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Collaborative curriculum planning

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Collaborative curriculum planning

Collaborative curriculum planning is the process to determine the most appropriate curriculum options and adjustments for a student with special education needs.

This usually involves a team who have significant knowledge and understanding of the student. The team comprises parents/carers, teachers and other significant individuals in the student’s life. It also includes the student themselves.

During the collaborative planning process, it is important to consider:

  • the needs, strengths, goals, interests and prior learning of the student as they transition through stages of schooling
  • whether adjustments are needed for teaching, learning and assessment in relation to each subject
  • the sequence and emphasis to be given to particular areas of syllabus content
  • how the student will demonstrate achievement of outcomes and the method of reporting.

Through the collaborative curriculum planning process, the following can be determined:

  • Outcomes and content most appropriate for the student in each key learning area. For example, it may be more appropriate for a Stage 2 student to work on one or more Stage 1 outcomes in the English KLA. Or, a student in Stage 4 may work on one or more Stage 3 outcomes in the Mathematics KLA. It is important to ensure age-appropriate content addresses the outcomes of earlier stages.
  • Adjustments or support required for particular teaching, learning and assessment opportunities. For example, scaffolds or visual organisers may be needed to supplement multi-step or complex instructions.
  • Learning goals for the student. For example, incorporating communication goals into a problem-solving task in a Mathematics lesson.
  • Pattern of study most appropriate for the student. For example, selecting a combination of regular and Life Skills courses (Years 7–12).

Make decisions about the most inclusive curriculum options for a student with special education needs using the following diagrams. Click on a diagram to open a PDF version to save and print.

Collaborative planning process for Early Stage 1 to Stage 3

Collaborative planning process for Stages 4 to 5

Collaborative planning process for Stage 6


School systems and individual schools are responsible for managing the collaborative process. Schools may also find the advice on planning for effective learning and assessment helpful during this process.

More information

Disability Standards for Education 2005: Planning for Personalised Learning and Support: A National Resource

Disability Standards for Education 2005: Fact sheets to support the Standards

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