific aspects of the general capabilities learning continua (for example, the higher-order cognitive skills of the Critical and creative thinking capability); and/or focusing on cross-curriculum priorities. Teachers can also accelerate student learning by drawing on content from later band levels in the Australian Curriculum: Technologies and/or from local state and territory teaching and learning materials. Technologies education pedagogy and project-based learning allows students to take greater responsibility for their learning and allows them to make decisions based on findings from research, experimentation and testing of design ideas.

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