Hobartville Public School

Success with Honour

Telephone02 4578 1110

Emailhobartvill-p.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Support unit

The support unit has five MC (Multi-Categorical) classes. A Support Class MC or multi-categorical class caters for students with a moderate to severe intellectual disability or Autism.

To gain entry into one of these classes, an application must go through the regional placement panel. To be eligible for placement, a student must be classified as having either a moderate or severe intellectual disability or Autism. All places in support classes are reviewed annually. This is to ensure that students are in the most appropriate program available.  

A support unti classroom

The support unit is an integral part of the school. Our aim is to provide as normalised an educational experience as is possible, whilst meeting each student's individual needs within the classroom. Classes have up to ten children in each with one teacher and a School Learning Support Officer (SLSO). The SLSO moves between all five classes. This allows the students to get to know all the staff and become comfortable with them. This is also beneficial to our students whilst in the playground as the SLSOs are familiar with all the children, enabling them to meet individual needs.

Students working

Support Unit teaching staff

  • Mrs Cate Clark - Assistant Principal Support
  • Ms Vicki Bonham
  • Ms Sue Wilson
  • Mrs Sandra Randall
  • Miss Caitlyn Marhoff
  • Mrs Lisa Holroyd

 

School Learning Support Officers (SLSO)

  • Mrs Jennie Agnew
  • Mrs Cathy Sutton
  • Mrs Jane Jonusas
  • Mrs Mary Wretham
  • Ms Lynne Delkou

Curriculum

Students doing curriculum activities

Support unit classes follow all six Key Learning Areas as set by the Board of Studies:

 

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science and Technology
  • History
  • Personal Development, Health, Physical Education
  • Creative and Practical Arts.

All children have an Individual Education Program. This program focuses on meeting the individual child's needs: therefore building on success. These programs have a heavy focus on Mathematics and English covering reading, writing, talking and listening. (Communication skills are essential so visuals and visual timetables are used where needed).  

 

Generally the morning block at school works on developing English/Literacy skills. The first hour after recess focuses on numeracy skills. We also focus on developing personal care skills and social skills. 

 

Lessons are individually based, small group based and whole class activities. This gives us the opportunity to treat topics being covered in mainstream classes, increasing integration opportunities by teaching common areas but at different levels.

 

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education are also covered. Physical Education gives all children some time for integration with mainstream grades. We also engage in Creative and Practical Arts. 

 

Home learning builds gradually, according to each child's ability, needs and progress. Kindergarten children will not have homework, however as the year progresses, a home reader may be introduced if appropriate. Children have a very busy day at school and are ready for a change by the time they get home.

Current class arrangement

Students working on classroom tasks

There are 5 support classes set up as stage groups. These groups change from year to year according to the needs of the students.

 

Our classrooms are placed together in a quiet area of the school to allow additional support and to enable us to move students for lessons as appropriate.

Our classes are based around age groupings/ability grouping and needs. Classes are generally set up to align with the equivalent mainstream stage.

 

 

The primary curriculum is divided into 4 stages:

Early Stage One - Kindergarten

Stage One - Years One and Two

Stage Two - Years Three and Four

Stage Three - Years Five and Six.

Playground

Students in playground

All support unit students have full playground integration. We build this process with new students by firstly gaining confidence in the classroom, then the playground, without it being full of other students, and then full playground integration with additional support from School Learning Support Officers (SLSO). School Learning Support Officers provide extra support in the playground and shadow children as needed as well as assist in setting up play. This is in addition to the four teachers already on playground duty. Young children are restricted to a set area of the playground. 

 

Older children are permitted to play in the same area as their mainstream peers. (Same privileges and the same rules.) In some cases children who tend to be of concern or be a "runner" may be requested to wear a brightly coloured hat with a name tag attached to the back. All staff are aware of this system, ensuring they are aware of students who require monitoring. 

 

Children have shown that they quickly develop an understanding of the playground and with support and positive encouragement/rewards this system has worked extremely well for many years. If you have individual concerns about your child in the playground please discuss it with staff before your child starts so we can plan to meet their needs.

Orientation

Busy students

 

An orientation program for children starting kindergarten in the following year takes place in Term 4. This occurs after places have been offered by the Regional Placement Panel.

The Department of Education, Early Intervention Class based at South Windsor has traditionally supported this program. Children generally visit Hobartville for an hour, for three or four weeks in a row.

 

Visit One: Informal play visit, designed so that children can get a feel for the classroom. Parents are requested to remain for this visit.

