Faculties - Special Education

In 2015 Cardiff High School has welcomed the addition of two new classes to the existing support class to form a new faculty. The IO class, which was established in 1988, has been joined by a Multi Categorical class (catering for students with autism) and a class for students with Mild Intellectual disabilities. With the addition of the two classes came two new classroom teachers (Jaimie Martin‐IM and Shae Petersen‐ MC), two School Learning Support Officers (Jo Wilson and Karyn Willmot) along with a new Head Teacher (Anna Owen). In addition to the three classroom staff, the Special Education faculty includes the 2 Learning and Support Teachers (Deborah Summerville and Paul Myers) and two School Learning Support Officers (Carolyn Moore and Belinda Hosking), who support students with additional needs within mainstream classes. All staff bring a wealth of knowledge and varying experiences from staff with many years of teaching in a variety of areas to a newly trained teacher. This wonderful combination of young and enthusiastic and experienced teachers has created a vibrant and knowledgeable faculty that are enjoying the collegial support that they are receiving by being part of such a large, cohesive faculty.

All three classes offer community based learning so students are able to learn life skills in real settings. Included in the activities for 2015 are shopping, banking, sailing and theme based excursions. All students will also be participating in whole school activities such as  the swimming, athletics and cross country carnival and sport. Five of our Year 7 students  are also very excited to be attending the Great Aussie Bush Camp with the rest of Year 7. Some students from the unit are integrating into mainstream subjects and are enjoying the variety of learning and social experiences this has provided for them.
To help provide the students with Life Skills, two of the classes are currently doing cooking. As part of this process the students use Technology to find simple, yet yummy recipes. The students write a shopping list based on the ingredients.
They then use local shopping catalogues and online websites to determine an approximate cost before shopping for the ingredients whilst on community access. They then follow the recipe to create a delicious meal they then enjoy eating.
During April, the three classes learnt about the wartime involvement of our soldiers in WWІ. This commemorates the 100 year anniversary of Gallipoli. To further enhance this unit, one of the classes has visited Fort Scratchley and all three classes are planning an excursion to visit the War Memorial in Sydney later this term. 

To cater for 21st Century Learning and the individual needs of all the students within the unit, interactive screen has been purchased for each of the three classrooms. This, along with the use of iPads, will provide a multitude of opportunities to differentiate lessons to cater for each students varying academic level and facilitate social lessons within the rooms. Two of the classes regularly get together to
provide additional social and learning opportunities and all staff are enjoying the collegial support they are receiving by being part of such a large faculty. Individual Transition meetings will take place this term, to ensure all parents have input into their child’s education plan. We will also offer an opportunity through these meetings for parents to meet with our transition support teacher to get information regarding the National Disability Insurance Scheme. These meetings are an essential tool in developing programs of value for every child in the support classes.
Events to look forward to throughout the year for the support classes include our Film Festival that we host which is held in July. This festival invites schools with support classes to make a 5 minute film to be screened and judged by their peers. This always proves to be a fun and very entertaining day. Our sporting calendar is already filling up for 2015 with a combined school’s athletics carnival, state knockout Boccia and regional trampolining competition.
We are planning to be part of a combined special classes camp to Canberra in November for 4 days. This is also a combined activity with a number of schools throughout the region being involved. We hope to do some fund raising over the next two terms to help cover some of the cost of this camp.
The other facet of the Special Education faculty is the support offered to all students and staff at Cardiff High School. The two Learning and Support Teachers (LaSTS) work as part of the school’s Learning Support team to identify, assess, support and monitor students with additional learning needs. Once identified, the LaSTs work with the student, their parent/caregiver, teachers and  any outside agencies to ensure that the student’s individual learning, social and emotional needs are being catered for.The LaSTs offer additional support to teachers by recommending appropriate strategies that assist in differentiating the curriculum for targeted students. They also provide opportunities for Team Teaching and  withdraw individual students and small groups to work intensively with programs such as Quicksmart Maths Program, Literacy support with MULTILIT, SPA, Focus on Reading (Super Six) and the Delta Classroom Canines  Program. Other important roles our LaSTs
play is the Transition of students from Yr 6 to 7 to gain and share valuable insight to the needs of the future cohort, disability provisions for HSC Examinations, the organisation of NAPLAN and Disability Adjustments for students with Disabilities.The staff and students of Cardiff High School have been wonderful in welcoming the Special Education staff and students to the school. We are looking forward to a very busy and productive year with the unit successfully being established and all students meeting their individual goals.
Mrs Anna Owen ‐ Head Teacher Special Education