Student Learning Support
Holy Family Catholic Primary School recognises that all students are unique and present themselves to the school with many varied learning needs. The school is a mainstream school with limited resources and available funding in the area of special education.
We recognise that usually, three tiers of learning support exist at the school. They include:
Tier 1: All students have access to quality teaching and learning programs
Tier 2: Students identified for additional or differentiation
Tier 3: Intensive Learning Support is tailored to these students and delivered by the Learning Support Team.
To promote, provide and support the education and requirements of children with additional needs and their families through integration and least restrictive practice in our school community.
To provide a caring, supportive community, honouring our Catholic faith, where all children, families, and staff are respected as equals and individuals, they are encouraged to be the best they can be.
Parents should disclose and list any particular health, learning or educational difficulties which they are aware of for their child when applying for an enrolment placement at the school.
All enrolment applications are considered individually at the school. Prospective students with additional needs may have their enrolment application processed in conjunction with the Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst (CEDB) procedures.
The school strives to supplement this overall procedure by sometimes including the following:
- Pre-enrolment meetings with the parents to ascertain their expectations of the possible inclusion of their child at the school.
- Pre-enrolment meeting with daycare or preschool staff who have had the care of the child in the lead-up time to school entry.
- Observation visit by the Principal or Learning Support Staff to the daycare centre or preschool to ascertain what levels of support needed for the child at our school.
- Assessment of the child by a registered psychologist to ascertain school readiness.
- Discussion of the process with the Catholic Education Dioceses of Bathurst [CEDB] Office, School Executive and Parish Priest.
- Discussion of the process with the school teaching staff as required.
- Submission of the Enrolment Application and data to the CEDB as required.
- Discussion of the process with the CEDB staff where applicable.
- Assessment of the support structures needed for the school to successfully enrol the child at the school.
- Application for funding via the CEDB.
The school values the enrolment of every child at the school. However, every possible support structure must be put in place to cater to the child’s needs successfully.
Support structures to assist the integration include, but are not limited to:
- CEDB funding of a part-time Support Teacher
- CEDB funding of a part-time Teachers Assistant (Integration) to assist the class teacher.
- CEDB funding of a part-time Teachers Assistant (Literacy/Numeracy) to assist class teachers.
- Where possible, school supplementation of the funding of a Teachers Assistant (Integration).
- Smaller class size (where possible) for the student's inclusion into the school.
- Staff professional development on the child's condition and needs.
- Professional development as appropriate for staff.
- Use of CEDB Learning Support staff as needed / as available.
- Application for capital works/equipment funding for the child's inclusion at the school.
Other in-school ways of assisting the child's integration into the school might include, but are not limited to:
- Modification of the student's workload in class.
- Outcomes assessed at a lower level.
- A modified school report.
- The purchase of learning materials, books, equipment needed for class use.
- Regular conference meetings with parents, teacher & Support teacher to discuss student progress and goals.
- Possible use of community specialists or resource people to assist the student's inclusion at the school.
ROLE OF SUPPORT TEACHER – HOLY FAMILY CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL
At Holy Family Catholic Primary School, the support teacher:
- Advocates for special needs children and their families.
- Liaisons with families.
- Works with individual children, their families and teachers to determine needs and provide appropriate assistance.
- Works with the classroom teacher, teacher assistant, education officers, Allied Health personnel and parents to develop an IP for students with additional needs.
- Organises and facilitates meetings during the year for students with additional needs.
- Compiles and distributes IP to parents and teaching staff.
- Organises transition handover from preschool to school and from primary to secondary school including school visits and all relevant paperwork between school, parents and CEDB.
- Assists and supports the classroom teacher in functional areas such as planning, forming modified tasks and activities, finding resources, researching issues, sourcing specialist assistance.
- Works directly with students on a particular special need, concern, issue, task or topic.
- Deliver PD to staff on Learning Support issues
- Provides information on Students with Additional Needs
- Structures and coordinates the overall integration program in conjunction with the Principal and CEDB.
- Recommends purchase of specialised education resources.
- Coordinates required administrative duties.
ROLE OF INTEGRATION ASSISTANT – HOLY FAMILY CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL
At Holy Family Catholic Primary School, the Integration Assistant:
- Assists the support teacher in the design and content of the tasks, skills and activities included in the IP.
- Helps to fulfil the IP goals by supporting the support teacher and classroom teacher.
- Works face to face with supported students.
- Liaises with the support teacher and with some communication to parents as needed.
- Supports and advocates for supported students and their families.
- Is a resource person for the classroom teacher and support teacher.
- Consults with the class teacher and support teacher on student needs.
The Support Teacher and Integration Assistant will work in or out of the classroom as needed. In particular, in situations where intensive literacy or numeracy programs are required, they will work in the Infant/Primary Learning Hub or the Learning Support Tutorial Room.
The focus is that students, whenever possible, work in their classroom alongside peers.
The Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst has compiled a 'School Support Charter' to outline the support system in place at Diocesan Schools. This Charter reviewed as required by CEDB.
Holy Family Catholic Primary School accepts this Charter as a guide to understanding the provision of services to students.
The Support Teacher has the role of completing documentation for NCCD (Nationally Consistent Collection of Data). Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005, Australian students with a disability must be able to access and participate in education on the same basis as their peers. This will require ‘adjustments’ to access education based on the professional judgement of teachers in consultation with parents, support teacher and school staff. The Support Teacher has the role of coordinating and completion of required NCCD documentation.
Students with Additional Learning Needs
Each class at the school will have some students with additional learning needs, especially in literacy and numeracy. Classes may also include students that find overall learning difficult in these and other KLA's.
Structures at the school which intend to assist these students could include:
- Teachers Assistant Program supports teachers to enable them to target students who require extra assistance.
- Peer Tutor Program. Older students assist younger students with reading as determined by teachers.
- The class teachers determine the Class / Grade Grouping.
- Class Intensive Reading Program. E.g. Explicit Phonics Instruction and Dandelion Decodable Reading Program.
Students working within the Learning Support Program will have an Individual Plan in place. This IP is a collaboration between the Support Teacher, Class Teacher and the student's parents. A meeting scheduled to develop, amend, review and evaluate each IP At the end of the school year.
Students working within the general learning support program at the school are involved in ongoing progress monitoring and an end of year evaluation. Subsequent recommendations from the class teacher and the learning support team made to inform the next grade's teacher.
The support of Students with Additional Needs at the school requires many varied teaching strategies and ideas. The following list is a sample only of the possibilities.
- Compilation of Individual Program (IPs)
- Class/grade grouping of students, e.g. Tiers 1, 2 & 3
- Intensive reading programs, e.g. MINILIT, MACQLIT & Corrective Reading
- Targeted Reading Groups within the whole class or grade level.
- Peer tutoring.
- The Learning Support Teacher timetable.
- The Teacher Assistants timetable.
- Individual computer program tuition.
- Individual learning contracts.
- CEDB services, e.g. Speech & Language Assessment, OT Assessment, Psychometric testing & access to support staff
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Holy Family Catholic Primary School is committed to providing appropriate learning support to students within the given budget and resources available.
The school operates to provide quality Catholic education for the students, and our learning support program is an important aspect of our wider educational program.