The role of the Learning Support Team is to ensure that all students' needs are met.The Learning Support Team meets once a week to assess new referrals and to review the existing case load. Referrals by teachers are to be handed to a LST Committee member.
The Support Unit
Not so much a unit, as an extension of Peel High's comprehensive approach and philosophy. Catering for all learners, the Support Unit has five classes catering for students with a range of different disabilities including intellectual, physical and emotional.
Our teachers are able to provide quality education for students with a wide range of abilities and additional learning needs. Each class is staffed with a School Learning Support Officer (SLSO) to support the students' learning and personal needs as required.
Based in five classrooms at present, the students have excellent access to interactive whiteboards and iPads. Students also have access to the internet in these classrooms via wireless technology. The classroom for students with mild intellectual disability has a purpose-built bathroom attached as well as kitchen facilities. These facilities complement the school's home science department, as our students receive tuition in Food Technology by qualified teachers. The Support Faculty is located in a single storey block shared with the school's flourishing art department and several demountable buildings nearby.
The students follow an individualised program created from the New South Wales curriculum for their year level, the Lifeskills Program and negotiated personal outcomes. Individual Transition Plans (the secondary school equivalent of Individual Education Plans), are reviewed at least yearly. Parents, caregivers, the support teacher transition, classroom teacher and other relevant staff attend these meetings to discuss a student's progress and program including personal care issues, vocational planning, recreational pursuits and other issues arising for that student.
Generally, students will receive tuition in English, Mathematics and History/Geography within their own classroom. Other subjects, particularly elective subjects such as Agriculture, Food Technology, Metalwork and Woodwork are mostly delivered within a mainstream group. Participation for students with moderate intellectual disability within mainstream subjects is negotiated and subject to aiding support according to student need.
As well as participating in the school's athletics and swimming carnivals, students also have access to Riding for the Disabled, a weekly swimming program and participate in annual sporting competitions along with other students with disabilities within the North-West Region. Students from our Support Unit have participated in CAPERS, Rock Eisteddfod and The North-West Dance Festival. We are also regular participants in Tree Day.
Preparation for life beyond school is central to the student's program. Generally students access work experience within the school while in Year 9, working in the school canteen, gardens and performing simple office duties. In Year 10, this may be extended to work in the community for two hours a week with Years 11 and 12 students working for up to two days a week as appropriate. This is organised by the Head Teacher after consultation with the student and parent /caregiver.
These programs are offered according to individual need. Senior students (Years 11 and 12) may be able to participate in courses at Tamworth TAFE which are not offered within Peel High School. These include courses in Beauty Therapy, Desktop Publishing, Automotive, Air Brushing, and Animal Care which are taught with consideration of our students' extra learning needs.
Where appropriate, students may access vocational courses within the school, but these would be regular classes with no guaranteed aiding support.
Will my child be isolated?
Students with mild intellectual disability regularly access mainstream classes but students with a moderate intellectual disability or emotional disability are generally taught within their own class. In Year 9 students are offered elective subjects in which they participate along with mainstream peers supported by the class SLSO.
All school excursions, year days, assemblies, carnivals and special events such as NAIDOC week are all supported by SLSOs and Support Faculty teaching staff who facilitate the inclusion of all students in these events.