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Student services and support programs

Student support services
Student support services are coordinated through the Whole School Support Team who meet in the Support Hub regularly to ensure that the educational opportunities for all students are maximised, with a particular focus on students with special needs, students from identified target groups and students at educational risk.

The team is comprised of the Principal/Deputy Principal, Head of Student Support Services, Speech Language Pathologist, English as Additional Language or Dialect (EALD) teacher, Positive Engagement Teacher, Guidance Officer, Chaplain, Classroom Teachers, Support Teacher and other specialists as required. Classroom teachers may refer a student to the Whole School Support Team. Parents are informed of this and generally asked to obtain a current hearing and vision assessment. Anyone involved in the management and education of that student shares information and data about the student and next actions are determined. This may include continued monitoring, adjustments to programming and/or referral to a support service.

Services are via referral and may be provided by a Guidance Officer, Speech Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Advisory Visiting Teachers, Chaplain and other support services that operate in and externally to the school.

Support teachers and teacher aides provide support to students who are not yet achieving their year level achievement standard or who are achieving beyond it.

They may also assist class teachers in preparing and implementing appropriate learning programs for students with a disability, special educational, physical or health requirements.

The special needs of individual children should be discussed firstly with the classroom teacher.

Special education program
At Newtown State School, the Special Education Program (SEP) is managed by the Head of Student Support Services (HoSSS) from the Support Hub (attached to the Resource Centre). Students with a disability that has been verified under the Department of Education’s guidelines are included in a mainstream class and supported as their needs require in the following ways:
   
  • Engaged in the age-appropriate year level Australian curriculum in all learning areas  within their mainstream class with little to no adjustments required for their participation
  • Access small group or individual support with a support teacher for literacy and/or numeracy and/or for assistance with adjusted assessment tasks (if on an Individual Curriculum Plan) in an alternate learning space. Students then return to their mainstream class.
  • Specialists such as a Speech Language Pathologist, Guidance Officer, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Advisory Visiting Teacher (Hearing Impairment, Physical Impairment, Visual Impairment and Autism) will be engaged by the school on a needs basis to assist teachers in planning for and implementing strategies to support student learning needs.

English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D)
At Newtown State School, we welcome a number of different cultural and language backgrounds who nominate English as an Alternate Language or Dialect students are enrolled at Newtown State School. We strive to cater for students from migrant and refugee backgrounds, as well as many born in Australia. Individual and small group support is provided in class or in an alternative learning space, depending upon need, by a specialist teacher and experienced teacher aides. The programs developed collaboratively by the specialist and class teacher will focus on the English language acquisition, literacy and cultural demands of the curriculum and the student's current capacity to meet those demands.

Gifted and Talented program
Programs are developed within the school and across year levels to cater for students who have been identified as gifted and/or talented. Advice is sought from regional Education Queensland personnel to collaborate with class teachers to design and implement programs, activities and support measures that aim to challenge, extend and enrich learning opportunities for children who have identified as gifted or talented. Planning and the provision of support and enrichment is guided by Education Queensland's Gifted and Talented Framework.

Support programs
The following intervention and/or support programs are offered for students identified as requiring specific academic support, social-emotional support and/or development in literacy and numeracy. The extent of the support time provided is contingent upon the prioritisation of students’ needs and the availability of funding or resourcing within the school. The following support initiatives are planned and implemented by specialist staff and/or trained teacher aides:
  • Support-a-talker (prep)
  • Phonological Metalinguistic Awareness Program (PMAP) - Speech language pathologist support (Prep to year 1)Early literacy skills – Letters and sounds (Prep to year 1)
  • Guided reading groups (All year levels)
  • Targeted intervention (All year levels)
  • Various social-emotional programs

Guidance Officer
The Guidance Officer provides support in the health and wellbeing aspects of a student’s development. The Guidance Officer can provide a counseling service for school related issues as well as a referral service for students and families with health and welfare support agencies. The Guidance Officer is also involved in assessment and reporting in response to behavioural, learning, developmental and psychosocial difficulties. The Guidance officer assists in the implementation of departmental and school policies such as student protection, gifted education and responsible behaviour.

Speech Language Pathologist
The Speech language pathologist (SLP) visits the school for two days each week. All referrals are determined through the Whole School Support group. The SLP’s role includes assessment and reporting, intervention support programs and home programs.

Chaplain
The Chaplain provides social and emotional support for students, staff and parents. The Chaplaincy service runs programs including the Bella Girls and ADAM Boy programs. The Chaplain also supports students in the classroom and in the playground in order to develop a rapport with them and provide social and emotional support. Individual support requires the consent of a parent. More information on the chaplaincy program can be viewed via the link on the right.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
Educational support is provided to indigenous students as part of a strategic focus on improved learning outcomes.

Students with specialised medical needs
Parents must inform the school of any specialised medical needs for a student and seek support from their General Practitioner (GP) or specilist in developing a medical plan for management of the condition at school. The school has access to a Department of Education Nurse to assist with this. Plans must be updated annually, or whenever a change is required as directed by the GP or specialist.