Supporting all Learners
Our school is supported in a number of different ways from a variety of support people whose job it is to assist with the education of all our children. These needs may be physical, intellectual, emotional, social, etc. Special needs may take the form of needing extra assistance to cope with certain aspects of class work, extra assistance to extend the capabilities or special programs to strengthen a particular skill or talent.
St. Joseph’s strives to provide opportunities for our children and to ensure all children are catered for. Part of this provision includes tapping into specialised support services. It is through the discussion with the class teacher, learning support teacher and principal that specific programmes are developed.
St. Joseph’s is an integral component of the Rockhampton Catholic Education Office. Utilising the consultancy services of the Catholic Education Office, our school has access to experts in Curriculum, Instructional Support and Special Needs, Aboriginal Education Officer, Professional Counsellor and Information Technology.
Access to Learning Support is achieved by the referral of individual students to the Learning Support teacher for assessment. Referral requires parent permission and support, and assessment is comprehensive, sometimes requiring the services of a Guidance Counsellor, Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist and/or Speech Language Pathologist. After the assessment takes place, consultations between Learning Support teacher, classroom teacher, teaching assistant and parents decide the appropriate level of support to be provided.
Education support at St Joseph’s currently operates with one part-time fully qualified and experienced teacher and several part-time, qualified and experienced teaching assistants. There is a well resourced classroom available for withdrawal work with pupils on a 1-1 or small group basis if necessary. Currently, the support is predominantly classroom based enabling students to access the curriculum through greater on task support, differentiated curriculum materials and providing specifically targeted resources.
Class teachers and specialist teachers are kept informed about the difficulties students can and do experience. They are encouraged to attend a range of relevant professional development courses to increase their awareness and skills in addressing varied disabilities. There is shared ownership between parents, class teachers and specialist staff in developing and reviewing the Individual Education Plans, Health Plans and Personalised Learning Plans.
As part of the Equity programme offered at St. Joseph’s and in keeping with the school mission, an education programme is individually devised for students who have been through the EAP process. These students work on an individualized program in the regular classroom with additional assistance given in a 1:1 situation either within the classroom or on a withdrawal basis. In addition to the individualized programs developed for students who have been through the EAP process a number of other students with Learning Disabilities work on modified programs within the regular classroom. These are developed in consultation with learning support and classroom teachers.
St Joseph’s provides the opportunity for staff to refer a student to the Pastoral Care Worker thus enabling the classroom teacher to deal more effectively with the day to day issues.
The duties of our the Pastoral Care Worker include liasing with the Principal and class teachers to ascertain the needs of individual children and groups of children, assisting children who have behavioural difficulties to review behaviour, examine consequences and attain new skills, supporting children who experience hardship and worry and providing individual and group sessions to cater for specific needs of children. eg
- Self-esteem, confidence
- bullying and teasing
- social skills
- conflict management
- self-discipline, behaviour modifications
- family support