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Our promise

is to

The Melbourne Declaration on Education Goals for

Young Australians state;

Australian schooling promotes equity and

All young Australians become successful learners,
confident and creative individuals and active and
informed citizens (Ministerial council on education

education &
support for
with special

employment, training and youth affairs [MCEETYA], 2008)

Supporting Student Diversity
at Hyde Primary School

Aims & Objectives of our

Our school has identified a small number of students, learning and living with:

High Functioning



We are committed to seeking ongoing improvements to inclusive education to
support our students.


In collaboration with stakeholders, this information will assist all staff to ensure
learning environments and experiences are inclusive, supportive, safe and
positive to enable successful outcomes for all of our students.

Our partnership

Juvy Eakins


Linnea Mead

Special Education/ESL/Gifted Coordinator

Chrisanthi Economou

Education Support Worker

Alison OLoughlin

Parent Representative

Rachael Hyland

Our obligations as educators

Every child has a fundamental right to education and must be given the
opportunity to achieve and maintain an acceptable level of learning. (United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO], 1994)

Legal obligations

According to the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, in the field of education;

It is unlawful for an educational authority to discriminate against a student on
the ground of the students disability by;

denying the student access, or limiting the students access, to any benefit
provided by the educational authority; or

expelling the student; or

subjecting the student to any other detriment. (Disability Discrimination
Act, 1992).

Our Obligations (continued)

Ethical/Moral obligations

Early Childhood Australia released a Code of Ethics, which states;

In relation to students, I will acknowledge and support the personal
strengths, professional knowledge, diversity and experience which students
bring to the learning environment. (Early Childhood Australia, 2014).

Inclusive Education

What is


Ensuring all students have access and rights
to quality education


Understanding each student and
providing them with what they need to
ensure a successful education

Inclusion for students with
disabilities not parallel or separate
activities. (Hyde, Carpenter &
Conway, 2014).


Consulting students and
caregivers prior to adjustments
being made to their education.
(Disability Standards for
Education 2005.)

Inclusive Education
Inclusive education is a contentious term lacking a tight conceptual focus, leading to
misconceptions and confused practice.

Inclusive schools are the most effective way to counter discriminatory approaches
and attitudes towards students (Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth
[ARACY], 2013).

Advancement in international legislation and policy have challenged exclusionary
practices, focusing attention on equity and access to high-quality education for all,
while respecting diversity (ARACY, 2013).

An inclusive education system can only be created if ordinary schools become more
inclusive, to better educate all children in their communities (ARACY, 2013).

Article 24 of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,
recognises education should be accessible without discrimination; and based on equal
opportunity at all levels (ARACY, 2013).

Our school, must ensure that children with disability do not experience different
forms of exclusion, regardless of their disability, domicile, culture or class (ARACY,

Inclusive Education (continued)

We acknowledge the need to continually provide a high quality of learning opportunities
through inclusive education based on;

All children learning together, in mainstream classrooms, regardless of gender,
language, race, age, or religion.

Supporting the needs and teaching methods of all students.

The use of Educational support workers to assist with personalised learning.

Involving a whole-school approach.

No discrimination based on ability or disability.

Embracing diversity and empowering students to learn.

Working collaboratively with all partnerships to ensure students needs are met on
all levels.

Providing flexible programs and courses to allow ALL students opportunities to
participate (Department of Education and Training, 2014).


Is a language-based disability. Students experience trouble with words;
difficulty in learning to read words, letters and other symbols. (The University
Of Melbourne, n.d., para. 2).

Students with Dyslexia may:

not be able to keep up with the teachers pace

fall behind without additional support, experiencing difficulties catching up (Hyde et al.

experience challenges in some or all areas of reading such as flash cards and spelling

experience difficulty learning letter sounds

lack fluency

present with poor visual gestalt/coding (orthographic coding) (Australian Dyslexia
Association, 2014).

How can we help?

Students often find learning and processing language difficult, but can think well above their
year level (Peters, 2012).

Determine students best learning style and enable differentiated instruction/learning.

Break down learning tasks into smaller pieces.

Offer different ways to achieve results Dyslexic students learn best doing projects
that involve seeing, listening, discussing and using their hands (Dyslexia Victoria, 2015).

Provide multiple ways for the student to learn e.g. using both auditory and visual,
kinaesthetic support.

Support learning with multisensory/visual materials.

Provide an outline of lesson content at the beginning of lessons, and conclude lessons
with a summary to assist long term memory retention.

Use daily checklists.

Ensure collaboration with parents/carers.

Support student by working in close proximity.

