Personalised learning

Planning from age-equivalent content

The following points elaborate on the process outlined in the flowchart Using the Australian Curriculum to meet the learning needs of all students. The process starts with learning area content that aligns with students’ chronological age — in this instance, Year 6 Science:

In Year 6 Science, students learn about electrical circuits [Year 6 Science Understanding ACSSU097] and plan and conduct an investigation making decisions about variables [Year 6 Science Inquiry Skills ACSIS103; ACSIS104].

The Year 6 Science content provides the starting point for developing the teaching and learning program. The program can be personalised in relation to individual student need through curriculum adjustments which may include the following:

  • Drawing from learning area content at different levels along the Foundation to Year 10 sequence to personalise age-equivalent learning area content. For example:

    An adjustment may be that a student or group of students take part in a guided investigation using electrical circuits [Year 6 Science Understanding ACSSU097] to explore and answer questions [Year 1 Science Inquiry Skills ACSIS025].

  • Using the general capabilities learning continua to personalise age-equivalent learning area content. For example:

    An adjustment may be to teach targeted literacy and numeracy skills, identified for an individual or group of students, through the science lesson. These may include following pictorial instructions to build an electrical circuit [Numeracy: Using spatial reasoning Level 1b]; and developing the knowledge of how to structure an information text [Literacy: Text knowledge Level 2] to present a report on the findings of the investigation of electrical circuits [Year 6 Science Understanding ACSSU097].

  • Aligning individual learning goals with age-equivalent learning area content.

    Adjustments made in response to a student’s unique learning needs can affect not only how they access age-equivalent content but also what the focus of that learning will be. This might involve, for example, a greater emphasis on Literacy, Numeracy and Personal and social capability, which represent the essential skills that all students need in order to become successful learners at school and in their lives beyond school.

    Teachers can use these capabilities to align with individual learning goals such as communication or social skills and plan for multiple opportunities to develop these skills across the school day. In the context of this Science example, the goal may be for a student to take part for a short period of time [Personal and social capability: Self-management Level 1b] in a guided investigation using electrical circuits [Year 6 Science Understanding ACSSU097]. The student explores the electrical circuit and may respond to questions [Year 1 Science Inquiry Skills ACSIS025], using their developing communication skills [Literacy: Comprehending texts Level 1b].

Although there is greater focus in the last point on the general capabilities, the learning still takes place through a Year 6 Science context with an expectation that some Science learning can be achieved.

Detailed Illustrations of personalised learning have been developed to promote equity and excellence for diverse learners, including students with disability. The illustrations demonstrate access to age-equivalent learning area content from the Australian Curriculum. There are also many sources of advice about planning quality teaching and learning programs that are inclusive of students with disability. The websites of state and territory education authorities are a good starting point.