At Emmaus Christian College, our students are taught their unique worth in light of God's love. Just as God has created each of us with a unique set of gifts and talents, He has also allowed us our personal challenges and weaknesses. By God's grace and in His strength, these weaknesses are an opportunity to lean on Him as we develop resilience and strength of character. Through our Learning Support programs we aim to provide a nurturing, loving environment where our students are encouraged and empowered to take hold of their own learning.
Learning Support Staff
Our team of Learning Support staff work closely with teachers to ensure students have an equal opportunity to access the curriculum and progress in their learning.
We have a dedicated Learning Support Coordinator who is passionate about the diversity inherent in God’s creation and about providing the scaffolds and modifications necessary to ensure all students are able to reach their potential. The Learning Support Coordinator works with teachers, parents and students to ensure appropriate programs and interventions are planned and implemented.
Through a team of Student Support Officers, students may have the opportunity for in-class assistance, small intervention groups or one-on-one guided assistance, based on their personal learning needs.
We have a strong focus on early intervention. Twice each year, we conduct school-wide literacy screening to assess for progress in reading and spelling. In response to this we provide flexible support through:
- Generalised in-class assistance by Student Support Officers (SSOs)
- SSO withdrawal groups
- Intensive one-on-one or small group focus with the Learning Support Teacher
Maths classes are deliberately smaller and taught in straight year groups to ensure that teacher time is maximised between pupils to develop knowledge and understanding. Formal written work is balanced with concrete activities which reinforce import fundamental concepts.
We also work with external specialists such as Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Austism Therapists and Physiotherapists, to provide opportunities for assessment and intervention and to develop programs which accommodate the individual needs of students within the school setting.
In 2018, we introduced MiniLit, a structured group literacy program to cater for Tier Two Junior Primary students within a Response to Intervention (RTI) framework. In 2019 this was extended to the MacqLit, providing support for students in Year 3 to 8.
We have a focus on assisting Middle School students to develop the executive function skills required for effective self-managed study. These skills are essential for preparing them for the more intensive Senior School years.
Executive functions are the cognitive processes we need to manage our daily activities, such as:
- breaking down tasks
- goal setting, planning and prioritising
- starting tasks and staying focused on them to completion
- self-monitoring and reflection
Working with teachers
Learning Support staff work with teachers to provide adjustments which enable access to the mainstream curriculum.
Working with the curriculum
Learning Support staff adapt and modify the curriculum to meet students' needs in a mainstream setting.
Through Senior School our Learning Support Policy has a focus on supporting and encouraging students to achieve their goals, whether it be achieving a SACE or completing work for a VET course. We provide both in-class and withdrawal group SSO support for identified needs.
The Learning Assistance Program
The Learning Assistance Program (LAP) a student-centred and volunteer-based mentoring program designed to assist schools to implement one-on-one learning that supports, guides and enriches the wellbeing and learning outcomes of their students from Foundation to Year 12. It focuses on the wellbeing, academic, social and emotional needs of students through the powerful and positive contribution of mentors.
Through the involvement of valuable members of our College community, the Program allows us to provide additional support to students. Volunteer mentors meet their students once a week for one lesson throughout the year. They are carefully matched to build upon individual student’s strengths, interests and abilities.
LAP volunteers are mentors who:
- provide individual time and care for school students
- accept students as the unique individuals they are
- come from all walks of life with differing experiences and talents
Become a LAP Mentor
If you would like to be involved in our College community in a meaningful way and you have a genuine interest in seeing young people grow in their education, faith and self-esteem, then we'd love to hear from you.
Contact Carolyn Adams, Special Education Coordinator on 8292 3888.