How can we help? (continued)

Use different coloured chalks/whiteboard markers to highlight specific parts of words/

Allow more time and flexibility for student to complete work (Hodge, 2000).

Ensure students maintain high levels of self-esteem and social/emotional support.

Provide intellectually challenging curriculum.

Recognise and acknowledge their strengths e.g. oral/group discussions.

Encourage questions and give concrete answers (Dyslexia Victoria, 2015).

Consider physical environments and resources- page colours and lighting glare can have
negative effects on students with dyslexia (Baum, 2013).

Ensuring praise that focuses on students efforts rather than teacher/classroom
expectations, reduces students anxiety.


A student capable of outstanding achievement, intellectually, creatively, socially
and/or physically. (NSW Department of Education and Communities, 2011).

Gifted Students may:

come from any background-religious, cultural, social, economic

display early language development, abstract thoughts/thinking

demonstrate outstanding memory retention

exhibit high levels of concentration, curiosity, and motivation to learn

show a strong focus on tasks of interest

present with cognitive development above other students of their age

show sophisticated behavior and/or seek adult company rather than their own age

be living with other disabilities

risk behavior issues, boredom or depression if not offered learning extension

not perform on demand

need assessments taken over time to show full extent of learning.

How can we help?

As a teacher, it is essential to provide opportunities for gifted students, so they dont lose
interest, are continually engaged in their learning, and have opportunity to further, flexible
learning with choices.

Develop awareness of the characteristics of gifted children

Brainstorm with gifted children about projects they might like to engage in that builds
on their knowledge, using questioning such as what, how, when, where, why

Ensure experiences that challenge students are offered

Ensure collaborative team work with stakeholders such as parents to support students

Differentiation within the curriculum that enriches and extends the students
knowledge, skills and understanding

Never expect gifted students to be other students teacher (The Source for Learning,

Constant opportunities made available for enrichment in developmentally appropriate
environments (NT Department of Education and Childrens Services, 2013, p. 1).

Ensure students work at an appropriate level of challenge, just beyond [their] current
level of competence (Hyde et al. 2014, p. 309).

How can we help? (continued)

Children that are gifted are natural learners; they can show the following qualities and

Read books independently at levels beyond their age.

Sceptical, critical & evaluative- they are quick to spot inconsistencies.

Question and seek out information.

Store lots of information that they can recall quickly.

Grasp underlying principles and can make generalisations about events, people or

Learn at a fast pace, process material at a greater depth.

Have large vocabularies.

High Functioning Autism


Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that affects among other things,
the way an individual relates to his or her environment and their interaction
with other people (Autism Spectrum Australia, 2015).

Autistic students may:

Display delay in motor skills.

Lack skills of interaction with others

Display communication problems

Avoid eye contact or give-and-take conversations

Show obsession with specific and unique topics and/or with specific items

Have strong reactions and responses to smells, sounds, sights and textures or

Experience difficulty in making friends

Be sensitive to change (Autism Spectrum Australia, 2015).

How can we help?

The opportunities we can provide for our students in a supportive and structured
environment can greatly assist a childs well-being and essential for students to develop
important communication and interaction skills (Smith, 2005, p. 416).

Continually seek up-to-date knowledge.

Know the child-their needs and how they handle free time.

Keep a calm, neutral tone and make eye contact.

Learning through ROTE, may provide students with structure and security (Kids Like
Us, 2012).

Break large tasks into small parts to reduce student overly focused on appealing

Demonstrate and model expected skills e.g. show and tell a student how to perform
a task (Australian Curriculum Lessons, 2014).

Reinforce requirements and behaviours.

Work in close proximity where possible.

How can we help (continued)

Ongoing collaboration with parents/carers and other stakeholders about each child
and their needs.

Acknowledge and incorporate the expectations of each student, and their parents/

Provide visual cues wherever possible to teach about learning, classroom
requirements, behaviour and social skills, e.g;

The image: Morning Schedule

Follow routines develop a consistent schedule-allow time for introducing necessary

changes (where possible). Even a change in teacher, e.g. a relief teacher, can cause
difficulties for HFA students.

How can we help (continued)

Ensure structure.

Be consistent.

Alter expectations/outcomes according to each childs needs e.g. time to complete
tasks; ways of achieving tasks e.g. Blooms Taxonomy.

Ensure learning/teaching environment is;





free of discrimination

without judgment



two way communication

A parents perspective
The Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons and the Declaration of the Rights of the
Child both clearly state that all people with a disability have the same rights as everybody

As a parent of a child with a disability I would expect the school to adhere to The
Declaration of the Rights of Disabled Persons and the Declaration of the Rights of the

As a parent I may experience some emotions and concerns about my child and how the
curriculum and environment is organised to ensure my child receives the best education
without being left out and not supported to particulate in all school experiences.

