Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Differentiated music curriculum

About this Illustration of Practice

A pre-service teacher at Darwin High School works with music students who are operating at levels 3, 4 and 5 and are also grouped according to their interests. Even with the support of an experienced teacher supervisor, she must plan and deliver a coherent lesson that meets her students' needs and interests. One of her significant achievements is to respond equally to groups, rather than responding to each and every query. This approach she believes has stimulated her students to rely more on peer assistance and learning.

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
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities.
  1. What purpose/s is a 'differentiated curriculum' designed to serve?
  2. With which theoretical models of a 'differential curriculum' are you familiar?
  3. What approaches do you use to cater for students with a diverse range of abilities in your class/es?
Darwin High School
Northern Territory
Year level
Year 10
Year 11
Stage of schooling
School type
School location
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Darwin High School is one of only two government schools in Darwin that cater purely for senior students at years 10–12. The school is relatively large in comparison with other Territory schools. The student population is comprised of many different cultural backgrounds, with a large number of overseas students. In a music class, where students are learning at different levels, the pre-service teacher must group students, deliver clear and precise instructions to each group, use a colour-coded system for written instructions, and monitor each group's progress.

Content provider
Education Services Australia

© Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), 2012 (except where indicated under acknowledgements). You may use, reproduce and adapt this material for educational purposes until 30 June 2019, provided you retain this notice and all acknowledgements associated with the material.