MEETING THE NEEDS OF ALL STUDENTS

There is a wide range of innate learning abilities amongst the children in any class. The aim of an educator is to facilitate all students in reaching their potential.

The standard curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the majority of children in a regular classroom setting. Learning Support provisions modify the core curriculum to meet the particular needs of children with specific learning difficulties. Gifted children also require curriculum modifications to meet their particular needs.

BELIEF STATEMENT

Sacred Heart Mosman is committed to the development of each individual student. We provide an environment for the growth of the whole person – the spiritual, social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. 

Therefore we at Sacred Heart:

  • Screen all students to identify academically gifted and talented students.
  • Provide for gifted and talented students in the mixed ability classroom through curriculum differentiation.
  • Offer a range of provisions to cater for the individual needs of highly and profoundly gifted students.
  • Participate in ongoing Professional Learning

Learning Support

“Gospel values of respect and equity, and the social justice teachings of the Catholic Church, ensure that Diocesan Systemic Schools offer an inclusive education.”

At Sacred Heart we aim to create an environment that is safe and nurturing and to develop an individual rapport with all children. The Learning Support Team (LST), including the learning support teacher, class teacher, principal, therapists, early learning interventionists and parents, collaborates in partnership to provide a well-rounded and inclusive program.

The LST at Sacred Heart focuses upon the provision of support to children who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn or access education than most children of the same age.

The learning support is offered in a way that addresses the students' individual differences and needs. This process involves the individually planned and systematically monitored arrangement of teaching procedures, adapted equipment and materials, accessible settings, and other interventions designed to help learners with special needs achieve a higher level of personal self-sufficiency and success in school.

Common special needs include challenges with learning, communication challenges, emotional and behavioral disorders, physical disabilities, and autism spectrum disorders. Students with special needs of this kind are likely to benefit from additional educational services such as different approaches to teaching, use of technology, a specifically adapted teaching area, or resource room.

Sacred Heart Catholic School is committed to the enrolment of children from all families that entrust themselves to the school and the parish. The time of enrolment is an opportunity for open dialogue, reflection and considered decision-making about the individual circumstances and spiritual journey of the student in the context of family and the religious purposes of the school in the life of the parish. 

The Special Needs Program at Sacred Heart Mosman involves the following steps:

Identifying

  1. Assessing
  2. Profiling the student in the areas of– communication, social interaction, behavioural, sensory, learning, academic and information processing /learning styles
  3. Programming - impact, strategies, resources, action
  4. Ongoing maintenance

Identification and Assessment of Students with Special Needs

Identification of a child with a disability or a learning difficulty can occur at any age or stage of the child's development.

Access to specialist resources is facilitated through the LST. For students with disabilities, the type and nature of the disability needs to be initially assessed and confirmed. 

If you believe your child has special learning needs that require additional assistance please contact the principal or classroom teacher. The principal will recognise your child's needs in consultation with the school's LST.

The LST assists classroom teachers to address the educational needs of students with a disability, learning difficulty or behaviour disorder. Parents or caregivers have a vital role to play in the work of the LST through collaboratively discussing and planning for their child's needs. 

Profiling, Programming and Maintenance

Through regular Individual Adjustment Program  (IAP) meetings, the LSTcreates an individualised program that is best suited to the child’s needs. The IAP process remains a valuable means of collaboratively planning for the educational needs of students. It brings together parents/carers, educators, specialist support staff and the student (where appropriate) as a team to consider the student's current level of performance and to determine the student's educational needs and future learning priorities. 

Class teachers keep records of curriculum planning for all students in the class. An IAP is a tool that may be used to document planning for specific individual educational needs arising from a disability. The student's educational support team use professional judgments to determine whether the IAP process would provide an effective planning approach for students with disabilities. 

Catering for Special Needs at Sacred Heart

Sydney Catholic Schools (formerly Sydney CEO) allocates a specific number of days per week for the position of Learning SupportTeacher at Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School.  The Learning Support Teacher, alongside the Literacy Co-ordinator, classroom teachers and Learning Support Officers work together to provide a variety of quality programs and opportunities for students with special needs to learn and to succeed within our school.

We cater for the individual special needs of our students by providing opportunities to participate in:

  • Learning Assistance Program - Multi-Lit, Mini - Lit, Reading Recovery.
  • Peer Assisted Learning Programs
  • Parent – reading/literacy – currently involved in intensive literacy program, spelling, maths sessions 
  • Special Education Programs – in consultation with parents and specialists, Individual adjustment programs are designed to suit any child who is eligible for Integration funding.
  • Teaching Programs – classroom teacher programs include adjustments for any child who presents with learning difficulties
  • Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Special Education Programs- These extremely worthwhile services are provided through outside specialists who visit the school each week.  Close contact between the specialists, class teachers and parents ensures that a collaborative approach is maintained

Personnel to Support Children with Special Needs

  • Classroom Teachers
  • Teacher Assistants
  • Special Needs teacher
  • Parent volunteers
  • Outside/private speech therapists
  • Outside/private occupational therapist
  • Outside/private special needs educator
  • School Counsellor – shared with other local Catholic schools also supports K-6 on a referral basis.

The Learning Support Teacher liaises with the Advisor for Students with Special Needs from Sydney Catholic Schools. The role also involves assistance with interviews for children entering Kindergarten the following year. This may include making recommendations to parents to ensure that the children have the best possible start to their formal schooling. It also involves liaising with preschools as part of the transition process from preschool to school.