Example of differentiation: Tumbulgum Public School

Differentiation involves developing learning experiences that cater for the individual needs, interests, abilities and prior learning of every student. Understanding how to engage in effective differentiation can help create an inclusive learning environment in which all students are able to fully participate.

Tumbulgum Public School is a rural school on Bundjalung Country, in northern NSW. Approximately 30 students from Kindergarten to Year 6 attend the school. In this video, the school’s principal, Jenny McKeon, describes how a ‘number talk’ activity provides multiple entry points to understanding and engagement. 

The importance of providing time for all students to respond, designing tasks that are challenging and achievable for all students, and differentiating assessments is also discussed.  

Reflection questions

  1. In this video, Jenny describes how she creates multiple entry points for students during the number talk. Thinking about the students you teach, what approaches do you use to cater for students with a diverse range of abilities in your class/es?
  2. Jenny also describes how formative assessment can inform how you differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students. How do you currently use formative assessment to improve student learning?