Child reads a visual schedule

Use visual schedules to help students stay on task

Preschool – Year 12

Resources are provided with this practice



Visual schedules show students the sequence of activities or events that will happen over a certain amount of time.

Students can see where these activities take place and when they will happen. Seeing the activities helps students to understand what they will be doing and reassures them about what will be coming next. 

When creating a visual schedule:

  • choose whether to use words, pictures, or a combination of both, depending on each student’s level of understanding and their reading ability
  • consider the appropriate number of activities to include, e.g. if some of your students can only process two or three activities at a time, do not include a daily timetable showing all the activities for the day.

This practice will help students to

understand the routine

work independently

understand changes

This practice will help teachers to

provide positive feedback

keep the lesson on track

use fewer verbal prompts

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Similar practices

This practice is from the core research project


This system works really well but it takes time and reflection to create and establish a system tailored to the needs of your students. My greatest difficulty was feeling overwhelmed by the need to constantly monitor class behaviour and application to assigned tasks at the same time as teaching small groups or conferencing with individual students. This occasionally distracted me from maintaining the visual schedule for the entire school year.


19 Jun 2020

Visual schedules have been use daily for my students. It helps predictability, security and they are calmer as they know the expectation and what's next? Changes can be made be informing students before hand and they are more likely to accept the change.


3 May 2022



Really like the idea of using the Traffic Light transition cue to assist with transitioning.

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  • dgood29

    Has anyone experimented with different individual visual timetables that enhance on-task behaviours?

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  • Carina

    I like to use the first and next cards but would prefer if they were smaller and able to be placed on a student's desk without taking up the whole table...

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  • The inclusionED Team

    Thanks for your feedback Carina! The cards are presented as word documents so feel free to adjust the sizing to meet your needs – and we welcome you sharing any such amendments with us so that we can share them with members of the community.

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