Students with disability Illustrations of practice

Planning for geography field work


A head of curriculum meets with two class teachers to support them as they plan their Year 8 Geography unit of study and prepare for an excursion to the local area. The teachers describe how they intend to take into account the individual learning needs of their students and discuss how they have personalised the teaching and learning program so that it is meaningful and relevant. The curriculum leader refers to the General Capability of Literacy to generate discussion about specific communication goals for individual students. The teachers discuss the different ways students can develop these goals in the context of geography. The head teacher demonstrates verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support students’ understanding, engagement and achievement specifically in relation to the geography excursion.

Learning area


Year level

Year 8

Content description

The different types of landscapes and their distinctive landform features (ACHGK048)
Represent the location of features of a familiar place on pictorial maps and models (ACHGS003)
Make observations about familiar places and pose questions about them (ACHGS001)

General capability

Literacy / Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing / Comprehend texts (Level 1c, Level 1d)

General capability

Personal and social capability / Self-management (Level 1b)

Teacher intention

Support for teachers who aim to develop their students’ sense of wonder and curiosity about familiar places and the local environment, in addition to developing an understanding of the connection Aboriginal Peoples have to the land.

Personalised learning

Plan from age-equivalent learning area content:
Year 8 Geography content is used to develop a teaching and learning program on Landforms and Landscapes, building on the concept of environment and connecting it to place.

•    Draw from learning area content at different levels along the Foundation to Year 10 sequence to personalise the learning:
Geographical Inquiry and Skills content at Foundation level provides a meaningful way for students to access the Year 8 content around landscapes and landforms

•    Use the General Capabilities and/or cross-curriculum priorities to adjust the learning focus and to personalise the learning:
A focus on the Literacy and Personal and social capabilities allows for the development of targeted communication and self-management skills within the geography teaching and learning program.

•    Align individual learning goals with age-equivalent content to personalise the learning:
Individual communication goals are aligned with the geography content. The communication skills enable the students to develop their geographical knowledge and skills and the geography content gives an age-equivalent and authentic context for the students to apply their communication skills.


1. How would you develop an age-appropriate unit of work for students of different ages in the one class?

2. How do you, or could you use the flexible design of the Australian Curriculum to cater for individual student needs?

3. How can the collaborative planning process be used in your school context to support access for all students to the Australian Curriculum content?

Standard 1

Know students and how they learn

Focus area 1.6

Strategies to support full participation of students with disability

Standard 2

Know the content and how to teach it

Focus area 2.1

Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area

Standard 3

Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning

Focus area 3.5

Use effective classroom communication

Clifford Park Special School (Rob Street Campus)
Toowoomba QLD Australia

School type


School sector


School location


School description

Clifford Park Special School in Toowoomba, Queensland, delivers educational programs to over 100 students aged from 12 to 18 years. Students at the school have individual learning needs.


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