Learning Support at St Joseph’s College assists students with any difficulties they may have in acquiring knowledge and skills or mastering content.
The difficulties may include moderate to mild cognitive intellectual disabilities, expressive and receptive language disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Dyslexia, ADHD, Irlen Syndrome, Central Auditory Processing Disorder and difficulties in the basic areas of learning.
Learning Support at St Joseph’s is also available for students with diagnosed mental health disabilities and anxiety which impact on their learning.
The Learning Centre at St Joseph’s is operated by passionate and expert staff who help students to achieve their academic goals.
The Learning Support Co-ordinator (LSC) oversees all students at the Centre and ensures that students feel comfortable and confident in their learning, while making sure their needs are being met.
Working with staff on strategies to support students, the LSC meets with parents to discuss and understand the needs of each student and collaborates with teachers to ensure the curriculum is accessible to all students.
The LSC also works in collaboration with external services and providers, as well as Catholic School Office Education Officers where needed.
Learning Support Teachers (LST) work as case managers at the Centre with students, including those with disabilities, to ensure content is accessible and to assist them with assignment support and preparation.
The LSTs also conduct parent meetings where required and report to the LSC with all concerns regarding students.
Other key personnel who work collaboratively with Learning Support are the School Counsellor, Pastoral Care Worker, Student Co-ordinators and Assistant Principals of Welfare and Curriculum, ensuring students receive all the services they need to succeed.
Engaging and effective facilities
The Learning Centre provides areas for individual or group learning, to give students a space to complete work with the guidance and assistance of a Learning Support Teacher or Learning Support Assistant.
Students can also request support with their class work or assessment tasks if they feel they are falling behind or overwhelmed, with staff providing students with strategies to aid their completion.
Calm and quiet spaces are provided for students who are affected by noise, distractibility or anxiety to allow them to complete their work and special provisions are available where necessary for exams.
The Centre also runs a Corrective Reading and Decoding Program for students in Years 7 – 9 to help them improve literacy and comprehension skills, with reading and small class groups offering more personalised support.
Students may present to the centre during class time with an ‘Out of Class Pass’ when feeling overwhelmed, to give them some time out and learn strategies to help them return to the classroom.
Parents at St Joseph’s are encouraged to contact the college and speak to the LSC if they have a student with learning or high support needs to develop a plan of action.
This action plan ensures the student is ready for high school when the time comes and that the parents also feel supported during this time.
Some supports available are transition visits which allow students from feeder schools and their parents to tour the college and its facilities. Tailored to a student’s individual needs, this visit also allows for timetabling support and helps students identify ‘go to’ spaces and important people.
Transition meetings are also available to parents and students to prepare and plan for the upcoming year. This meeting gives students a chance to engage with key personnel including the LSC, school counsellor and student co-ordinator, allowing them to establish a network of familiar faces.
Information nights enable parents to learn more about the Centre’s processes and provide a chance to pass on their details or speak to the LSC.
Learning Support at St Joseph’s works with a number of external agencies to ensure students are given the best support possible during their educational journeys.
The college engages speech therapists and occupational therapists through various providers and these see students as a part of their individual NDIS packages.
Learning Support Teachers also regularly liaise with these providers, as well as Headspace and private psychologists, sharing information and strategies that are beneficial for their individual case managed students.
The college also works in conjunction with Mai-Wel to deliver programs such as ‘Get Started’ and other work ready/life skills programs to help students prepare for post-school life.