The families need to know or be aware of how to voice their concerns without being
judged or seen as trouble makers.

A parents perspective (continued)

Parents or primary caregivers need to be included in decision making.

Work as a team, the parents may have a lot of relevant knowledge that can assist
the school.

Set goals together.

Parents need to feel supported in their journey too.

Some families may be reluctant to share information due to past negative

Parents may feel grief or anger due to their child's disability.

Some families may be in denial.

Tread carefully you dont know the journey the family has taken.

A trusting and open relationship with the Principal, teacher, SSO, or other relevant
staff is essential.

Work with the families to learn how to best to communicate. The family may prefer
just one on one by one educator or be involved in all meetings.

Like all families they may be time poor, dont judge, they may be doing the best
they can.

A principals perspective
School Principals have the responsibility to:

Ensure this policy and associated documentation is provided to school staff, families,
guardians and caregivers in a format that is understood and meets their needs (NT
Department of Education, 2012).

Ensure all members of the school community have access to appropriate professional
development opportunities around the Students with Disabilities Policy and special
education (NT Department of Education, 2012).

Al teachers collaborating to ensure effective instructional strategies are
implemented to support diverse learners (Hyde et al. 2014, p.360).

Ensure enrolment procedures are adhered to; oversee the delivery of quality
educational programs that respond to the needs and abilities of all students,
including students with disabilities; (NT Catholic Education, 2011).

Report to, and actively initiate and maintain, consultation with families and
caregivers with regard to the students class placement and their educational
programs; (NT Catholic Education, 2011).

A principals perspective (continued)

Ensure sufficient and appropriate resources, financial, physical , and personnel to
meet the needs of students and staff (Hyde et al. 2014, p.360).

Ensure that the identification and provision of educational programs for students
with disabilities is in accordance with this policy, and includes reasonable
adjustments to the students curriculum and/or assessment where appropriate.

And ensure that appropriate, confidential student records are kept and disseminated,
as appropriate. (NT Catholic Education, 2011).

Liaising with and providing parents/caregivers with information about specialist
schools, clubs, associations and competitions. (SA Department of Education and Child
Development, 2012).

A teachers perspective
A parent/carer is generally the person who knows their child best.

As a teacher, it is essential that we are available for a childs parents/carers, to
work in collaboration to seek the best possible learning outcomes for their child.

We can assist this process as a teacher, by ensuring we are offering an
approachable, inclusive, welcoming, open environment, where honesty, respect and
encouragement is guaranteed.

Classroom teachers, can also incorporate mini-lessons relating to disabilities of
students within the school/classroom, to develop understanding, awareness and
inclusivity amongst all students.

An ESLs perspective
As a special education/gifted/ESL coordinator it is my role to support classroom teachers,
students and parents as well as staff in the school community. It is of utmost importance
to maximise educational option and outcomes for students with identified special
needs (NT Department of Education, 2014). A huge part of being an inclusive school is to
acknowledge, support and assist those students with disabilities to give them an equal
opportunity to be educated.

In the past, children have been withdrawn from classrooms for specialist programs and
tuition, whilst the child would be receiving one-on-one learning from a specialist teacher.
There are positives and negatives for withdrawing the student- other children in the
classroom may notice the sense of difference of the student and the student would be
missing out on participating in classroom activities. When creating an inclusive classroom
environment of children with disabilities, rather than removing the child from the
classroom, the specialist teacher/coordinator or assistant are encouraged to collaborate in
the classroom (where possible) and team teach with the classroom teacher.

An ESLs perspective (continued)

Special Education/Gifted/ESL Coordinator responsibilities are:

Providing assistance with individualised educational planning (Hyde et al. 2014).

Work in consultation with other schools, families, agencies and student services to
implement the students with Disabilities policy, processes to support students with
special needs (NT Department of Education, 2014).

Monitoring the progress and performance of the student with a disability.

Continuously give teachers, support staff and parents advice and guidance.

Support classroom teachers and assistant teachers to deliver quality programs that
will positively respond to the needs and abilities of students especially those with a

Consultation- consulting students and parents/caregivers prior to adjustments being
made (Disability Standards for Education 2005).

Facilitate collaborative teaching and planning for all students who require adjustments
to the curriculum (NT Department of Education, 2014).

Develop and implement Education Adjustment Plans (EAP) relevant to the current
curriculum for the student with disabilities with the teacher and parents and support
the classroom teacher when evaluating and reviewing these EAPs.

