Literacy and Numeracy are foundational to learning at Woodend. The literacy and numeracy learning programs are evidence-informed and differentiated to meet individual students needs. For a variety of reasons there is a small percentage of students who require additional support to meet literacy and numeracy outcomes.

Woodend offers significant and targeted support to those students with additional learning needs. We have 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 school. This year, our wonderful staff includes teachers: Diedre Hauber and Lynda Palmer and SSO’s: Dana Pentland, Sharyn Paris, Jenny Peake, Kym Sard, Lisa Budick, Ebony Springall, Kahli Slape and Kerry Willard.

School Based Support Programs:

Social Skills (Reception)

This program begins to establish positive learning dispositions in our students as they start school. The 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.

What’s The Buzz?

‘What’s the Buzz?’ is an evidence-based program that teaches children social and emotional intelligence. It is based on the S.A.F.E criteria (Sequenced, Active, Focused and Explicit) which permits maximum opportunity for the skills taught to transfer across into other situations. This program is offered to a small group of children requiring support with their executive functions and managing social situations with greater confidence and skill. This program is run by trained SSO, Dana Pentland.


InitiaLit forms the basis of our Reception to Year 2 literacy programs. InitiaLit is an evidence-based whole-class literacy program providing all children with the essential core knowledge and strong foundations to become successful readers and writers. The program is systematic and explicit and focusses on two main elements of learning to read:

  1. Phonics
  2. Vocabulary, oral language and listening comprehension through quality children’s literature.

Literacy Cubs (Reception)

There is a small percentage of children who struggle to learn phonics. These children are identified at the end of 2 terms of instruction in Reception and a small group intervention program is implemented to provide additional support for these children. Kym Sard runs this intervention program.

Literacy Leopards (Year 1)

(This is Literacy Cubs, unless we want to change to this?)

At the end of Reception, there is still a small proportion of children who require small group intervention into year 1. Kym Sard is running this intervention. Students who have not met benchmarks and/or are not making progress in InitiaLit, identified through regular assessments may require extra support in this year long program. Students revisit skills such as phonological awareness, letter and word recognition, blending and segmenting simple words, and practising high frequency words over a minimum of three lessons a week.

Learning Sprints (Year 2-5)

Towards the end of year 1 all students are tested through the Phonics Screening Test and Running Records. Students who are identified as not meeting benchmarks through this standardised testing are provided with additional very small group intervention with Lynda Palmer and/or Jenny Peake. Progress is monitored and students may enter and exit the learning sprint as a one-off or from time-to-time throughout years 2-5. Students needs are identified and Intervention is targeted to the particular needs of the small group of students.

Speech and Language Support

Reception students who have been receiving Speech and Language support in their prior-to-school settings and who have been reassessed by the DfE Speech Pathologist as needing to continue their program, receive support by one of our SSO’s.

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 and 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.

DfE Student Support Team

Once a term, the learning support team meet with Department For Education (DfE) specialists including a Speech Pathologist, Educational Psychologist, Behaviour Support Coach and a Special Educator to discuss identified students with additional learning needs. These are students who have a diagnosed learning disorder or disability or have not responded to interventions at school. The team will determine whether further assessments are required and will provide support for school staff on interventions.

Individual Learning Plan (ILP)

Students who require additional intervention or accomodations to access the curriculum will have an Individual Learning Plan (ILP). Teachers develop these plans in consultation with parents/carergivers. The ILP documents and monitors a student’s progress and is reviewed with families each year.

One Plans

A One Plan is a personalised learning plan for students with disabilities and/or in an identified priority group who may require additional support to access learning.  It is developed in consultation with parents. Through the One Plan we document and monitor barriers, strategies and SMARTAR goals to maximise a student’s participation and achievement within the curriculum.

One Plans are reviewed each year in partnership with parents. Liaison between teachers, support staff, parents and the student is an important aspect in the development of effective support.

Education’s Inclusive Education Support Program (IESP) 

The Department for Education’s Inclusive Education Support Program (IESP) is the funding model for South Australian government school students with disability. Under the IESP, funding is allocated to students in mainstream schools based on the adjustments documented in the One Plan. Funding is no longer provided on the basis of a diagnosis, but on the functional needs and accomodations required to enable a student to access the curriculum. The school applies for funding for individual students based on the identified needs in consultation with DfE specialists including Speech Pathologists, Hearing Services and Educational Psychologists.

Students who have been identified through our DfE student support team may be supported through one of our school based support programs or small group support programs within the classroom.

IESP Category Funding

Students who have a diagnosed disability and/or significant functional needs in the classroom and have not responded to local school interventions and have a One Plan and require 4 or more lessons of additional personalised funding to support their access to the curriculum may be eligible for a category of funding through the IESP. When this is the case, the school will submit an application to the IESP funding panel outlining the student’s diagnosis, functional need and accomodations required. Where a funding application is approved, the student will be allocated a learning support staff member to provide the individualised accomodations that have been recommended to support the student.

Diedre Hauber, Cathie Luke and Jane-Ann Natar

Learning support team