Diverse Learning at the Senior Campus
The Diverse Learners Department in the Senior Campus support both students with verified disabilities and / or learning difficulties and gifted students.
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We regard each student as unique in God’s creation, with specific intellectual, spiritual and emotional needs. Accordingly, we strive to provide the highest quality of support within our means to cater for every student in a caring, compassionate and conducive environment for learning.
Through inclusion, it is intended that students with disabilities and/or learning difficulties will be able to access the same opportunities on the same basis as their peers, and to develop skills that will equip them for lifelong learning. Equally, it is the College’s goal to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of gifted students.
The Diverse Learners Department works under the guidelines of the Prince of Peace Lutheran College Enrolment Policy regarding the inclusion of gifted students or students with disabilities and/or learning difficulties. We manage the needs of students with disabilities by developing an Education Adjustment Program (EAP) and an Individual Education Plan (IEP). Whilst, the gifted students’ needs are managed through an Education Enrichment Profile (EEP). These documents outline the academic, social and emotional needs of each student which enables the College to carefully assess each student’s specific needs and identify support mechanisms that are required. These processes are managed through the Diverse Learners Department who partner and work closely with the classroom teachers for the differentiation of the curriculum for all students.
A key component in the provision of quality support is achieved through a comprehensive assessment process of students requiring education support. A wide range of tools are used to ensure this assessment is carried out effectively which include, amongst other: national testing, standardised/diagnostic assessments, consultations and observations by school staff, consultations with students and parents and assessment by medical/allied health professionals. Upon completion, the relevant education support plan is prepared and reviewed by all the stakeholders including student, parents and teachers prior to implementation.
Education support is provided in-class, and off-line support by withdrawing students for individualised and/or small group support by a dedicated team of teacher-aides. In the pursuit of providing support there is constant vigilance to identify students’ strengths and skills by engaging them to develop their full potential.
Regular communication takes place with the students, parents, teachers and other professionals to ensure the student’s needs are being catered for and the education plans are reviewed accordingly. Periodic diagnostic assessments are carried out for any changes to education needs and curriculum is modified accordingly. Modifying the curriculum may include appropriate ability level adjustments and reduction in subjects. Support is also provided to students with assignments; organisation; timetabling options and access arrangements and reasonable adjustments (AARA) for exams such as extra time, reader, scribe, technology, varied setting and rest breaks.
The College looks beyond the student’s life at school and explore a number of avenues and opportunities that may assist the student’s post-school options. These include, working with the College’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) department to assist with career planning; Senior Education and Training (SET) planning; identification of TAFE courses and apprentice and employment opportunities.
We are committed that every gifted student should be provided with the opportunities to develop to their full potential. Giftedness is identified in being either intellectually or academically talented within a given field or subject. We regard that students must have an IQ score above 120 to be deemed as gifted or a formal IQ assessment; a score above the 97th percentile on the Ravens Progressive Matrices Exam is also sufficient. In the absence of these scores, students can be deemed ‘academically talented’ if their academic performance is so exceptionally high that significant differentiation, curriculum compacting or acceleration is necessary to meet their learning abilities and pace.
A critical part of supporting gifted students’ rests with a comprehensive assessment to ensure that the most suitable opportunities and guidance is made available to them. These include, accessing any prior involvement with gifted assessments and programs, and identification by student, parent, teachers and professionals for referral to Diverse Learner’s Department for comprehensive assessments and determination. A wide range of diagnostic tools such as WISC, Ravens Progressive Matrices Exam, AGAT and any other reliable sources are used to enable a proper assessment of the type and level of giftedness that is to be supported.
Upon determination of the giftedness, an Enrichment Profile is prepared in consultation with student, parents and teachers. These profiles classify gifted students into three levels of support categories which are acceleration, Extension and Enrichment. These may result in grade/subject advancement, differentiation of curriculum to suit, and in-school and external programs and activities to provide further challenges and opportunities for students. Students are provided with internal extra-curricular activities in debating and robotics with access to a range of external activities such as ICAS competitions, Australian Mathematics Competition, Computational Algorithmic Thinking, Ethics Olympiad, Opti-minds and World Scholars Cup.
Regular interaction with the student, parent, teachers and professionals take place to ensure that each student’s progress is assessed and enabled to realise their full potential.