Learning Services at St Teresa's Catholic College uses the principles of inclusive education and reasonable adjustments to provide support and to respond to the diverse needs of students. The learning needs of all students are met, first and foremost, through effective first teaching by the classroom teacher (i.e. Effective and Expected Practices, Quality Differentiated Teaching Practice). At different times, depending on the particular needs of students and the level of adjustments required, the classroom teacher will be supported by colleagues such as the Support Teacher: Inclusive Education (ST-IE), Curriculum Development Leader (CDL), Head of House (HOH), Guidance Counsellor, Learning Aide etc. School teams focus on the planning and coordination of all supporting personnel and their responsibilities to ensure optimal learning and teaching.
Teachers and College teams provide adjustments for students with a disability/ impairment/ medical condition as part of day-to-day practice. Adjustments are actions taken to enable a student with disability to access and participate in education on the same basis as other students. Schools are required to collect evidence of adjustments and some students will be included on the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD). When determining the inclusion of a student in the NCCD data collection, teachers and school teams consider:
The evidence of adjustments will reflect a wide range of practices of teachers and schools in meeting the educational needs of their students consistent with obligations under the DDA, the Disability Standards for Education 2005 and best teaching practice.
A classroom teacher can request Learning Aide support for their classes for the school year. Learning Aides are not available for every class but work within one to two learning areas to assist with personalised student planning. Priority is given to students at a Substantial and Extensive level of adjustment, as well as safety considerations. The Support Teacher – Inclusive Education consults with the Deputy Principal regarding Learning Aide timetabling where appropriate.
Classroom teachers and Learning Aides work effectively as a team, with a shared understanding of their respective roles in achieving learning intentions. The Teacher may direct the Learning Aide to provide further support/practice to a small group of students. Support for different groups of students is rotated between Teacher and Learning Aide to allow all students equitable access to Teacher time. Learning Aides work with all students within the classroom at different times and supplement the Classroom Teacher's work.
Students accessing adjustments at Supplementary, Substantial and Extensive levels may need to access the Learning Services Centre at different times. Student levels of adjustment are recorded on Student Profiles – Personalised Planning on the Adjustments Matrix and Brisbane Catholic Education Engage database – accessible to school staff.
Access to the Learning Services Centre is available for students at Supplementary or above levels and is scheduled (via an online College Bookings system) by Classroom Teachers, Support Team personnel, CDLs, HOHs and Leadership. All students can access the Homework Centre for academic support after school Mondays to Thursdays.
Some students are entitled to Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments (AARA) for their exams and assessment (i.e. adjustments to the conditions of assessment), which may include, but are not limited to, extra time, rest breaks and varied seating e.g. completing assessment in smaller group setting in the Learning Services Centre.
As a College, we are required to ensure that the steps taken to identify and implement adjustments maintain respect for the dignity and privacy of the student, parents/carers and associates - QCAA Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments (AARA).
Clare WaterworthSupport Teacher – Inclusive Education