We recognise and acknowledge that as parents, you are the first educators of your children. When your children come to school, we continue what you have started and work together with you to support your child’s learning journey.
In order to do this, we undertake a range of formal, standardised assessments across Literacy and Numeracy. This allows us to identify areas of strength and areas of need for each child.
Any intervention we put in place is informed by the data we collect and is designed to accelerate learning and foster independence. Some of the interventions we offer are a short, sharp hit to fill a gap in understanding, however, others are implemented over a longer period of time, bearing in mind children need up to 200 hits or exposures to a new concept before they have a full understanding of it. Some children pick up new concepts quickly, while others need a bit longer, or they may need to have that information presented in a different way for them to gain a full understanding.
We adopt a collaborative approach to supporting our students’ learning. We work closely with the Leadership Team, Classroom Teachers, CEWA School Disability Consultant, CEWA School Psychologist, Education Assistants and Parents. We are all invested in providing our students with the support they need to reach their full potential and work together to ensure they are the best that they can be.
Our Learning Support Program runs at three different levels. We have individual, small group and in-class support programs.
Reading Recovery is an individual literacy intervention where Year 1 students work one-on-one with the Reading Recovery Teacher for 30 minutes every day over a period of 12-20 weeks. Every lesson is tailored to exactly what that student needs from one lesson to the next, in reading, writing, spelling and phonics. As Reading Recovery is personalised to each student, their progress is accelerated and they show growth very quickly. The most beautiful thing to see is the confidence that blossoms as children become more capable readers and writers and they are so very proud of their achievements.
The EMU (Extending Mathematical Understanding) Program is an intensive, specialised unit of work designed to target specific mathematical learning needs. Students work in small groups covering all aspects of mathematical understanding, such as counting, place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division. We play lots of fun Maths games and work through hard thinking tasks where children apply some of these understandings to real-life situations. The children think they are having fun playing games, but little do they know they are learning as well!
Another small group intervention is The MacqLit program. This program provides literacy support to small groups of children using systematic and explicit instruction techniques. It is a program for Years 3-6 who need a boost with developing word attack skills and decoding skills. It includes spelling, reading and writing multi-syllable words, dictation, sight words, language and comprehension, and reinforced book reading.
Our very capable and experienced education assistants work closely with classroom teachers to support students in class. Learning support teachers also go into the classrooms and provide support to classroom teachers either by taking a small group of students who require some extra help or sometimes teaching the class so that the classroom teacher can spend time with students who may need some extra attention.
The collaboration that we employ is one of the most powerful tools in our kit to support our students in their learning. We all work together to ensure that we help each child in their learning journey to support them to be confident happy learners here at St Paul’s.