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Accessing the curriculum - Strategies for differentiation for pupils with Down syndrome

Gillian Bird, Sandy Alton and Cecilie Mackinnon

By differentiation the authors mean making changes, from small changes to larger ones, which enable children to learn from the school curriculum, designed for their age group, with their peers in an inclusive schooling system. Curricula in each country differ, but all have been created with the educational needs of children as a priority, to equip them socially and academically to function as a member of their community. In each country the curriculum for all children is likely to be the best guide for teaching the majority of children with Down syndrome of all ages, provided that the curriculum is used flexibly and can be differentiated. A minority of children with highly individual needs may benefit from a reduction in the breadth of their curriculum, making it more focused for meeting their highly specific learning needs. However, differentiation of the curriculum enables children with Down syndrome to learn with their typically developing peers and progress forward in all aspects of their development, as other children do, using the same curriculum as a guide.

Bird G, Alton S, Mackinnon C. Accessing the curriculum - Strategies for differentiation for pupils with Down syndrome. Down Syndrome Issues and Information. 2000.


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