The tools and strategies available through ABLES have been incorporated into the teaching and learning cycle to provide teachers with advice and strategies to inform their classroom practice.
ABLES supports a teacher to:
- assess a student’s readiness to learn
- develop appropriate learning goals for the learning areas in consultation with a student support group
- develop an appropriate personalised learning and support plan that can be linked to teaching and learning strategies that have been found to work
- monitor progress to review the impact of the plan on student learning
- better support a student through the teaching and learning cycle (assess, data, plan, teach).
Maintain integrity of the following interrelationships:
The teacher can apply the ABLES assessment tool to identify their students’ readiness to learn across the four developmental learning areas.
The student’s progress along each learning area will guide the teacher to the appropriate curriculum level and teaching and learning strategies that could be used to develop an individual learning plan.
The ABLES assessments produce four reports:
- Learning readiness report: summarises the skills and abilities the student is currently developing and those that the student might learn next, which can be linked to relevant curriculums and a set of recommended teaching strategies.
- Profile Report: maps a student’s level of learning and progress across consecutive assessments, and in all four of the learning pathways as appropriate for the student.
- Class Report: provides an opportunity to reflect on the learning of groups of students who are working at the same or adjacent levels on the learning pathways.
- School Report: maps individual student's growth in learning at two points in time, two years apart (where data is available).
By reviewing these reports, a teacher can identify where a student is working on the Victorian curriculum continuum. This means that the teacher can use the Victorian curriculum to provide a teaching and learning program that is appropriate to the student’s current achievement.
If the student is working at a level that is preliminary to Foundation of the Victorian curriculum in some learning areas, the teacher would use the ‘Towards foundation level’ materials to access appropriate curriculum advice.
The following are examples of some ABLES reports:
ABLES assists the student support group (which includes the class teacher and the parent/carer) to set learning goals to be included in a teaching and learning plan.
The outcome of the ABLES assessment tools provides the teacher with achievement advice that will assist to identify the most appropriate curriculum and outcome targets for the student that align with the Victorian curriculum. While many students with disabilities can engage with the Victorian curriculum provided reasonable adjustments are made, additional curriculum materials may be required for students with a significant intellectual disability. The ‘Towards foundation level’ materials provide this cohort of students with access to content that supports their progress towards the learning described at Foundation level.
Victorian schools can access ‘Towards foundation level’ from the VCAA website.
ABLES provides strategies for teaching and learning for students with disabilities that have been developed through three years of research conducted with teachers of students with additional needs. They represent strategies that experienced teachers draw upon to support the learning of their students. Most important, these strategies have been shown to work and link with existing curriculum levels used within a school.
ABLES enables teachers to monitor and make adjustments to the content, pedagogy, strategies and resources based on the learning of their students.