 

Visit Two: A small craft activity and some free playtime. (Without parents)

 

Visit Three: With mainstream Kindergarten

 

Visit Four: Structured activity and play.

Parents are invited, during one of these visits, to a meet and greet coffee session with families who already have children in the support classes.

 

There is also a general parent information evening early in Term 4.

At the orientation session we aim to give each child a chance to become familiar with the classroom and staff. Additional orientation visits or individual visits can be organised if necessary.

Integration

Students using the interactive whiteboard

We encourage as many integration opportunities as possible for children where we feel they are beneficial to the individual.  We are an integrated support unit and very much a part of the school community.

 

All children have full playground integration. Each Kindergarten child has a Stage 3 buddy. Each support class aligns with a mainstream grade and joins them regularly for activities. Current kindergarten children go as a group with mainstream for Physical Education/fitness, music and dance. Structured group play as well as K-2 assembly on a fortnightly basis and whole school assembly also on a fortnightly basis are integral to our programs.

 

Students join in major events such as the annual K-2 Easter Hat Parade, Anzac Day Ceremony and end of year celebrations and presentation assemblies. Children also participate in the school Sports Carnival (K-6), Swimming Carnival (Yr 2-6) and Cross Country (Yr 2-6).

 

Students from the support unit have also gained places in the school dance group, the school choir as well as representing the school in sporting events such as soccer, AFL gala days and District Cross Country.

In all stages, many integration opportunities exist. Individual integration is organised on a social or academic basis where needed. These include fitness, scripture, assembly, art groups/clubs, all sporting events, excursions and camps.  Students have the opportunity to attend appropriate stage based excursions. 

 

Students in Stage Three also have the opportunity to attend school camp with their mainstream peers (provided that we believe this will be a positive experience for the student and that they are able to cope with the demands of the camp). In odd years this is a three day camp to Canberra and the snow. In even years this is a five day camp to Point Wolstoncroft - a Department of Sport and Recreation camp. This camp requires swimming and a basic level of safe sporting skills. All camps require students to have a reasonable level of self care skills and to be able to follow instructions from all  members of staff, not just their own teacher.

Communication

Teacher writing in communication book.

 

All children have a communication book which comes to school each day. Parents put any important messages in this.

 

Teachers also use this for communicating messages. A newsletter is sent home every Thursday. Parents receive a written report twice a year on their child's progress.

 

Formal interviews are held in Term One each year and additional interviews are available by request. We are always happy to meet with parents to discuss any issues or concerns.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions about our support unit. Enquiries are best directed through our office to the Assistant Principal Support.

Transportation

Transportation facilities

The Department's special transport scheme transports a number of children to and from school. We have a special transport bay within the school grounds, which is for authorised vehicles only. Children are collected from the transport vehicles each morning and returned by the staff in the afternoon. Access to this service is subject to department guidelines. 

 

There is Before and After School Care in Richmond that many children at this school use. Special transport can be used in conjunction with this, if needed, or a regular school bus brings children from Before and After School Care each day.  If you wish to apply for special transport, an application needs to be made late in the year, after the offer of placement in the support unit has been accepted.

Library, computer and canteen

 

All children at Hobartville PS have a weekly computer lesson with a computer teacher and a library lesson with weekly borrowing. This includes children in the support unit.  All classrooms have computers that are fully networked throughout the school. Our classrooms have an Interactive White Board which is used extensively across the grades. 

 

We are very fortunate to be able to offer our students one to one use of iPads, thanks to some generous donations and grants.

 

There is also a Connected Classroom and a full Video Conferencing Suite in the library. All students in the support unit have regular access to this equipment. The library and computer room are also open at lunchtime.

 

The canteen is open 3 days a week. We encourage children to use the canteen as real life experience. The canteen staff request that they are informed of any special dietary restrictions for any child. They are familiar with visual communication systems and we encourage children to use these when needed. For example some children may have a visual to request one particular item or a child may have a visual with a choice system of three items and the child must choose what they will buy. The canteen encourages any volunteers.

Medications and health care plans

School administartion officer administering medication

 

Children with special health care needs have a Health Care Plan, formed under consultation with parents, to ensure that we have put in place any needed procedures and that all staff are adequately trained to maintain a safe environment for each child. All regular medications must be kept in the school office and are dispensed from there. 

 

Toileting/personal care issues need to be discussed with staff. We generally use the toilets in the main playground. There is a K-2 boys toilet, a K-2 girls toilet, a 3-6 boys toilet and a 3-6 girls toilet. We also have two disabled toilets that we use for children with physical disabilities or students who are still being toilet trained. When children start school we take them to the toilets on a regular basis.