Esperance Education Support Centre (6098)
What is our vision for our students as they exit the school as young adults?
Young adults empowered to make choices, participating in and contributing to their communities.
What is the purpose of our school?
We work in partnership with the community to empower our students with the necessary skills to live productive and fulfilling lives through an individually focused and supportive curriculum.
What do we value?
INCLUSION - We value the right and the opportunity to participate in and contribute to our school and the local community.
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY - We create a supportive environment where individuals take responsibility for their choices, actions and behaviours.
INTEGRITY - We value and encourage honesty, trustworthiness and transparency.
TEAM WORK - We work collaboratively to achieve our goals in a diverse environment.
RESPECT - We work to create an environment where people feel comfortable and valued.
What drives our curriculum?
Our curriculum is primarily driven by the Individual Education Plans (Years 8 to 10) and Individual Transition Plans (Years 11 to 13) of our students.
Individual Education Plans (IEP's) are created collaboratively by the Junior School teacher and the parent /carer. The document describes the long term goals, hopes and dreams for the student and is then broken down into smaller goals and associated strategies. The goals link to curriculum areas such as Career Development, Independent Living, English, Mathematics, Science, Society and Environment, Health and Interpersonal Skills.
Individual Transition Plans (ITP's) are created collaboratively by the student, the parent / carer, the Senior School teacher and representatives from other organisations that will play a role in the student's transition from school to adult life. The document describes the hopes and dreams of the student for adult life. These hopes and dreams are broken down into smaller goals and strategies. Goals are set under the headings listed below.
* Employment * Volunteering * Technology Proficiency * Accommodation * Resiliency/Self Advocacy/Advocacy
* Transport * Functional Literacy and Numeracy * Community Access and Involvement * Social Networks / Skills / Relationships
* Recreation * Medical
Like other schools, we too use documents such as the Australian and Western Australian Curriculum, but in a different way. For our school, these documents become reference materials with the IEP and ITP documents remaining the curriculum drivers. The Australian and Western Australian Curriculum documents describe what we would expect the majority of students from a particular year group to be learning, however we know that a student with a disability may require more time and more assistance to learn a skill. For example, while the mainstream curriculum may dictate that Year 9 students will commence studying algebra, a student in Year 9 in the Esperance Education Support Centre may have their individual numeracy needs better met studying skills such as money, budgeting and telling the time. In this instance, the Education Support Centre teacher may use the curriculum documents to assist in their planning and goal setting, but refer to the earlier years of schooling.
Our class sizes are small and the staff:student ratio is very high. This maximizes the personal assistance available to each student and ensures all individual needs are met. The individual needs of our students are diverse and each need is considered to be important, whether it relates to an academic goal or a goal of another nature. All situations are considered to be learning opportunities that will assist the student to acquire a skill that will enable them to live a life that involves choice and independence. We may plan for goals to be met in the classroom, in the school yard with friends, in the bathroom, in the mainstream classroom, in the community, on a bus, at the nurse's office or in our kitchen.
The Secondary School Experience
When we ask primary students what they are looking forward to about high school, their answers tend to include the following things.
* Meeting new friends * Having a variety of teachers * Going to a bigger school *Exciting classes such as the taster units
Our close working relationship with Esperance Senior High School ensures the students of the Education Support Centre enjoy these opportunities too. Students of the Education Support Centre are important members of the Esperance Senior High School community and enjoy an inclusive environment. Opportunities for inclusion in the Esperance Senior High School community are listed below.
* Form Classes
* Taster Subjects in Years 7 and 8
* Option Classes in Years 9 and 10 and associated excursions and camps
* Courses of Study in Years 11, 12 and 13
* Inclusion in Vocational Education and Training programs for eligible students
* Shared campus
* School socials and balls
* Involvement in school productions such as plays and musicals
* Physical Education classes
* Athletics and Swimming Carnivals
* Clontarf Aboriginal Football Academy
* Peer Support
* Special Year Group Events
* Graduation Ceremonies
Esperance Senior High School is a welcoming environment for students with disabilities. The Education Support Centre assists in creating this environment by running Disability Awareness Courses in the primary schools. This ensures that all students coming to the campus for their first year of high school have an understanding of and respect for people with disabilities. They learn;
* People in our community share similar hopes and aspirations.
