Resources to support planning, assessment and adjustments to the curriculum

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A range of resources are available to help school to assess your child’s abilities and needs, set the right learning goals and adjust the curriculum for their needs.

On this page:

Resources to support planning and teaching

Teachers can access professional development and a variety of resources to help them plan adjustments in the curriculum and assessment for their students with disabilities.

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) is an independent statutory body responsible for the overseeing and supporting curriculum, assessment and reporting in Victoria, including the AusVELS. VCAA has produced guidelines for school leaders and teachers on curriculum development, assessment and reporting for school leaders and teachers.

  • Visit the AusVELS website to download the AusVELS Students with Disabilities Guidelines.

The Abilities Based Learning and Education Support (ABLES) program is a package of assessment tools, curricula, teaching strategies and resources that can help schools to better understand and meet the learning needs of all students, including students with a disability.

  • Explore the ABLES resources on the DET website (search under ‘ABLES’).

DET also provides some basic downloadable templates for planning, goal-setting and review of your child’s learning and supports, as well as sample report cards for students with individual learning and support plans (search on ‘planning templates’ and ‘sample report cards’.

Guidance about the planning process itself can be found within an online learning resource for teachers of students with language difficulties, which can also be applied to other students with disabilities (search on ‘Individual learning plans’ on the DET website). This resources provides a step-by-step guide, activities and templates for SSGs and staff to:

  • understand your child’s needs
  • decide on the right adjustments to the curriculum
  • create and implement your child’s learning plan, incorporating strategies in and outside class
  • monitor, evaluate and adjust your child’s plan and supports.

The National Disability Coordination Officer Programme has produced a website guide to the Disability Standards for Education, which can help people with disabilities, parents and carers, and education provider to understand the most important parts of the Disability Standards for Education.

The University of Canberra and all state and territory governments have partnered to produce a suite of e-learning courses for teachers and school staff about the rights of students with a disability under the Disability Standards, and how to put these into practice in schools.

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Assessment and the ABLES assessment tool

Most schools carry out assessments each year to measure performance levels in academic areas such as reading and numeracy. For many students with disabilities in mainstream school, the same assessment tools can be used. However, for students in mainstream schools with a modified program, and for students in many specialist settings, other tools might be used for assessment or evaluation.

Assessment of your child’s entry-level skills and abilities should be undertaken annually, to inform goal setting and planning for the coming year. Assessment should be based on teachers’ observations, information from you as parent or carer, reports or assessments from specialists (therapists and others), and school-based assessment tools.

The ABLES assessment tool supports teachers to base their assessment of your child’s needs by focusing on their abilities. This tool generates three reports:

  • A Learning Readiness Report that summarises your child’s skills and abilities and their learning pathway
  • A Student Profile Report that maps your child’s learning and progress
  • A Class Report that provides reflection on groups of students’ progress at similar levels of learning.

By reviewing all of this information and through the SSG planning process, your child’s teachers can better develop a curriculum that is appropriate to your child’s learning.

  • Explore the ABLES resources on the DET website (search under ‘ABLES’).

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AusVELS – Support materials for curriculum development and reporting

The goals in your child’s Individual Learning and Support Plan should link to the curriculum and support your child’s inclusion in all school activities. The goals and education program for many students with disabilities will be developed with reference to the AusVELS – the combined Australian and Victorian Essential Learning Standards.

For some students, there will be no need to set separate goals (e.g. from the rest of the class in a mainstream school). Many students can learn from the standard curriculum as their classmates – perhaps with some adjustments in the classroom – and can participate and be assessed in the same way.

The AusVELS curricula in the core areas English, Maths, Science and History integrate curricula for ‘diverse learners’ (including many students with disabilities). Support materials to help teachers adapt the AusVELS in all other curriculum areas are available on the AusVELS website.

The SSG and your child’s teachers can use the progression points in the AusVELS to assist with planning, goal setting and measurement, even if your child is expected to progress at a different pace, or to a different level, as other children in the class.

Indeed, the AusVELS progression points structure addresses the need to plan differently for many students with disabilities. AusVELS has a numerical structure for the progression points for mainstream learners – Foundation, level 1, level 2 and so on. These are roughly equivalent to the expected learning levels for students without additional needs in each year level, although there will always be a very wide range of abilities within any student group.

For students with disabilities who require additional support to become ‘independent learners’, four non-age related levels (Levels A to D) are used to frame the levels of support that students need to “develop their independence as they explore, participate and engage in the world around them.

  • For more information visit the AusVELS website, and look under ‘diversity of learners’ within different subject areas.
  • Much of this information is summarised in the AusVELS Students with Disabilities Guidelines (see above), downloadable from the AusVELS website.

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