Learning and Support
Learning and support resources are available in every mainstream school to help any student experiencing difficulties in learning in a regular class. This includes for students with:
As you would be aware from last year’s communication, the Department of Education has discontinued the Reading Recovery program. In its place, all primary schools have been provided with literacy and numeracy intervention funding. Schools will be guided by the assessment needs of the students when deciding how to use these funds. At Carlton South Public School these funds have been used to provide an additional Learning and Support Teacher for three days, with an extra day funded by the school. Our full time Learning and Support teacher is Mrs Jenny Ibanez. Mrs Angela Hetherington will make up the additional four days. In addition, we have School Learning Support Officers, who support a number of students at our school. Mrs and Ibanez and Mrs Hetherington will be implementing a MiniLit program. MiniLit is an evidence-based and effective early literacy program. It is a practical, systematic and explicit model for teaching reading skills. Both Mrs Ibanez and Mrs Hetherington are trained in MiniLit and will be implementing the program this year. The program does only allow for instructing four students at a time, therefore, it would be difficult for us to provide intensive support to all students with additional needs. Some students may require additional support or adjustment to teaching, learning and assessment for learning activities. Schools use their allocations of learning and support resources to personalise the learning for the individual needs of their students. Our policy is aligned with the Department of Education’s philosophy, which is based on early intervention. We provide intensive support to students who require additional support from Kindergarten to Year 4. Mrs Hetherington will work with Year 1 and Year 2 students, as well Kindergarten students from Term 3. Mrs Ibanez will be working with Years 2, 3 and 4. This does not mean we do not support Years 5 and 6; rather that the support looks different and is in the form of support for teachers to implement programs that support the needs of the students. The learning and support resources are limited and unfortunately do not allow for us to provide intensive support for each child who has additional needs. We are looking to ensure that we rotate support groups to ensure that more students receive access to this intensive support. Differentiation is one of the keys to supporting students with additional needs. Some students may require additional support or adjustments to teaching, learning and assessment for learning activities. Differentiation strategies may include:
providing key vocabulary
developing individual learning goals
including learning centres to facilitate guided or independent learning
providing a variety of stimulus materials in a range of mediums.
Teachers may differentiate the learning activities by making modifications to instruction and student groupings.
Teachers may differentiate the learning environment by considering the physical, virtual and social context where learning takes place.
Differentiation strategies may include consideration of the:
structure and organisation of the classroom, including class routines
ways students interact with and work with others by providing opportunities for individual, collaborative and whole class group work.
Teaching and learning can be adjusted in many ways, based on every student's unique needs, to enable students with disability and additional learning and support needs to enjoy the same opportunities and choices in their education as their peers.
Learning Support Team
Every NSW public school has a learning and support team that works with students, parents and carers, classroom teachers and other professionals to identify students who require extra support. Learning and support teams include key personnel involved in supporting students with disability and additional and learning and support needs. If your child’s teacher is concerned about your child, they will make an appointment with you in order to discuss their concerns and their intention to refer to the learning support team for further advice. You will then be provided with a consent letter that provides permission for the school counsellor to support the teacher and child. Conversely, if you are concerned about your child and would like to either refer your child to the learning support team or see the school counsellor, please contact your child’s teacher and they will provide you with a referral form where you can record your concerns. It is important that we follow this process to ensure that we track and monitor students when teachers or parents and carers express concerns about their learning and development. Please do not call to speak to the counsellor, without a referral, unless it is an emergency.
If you have any questions about this information or require clarification on anything or you would like to discuss your child’s learning or behaviour, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Galea or myself. As a school it is our aim to support the individual needs of all students so that all students make the educational gains that are expected of them at each level. It is the partnerships that we forge with parents that will assist us with this endeavour.
Regular attendance at school for every student is essential if students are to achieve their potential, and increase their career and life options. Schools work in partnership with parents and are responsible for promoting the regular attendance of students. While parents are legally responsible for the regular attendance of their children, school staff, as part of their duty of care, record and monitor part and whole day absences. At Carlton South we take our role in encouraging regular attendance, including arriving at school on time, quite seriously and understand that it is one of our core responsibilities. This is documented in the Department of Education policy on school attendance.
It is a requirement that all students who are enrolled at school, regardless of their age, attend school whenever instruction is provided. Parents are required to explain absences of their children promptly and within seven days to the school. This can be in the form of a telephone call, written note, email firstname.lastname@example.org or notification using the SkoolBag App. The note needs to explain the reason for the absence e.g. chicken pox - rather than just ‘sick’. The date of the absence needs to be on the note, which needs to be signed by the parent or caregiver.
When a student’s attendance or frequent late arrival becomes a concern, we are required to follow this up by speaking to parents. If students arrive late to school (after the 9am bell) they need to go straight to the office to get a late note before proceeding to class. Parents need to accompany students to the school office when this happens to ensure the reason is given and that the school knows the parents are aware of the lateness. Should children arrive late at school regularly then the school will call the parents to ask for an explanation.
It is important for families to plan family holidays during the school vacation periods rather than during the school term. Absences due to family holidays or similar will be known as leave. Absences for long trips or overseas holidays will not be exempt from the attendance totals for students and will be reflected in the semester reports. We ask parents to ensure that your children attend school regularly and only stay at home when they are unwell. If they are unwell, please inform the school and explain the absence.
Students should not be at school prior to 8.30am unless they are involved in extracurricular activities. Supervision by teachers begins at 8.30am. Occasionally you might get held up in the mornings and arrive late. If this is the case students must come to the school office with a parent before going to class. It is important that students are in class on time and are picked up from school on time.
International Women’s Day 2019
Tomorrow it is International Women’s Day and we have been invited to attend a special breakfast at Moorefield Girls High School. I will be accompanying three of our female prefects to this breakfast, where they will be provided with the opportunity to be part of their celebrations. The theme for this year is “Balance for better”. A balanced world is a better world. This year we are asked to think about we we call all forge a gender-balanced world and celebrate women’s achievements.
UNSW ICAS Assessments
This year we will be providing an opportunity for your child to participate in the English and Mathematics ICAS assessments. The tests are independent of the school and although we receive the results, the school does not utilise these results in any way. You will be receiving a letter about ICAS shortly, with information and expression of interest for participation.