Diverse Learning Needs
Our students with additional learning needs are a joy to work with and their abilities are many. Special Needs teachers Matthew Andrejev, Val Xavier, Josephine Ayoub, Penny Marshall, Steve Cimbaly and Diverse Learning Needs Coordinator, Vivienne Hayle bring years of expertise and experience to collaboration with mainstream staff in order to develop appropriate modifications to curricula, pedagogy and learning environment.
Diverse Learning Needs staff work closely with mainstream teachers, parents/carers and external experts not only for the benefit of students with additional learning needs, but also for the benefit of all students.
Learning Support Officers Debbie Morris, Suzy Andrews and Sam Houston and Arabic Liaison Officer Vivian Matti provide in class support and additional small group support to address basic literacy and numeracy skills and social skills.
This support not only enhances our students’ academic outcomes but raises their self-esteem and self-confidence and develops the whole person in readiness for life outside of Mary MacKillop Catholic College.
EAL/D (English as an Additional Language or Dialect)
What are we doing?
It is our aim to provide assistance to students requiring additional support with their mainstream studies. It involves both working with these students in class and providing them with a quiet working environment in our room where individual assistance can be given. The resource teachers are also available to work with subject teachers providing them with access to additional teacher resources such as learning kits, worksheets, listening tapes and modified programs.
EAL/D teachers provide assistance to New Arrivals. New Arrivals are these students who have recently arrived in Australia from countries where the language of instruction in schools was other than English. Most often these students come to our school from intensive language centres. Up to five years after their arrival they qualify for additional language assistance in the form of in-class support or individual support outside the classroom.
EAL/D teachers identify EAL/D students in school. They devise and implement a Personalised Learning Plan for individual EAL/D students. They establish an EAL/D student network to help students cope with the educational and social demands of living in Australia. They also provide information about EAL/D students to other teachers so that these teachers are aware of the problems their EAL/D students may have. Finally, they cooperate with subject teachers in addressing EAL/D students’ needs.
One of our unwritten goals is to ensure that we see happy faces. We are mindful of the many difficulties, linguistic and social, which our students may have to cope with and we all realise the importance of listening to these students and acting on those things that are in our power to accommodate.