Term 3 has been an extremely busy time for the Academic Support Department with our additional responsibilities of the completion of applications for Year 12 Disability Provisions, the supervision of the Disability Provisions for Year 12 Trial examinations and the end of Year 11 examinations. Fortunately, with the addition of our new staff member, Mrs Bernadette Jacka, we have managed to maintain all of these duties as well as the in-class support for all targeted students in order to assist with the process of differentiation of curriculum and assessment tasks, the Year 9 and 10 Academic Support programs as well as the delivery of Life Skill programs to ten students from Year 8 to 12.
Currently, our Life Skill programs are in Stage 4, 5 and 6 English, Mathematics, Science and HSIE as well as Stage 4 Italian, Stage 5 Work Studies and Stage 6 Religion. This year we continue teaching a Social Skills program to our ten Academic Support Centre students in response to their individual needs. This program is based on the Social Skillstreaming program and since its delivery twice a week, we have noticed significant improvements in the social communication skills of these students. Students enjoy these lessons as they film each other responding to a variety of difficult, yet present-day issues that have arisen.
Our School to Work Transition program for the Academic Support Centre students has also undergone significant changes in response to the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). In order to develop a complete understanding NDIS and how our senior students can access future job support, teachers and parents have been busy attending workshops and expos hosted by Support Agencies and the University of NSW. As the result of this, five of our Academic Support Centre students have attended six taster days at Northcott Job Support Agency at Chatswood, where they tasted the Transition to Work program. Teachers and parents collectively are developing a broader understanding of the NDIS and how to plan appropriate transitions for our students who have special needs. As an additional part of the transition plan for our Academic Support Centre students, they also gain work experience from Year 10 onwards.
One of our students accesses the services of Fighting Chance which is a Not for Profit organisation that provides student with a disability with experiences of employment, training and practical work settings. Other students have a variety of experiences in child care settings, bakeries, restaurants and events management. Many of these opportunities have links to TVET courses that the girls attend as part of the HSC program. An example of this is Cassie McGarry, a Year 12 student, who has been completing the Certificate 1 in Bakery. Cassie is passionate about cake icing and iced this beautiful cake last Tuesday afternoon.
Michelle Langdon (Mrs)
Academic Support (K-6)