The Support Unit consists of classes for students who have been offered a placement according to their level of need. The Support unit currently comprises of 4 classes for students with a Mild Intellectual disability, 3 classes for students with a moderate intellectual disability and 1 Multi Categorical class.
Teaching staff are all recognised by the department of education as qualified in Special Education and each class has a School Learning Support officer assisting during lessons. This allows for teaching and learning experiences to be centred on the needs of each student.
Support classes have the opportunity to have lessons prepared and implemented by Support staff such as English, Maths, Geography and Science as well as having access to mainstream staff teaching speciality areas such as creative arts, music, Technology (mandatory), PDHPE, Languages and History. Some year 9- 12 students have the opportunity to take part in mainstream electives according to their abilities and special interests.
Every effort is made by staff to meet the needs of students in a caring atmosphere which fosters personal growth. This is regularly monitored and updated by nominated staff for each student through their Individual Education Plan.
Year 6- 7 Transitions
The Transition for students with placements begins during student's final year of Primary School, year 6. Head Teacher Support and Year Adviser, for Year 7 following year, meet with relevant staff in the primary school to discuss the level of ability for each student and any of their specific areas of need. Year 6 students with an approved and accepted placement are then invited to participate in a number of workshops at the school and are given a guided tour to assist in familiarising themselves with the school environment, staff and support students. This transition day acts as a complement to the standard Orientation which occurs for all Year 6 students. Parents are invited in during Term 4 of year 6, to begin developing the Individual Education Plan and to establish a relationship between Support staff and parents/ carers.
Transition planning begins for Support students during Year 10. This involves regular meetings with our Support Transition co-ordinator, regional support, student and parent/ carer. During these meetings there are discussions about options for senior years including Work Placement and TAFE. Post School options are explored, the steps required for each student to achieve their long term goals are recorded and an individual transition/ exit plan is created. This Individual Transition/Exit plans are reviewed and altered during Year 10, 11 and 12.
The subject, Work Studies, is offered as a subject for all senior students, this is complemented with employment agencies implementing sessions on ‘work Ready skills" for year 11 and 12 students. Throughout the year, senior students are given the information and encouraged to attend local post school pathways expos with parents/ carers.
All classes take part in a Community Access program. This develops skills in:
- Navigating around Sydney via Public Transport
- Reading timetables for Public Transport accurately
- Monitoring spending of their own money
- Independently ordering and purchasing items such as tickets, food
- Familiarising themselves with different areas of interest such as local TAFE campuses, Sydney CBD, Parramatta CBD
This is an ongoing program with the learning focus adjusted according to the areas of needs displayed by student groups.
Electives/ Skills Programs
A variety of programs are offered within the Support unit to cater to student's needs and interests. This includes programs such as:
- Reading Skills
- Fine Motor Skills
- Computer Skills
- Sewing/ Craft
Students have the opportunity to develop their abilities and knowledge, with the assistance of classroom teacher and school learning support officer.
As an annual process, parents/ carers are invited to a review meeting with school counsellor, regional disability programs coordinator, head teacher and classroom teacher involved in monitoring Individual Education Plan. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss the student's current placement, monitor progress and determine if there are any further actions necessary to ensure a learning environment that fosters successful learning outcomes for each individual student.