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Student Support

As each child is special in God's eyes it is essential that they be given the opportunity to develop to their full potential in all spheres of life.

Schools, in particular, have the responsibility to provide an educational environment that enhances all children's learning.  This view is endorsed by the Department for Education and Children’s Services (1992); P.2.

"All young people in South Australia have the right to gain ... a broad balanced

education that will prepare them for effective participation in society."

Our school recognises that each child to receive a balanced education provision must be made to ensure that children with special needs have access to the curriculum, which may be modified to an appropriate manner, where resources permit.

Prescott Primary Northern encourages all children to develop to their full potential. We aim to achieve this by:

1.         Identifying children who need to be supported effectively and systematically.

2.         Being sensitive to the specific requirements of special needs students.

3.         Negotiating and modifying appropriately curricula for the support of special needs students.

4.         Providing all children with special needs appropriate support commensurate with their needs.

5.         Using a range of support services in and outside the school to enhance a balanced education for special needs students.

6.         Monitoring effectively the progress of all special needs students.

 

Who Is It For?

Prescott Primary Northern's Special Needs Policy will be provided for students with:

  • Intellectual
  • Global development delay
  • Physical
  • Hearing
  • Vision
  • Speech and Language
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Social Emotional
  • Gifted and Talented

The extent to which a child may be catered for will be dependent on the availability of personnel and resources.  Priority will be given to those students with the greatest need.

 

Order of Priority for Inclusion

Students with special requirements which interfere with their access to the curriculum and which cannot adequately be met by the class teacher.

Students identified by the school’s annual standardised testing procedure as being ‘at risk’.

Students whose academic achievement is two or more years behind or ahead of their peers (as identified by psychological testing).

Students identified by their class teacher as needing additional assistance.

Personnel who may be involved in providing for special needs Students:

  • Principal
  • Special Needs Co-ordinator
  • Classroom teacher
  • Special Needs Teacher
  • School Services Officer
  • Part-time teachers
  • Parents/Guardians
  • Specialist personnel
  • Peer tutors

 

How is the Need Determined?

Assistance from a Special Needs Teacher will be determined in the following ways:

a.        A teacher may recommend a student to the Special Needs Co-ordinator.  In this instance the teacher should be able to outline the areas of need and have examples of the student's work.  After discussions with the Special Needs Co-ordinator observations may be done by class teacher, principal or Special Needs Co-ordinator.

 

b.        A parent may recommend his/her child have extra assistance. In this instance the teacher and Special Needs Co-ordinator need to consult each other and an interview with the parent may be deemed necessary.

c.         The Special Needs Co-ordinator may be contacted by another party, e.g. an Occupational Therapist, with strategies to assist a special needs student in assessing the curriculum.  The Special Needs Co-ordinator would then discuss the implementation of any such strategies with the classroom teacher concerned.

d.        An Early Detection of Reading difficulties at this stage of their schooling will be done by way of an automatic test for all children upon completion of their first year of schooling (Clay, M. 1985). Any children with reading difficulties at this stage of their schooling will then be eligible to receive help from the Special Needs Co-ordinator.

e.         Students who have been identified by the school’s annual standardised testing procedure as being ‘at risk’, that is 12 months behind peers for junior primary students and approximately 2 years behind or ahead of peers in middle and upper primary, may need specialised assistance in a particular area of the curriculum.

 

Enrolment Procedures

 

If, at the initial interview, it is established that a child has Special needs the following procedure will ensue:

1.         Obtain written permission from the parent's / guardian's to seek relevant information regarding a child's suitability for placement in Prescott Primary ­Northern.

2.         Request parent/guardian's to complete the schools 'Student Information’ form.

3.         Principal (in consultation with the Special Needs Co-ordinator) compare itemised list of student's curriculum support needs against the school's resources, and its ability to meet any additional costs that may be involved.

4.         Where necessary, the principal should consult with the AISSA (Association of Independent Schools in South Australia) and Special Needs Co-ordinator to determine the most appropriate placement.

