Learning Support

Learning support co-ordinators – Mr Tim O’Neill and Mrs Michelle Van Vlimmeren

LEARNING SUPPORT OVERVIEW

At St Mary’s Catholic College, our dedicated team provide support for students with disabilities, learning difficulties and those experiencing mental health/wellbeing concerns. Learning support staff work closely with families, school psychologists, student co-ordinators, classroom teachers and external specialists to determine student goals and provide the support required to maximise individual learning outcomes and improve student wellbeing.

CURRICULUM SUPPORT

Through consultation and collaboration with teachers, parents and students, curriculum support is offered to any member of the school community who has been identified as requiring additional assistance. This provision provides the opportunity for students to receive help in areas such as classwork, homework, assessment task planning and study skills. Teachers and learning support staff can nominate and pre-book an appropriate lesson/period for students to receive one-off curriculum support (individual or small group) using the Compass resource booking sheet.

DISABILITY PROVISIONS

Disability provisions are practical arrangements designed to help students who could not otherwise make a fair attempt to show what they know in an exam situation. The provisions granted are determined by likely effect on the student’s exam performance. Provisions may include small-group or separate supervision, a reader/writer, use of a computer for extended response questions and extra time and/or rest breaks. Eligible students from all year groups may be provided with provisions for in-class assessment tasks, half-yearly and yearly exams.

The process of determining eligibility is conducted in collaboration with classroom teachers, subject/year co-ordinators and learning support teachers and is always evidence-based. Evidence may include medical reports, specialist diagnosis information/assessment results and school-based reading results. The school is responsible for determining and approving adjustments for all school-based assessment tasks (Years 7-12).

NESA determines disability provisions for the HSC examinations. To apply for HSC provisions, the school is required to submit an online application to NESA by the last day of Term 1 (of the student’s HSC year).

For further information in relation to applying for school-based or HSC provisions, please contact St Mary’s Catholic College.

CLASSROOM SUPPORT

Regular or one-off additional classroom support may be provided for identified students by either a learning support teacher or a learning support assistant. Classroom-based support is offered after consultation with parents/carers, teachers and year co-ordinators. The wishes of individual students are always considered when determining the frequency and level of assistance provided.

LIFE SKILLS PROGRAMS

At St Mary’s Catholic College, all students are entitled to participate in and progress through the curriculum. Years 7-10 courses are based on Life Skills outcomes. Years 11-12 Life Skills courses will be provided for a student with a disability (in most cases this will be an intellectual disability) who, with reference to the collaborative curriculum planning guidelines, has demonstrated they are unable to meet regular course outcomes (when provided with additional supports and adjustments). A pattern of study may therefor include a combination of regular and/or Life Skills outcomes and content.

LUNCH CLUB

Lunch Club is a new initiative at St Mary’s Catholic College, providing an alternative lunch area supervised by a learning support teacher. The aim of the program is to promote positive social interactions while also providing an inclusive and stress-free environment for all students. Lunch Club is open Monday to Friday and students can spend the time talking, reading, finishing homework and playing games.

NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE SCHEME (NDIS)

We value and accommodate the support provided by specialists who work with children as part of the child’s NDIS support package. In consultation with parents/carers, we endeavour to support specialist intervention programs by providing a discrete location. However, please note that we expect this intervention (in most cases) to take place outside of regular class time.

CONTACT OUR LEARNING SUPPORT TEAM

School Contact: 02 4944 4800