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St. Pius X High School

Learning Support Team

 

St Pius X High School is proud to provide a range of services and programs for a diverse group of students with learning difficulties and disabilities. Our school community is wide and varied and as a result, requires specifically designed programs to suite a range of abilities.

 
At present, staffing in the area includes a Learning Support Coordinator, 1.4 Learning Support Teachers, four permanent part time Learning Support Assistants and two casual Learning Support Assistants. The main focus of the Learning Support area is to provide assistance to teachers, students and parents with how to best assist students with intellectual or physical disabilities as well as those who may have Learning Difficulties.

 

Life Skills Program

St Pius X High School is unique in the diocese as we support an integrated learning environment and promote inclusivity.
The school currently has two Learning Support Teachers who teach a small group of students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities as well as physical disabilities. These students are taught the core subjects: Mathematics, English, History, Geography and Science in a discreet setting.
 
The students who are participating in a full Life Skills Programs can access these programs in mainstream classes in all other subjects such as Technology, Physical Education and Music (Year 7 Program). These parallel or alternative programs are delivered by the mainstream teacher and supported by a Learning Support Assistant. This is of great advantage to the student as they benefit from specialised programs designed to their level of capability across all Key Learning Areas as well as socialising with the mainstream cohort.
 
A range of other programs such as Lunch Club is available four days per week. This program further compliments the Life Skills programs.  This is an additional “safe” area which is a fully supervised small group activity where students can mix socially, play board games or use computers whilst they interact with other students with disabilities or mainstream students during the lunch time break.
 

Curriculum Support Program
Students who are currently funded under the Commonwealth Government Act, Students with Disabilities or SWD Funding Program, participate in a specialist program which is taught by a Learning Support Teacher. One period per week, a student is scheduled into a small focus group to have assistance with accessing Assessment tasks, improving study skills or completing homework tasks.
 

Online Lexia Reading Program
Selected students who have an identified Learning Difficulty have the opportunity to participate in a specialised online reading program three times per fortnight. This is supervised by a Learning Support Assistant and the Learning Support Coordinator. This program specifically targets literacy problems such as difficulties in phonemic awareness, sounds and blends. It can also be accessed from a home computer for additional practise.
 

Social Skills Program
Students who have been experiencing difficulty in understanding or participating in social activities with their peers may be nominated to attend a Social skills program. This is lead by the Learning Support Coordinator. Individual sessions are designed to identify the main issues. Small groups are then formed to discuss, learn and practise appropriate social skills. The program culminates with the members organising a social event that all members can enjoy.
 

Special Provisions for Examinations
Students who have a diagnosed medical condition, disability or learning difficulty can apply for Special Provisions for examinations through the Learning Support Department. Students can apply for one or a combination of special provisions for examinations. These may include separate supervision, extra time, rest breaks, Diabetic provisions, reader/writer or personal computer use, depending on the level of need. Application is made by parents and a series of steps need to be followed through before they can be approved and put into action. 
 

Transition Programs
Transition programs are organised at the beginning and towards the end of each year to assist specific students, who may have difficulty establishing a routine in a new environment. This includes from Year 6 to Year 7 and from Year 10 to Year 11 or the work environment or other post school options. The students we assist are often those with disabilities who can experience an elevated level anxiety around these times. Additional school visits may need to be organised, partial participation in lessons or special events may need to be held to assist the students and parents who require more preparation for coming events.
 

Aboriginal Education Program
This program is dependent upon external funding which varies from year to year. During 2011 funding was provided for the employment of a Learning Support Teacher one day per week. St Pius X has a small group of indigenous students who are currently gaining assistance through various programs which have been designed to meet the current need. Programs such as specific Literacy support, developing computing and technology skills and exploring Art and Culture are part of the focus for 2011.
 
 
The Learning Support Department is involved in a range of other programs and activities around the structure of the school environment. We  lend assistance with the organisation and delivery of NAPLAN, provide additional assistance for ESL students, support on school excursions and Retreats as well as contributing to the delivery of the various school Community Days and liturgies.

 


Contact Details are as follows:

School Contact:    02 49571032
Learning Support Coordinator:    Ms Susan Price
Direct number:  02 40132636
Fax:  02 49575088
Email:  susan.price@mn.catholic.edu.au


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                                             Above: A Life Skills class in action
 

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                                            Above: Life Skills Excursion
 

 

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                                        Above: One of our Learning Support Teachers working with a student

 

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                                       Above: One of our Learning Support Teachers working with a student