* Everyone has a role in the community and has a right to be respected.
* Differences are not better or worse, they just are.
* Everyone is unique. Everyone has the right to be seen as an individual.
* We encourage welcoming communities that ensure everyone has the opportunity to participate and contribute in life.
(Count Us In, 2006)
We seek opportunities to enhance our students experience as members of the Esperance Senior High School community. It is important to us that the social experience of being a high school student mirrors that of others, however we understand that to achieve this we may need to provide additional support and structure. Examples include;
* Peer Tutor Training
* Preparing students for the School Ball by assisting them to organise their outfits, tickets, hair and makeup and arrange a pre-ball party
* Asking students to invite a friend from a mainstream class to an excursion or event
* Letting parents know directly about a whole school event (for example, if there is to be a free dress day or a special school activity)
Inclusion is a core value of the Esperance Education Support Centre. Not only do we value the inclusive opportunities provided to us by our partner school, Esperance Senior High School, but we actively seek ways for our students to be included in and actively contributing to the broader community. This is of vital importance to our students as they transition from school to their lives as young adults. It ensures they will have the skills to go on being actively involved and playing a productive role in the community beyond school. Strategies to develop skills in inclusive environments beyond the school gate include those listed below.
* Workplace Learning, providing a Job Support Worker for each student
* Community Access classes (shopping in stores and supermarkets, banking, dining out, using the library)
* Camps and Excursions
* Volunteering Programs
* Swimming at the Bay of Isles Leisure Centre
* Participating in community events such as 'Sculpture by the Sea'
We actively support our students to access inclusive opportunities outside of school hours. For example, we assist families to involve their children in sporting clubs, music programs, holiday programs, recreation programs and employment agencies.
How does the physical environment of our school support curriculum delivery?
The buildings of the Esperance Education Support Centre are distributed around the campus. This enhances the inclusion of our students.
* The multi-purpose room is a large classroom that contains state of the art technology to assist learning and a small kitchenette. It is located near the Junior Campus and is primarily used as the Junior School classroom.
* The Independent Living Centre is located at the rear of the campus. It contains a laundry, kitchen, mock bedroom and dining area. Its purpose is to allow students to learn independent living skills in a realistic environment.
* Room 16 is located upstairs in the South Wing. It is set up to resemble an office and is used for the delivery of the Senior School program.
* The Education Support Centre is located adjacent to the North Wing. It contains two classrooms, a kitchen, outdoor area, staff preparation room and a toilet, shower and laundry facility.
* The administration offices are located with the administration offices of the senior high school.
Our school is guided by the principles of 'Love and Logic'. These principles ensure staff have high expectations, set firm limits, hold students accountable for their behaviour, are caring and kind and enjoy teaching children. Positive behaviour is actively taught and practiced by the students, acknowledged and celebrated. Inappropriate behaviour is considered to be an opportunity to learn a better way. Staff are empathetic in assisting the students to own and solve their own problems. Some students have Individual Behaviour Management Plans. These plans ensure a consistent approach to managing behaviour across all staff members.
Formal Accreditation, Qualifications, Certification and Courses of Study
We ensure our students exit school with a formal Statement of Achievement from the School Curriculum and Standards Authority that highlights the achievement of qualifications, certificates, modules, Courses of Study and Endorsed Programs.
Course of Study - Preliminary English A and B
Course of Study - Preliminary Mathematics A and B
Course of Study - Career and Enterprise
Vocational Education and Training - Certificate I in Business
Vocational Education and Training - Certificate I in Leadership
Endorsed Program - Keys for Life
ASDAN Certification - New Horizons, Transition Challenge, Towards Independence, Horticulture, Independent Living
The school recognises that the classroom is not always the best place to learn independent living skills and teachers are encouraged to program for camps and excursions. The school has two buses to assist our students in accessing the community.