An ESLs perspective (continued)

Team teach in classrooms.

Mentor teachers and teachers assistants - providing teaching strategies and resources
for inclusive teaching and learning.

providing collaborative support to regular class teachers in their planning, teaching
and evaluation (Hyde et al. 2014, p. 361).

Evaluate effectiveness of programs and resources.

Collaborate and coordinate with other specialists and therapists.

Create an environment where children feel safe and supported.

Participate in professional development days to learn new ways of supporting students
and gain new resources.

Always keep families informed and updated with progression of their children.

Protect the privacy of their students.

Comply with the Disability Standards for Education (2005).

An ESWs perspective
As an Educational Support Worker my responsibilities to the stakeholders are to:

Work with all staff in a supportive and collaborative relationship.

Have a firm understanding of the classroom teachers curriculum and timetable.

Support students, especially those with special needs.

Assisting with co-planning and co-teaching.

Gain adequate knowledge of each students needs in order to best support them.

Build positive and trusting relationships not only with students but also with their
parents and caregivers.

Gain access to appropriate and sufficient resources that will be valuable in assisting

Uphold the morals and ethics recognised by the school.

Maintain a professional manner with all stakeholders at all times.

Using language that reflects the philosophy of inclusive education, e.g. using our
students as opposed to your students or my students (Hyde et al. 2014, p. 360).

Where to get more help

The Special Education Resource Unit (SERU) holds workshops for Training &
Development. There are also online workshops, and workshops that have been
recorded and are able to be downloaded.

Light for the World have a fantastic website promoting inclusive education for
disabled students on an international level.

The Specific Learning Difficulties Association of South Australia (SPELD SA) provide
advice and services to support children with specific learning difficulties such as

Please refer to Reference List for further information/groups specifically related to

each disability.

ACARA see Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority.

ARACY see Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth.

ARACY, 2013. Inclusive Education for Students with Disability. Retrieved

Australian Curriculum. (2014). Students with Disability. Retrieved from

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2013). Student Diversity. Retrieved from http://

Australian Curriculum Lessons. (2013). Inclusion strategies for students with autism spectrum disorders. Retrieved from

Australian Dyslexia Association. (2014). What is Dyslexia? Retrieved from

Autism Spectrum Australia (2015). What is Autism? Retrieved from

References (continued)

Baum, S. (2013). Gifted and Dyslexic: How the Talent-centered Model Works. Retrieved from

ComLaw. [n.d.]. Disability Discrimination Act 1992 - C2014C00013. Retrieved from

Department of Education and Training. (2014). Disability Standards for Education 2005. Retrieved from https://

Dyslexia Victoria. (2015). How Teachers Can Accommodate the Dyslexic Student. Retrieved from http://

Early Childhood Australia. (2014). Code of Ethics. Retrieved from

Hodge, P. (2000). A Dyslexic Child in the Classroom: a guide for teachers and parents. Retrieved from http://

Hyde, M., Carpenter, L., and Conway, R. (2014). Diversity, inclusion & engagement. 2nd ed. Victoria: Oxford University Press.

Kids Like Us. (2012). Gifted and ASD. Retrieved from

Ministerial council on education employment, training and youth affairs. (2008). Melbourne Declaration on Education Goals

for the Young. Retrieved from


References (continued)

NSW Education and Communities. (2014). Supporting Students. Retrieved from

NT Catholic Education, (2011) Provision for Students with Disabilities in Catholic Education Northern Territory Retrieved

NT Department of Education. (2012). Roles and Responsibilities. Retrieved from

NT Department of Education. (2014). Roles and Responsibilities. Retrieved from

NT Department of Education and Childrens Services. (2013). Gifted Education: Policy. Retrieved from http://

Peters, D. (2012, July 12). What is Twice-Exceptional and Gifted? [Video file]. Retrieved from

QLD Department of Education and Training. (2015). Special Education Programs. Retrieved from http://

SA Department of Education and Child Development, 2012), Gifted Children and Students Retrieved from http://

References (continued)

Smith, D. D. (2005).Introduction to special education: Teaching in an age of opportunity, 5/e. Retrieved from http://

The Source for Learning.(2015). Meeting the Need of Gifted Students in the Regular Classroom. Retrieved from http://

Special Education Resource Unit. (2015). Workshops. Retrieved from

United Nations educational, scientific and cultural organization. (1994). The Salamanca statement and framework for
action on special needs education. Retrieved from

The University of Melbourne.[n.d.]. What is dyslexia and what causes it? Dyslexic Students Guide for Academics.
Retrieved from