At St Clare's Catholic High School we are challenged, by the Parramatta Catholic Education Office Vision Statement, to ‘be inviting, inclusive and just’.
Our school values the unique nature of each individual student. We welcome and celebrate diversity in culture, language background and talents. We strive to develop each individual according to his or her potential, and to prepare students with diverse learning needs for full, active and meaningful participation in society.
The school operates within an inclusive framework. This means that students with diverse learning needs are primarily catered for within the mainstream classroom, with the specialist support of the learning support team.
Programs, policies and practices have been developed to cater for the diverse needs of students with disabilities. The needs of students with a cognitive delay, language disorder, specific learning difficulties, mental health issues, literacy difficulties, and for those who have a language background other than English, are important and catered for.
Our teaching theory states that students learn best when they are experiencing success through engaged learning with appropriate tasks, leading to responsibility for their learning.
Therefore the learning support team will:
- recognise the critical role of the classroom teacher in identifying the diverse needs of students, and adjust their teaching programs for the range of students in their classes
- assist LOL (Leaders of Learning), to work with their staff and members of the learning support team, with adjusting classroom tasks, assignments and assessment tasks to cater for the range of students within their classes
- provide support and opportunities for professional development for all staff, to further their skills in teaching and supporting the full range of students
- identify and access students with diverse learning support needs and provide support according to their needs and within the constraints of supplied funding
- provide a yearly individual plan (educational, transition, behaviour or health) and evaluation for all funded special education students, and regularly meet and liaise with parents
- provide individual, small group and class support, where possible, to ensure support is catering to students’ needs
- liaise with school staff and outside agencies to support the needs of students with learning difficulties
- liaise with feeder schools to identify and track students with learning support needs
- apply for and administer special provisions in the ROSA, for eligible students
- identify students with high literacy and numeracy support needs, particularly on transition to the school or after the NAPLAN assessment.
The learning support team will coordinate programs to assist students, based on the funding criteria determined by the Catholic Education Office, Parramatta. This flows from the Disability Standards for Education (2005) and entitles each student access to courses and programs offered by the school ‘on the same basis’ as a student without a disability. This will mean that appropriate ‘adjustments’ need to be made to the educational environment and to the curriculum which will facilitate ‘participation’ by students with special and diverse learning needs. This underpins the approach of the school in supporting students with learning difficulties and disabilities at St Clare's Catholic High School.