Woodend offers significant support to those students with learning needs. The school’s programs assist students experiencing difficulty with literacy and numeracy skills, social skills and students with identified disabilities.

The programs reinforce skills and competencies that enable students to participate as fully as possible in their regular classroom settings. Students work with the Learning Support staff on an individual or small group basis in withdrawal situations or as in-class support.

All students with learning difficulties need to work in a supportive and inclusive environment, where teachers and the Learning Support team work together to provide strategies to assist these students to access the curriculum.

Woodend has a dedicated team of Learning Support teachers and School Support Officers (SSO’s) that work extremely hard to support students and to develop positive learning dispositions that empower students to develop their own strategies in achieving personal goals as they make their journey through the school.

Our wonderful staff includes teachers: Diedre Hauber, Robyn Cavallaro and Lyn Klinkert and SSO’s: Dana Pentland, Sharyn Paris, Jenny Peake, Kym Sard and Belinda Grossman.

Negotiated Education Plans

Direct support is provided to all identified Students with Disabilities through the allocation of teacher or SSO time to work collaboratively with class teachers to achieve SMARTAR goals. We work closely with our DECD specialists including Speech Pathologists, Hearing Services and Educational Psychologists to formulate goals and deliver specific programs. Each year we review these plans in partnership with parents. Liaison between teachers, support staff, parents and the student is an important aspect in the development of effective support.

TEAM Terrific-Supporting students on the Autism spectrum

Team Terrific began in 2016 with one group and has now increased to 3 groups from years 1 to year 4 with Learning Support teacher Robyn Cavallaro and SSO Dana Pentland. Based on Mark LeMessurier’s   “What’s the Buzz “program it is a unique 16 lesson social skills enrichment programme designed to explicitly teach children how to think and relate socially.

This lively, practical role-play and play-based programme targets everyday themes – how to greet, make and keep friends, fit in, read one’s own emotions, read the feelings of others, deal with competition and cope with worry, frustration and disappointment more constructively.

The Program is:

Sequenced – it follows a logical break down of each skill
Active – it uses role-plays and rehearsal with feedback
Focused – it dedicates time solely towards teaching a specific skill
Explicit – it teaches a specific social/ emotional skill each session

Extra Support students

Students who have been identified through our pre referral process and formal assessment through our DECD specialists are supported in our  Writing Groups or small class groups. Programs are set by the classroom teacher and supported by the Learning Support Team.

Social Skills- Reception classes-Sharyn Paris (SSO)

This program is based on Wilson McCaskill’s Play is the Way-Guiding children to live and learn well.  It develops social and emotional skills using physical, interactive games. It encourages our children to work as a team and to develop their thinking skills. This program takes place in our 4 reception classes. Sharyn Paris has been delivering this fantastic program for over 10 years. Sharyn works closely with class teachers to support the common language that is used by all teaching staff.

Year 1 Early Intervention Program –Kym Sard(SSO)

As a part of our focus on Literacy, students who have not reached Reading Level 5 after 4 terms at school are screened to identify any students who may require extra support in this year long program. Students revisit skills such as phonological awareness, letter and word recognition, sentence writing and concepts of print over a minimum of three lessons a week.

Literacy Support

Students from years 2 and 3 are identified by their class teachers to participate in small group sessions or in-class support twice a week with teacher, Lyn Klinkert. Emphasis is on the reading and writing processes. In writing the students develop their writing conventions including skills such as finger spaces, writing on the line, punctuation and titles. The reading aspect includes reading texts for enjoyment, summarising the main ideas, predicting and sequencing events, using visual cues and practicing decoding skills.

Year 4/5 Numeracy Support

Our six year 4/5 classes are supported by SSO Jenny Peake. Students work in pairs, small groups and in-class support with a focus around number and fluency with number facts.

Sound Field Systems

The school has been purchasing sound field systems over the past 5 years to assist students with cochlear implants, Auditory Processing Disorder and attention difficulties. The sound field system consists of a wireless microphone a loudspeaker that amplifies the teacher’s voice around the class. As a result, students hear and understand the teacher’s directions more easily, which in turn leads to improved student performance and a stronger voiced teacher.

Diedre Hauber

Learning Support Teacher