Student diversity

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

All students are entitled to rigorous, relevant and engaging learning programs drawn from the Australian Curriculum: Work Studies, Years 9–10. 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 for schools and teachers on using the Australian Curriculum to meet diverse learning needs 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: Work Studies, Years 9–10. Teachers can draw from content along the Year 9 to Year 10 sequence. Teachers can also use the extended general capabilities learning continua in Literacy, Numeracy and Personal and social capability to adjust the focus of learning according to individual student need.

Students with disability may need targeted preparation for any work exposure opportunities or activities and may need experiences that are personalised to suit their needs.

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: Work Studies, Years 9–10 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 extra time and support, along with teaching that explicitly addresses their language needs. Students who have had no formal schooling will need extra 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 across Foundation to Year 10 in each learning area accessible to EAL/D students.

Gifted and talented students

Teachers can use the Australian Curriculum flexibly to meet 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 and/or focusing on cross-curriculum priorities: for example, gifted and talented students might engage in entrepreneurial projects and extended learning opportunities in conjunction with higher education providers and businesses.

Teachers can also accelerate student learning by drawing on content form local state and territory teaching and learning materials.

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