>   Student Learning Support

Student Learning Support

Holy Family Catholic Primary School recognises that all students are unique and that they present themselves to the school with many varied learning needs. The school is a mainstream school with limited resources and available funding in the area of special education.
We recognise that usually two tiers of learning support exist at the school. They include: 
Tier 1: Usually evidenced as shown in the general remedial needs of a percentage of a random population. 
Tier 2: Pertains to the few students at the school recognised to have special integration requirements.
To promote, provide and support the education and requirements of children with special needs and their families through integration and least restrictive practice in our school community.
To provide a caring supportive community, honoring our Catholic faith, where all children, families and staff are respected as equals and individuals and are encouraged to be the best they can be.

Parents are asked to disclose and list any particular health, learning or educational difficulties which they are aware of for their child when applying for an enrolment placement at the school.
All enrolment applications are considered individually at the school. Prospective students with special needs may need to have their enrolment application processed in conjunction with the Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst (CEDB) procedures.
The school strives to supplement this overall procedure by sometimes including the following procedures:
  • Pre enrolment meetings with the parents to ascertain their expectations of the possible inclusion of their child at the school.
  • Pre enrolment meeting with day care or preschool staff who have had the care of the child in the lead up time to school entry.
  • Observation visit by the Principal or Learning Support Staff to the day care centre or preschool. To observe the child the normal setting of the learning environment. And to see what levels of support may be needed for the child  at regular  school.
  • Assessment of the child by a registered psychologist to help ascertain school readiness.
  • Discussion of the process with the Catholic Education Office, School Executive and Parish Priest.
  • Discussion of the process with the school teaching staff as required.
  • Submission of the Enrolment Application and data to the CEDB as required.
  • Discussion of the process with the CEDB staff where applicable.
  • Assessment of the support structures needed for the school to successfully enrol the child at the school.
  • Application for funding via the CEDB.
The school values the enrolment of every child at the school. It is important however, that every possible support structure be put in place to successfully cater for the needs of the child.
Support structures to assist the integration might include:
  • CEDB funding of a part time Support Teacher
  • CEDB funding of a part time Teachers Assistant (Integration) to assist the class teacher.
  • CEDB funding of a part time Teachers Assistant (Literacy/Numeracy) to assist class teachers.
  • Where possible school supplementation of the funding of a Teachers Assistant (Integration).
  • Smaller class size (where possible), for the student’s inclusion into the school.
  • Staff inservice on the child’s condition and/or needs.
  • Professional development as appropriate for staff.
  • Use of CEDB special education staff as needed / as available.
  • Application for capital works / equipment funding for the child’s inclusion at the school.
Other in-school ways of assisting the child’s integration into the school might include:
  • Modification of the student’s workload in class.
  • Modification of the Student Report as prepared for parents.
  • Purchase of learning materials, books, equipment needed for class use.
  • Regular conference meetings with parents, teacher & Support Teacher to discuss student progress and goals.
  • Possible use of community specialists or resource people to assist the student’s inclusion at the school.
At Holy Family Catholic Primary School the support teacher:
  • Advocates for special needs children and their families.
  • Liaisons with families.
  • Works with individual children, their families and teachers to determine needs and provide appropriate assistance.
  • Works with classroom teacher, teacher assistant, education officers, para-medical personnel and parents to develop an I.P. for students receiving integration funding.
  • Organises plans, facilitates meetings during the year for students receiving integration funding.
  • Compiles and distributes meeting minutes and I.P. goals to all meeting participants.
  • Organises transition handover from preschool to school and from primary to secondary school including school visits and all relevant paperwork between school, parents and CEDB.
  • Assists and supports the classroom teacher in practical areas such as planning, forming modified tasks and activities, finding resources, researching issues, sourcing specialist assistance.
  • Working directly with the student on a particular special need, concern, issue, task or topic.
  • Address staff on special issues.
  • Provides information about integration support news.
  • Structures and coordinates the overall integration program in conjunction with the Principal and CEDB.
  • Recommends purchase of special education resources.
  • Assists with transition to high school.
  • Co-ordinates required administrative duties.
At Holy Family Catholic Primary School the Integration Assistant:
  • Assists the support teacher in the design and content of the tasks, skills and activities included in the I.P..
  • Helps to fulfill the I.P. goals by supporting the support teacher and classroom teacher.
  • Works face to face with integration children.
  • Liaises with the support teacher and with some communication to parents as needed.
  • Supports and advocates for children and their families.
  • Is a resource person for the classroom teacher and support teacher.
  • Consults with the class teacher and support teacher on student needs.
The Support Teacher and Integration Assistant will work in the classroom. In particular situations where the activity if of a loud nature, or possible disruptive to the class body they may work outdoors or in the Special Education Office/Tutorial Room.
The focus is that students when ever possible work in their classroom alongside peers.
The Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst has compiled a ‘School Support Charter’ to outline the support system in place at Diocesan Schools.  This is reviewed as required by CEDB.
Holy Family Catholic Primary School accepts this Charter as a guide to understanding the provision of services to students in the school.

Each class at the school will have some students with remedial needs especially in the areas of literacy and numeracy. This might include students that find overall learning difficult in these and other KLA’s.
Structures at the school which intend to assist these students could include:
  • Teachers Assistant Program, which each year intends to target the learning of those in each class with greatest need, as determined by the class teacher.
  • Peer Tutor Program. Older students assist younger students needing assistance with reading as determined by teachers.
  • Class / Grade Grouping. As determined by the class teachers.
  • Class Remedial Reading Program. Eg. ‘Heather Harvey Intensive Reading Program.’
  1. Integration. Students working within the Integration Program will have an Individual Plan in place. This is compiled in cooperation between the Support Teacher, Class Teacher and the child’s parents. Regular meetings are held to develop, amend, review and evaluate each I.P.. At the end of the school year, a ‘Student Evaluation’ is also drawn up.
  2. Remediation. Students working within the general remediation program at the school are involved in an end of year evaluation. This is in the form of post program testing and subsequent recommendation from the class teacher re a student’s inclusion in the program for the following year.
The provision for Integration and remedial students at the school requires the use of many varied teaching strategies and ideas. The following list is intended to be a sample only of the possibilities.
  • Compilation of Individual Program (I.P’s)
  • Class/grade grouping of students eg. Extension, average, lower ability bands.
  • Intensive reading programs eg. ‘Heather Harvey.’
  • ‘N.I.M’ for reading development.
  • Peer tutoring.
  • Special Education Teacher timetable.
  • Teacher Assistant (Integration) timetable.
  • Teacher Assistant (Literacy/Numeracy timetable.
  • Individual computer program tuition.
  • Individual learning contracts.
  • CEDB services eg. Psychometric testing, support staff 
*  *  *
Holy Family Catholic Primary School is committed to providing appropriate learning support to students within the given budget and resources available. 
The school operates to provide quality Catholic education for the students, and our learning support program is an important aspect of our wider educational program.