The Cathedral College is an inclusive school, characterised by inclusive partnerships within a community of faith. We recognise and celebrate the unique gifts of all students.
We believe learners develop and learn in different ways, at different rates and in a variety of contexts. It is our role, therefore, to “assist individuals to grow in the fullness of their potential” (DCEO Learning Framework 2010). To achieve this goal, Curriculum Support Staff work with teachers, parents and students to help students achieve success in the secondary school setting.
Many students struggle to achieve success in a high school setting for a variety of reasons. Sometimes these reasons are easy to identify and solutions are simple. More often, however, a student’s difficulties may result from a complex range of factors. Curriculum Support Staff are called on to investigate and support a student experiencing difficulties at school.
We work with teachers, parents and students to identify causes of learning difficulties and develop strategies to promote student success. We also aim to work pro-actively to ensure optimum learning environments and strategies are in place for existing and incoming students. Our staff attend professional development opportunities on a regular basis and consult with outside agencies to ensure skills and knowledge are up-to-the-minute.
The Curriculum Support Centre Staff provide the following services:
Assessment and referral
We gather information about students from a variety of sources including report cards, meetings with parents and staff and discussions with students. This information is reviewed then support strategies are developed. In the process, we may conduct diagnostic testing of individuals or groups to assess specific skills (eg literacy, numeracy), or conduct general diagnostic interviews to determine the nature of problems at school. If necessary, and in consultation with parents, we may refer a student to student support officers or an outside agency or specialist for further evaluation and testing.
Modification of existing resources/assignments/tests
We work with teachers to modify existing resources, assignments and tests to meet the educational level of students with learning difficulties. We also help with ongoing lesson/unit planning to help teachers cater for the learning needs of all students in their classroom.
Research and development of resources, assignments and tests
We research and develop new materials to support students with learning difficulties.
Examination and assignment support
Some students with specific difficulties may require examination and assignment support to help them succeed at school. These students attend the College’s Curriculum Support Centre and work with staff to develop their assignment and research skills. Examination support may also be provided. We help students understand the examination questions and we may scribe answers if necessary.
Teacher aides work with teachers to support verified students and those with learning difficulties in many of their classes.
We are closely involved in the transition of Year 6 students into the College. We work proactively to ensure incoming students have any special needs identified and addressed.
Verification and Individual Education Plans
Students with high-level physical, cognitive or emotional issues affecting their learning are generally identified at a primary school level and ‘verified’ according to the Educational Adjustment Program (EAP) process. However, some students can be identified at Secondary Level. These students receive additional funding and support, including an Individual Education Plan (IEP). This plan identifies learning/behavioural goals for that student. Curriculum Support staff act as case managers for verified students and meet with parents, teachers and teacher aides to review students’ progress towards IEP goals.
In conclusion, we encourage parents to contact us at any stage prior to, during and after enrolment to discuss any concerns they may have about their child’s success at secondary school.