“I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
Recognising the God-given unique qualities that make up the individual student is imperative. In some cases this means assessing for, discovering and analysing deficits in a student’s learning ability and providing support both in and out of the classroom.
Our Education Support Centre works side by side with the classroom teacher, discussing student behaviour and achievement, reading external provider reports and recommendations, and developing support strategies for the classroom and the playground. Individual Plans are developed, using team consultation where possible, for students with behavioural or academic characteristics that may require additional support in self-management, personal organisation, classroom focus and academic strategies. The Education Support Centre also assists in the organisation and collation of standardised assessment K-6. Cognitive assessment is currently unavailable at the college.
Support staffing includes an Education Support Coordinator/Teacher, an Education Support Teacher and seven full-time and part-time Teachers’ Support Aides. The teachers’ aides have been trained in MultiLit’s Reading Tutor Program, Pre-Lit and MiniLit as well as Rip It Up Reading, a reading program designed for those with a working memory deficit, and developmental numeracy skills. Education support also involves the staff participating in provision of Literacy and Numeracy group strategies in the classrooms Kindergarten to Year 6. Full time individual student support is not available but teachers’ aides do work with groups within the classroom at specific times of the day.
The HUB, a section of the ESC, has been designed to support secondary students needing assistance with assignments, class tasks and/or examinations. Open daily, students are booked in by their subject teachers and work is approached in a relaxed but constructive manner, with only a maximum of eight students in The HUB at one time.
With private N.D.I.S funding available for students with specific diagnoses, the ESC allows external providers to work with the students in the classroom where required or in rooms set aside for that purpose. We have welcomed speech therapists, occupational therapists, skills development assistants and counsellors and work alongside these practitioners, aiming for quality differentiated learning support for targeted students.
During lunchtimes the Creative Kids At Work program provides a quieter space for students who prefer not to run around in a noisy playground. Activities include playdough and kinetic sand manipulation, Lego and related construction, puzzle completion and art sessions.
A school-readiness program, Ready Set Go!, also runs in the ESC in Terms 3 and 4, providing some basic classroom skills and mini lessons in Literacy and Numeracy for the next year’s Kindergarten intake.
Education Support at Taree Christian College is more than listening to children read and assessing for learning deficits. The work of the ESC involves working with and understanding multiple diagnoses as well as those who simply find learning very difficult. Therefore, we aim to provide quality support within the College’s Christian values, which include compassion, humility, integrity, self-control and trustworthiness.