Learning Centre Programmes
The basic principles underlying all programmes at Parafield Gardens High School are Student Wellbeing, Learning and Pathways. Establishing Learning Support and Gifted and Talented Programs on these key principles takes into account the student's willingness to forge new links with their own learning and who are emotionally ready to move beyond their own personal comfort zone. Students are encouraged to make full use of the resources the school can offer. As a consequence, Parafield Gardens High School offers a variety of programs to meet the needs of different student learning groups.
Learning Support For Students With Special Needs:
At Parafield Gardens High School, students who require additional support or who have been placed on an NEP, work with both class teachers and a support manager. The role of the class teacher is to provide engaging curriculum programmes while the role of the support manager is to develop strategies which will support a clear pathway for each student under his/her guidance. The students who are supported in this manner fall into two main groups:
- students with learning difficulties are those whose access to the curriculum is limited because of short-term or persistent problems in one or more areas of literacy, numeracy and learning how to learn;
- students with learning disabilities are one small group of students with learning difficulties who because of the neurological basis of their difficulties, have persistent, long term problems and high support needs in one or more areas of literacy, numeracy and learning how to learn. These students do not have generalised intellectual impairments but rather demonstrate idiosyncratic learning styles which are determined by the nature of their specific disorders and inhibit their learning at school.
As can be seen, two of the key areas for this on-going support are literacy and numeracy
What Is Literacy?
Literacy is the ability to use language and images in rich and varied forms to read, write, listen, speak, view, represent, and think critically about ideas. It enables us to share information, to interact with others, and to make meaning. Literacy is a complex process that involves building on prior knowledge, culture, and experiences in order to develop new knowledge and deeper understanding. It connects individuals and communities, and is an essential tool for personal growth and active participation in a democratic society.
What Is Numeracy?
Numeracy involves abilities which include interpreting, applying and communicating mathematical information in commonly encountered situations to enable full, critical and effective participation in a wide range of life roles.
In addition to these areas, a third but equally important area is the ability to learn how to learn. Students are supported emotionally to develop skills in their individual social development and are supported to take risks with their own style of learning. All students at Parafield Gardens High School are valued members of the school community.
Parafield Gardens High School values parent input and encourages communication with parents. The School advises parents of school based workshops and other parent meetings of interest to the developmental of our students.
Assessment of student needs is a collaborative process. The Collaborative Assessment process involves interaction between teacher, child and parents, in a continu us, information-gathering and reporting cycle. Each has a role to play in the assessment of the individual child. In this way, the processes of the child's learning can be determined as well as the stage of achievement reached.
The active participation of the child in the different parts of the process results in an improvement in the child's self-esteem, and consequently his/her overall school achievements.
Information can be gathered from:
- running records
- cloze procedures
- standardised measures
- self assessments
- teacher-made topic tests
- case histories
- anecdotal comments
- child written questions
- story maps
- character profiles
- reading logs
Children can evaluate themselves in terms of their own progress, achievements, attitudes and abilities. They can also provide useful peer assessment of each other. Student self talk is a key element in the gathering of information.
Parents know a great deal about their children's development. They can note progress, problems and changes that they may perceive. This type of information can be critical in the planning of positive student achievement.
The basic principles underlying all programmes at Parafield Gardens High School are Student Wellbeing, Learning and Pathways. Establishing Gifted and Talented Programs on these key principles takes into account the student's willingness to forge new links with their own learning and who are emotionally ready to move beyond their own personal comfort zone. Students are encouraged to make full use of the resources the school can offer. As a consequence, Parafield Gardens High School offers a variety of programs to meet the needs of different student learning groups.
Gifted And Talented Programmes
Students at Parafield Gardens High School usually have their individual needs met entirely within the regular curriculum and instruction sequence. However, it is important to encourage students of high intellectual ability to enjoy school and to love learning, as well as to achieve their potential for themselves and for society generally. The School's Gifted Programme seeks to address the needs of intellectually advanced students from Year 8 until Year 12. An important part of this process is the identification of students who are either gifted or talented in some way.
"Intelligence" is best analysed by a diverse range of measures, the more the better. Parafield uses various tools to identify gifted learners, such as:
- parent nomination;
- teacher nomination;
- diagnostic testing - both group and individually administered tests;
- peer nomination
- standardised achievement testing;
- ecords of achievements.
Some Examples Of Programmes:
Grade skipping: For some students, whose abilities are superior across all academic areas, this intervention is the most appropriate. Parafield takes great care to ensure student readiness - both emotional and social.
Mentors: Parafield is keen to meet the needs of individual students whose skill and motivation mean they can benefit from working with a professional in their field of interest. Working with a mentor allows for a rich learning experience.
Independent study: Some students are ready to undertake a major learning assignment for which they take full responsibility. In these cases, the study is an alternative to regular classes, and the product is expected to be of near-professional quality. Such studies are co-ordinated and monitored.
Competitions: The School enters students in academic competitions within areas such as writing, art, languages, Mathematics and Science. Individuals with special interest in public speaking, debating, drama, music, and art have many and varied outlets for these skills, including competitions.
Staff: Our teachers attend national and international conferences, occasionally delivering papers. The school co-ordinators provide advice and training to staff as well as networking with professionals outside the school. Much of this information is used to support the growth of our gifted and talented students.
Parent involvement: Parafield values parent input and encourages communication. The School advises parents of seminars and courses of relevance.
The School Learning Centre
Parafield Gardens High School is establishing a learning centre which will help co-ordinate the different types of programmes and support the individual learning of students. A central concern of the Learning Centre is students' overall wellbeing. Care is taken to address their particular patterns of learning and their social and emotional circumstances.
The Learning Centre supports the School in maximising opportunities for students whatever their learning styles and potential. Individualised and group work sessions are offered to assist students who:
- have learning difficulties of various kinds or whose styles of learning require a slightly different approach to that adopted in the regular classroom;
- have exceptional talents, skills and interests related to part or the entire curriculum. In recent years, the Gifted and Talented spectrum has assumed greater importance in schools all over the world. Parafield has a number of highly qualified members of staff who can use multiple strategies to assist gifted learners. The Learning Centre will play a key role in gifted education at the School. In collaboration with classroom teachers, appropriate intellectual challenges and curricula are implemented to sustain and enhance students' achievement and motivation.