The Hills School

We Love Learning

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Passport for Learning

The Passport for Learning project has been a 5‐year collaborative effort between The Hills School and Ylana Bloom (Speech Pathologist). 

The project was originally commissioned because the principal and staff at The Hills School were looking to build the general capabilities of the students in order to ensure successful, confident and creative learning.

In this way, the Passport for Learning has provided a comprehensive teaching program that, within the framework of the mandated curriculum, supports teachers to develop effective strategies designed to meet the diverse learning and communication needs of their students.

Fundamental to this program is the belief (ACARA 2012): 

  • That each student can learn and that the needs of every student are important
  • That each student is entitled to knowledge, understanding and skills that provide a foundation for successful and lifelong learning and participation in the Australian community
  • That high expectations should be set for each student as teachers account for the current level of learning of individual students and the different rates at which students develop
  • That the needs and interests of students vary, and that schools and teachers will plan from the curriculum in ways that respond to those needs and interests

Working within the curriculum there was a strong need to identify and implement an approach specific to the needs of students with disabilities, thus ensuring that the curriculum was appropriately differentiated for each student.

Our goal is to get better learning outcomes for our most complex learners who usually have complex communication needs. The Passport for Learning aims to scaffold the students’ knowledge, skills and understanding within the framework of the curriculum. In this way, we can move students progressively towards stronger understanding and ultimately greater independence in the learning process.


The Passport for Learning provides a rigorous pedagogy through providing:

  • A tool to accurately assess students in a purposeful and consistent manner
  • A tool to differentiate programs in your classroom
  • A tool to assist staff to self‐reflect and to make informed adjustments to teaching practice
  • A framework to link teaching approaches across the school within the framework of the NSW Curriculum


  • To guide teachers to more accurately assess students
  • To promote greater differentiation of teaching programs to support students’ IEP and curriculum goals
  • To provide opportunities for greater student engagement and to extend students in learning
  • To promote a school‐wide awareness and recognition of how to best interact and support students in their understanding and learning
  • To form part of a cultural change that takes place within a school so that students’ full potential can be achieved

To help fulfil the outlined objectives, we have developed a number of resources to support student learning and teaching practice. The program identifies four important domains for learning. These are:

  • Cognitive function (what the student knows)
  • Receptive language (what the student understands)
  • Expressive communication (what the student can communicate)
  • Social (how the student relates to others in the world)

Within these domains, we have to scaffold the learning content that will assist teachers to write and teach students at their own specified levels. We have made the reference from:

  • The K‐6 and Years 7‐10 NSW English Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum (NSW Board of Studies, 2012)
  • Literacy Continuum K‐6 (NSW DEC, NSW Curriculum and Learning Innovation Centre, 2012)
  • The Hills School Student Indicators for Individual Programming Package
  • The Hills School Literacy Assessment

For more information please download the below file.