The following evidence-based strategies aim to provide teachers with an overview of inclusive teaching practices to support the inclusion of students with a diverse range of abilities and strengths. Many of these strategies are relevant for all students, while others will be relevant to some students.
How might you provide routine and structure?
Students who find moving from one activity to another challenging will be better prepared if they are aware it is coming up. Provide reminders about upcoming transitions, such as visual supports, countdown timers or regular reminders.
Provide a safe space (physically and emotionally)
How can you promote peer interaction?
Teach students how to interact with each other. This may involve teaching peers how to use different styles of communication, or how to include another student. Access our peer inclusion pages and peer information sheets.
Provide developmentally appropriate and discreet support
Students may feel self-conscious about the support that is provided, particularly as they enter pre-adolescence (from about ten years of age).
Developmentally appropriate and discrete support that builds a student's independence may increase confidence and support peer interactions.
For example, supports that are available to all students, are embedded in technology, or use a similar layout and visuals to other materials used in class, are less likely to draw attention to a specific student.
How can I collaborate with others?
Set joint learning outcomes and goals
Work collaboratively with the student’s parents as well as any key stakeholders to set some growth goals.
Aim to set outcomes that focus on the student’s strengths and are challenging enough to support learning and social development.
Tailor activities to be as inclusive as possible
Concrete examples, simplified text, visual supports, breaking tasks into smaller components, using a variety of teaching strategies, and providing alternate ways for students to respond are some of the ways this can be achieved.
Check that you have the student’s attention when giving instructions, and check for understanding of instructions. Instructions provided in multiple formats (such as verbal and visual instructions) are best.
How might you create opportunities for repetition and revision?
Support social, emotional and problem solving skill development
Consider student development of socially appropriate behaviours through prompting, modelling and practice. For example, actively teach students how to use open-ended questions (such as “How did you spend your weekend?”) when engaging in small talk, or to speak assertively when there is conflict.
Identifying what a student is trying to communicate through their behaviour can provide opportunities to guide the student in alternative ways they can make their needs and wants known.
Consider giving students a checklist of behaviours or skills that they would like to work on (for example, include a range of persuasive writing techniques in their piece). Prompt them to check off the list throughout the lesson.
School Excellence Framework alignment
Wellbeing, Effective classroom practice
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers alignment
Standard 1: Know students and how they learn
School leaders and secondary teachers