ESS512 Programming for Students with High Support Needs (8)

This subject will examine the development of curriculum for students who have complex disabilities and a high level of support need. The focus is on the overall process of curriculum development from functional curriculum based assessments to the decisions of what, how and when to teach. Development of specific Individual Educational Programmes will be emphasised across learning domains.


Session 2 (60)
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ESS512. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Teacher Education

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • cater for the needs of learners with complex and multiple disabilities;
  • make informed decisions about assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of IEPs;
  • analyse standardised assessment instruments and translate results into programming objectives;
  • conduct functional assessments across all relevant curriculum domains;
  • select instructional pedagogies and strategies suited to prioritised skills;
  • engage in collaborative consultation and problem solving with all stakeholders to make informed decisions for learners;
  • make decisions about appropriate modes of communication including augmentative and alternative systems (AAC) as determined by need; and
  • integrate technology (ICT) across skills within adaptive behaviour curriculum areas.


This subject will cover the following topics:

- Standardised assessment tools as a starting place for programming;
- Adaptive Behaviour domains;
- use of curriculum based assessment across Adaptive Behaviour domains;
- use of task analysis as a means of assessment; programming and ongoing monitoring;
- IEP program planning in the areas of daily living, functional academics, leisure and recreation skills;
- curriculum decisions integrated across all curriculum areas such as behaviour management , social
skills, physical management, and communication in receptive and expressive modes;
- the use of AAC for students functioning without speech;
- information and communication technologies (ICT) used across curriculum domains ;
- matching teaching pedagogy and strategy to types of skills prioritised:
- use of various prompting sequences
- use of appropriate reinforcement schedules based on stage of learning
- planning for generalisation of skills and implementing curriculum within integrated
- community-based environments;
- collaborative consultation and problem solving

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of ESS512 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Planning principles and assessment
Designing individual curriculum

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.