Video: Giving all students the opportunity to access the curriculum

Learning Support/Information and Software Technology Teacher at St Agnes Catholic High School in New South Wales, Olivia Phillips, was recently a recipient of the Mary Armstrong Award for Early Career Teacher Leadership presented by ACEL (Australian Council for Educational Leaders) NSW.

In this video, Olivia Phillips sits down to with Greg Whitby, Executive Director of Schools in the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, NSW, to share more about the work she is doing to support all students to access the curriculum.

‘What I did was design and create these [Google] sites that would … be aligned with the students’ interests – so I’d try to find out what they liked, so the site was really easy for them to look at – then I would collaborate with teachers. So I would email them and find out what that student was learning that day for that subject.

‘So the idea was that Google site matched the timetable at St Agnes. So that the days they were at MLZ, they were learning the exact same things that the students and their peers were learning at St Agnes,’ Phillips shares in the videos.

She goes on to explain that MLZ is a learning environment where disengaged students can have the opportunity to have one-on-one time with teachers to engage in learning.

Phillips says the whole experience has been a great opportunity to improve her own practice and learn from the students themselves. ‘When you take the time to really get to know the way they work, you can see new ways even that they teach you in your practice. I find that diversity leads my practice, and how I can differentiate there.’


Olivia Phillips says she ensures she finds out about her students’ interests, collaborates with classroom teachers, and aligns her lessons with the mainstream curriculum.

As a learning support teacher, reflect on these three strategies. What are you doing well in these areas? What are some areas of improvement?