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New NSW Syllabuses

Collaborative curriculum planning

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

This process usually involves a team of people who have significant knowledge and understanding of the student, including parents/carers, teachers, community service providers and the student themselves.

During the collaborative planning process it is important to consider:

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

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

  • The outcomes and content most appropriate for the student in each key learning area. For example, it may be more appropriate for a student in Stage 2 to be working on one or more Stage 1 outcomes in the English KLA. Alternatively, a student in Stage 4 may work on one or more Stage 3 outcomes in the Mathematics KLA. When working with outcomes from different stages, it is important to ensure age-appropriate content is used to address the outcomes.
  • The adjustments or support required for particular teaching, learning and assessment opportunities. For example, scaffolds or visual organisers may be required to accompany multi-step or complex instructions.
  • The learning goals for the student. For example, incorporating communication goals into a problem-solving task in a mathematics lesson.
  • The pattern of study most appropriate for the student. For example, selecting a combination of regular and Life Skills courses.

The following diagrams provide a suggested process for making decisions about the most inclusive curriculum options for a student with special education needs according to their stage of schooling.

 Planning process diagram Early Stage 1 to Stage 3 Planning process diagram Stages 4 and 5 Planning process diagram Stage 6

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