Skip to main content Skip to navigation


Print this page

Diversity of Learners

The Victorian Curriculum F–10 has been developed to ensure that curriculum content and achievement standards enable continuous learning for all students, including:

  • Students with disabilities and additional learning needs
  • English as an additional language
  • Gifted and talented students

Students with disabilities and additional learning needs

The objectives of the Victorian Curriculum are the same for all students. The curriculum offers flexibility for teachers to tailor their teaching in ways that provide rigorous, relevant and engaging learning and assessment opportunities for students with disabilities.

Most students with disabilities and additional learning needs can engage with the curriculum provided the necessary adjustments are made to the complexity of the curriculum content and to the means through which students demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and understanding.

For some learners, making adjustments to instructional processes and assessment strategies enables students to achieve educational standards commensurate with their peers.

For other students, teachers will need to make appropriate adjustments to the complexity of the curriculum content, focusing instruction on content different from that taught to others in their age group. It follows that adjustments will also need to be made to how the student’s progress is monitored, assessed and reported.

For a small percentage of students with disabilities and additional learning needs, their learning will be well below the Victorian Curriculum Foundation standards. Most of these students have a significant intellectual disability. ‘Towards Foundation Level Victorian Curriculum’ provides this cohort of students with access to curriculum content and standards that enable students to move toward the learning described at Foundation level.

The ‘Towards Foundation Level Victorian Curriculum’ is integrated directly into the curriculum and is referred to as ‘Levels A to D’.  

Levels A to D focuses on progressing students from a pre-intentional to intentional engagement in learning. They support students to develop their independence as they explore, participate and engage in the world around them. As students progress through these levels, the amount of support decreases as they proceed toward becoming independent learners.

‘Levels A to D’ are not associated with any set age or year level that links chronological age to cognitive progress. Rather the learning descriptions for levels A to D are structured by the following continuum:

Level A: Beginning to Explore At this level, students experience a range of learning activities that will assist them to attend to and explore the world around them with as much independence as possible. Experiences are designed to move students from a pre-intentional level of responding to a level where the response indicates beginning intention. Students need high levels of coactive support and focused attention from the teacher to help them initiate and refine their responses. Students demonstrate some awareness and recognition of familiar people and routine activities.
Level B: Active Exploration Students at this level become less reliant on high levels of coactive support and become more reliant on verbal prompts and gestures to facilitate their learning. They begin to explore their world independently and engage in simple cause-and-effect play activities. Students are able to focus on structured learning activities for short periods of time. They respond to familiar people and events and begin to use ‘yes/no’ responses.
Level C: Intentional Participation Students at this level are less dependent on co-active support and respond more consistently to prompts and simple clear directions from the teacher to support them in their learning. They are displaying the first signs of independence and becoming more peer focused. Students participate in structured learning activities with others and they begin to use pictures, photographs, and objects to communicate personal interests and experiences. They start to use and link some familiar words and images to construct a meaningful communication.
Level D: Building Independence With teacher support and curriculum scaffolding, students at this level participate cooperatively in group learning activities. They express their feelings, needs, and choices in increasingly appropriate ways and combine and sequence keywords and images to communicate personal interests and to recount significant experiences. They indicate the beginning of understanding social rules and expectations and are beginning to reflect on their own behaviour.

For more advice in regard to curriculum provision and students with disabilities, please see the Students with Disabilities Guidelines (PDF). Additional advice and resources are also available from the DET website - Abilities Based Learning and Education Support (ABLES).

English as an additional language

Advice regarding the English as an Additional Language curriculum has moved to the EAL curriculum introduction page.

Gifted and talented students

The Victorian Curriculum F–10 structure enables the curriculum to be used to appropriately target the learning level of each individual student in a class. This includes gifted and talented students who are able to work well above the nominally age expected level of achievement.

Scroll to the top of the page