Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

New Zealand Curriculum Online navigation


Facilitating PLD about inclusion

Take some time to explore Inclusive Practice and the School Curriculum. Read about how it can be used for PLD and how you can build your own knowledge of inclusive practice.

Explore Inclusive Practice and the School Curriculum

Before using Inclusive Practice and the School Curriculum with a school, take some time to explore the resource. The table below shows how it can support you when leading PLD in a school.

Sections of Inclusive Practice and the School Curriculum

What’s in here for leaders of PLD?

Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum includes:

Reflective learning activities that support educators to interact with the ideas in the text and apply them in their contexts. There are links to examples in Inclusion in Practice to show the concepts and ideas in real life settings.

Inclusion in Practice

Examples from New Zealand classrooms of inclusive practice across different learning areas.

These use the teaching as inquiry model and student, whānau, and teacher voices to illustrate how teachers supported all the students in their class to participate and learn. Each example shows how the teacher used differentiation, adaptation, and teaching strategies to support their students to participate, achieve, and belong in the classroom curriculum.

Reflective questions for discussion and links to related content in Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum.

Using Inclusive Practice and the School Curriculum in a PLD context

The guide has five modules shown in the diagram below.

If you cannot view or read this diagram, select this link to open a text version.

Each module has professional learning activities that introduce teachers and leaders to the ideas and concepts in Implementing an Inclusive CurriculumInclusion in Practice, and other related resources. The activities are useful starting points for facilitated learning conversations that will challenge, build on, and strengthen existing practice.

Leaders of PLD can use Inclusive Practice and the School Curriculum with teachers and leaders in one-to-one, small group/syndicate, or whole-school learning situations. The professional learning could be a planned series of staff meetings, a specific one-off syndicate or staff meeting, or individual conversations with teachers, based on the needs of learners in their classroom.

Some schools may have staff, such as an experienced learning support coordinator, who can facilitate PLD with their colleagues using Inclusive Practice and the School Curriculum. Other schools may prefer to draw on the skills and experience of an external leader of PLD, such as a Ministry-funded PLD facilitator or a Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB).

Inclusive Practice and the School Curriculum has been designed to:

  • support leaders of PLD by providing guidance and tools suitable for English-medium settings in New Zealand
  • provide an accessible starting point for building an understanding of inclusive practice and for recognising where expertise and inclusive practice already exist within a school
  • prompt educators to inquire into inclusive practice across their school, at both individual teacher and school-wide levels
  • show what inclusive practice can look like in the different learning areas of the New Zealand Curriculum and at different year levels
  • build teachers’ ability to use differentiation and adaptation to ensure all their students can participate in the classroom curriculum.

Examples of Inclusive Practice and the School Curriculum in use

I worked with a teacher and his syndicate leader to explore effective differentiation strategies to support a small group of students who have additional literacy learning needs. Together, we unpacked Example 2 (English, Writing, levels 2–3 – Haiku) from Inclusion in Practice. We transferred the learning to classroom practice by planning a couple of lessons that made use of similar strategies to those shown in the example.

Resource teacher: Learning and Behaviour

As part of my work in a school providing PLD about the New Zealand Curriculum, the school identified a need to use student voice to inform curriculum design. They wanted to make sure all students’ perspectives were heard. With the leadership team, we used the Building a Rich Knowledge of the Learner section of Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum to plan a staff meeting and follow-up syndicate meetings. The teachers came up with fantastic ways to capture students’ perspectives that didn’t rely only on traditional methods such as interviews and surveys.

PLD facilitator

We carried out a self-review using the ERO questions on including students with special education needs (see Module 1). We identified the need to build teacher capability in using differentiated strategies to support all students within the classroom programme. As a team, we planned a series of staff meetings using the activities in Module 4: Supporting Teachers to Include all Students in the School Curriculum

School professional learning inquiry team

As a department we had never purposefully discussed the principle of inclusion, so I used the activity "What does an inclusive school look like?" (Module 2, Activity 2.2) at one of our department team meetings. We specifically linked to our school’s values and what this would look like within our department. It prompted a very interesting discussion among the team – we agreed on some things we could be doing better, and a few suggestions were raised for me to take back to the leadership team.

