Date
20 September 2021

Partner with ākonga

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Reduce barriers for year 1 to 8 students’

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Build whanaunga­tanga

Build whanaunga­tanga

Build positive and strong relationships. Create intentional and ongoing opportunities for students to share where they are from, what is important to them and why.

Build relationships through shared experiences and working together.

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Source: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Source:
Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Consider potential barriers

Consider potential barriers

Barriers to learning are where students “get stuck” in a lesson or activity. For each learner, barriers can differ from subject to subject and from activity to activity.

Barriers are often created when we offer single, inflexible approaches.

In partnership with ākonga, identify what gets in the way and together build in useful supports and flexible learning options.

Examples of potential barriers:

  • time pressures
  • unfamiliar language
  • not enough opportunity to practise new skills  or review content
  • instructions only given in 1 way
  • limited access to technologies such as text to speech or closed caption
  • limited choice over tools and materials
  • no access to quiet working spaces
  • lots of written instructions
  • talking in front of the class
  • sitting for long periods of time

For more information on barriers explore Identify potential barriers.

Plan using Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Plan using Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

UDL is an approach to designing learning that is accessible for all learners.  It helps to create barrier-free learning environments.

UDL enables learners to access the curriculum in a way that best works for them.

Strengthen student agency

Strengthen student agency

When it comes to supporting students to take ownership of their learning, one way will not work for everyone.

Provide a range of useful thinking and sharing opportunities to identify what is working well and where more support would be helpful.

Create environments that foster and value ākonga voice.

Consider how you can: 

  • support students to understand how they learn, encouraging positive learning habits
  • match teaching methods to student preferences
  • provide flexibility in topic and content choices
  • encourage students to develop their own learner profile 
  • provide a range of tools and materials so that learners can share and create in a way that works for them
  • seek regular feedback to inform lesson design
  • encourage student input across planning spaces
  • ask learners to share what strategies or resources they find useful or not useful.

Reflective questions

Reflective questions

  • In what ways do you intentionally get to know learners and what’s important to them?
  • In what ways do you ensure that all ākonga can participate and communicate their views in ways that work for them?
  • How do you create opportunities for students to connect to their culture, interests and things that matter to them?
  • How do you work with ākonga to develop the skills and agency to advocate for and personalise their learning?
  • Discuss some examples of how your knowledge of learners has influenced the design of teaching and learning.

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

How to break down barriers to learning with UDL

Read time: 7 min

Publisher: Understood

Visit website

Website

Personalisation and UDL: A perfect match

Read time: 10 min

Publisher: ASCD

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Reduce barriers for year 1 to 8 students”:

Return to the guide “Curriculum accessibility”

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