A team of dedicated, qualified and experienced Special Education and support staff assist teachers from P to 12 to create programs and develop strategies to enhance students' diverse educational needs. The team collaborates with the students and parents who access this service, as well as psychologists, speech therapists and other professionals to provide a range of options that enable each individual to reach her or his potential.
The Special Education team has regular and ongoing communication with the Head of Junior School, Deputy Principal (Academic), the Careers and VCE Coordinators as well as educational institutions outside of the School, such as the local TAFE provider. In this way, the Special Education team are able to make recommendations as students move through the School, to recommend pathways as they reach senior secondary level, and where necessary, to assist the School in applying for Special Provision for the VCE. Strong communication between the Special Education staff at the St Anne's Campus, Bairnsdale Campus and Garnsey Campus is maintained to provide comprehensive documentation for students with special needs who move from Year 6 to Year 7.
Program Support Group (PSG) meetings are held regularly as required for students accessing the Commonwealth Integration Funding Program.
In class support
Support staff assist students to access the teaching and learning within the classroom. This could include: scribing, reading tests and exams, facilitating understanding by rewording or reworking concepts as they are explored. Support staff may offer individual assistance or may work with a small group within the classroom. Support staff assist students to organize their timetables, work materials and homework schedules. Detailed records of student progress are kept by the support staff, and these are used to assist parents and other members of the PSG to monitor the effectiveness of the specific support being offered.
One on one or small group focus
Students from P to 12 are afforded the opportunity to access support on an individual or small group basis. These sessions focus on specific skills, such as aspects of literacy and numeracy, or other areas of the curriculum that need to be developed. Social skills programs are also delivered in this way if necessary and students are also able to access specific help with projects and assignments. At some year levels, after hours Homework sessions are offered as well as tutorials when required.
All students are valued at Gippsland Grammar; therefore unique programs are developed, or provided to cater for students' specific interests. See The Macquarie Bank Future Problem Solving Program, Literacy and Numeracy, Diagnostic Testing and ESL.
The Macquarie Bank Future Problem Solving Program
This international gifted and talented program caters for students who enjoy team - work, creativity and higher order thinking. Offered at Year 6, 7, 8 and 10 the program takes students through a robust thinking process during which they solve futuristic problems or scenarios. The ultimate thinking challenge is offered as students learn the process during Term 1 and 2 and then pit their wits against the rest of Victoria in the Qualifying Problem in Term 3. The challenge is not only to master the unseen scenario and remember the process but to complete the competition in two hours. Teams who rank highest in Victoria are invited to compete in the National Finals in Term 4 and then to compete internationally the following year. In 2003, one of Gippsland Grammar's teams represented the School at the National Finals. The Macquarie Bank Future Problem Solving Program allows students to truly stretch their capacity to become sophisticated higher order thinkers.
Literacy and Numeracy
Throughout the School, literacy and numeracy support is offered through a number of excellent programs in addition to the support received in class and on an individual basis. The Junior School offers a spelling program - The Sound Way that takes students through a series of highly structured lessons that focuses on spelling and reading. At Year 7 and 8 students can access Language Recovery. This class is scheduled as part of the timetable and offers a range of strategies that focus on all aspects of literacy development. The program delivered in Language Recovery aims to re engage students with reading, writing, speaking, listening and viewing and is presented in a way that enables students to see the relevance of literacy in a real world context.
At Year 7, students who have not yet mastered fundamental Maths concepts can participate in the Elementary Maths Mastery program. This program is highly structured and as Year 7 is a transition point at the School, the program is delivered at this level to ensure that all students have a firm Maths basis from which to work.
The Special Education teaching staff are experienced and qualified to administer a range of diagnostic tests to ascertain specific difficulties that students may experience. A comprehensive testing library ensures that the School and parents can gain a thorough understanding of the students' needs. This information is crucial for accessing other professional services and for creating suitable educational programs.
A qualified ESL teacher facilitates regular timetabled classes to cater for students from a non-English speaking background. These highly structured and intensive sessions aim to develop proficiency in the English language as well as supporting the language needed for learning across the curriculum ESL students also derive benefit from in-class support and extra tutorials after school hours. An International Student Co-ordinator works alongside Heads of Year to ensure that pastoral care needs are met.