The goal of Learning Support at St Bede’s is to ensure that children with diagnosed disabilities and additional needs benefit from an inclusive education of quality learning opportunities with high expectations that consider each child’s individual needs.
Staff consider parents/carers as equal partners in the education of their children with additional needs and encourage communication on a regular basis. The dedicated staff also liaise with our wellbeing team, school psychologist and external specialists to determine student goals and appropriate support aimed at maximising individual learning potential.
Literacy and numeracy support at St Bede’s Catholic College is in the form of a whole school approach. Staff are committed to knowing all students and how they learn, working to their individual strengths and supporting them in areas of growth. Students can be referred to the Learning Support Coordinator for further assessment and observation. Students who have learning difficulties will be supported through modified tasks and learning.
At busy times throughout each term, Learning Support staff offer students the opportunity to gain assistance with immediate issues such as homework, assessment task planning and preparation or developing study skills. This is held during lunch breaks. Students can also use this space for ‘Time-out’ from the playground. The staff member on duty promotes positive social interaction and inclusion of all students. Students can spend the time talking, reading or playing games.
‘Disability Provisions’ is the name given to provisions to assist students with a variety of needs to achieve success at school. Provisions may assist students to read examination questions and write their answers or complete their exams in a quiet space away from distraction. The use of any provision does not affect the student’s results.
Students may need provisions for many reasons including: a permanent condition (such as diabetes), a mental health disability or reading difficulty, a temporary condition (such as a broken arm) or an intermittent condition (such as back pain when sitting for long periods.) Examples of provisions include: braille or large print papers, use of reader and/or writer, use of an interpreter, extension of time, rest breaks, use of a computer and separate exam supervision (NESA, 2017).
In class support may be provided to students through instruction and support from a Learning Support Assistant (LSA) dependant on the individual needs of the student. LSAs assist the classroom teacher by supporting students with additional needs with organisation, following of instructions and curriculum support.
As part of the English curriculum, with the support of the Learning Support faculty, St Bede’s offers the MacqLit reading program for selected students (Macquarie University Literacy Program). The aim of MacqLit is to identify and support those students who are substantially behind their cohort, specifically in the mechanics of learning to read.
Year 6 to 7 transition is a collaborative process where we work closely with feeder and non-feeder primary schools, parents/carers and other stakeholders to ensure student needs are addressed and the transition to high school is a positive experience.
We value and accommodate student support provided by specialists who work with children as part of their NDIS support package. In consultation with parents/carers, we can timetable specialist intervention and provide a discrete location.
School Contact: (02) 4088 8222
Learning Support Coordinator: Elizabeth Hancock