5.         Arrange a meeting with the parent/s to discuss outcomes of items No 3. and 4.

6.         Document each step in the enrolment /interview process, regardless of the outcome.

7.         Enrolment will proceed if a support plan can be developed (in consultation with the student, parents and staff) in which all agree is in the child's best interest, with ongoing provisions for regular monitoring and review.

 

Action Plan

In order to implement the policy outlined above, it will be necessary to:

1 .        Gain staff acceptance and support of the aforementioned teaching and administration policies, and their consent to implement these policies (or modified versions which have staff consensus) within a specific time frame, no greater than two years.

2.         Update the current 'Student Information’ forms to ensure they solicit all relevant details pertaining to the background and individual requirements of special needs students, as a prerequisite to enrolment.

3.         Develop a suitable "Special Needs Enrolment Information" form that will outline the enrolling student's curriculum and special  needs requirements, so it may be clearly determined if the school's provision of the required services and facilities is reasonable and affordable.

4.         Develop and maintain a comprehensive and up-to-date checklist of all facilities, staff and resources available at Prescott Primary Northern (and also resources in the community that the school has access to), as a comparative reference for the requirements of enrolling Special needs students.

5.         Develop an ongoing staff in-service program that promotes the development of professional expertise, in these special-needs-related areas on a priority/needs basis.

 

Acceleration

This involves promotion   to higher  grades in accordance with the child's current level of achievement.  It   may take place across the board or in individual subject areas.

Early admission to school may be possible should recommendation be made by a psychologist who has assessed a particular child.

Acceleration Guidelines at Prescott Primary Northern are as follows:

1.           There should be a comprehensive evaluation of the child.

2.         Intellectually the child should have an IQ of 135 or higher or should have a level of mental development that is at least two standard deviation from the norm.

3.         Academically the child should demonstrate skill levels of at least one year above the class into which he or she would be advanced.  If the child is high in several academic areas but low in only one or two he or she may be advanced as long as there is help available in the weak subjects.  If the child is advanced in only one or two academic areas he or she should remain with the present class but be allowed to work with a higher class for the subject in which he or she excels.

4.         In most cases the child should be socially and emotionally free of any serious adjustment problems and have demonstrated persistence and motiv­ation however in some cases adjustment problems may have been caused by inappropriate grade placement and acceleration will alleviate the problem.

5.         Physically, the child should be in good health.  Physical size should only be considered to the extent that competitive sports may be important in later years.  Even that problem is unimportant if teams are selected on an age rather than a grade level.

6.         The child should not feel pressured to advance.

7.         The teacher who will have the child in the advanced class should be positive about the acceleration and should be prepared to help the child to adjust to the new class.

8.         Mid year and end of year acceleration are both acceptable.  Mid year has the advantage of both teachers still working in the school so both can support the child.  End of year has the advantage of all the children changing class.

9.         Caution is needed to not build excessive expectations from acceleration.  The child should not be made to feel a failure if it does not go well.

10.       Some children are so advanced that a single grade's acceleration is insuffic­ient.  This would happen if the child were 3 or more standard deviations above the mean or 4 or more years above the current class level.

 

Enrichment

This involves providing opportunity for a child to study particular material more fully than the rest of the class or to cover material not normally covered by other children.

Forms of enrichment offered are:

a)        Individual independent study where students are given the time and means to analyse, synthesise and evaluate information, either individually or in small groups within the class setting.

b)        Subject interest groups where school staff or outside professionals conduct an enrichment program out of class in a given subject over a period of 5 weeks up to one term for students who exhibit a gift or talent in that subject.  On some occasions children may choose to participate in an area of interest, not necessarily in an area of strength, purely for enrichment purposes.

c)        Out of school cluster groups may, on occasion, be offered where students visit other schools to extend their gifts and talents in a particular subject.  Generally such programmes run during Term 2 and 3. Details of such programs and their duration are only available when such programs are offered.

 

Withdrawal

Children are withdrawn at times from the classroom to work on an independent task under the supervision of a specialised teacher/teachers’ aide/parent volunteer.

As a general practice it is not expected that children who are leaving the classroom for acceleration/enrichment will be required to catch up on class work missed.