Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Teaching to the point of need

About this Illustration of Practice

The teacher describes how she collaborated with a colleague to determine the differences between their classes and trial new approaches. They develop tasks appropriate to a range of ability levels to meet the learning needs of all their students. Students are supported to choose the task that is most appropriate for their level. Questioning plays a key role in determining students "point of need," when the teacher will provide further scaffolding. The teachers use data such as NAPLAN to track student progress and ensure their methods are effective.

Standard 1
Know students and how they learn
Focus area 1.5
Differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities
Career stage
Lead colleagues to evaluate the effectiveness of learning and teaching programs differentiated for the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities.
Other descriptors
Standard 5
Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning
Focus area 5.4
Interpret student data
Career stage
Co-ordinate student performance and program evaluation using internal and external student assessment data to improve teaching practice.
  1. What strategies do you use to ensure that the learning needs of every student are met?
  2. What data could you and your colleagues share to improve teaching and learning?
  3. What questioning strategies do you use to determine what students know and understand?
Sunshine College
Year level
Year 9
Year 10
Related subject
Stage of schooling
School type
School location
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Sunshine College is culturally diverse, co-educational, secondary school situated across 5 campuses in Melbourne. Teachers at Sunshine College are expected to effectively integrate Numeracy and Literacy development into all of their teaching and learning practices and to create innovative approaches to teaching and learning. These innovations are based on or derived from the understanding that students learn best through research & development processes and realistic applications. Staff have worked together to develop a “core plus” instructional model that allows for domain specific innovation and creativity but is underpinned across all domains by five core instructional practice principles: learning Intention articulated, readiness for Learning determined, activities that target individual success, quality Feedback, and reflection. The performance and development culture is based around professional learning teams where curriculum is collaboratively designed and consistently delivered.

© Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), 2014 (except where indicated under acknowledgements). You may use, reproduce and adapt this material for educational purposes until 31 December 2016, provided you retain this notice and all acknowledgements associated with the material.