Learning Support at St Mary’s College is provided in a wide variety of ways. While the type of support most evident is the general, inclusive support offered in classrooms, there are many less visible, yet very effective, discreet support processes in place.
Adjustments to resources, programs, conditions and lesson delivery, scaffolding, templates, and provision of notes and sample finished products are some proactive measures taken in affording access to learning for diverse student needs. Changes to programming or timetables, or withdrawal of students from their mainstream classes for particular lessons are other support options which may be considered.
Learning Enrichment Team
The Learning Enrichment Team at St Mary’s College comprises the Support Teacher- Inclusive Education (ST-IE), specialist teacher(s) and teacher aide(s). All support provision is actioned as a result of identification of needs from data gathering and collaborative planning. The ST-IE works in partnership with teachers to assist in the provision of support in classes. At times, co-teaching, or teacher aide support in the mainstream classroom may be considered the best option. Support personnel are timetabled mainly in core classes including English, Mathematics, Science and Social Science classrooms. This is to assist students in the key areas of literacy and numeracy in an inclusive setting.
All students have access to support in a range of ways and to various extents as they continue their learning journeys. In particular, students with disabilities, learning difficulties and learning differences, once identified, are monitored and supported. At times, individuals or small groups of students may be withdrawn from class to work a parallel program in the Learning Enrichment Centre (LEC); a program planned by the subject teacher(s) in collaboration with the ST-IE. Intensive programs for identified high needs students in the areas of literacy and /or numeracy are also offered at times, when resourcing allows. This support may include those students whose first language is not English, who require extra assistance.
At various times throughout the year, the ST-IE and other support staff work in partnership with specialists, parents, teachers and students to review Education Adjustment Profiles, Individual Education Plans and Learning and Transition Plans for some of our students in need.
The Learning Enrichment Centre (LEC) is open before school and at breaks. Many students enjoy the support offered in the LEC at these times where they may seek assistance in understanding a concept, beginning or continuing an assignment, or preparing for exams. Students may also come to the LEC to undertake some quiet study or solve homework quandaries.
Learning Support at St Mary’s College is collaborative, varied, and as inclusive and discreet as practicable.
It is the belief of all support staff that each and every student is unique and has the capacity to learn; that each is “……. a lifelong learner; in some respect like all others, like some others, like no other”. (Brisbane Catholic Education Learning Framework June 2002)
Our task, as educators, is to empower them.