Head of Department

We were holding a "maths kiosk" in the library during parent interviews and wanted to capture parent, whānau, and student voices on attitudes and beliefs about mathematics. We used the "Whatu pōkeka activity" (Module 2, Activity 2.4) and created a collaborative whatu pōkeka to hang up in our hallway. We analysed the feather responses and decided on next steps to support learners and their whānau in mathematics.

Mathematics learning leader

As a school we wanted to know how inclusive we are but didn’t know where to begin. With the leadership team, we read Module 1: How Can Schools Understand Where They Are At? This gave us a good starting point to consider different approaches to review our existing practices. We’ve decided to use the Inclusive Practices Tools.


A new student with complex learning needs will be starting at our school next year. When I was thinking about meeting the student’s needs in the classroom, the Special Education Advisor from the local Ministry of Education office suggested I explore the concept of ‘curriculum overlapping’. I had never heard of this before so she pointed me to the Effective Pedagogy for All Students section in Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum. This has really helped my understanding of ways to support this student to participate, engage, and achieve within the classroom curriculum alongside their peers.

Learning Support Coordinator

I read the "Working together" section of Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum and was really pleased to see that it reflects the way we work in many schools already. In a couple of schools, where the roles and responsibilities between team members are unclear, I used our usual meeting time to share the "Working together" section and we completed Activity 4.5 in Module 4. It really helped clarify who is in our team, our roles, and how we can work together effectively.

Specialist teacher (Outreach Service)

Building your own knowledge of inclusive practice

  1. Engage in some personal professional development before planning and leading professional learning opportunities. For example:
  2. Find out about inclusion-related PLD, projects, or initiatives.
    • If you are a leader of PLD working with several schools (for example, an RTLB or PLD provider), talk with the leadership teams in the schools you support about the PLD, projects, or initiatives related to inclusion they are currently participating in or have recently completed. Consider the inclusive practices embedded at the school and how you will make connections between what each school is already doing and the PLD you provide.
    • If you are a leader of PLD in your school, talk with your colleagues, teachers, and leaders at schools in your cluster/s, and with others in your network (for example, RTLB, staff at the local Ministry of Education office). Find out about PLD, projects, or initiatives related to inclusion that you can access or that other schools have found useful. Examples include:
      • Regional workshops on using the Inclusive Practices Tools
      • Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) initiatives, for example, Incredible Years Teachers, PB4L School-Wide, My Friends Youth, Restorative Practice
      • Specific workshop series, for example, Tilting the Seesaw for Teams - a professional learning course delivered by Autism New Zealand for teams of people who support students aged 5-12 with autism
      • RTLB professional learning support.
  3. Explore online professional learning networks, portals, and social media for groups, feeds, and communities interested in inclusion. For example, to find out more about Universal Design for Learning, try:
  • following @CAST_UDL, @UDL_center, @enablelearning, and hashtags #udlchat #udl on Twitter
  • searching "Universal Design for Learning" on the Pond
  1. Consider these questions for designing effective PLD on inclusion:
    • How can we draw on existing expertise within the school? 
      Consider individual and collective staff strengths, in relation to both personal and professional experience.
    • How can we develop a team of champions to strengthen inclusive practice in the school?
    • How can we build a shared vision as a team? 
      Think about how you will involve and empower all staff and how you will identify, celebrate, and maintain progress towards the school’s goals for inclusion.
    • What facilitation strategies will be most effective in this context? 
      Refer to the following resource sheet for ideas.

      PDF icon. Resource sheet: Facilitation strategies for supporting professional learning (PDF, 46 KB)

Updated on: 30 Mar 2017