Career and Workplace Learning - Career Education commences in Year 8 with students exploring their strengths, interests and abilities and developing work readiness skills. Work Experience generally commences in Year 10 with students developing skills in the workplace for a half day each week. In the senior years of schooling this increases to a full day each week. Students are assisted by Job Support Workers who not only aid in skill development in the workplace, but help them to prepare prior to going to work (with hygiene, dress standards etc.) and assist them to reflect on their experiences in a workplace learning journal. Senior School students also study 'Work Awareness' (formally accredited through an ASDAN module) or the Course of Study 'Career and Enterprise'. 'Office 16' is a practice office in which the students run a small administrative business that allows them to demonstrate work and occupational health and safety competencies. Career development programs include resume writing and interview skills. Volunteering is viewed as a valuable opportunity to be participating in and contributing to the community and as a means to continue to develop work skills. Students are encouraged to consider volunteering as adults and are taught these skills and values while at school.
Driver Education - Participation in the 'Keys for Life' course results in the students achieving a Learner's Permit and is accredited on the Statement of Achievement. Guest speakers (for example, the RAC) are invited to present to the student body.
Personal Care - Students are assisted to develop skills in personal care by engaging in showering, hygiene, grooming and laundry programs.
Cooking - All students participate in a weekly cooking program, the focus of which is on cooking for health and independence (healthy meal preparation). Select groups of students plan menus, shop for groceries and prepare meals on a regular basis (for example, several lunches per week).
Community Access - All students attend the Bay of Isles Leisure Centre on a regular basis This activity enhances swimming ability (the students are taught by qualified instructors) and also teaches valuable community access skills. Students in the Senior School engage in weekly community access lessons during which they shop, dine out, bank, post and collect mail and visit community facilities such as the town library.
Interpersonal Skills - Interpersonal skill development is prioritized by the Education Support Centre. Programs include 'Model Me Kids', 'FRIENDS' and 'Play is the Way'. Students are taught skills in being assertive, developing and maintaining friendships, anger management, self advocacy, emotional literacy and communication.
The school allows for discrete literacy lessons in the timetable and embeds literacy development across the curriculum. Functional literacy is considered important to ensure students can live as independently as possible as young adults. Functional literacy skills range from augmented communication, filling out forms and reading signs to creating detailed step by step instructions for others in the workplace. Students are also encouraged to value literature and engage in creative writing and reading, viewing and listening for pleasure. Oral language development is promoted through teamwork, presentations and debates. Technology is firmly embedded in the literacy curriculum. The students use personal computers and IPADs to support their learning, publishing their own work, researching using the internet and accessing online learning programs such as Reading Eggs. Senior School students engage in the Preliminary Course of Study - English - which appears on their Statement of Achievement.
Students are taught the importance of a balanced lifestyle. They learn the way the human body grows and develops and develop knowledge and understandings surrounding sexuality and relationships. They are equipped with the skills to protect themselves from harm (Protective Behaviours). Students also study drug education, nutrition, fitness and first aid.
Functional numeracy is promoted across the year levels. Students develop life skills such as money handling, budgeting, measuring and time. The school implements programs to support numeracy development such as the Clarke Road Money Program and values the use of technology in the curriculum, supporting the students' learning with online programs such as Mathletics.
Society and Environment
The students learn about their world, country and community in Society and Environment classes, timetabled in the Junior School. Through the curriculum the students develop skills, knowledge and understandings in citizenship, current affairs, cultures, disaster management and environmental issues.
Science is timetabled discretely in the Junior School. Students learn about the world around them, both in the classroom (engaging in experiments, problem solving, predicting and evaluating) and in real life settings such as the vegetable garden.