A whole school approach to differentiation: Henry Kendall High School

Henry Kendall High School is a comprehensive public high school on Darkinjung Country, on the NSW Central Coast. Approximately 850 students attend the school. 

In this video, Andrew Backhouse, principal of Henry Kendall High School, and Tracy Smith, Head Teacher of Student Services, provide an overview of the whole school processes that support effective differentiation, programming and adjustments for students. Andrew and Tracy describe their transition program, in which an understanding of the individual learning profiles of all students is documented. They also discuss the development of class profiles by teachers. 

This inclusive and adaptive whole school approach to differentiation enables teachers to understand the abilities and strengths of the students they teach, to inform effective programming and differentiation that caters for the full participation of all students.

Reflection questions

  1. In this video, Andrew and Tracy outline how an understanding of individual student learning profiles support effective differentiation, programming and adjustments for students. Thinking about the classes you teach, what processes can you put in place to facilitate a deeper understanding of student strengths, interests and abilities? 
  2. How might this understanding support your programming, differentiation and adjustments?

School Excellence Framework alignment

Wellbeing, Effective classroom practice

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers alignment

Standard 1: Know students and how they learn


Secondary teachers


This example of practice shows how school leaders and teachers adopted a whole school approach to individualised learning. The video highlights the successful use of transition plans and student profiles in differentiating learning that meets the needs of students.


November 2021. Share your feedback here

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