Our Philosophy

Delivering health and wellbeing outcomes through sport and physical activity

The Inclusive Sport in Schools program is underpinned by best practice philosophy and methodology. To learn more about this please explore the sections below.

Playing for All

Playing for All approach

The Playing for All approach is derived from Sport Australia’s Playing for Life philosophy, bringing together fun, games-based activities to develop children’s skills, confidence, and lifelong interest in sport and physical activity.

The purposefully designed Playing for All resources ensure teachers, coaches, volunteers, and parents can confidently support the development of a child’s physical literacy and contribute to developmental outcomes through fun, engaging, participant-centred learning.

Playing for All activity cards

The Playing for All cards enables the delivery of best practice games-based inclusive sport programs.

The game-based activities are easily adapted to different sports and help create a safe, inclusive and challenging environment for children. They can be used as individual games to address specific learning outcomes, or as a sequence of games within a planned program, available in the form of our 8-session Program Planners.

The Playing for All cards are aligned to the Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education and are mapped to the Australian Physical Literacy Framework.

Game sense

Game sense is a participant-centred approach to learning that engages participants in fun, modified games that promote the development of both skills and tactics, or ‘thinking players’. Game sense underpins the Playing for All approach adopted by Special Olympics Australia.

Key components

  • Fun
  • Playing
  • Decision making and problem-solving
  • Communicating and collaboration
  • Inclusion and challenge

Looks like

  • Small-sided games that allow for high involvement
  • Games with modified rules, area, and equipment
  • Simple modifications to promote inclusion and challenge
  • Questioning to challenge participants and prompt understanding

Connection to student learning

Teachers and coaches can feel confident that the Playing for All resources provide the learning relevant to a student’s developmental needs as they progress through school.

The Playing for All cards are aligned to the:

  • Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education – to ensure they are relevant to the Australian Curriculum sequence of learning (content descriptions) for the Health and Physical Education learning area.
  • Australian Physical Literacy Framework – developed by Sport Australia to provide a common language and developmental framework for the sport and education sectors to support holistic learning and foster a lifelong connection to movement and physical activity.

Access and learn more about the Playing for All cards here (coming soon).

Physical Literacy

Physical literacy is about building the skills, knowledge, and behaviours that give us the confidence and motivation to lead active and healthy lives.

It involves holistic lifelong learning through sport and physical activity and delivers health and wellbeing benefits across the physical, psychological, social, and cognitive domains.

Focusing on the development of physical literacy for people with intellectual disability and autism can have significant benefits. These include:

  • developing the skills and physical fitness to enable engagement in sport and physical activity and to generally live healthier and more active lives
  • enabling self-confidence, self-regulation, and connections with the local community
  • supporting the development of social skills such as communicating, making friends, learning the benefits of teamwork, and experiencing the importance of taking turns
  • learning about the benefits of being active, the ways to be active, and how to follow rules

Teachers, coaches, parents, and carers all play a crucial role in promoting and developing physical literacy in children. This can be achieved through quality physical education, school and community sport programs, and embracing daily play and physical activity.

The Inclusive Sport in Schools program is specifically designed to support the development of physical literacy, including through the use of the Playing for All program planners and activity cards.

The Australian Physical Literacy Framework outlines four domains and thirty elements that provide the common language and developmental framework for monitoring and assessing the development of physical literacy.

For more detailed information about physical literacy, visit the Sport Australia website.


Inclusive Sport for All

Every Australian should be able to participate in sport and physical activity in a welcoming and inclusive way. They should be treated with respect and dignity and protected from discrimination, harassment, and abuse.

People with intellectual disability and/or autism contribute to and benefit from the many outcomes sport provides us, individually and within larger communities.

By understanding the needs of individuals and using a strengths-based approach, participation in sport and physical activity is more welcoming and rewarding for all individuals. A one-size-fits-all approach rarely ‘fits all’ because inclusion is not achieved by having everyone doing the same thing.

The Inclusive Sport in Schools program is designed using the principles of inclusion and delivered as a Unified Sport offering, allowing students with and without intellectual disability and/or autism to participate together. This helps change negative attitudes towards people with disabilities while also increasing competition opportunities.

The 7-Pillars of Inclusion are a great reference point to understand how to address inclusion and diversity. The 7 Pillars model provides a ‘helicopter’ view of inclusion, which looks at the common elements that contribute to creating inclusive environments that reflect the communities we live in.

The seven pillars are:

  • Access
  • Attitude
  • Choice
  • Partnerships
  • Communication
  • Policy
  • Opportunities