‘An inclusive School is one which acknowledges and demonstrates acceptance of diversity within the school community. It is measured by the degree to which each and every student is catered for and achieves successfully.’ (Green 1999)
At St Peter’s Primary School our Learning Support Program aims to:
Applications from students with special needs are welcomed at St Peter’s and we follow the Enrolment Application and Support Procedures process, outlined by Brisbane Catholic Education Office. At every stage of the enrolment process we encourage the sharing of information between home and school and across agencies. As part of this process, a transition program is planned to ensure a successful enrolment. This may involve the student visiting St Peter’s and/ or our staff visiting the child in other settings.
Students requiring additional support are identified through a variety of ways such as diagnostic assessments, consultations and systematic observations by school staff, consultations with parents and/or as a result of assessment by a doctor or a professional e.g. speech pathologist. Information from the identification process is the basis for making decisions about the need for additional support for the student.
Students with special needs/learning difficulties are integrated in regular classrooms where they participate fully as members of the school community, taking part in a complete range of experiences. Strategies which are used to promote inclusivity in classrooms include: differentiating the curriculum, cooperative group work, heterogeneous/homogenous grouping and peer tutoring. The responsibility for inclusion and its enactment is predominantly that of classroom teachers who create a safe yet challenging environment where students develop a sense of belonging. Class teachers are supported by the Support Teacher to facilitate the students’ participation in meaningful and relevant activities. Withdrawal of students for work on an individualised or small group program occurs when the need for such an approach is considered appropriate.
Students are also given the opportunity to participate in a variety of enrichment activities such as the University of NSW Competitions, Australian Mathematical Olympics for Primary Schools as well as special events and competitions that arise during the year.