At Cashmere one of our goals is to create an environment where children can reach their potential. We focus on up skilling staff to identify learning preferences, celebrate these and teach to those preferences as opposed to viewing them as learning disabilities. We promote working in a problem solving and collaborative model, where the goal is to remove barriers to learning and ensure an inclusive environment for all. Parent, child and teacher partnership is fostered and valued.
In 2009 we started a Parent support group called 'Support Group for Parents with Children with Learning Difference'. We meet once a term and have a guest speaker and time to share, chat and support each other.
Learning Support Guidelines
A key role of the teacher will be one of changing or adapting the environment to suit the learning preference of the children. It will not be one size fits all. Our aim is to maximise the match between the child's need and the instructional environment (Moore, et al 1999, p.15). An environment where difference is celebrated and children are secure that they are in an inclusive environment where their learning preference is explicitly factored into their learning.
Problem solving and collaboration will ensure the curriculum is made available to all students by removing barriers and ensuring an inclusive environment for all. We will be unified in our endeavour. Parent, child and teacher will have a close relationship where goals are explicit and shared. Where a collaborative partnership is fostered and trust forms a cornerstone of the partnership.
When necessary identified children will undergo additional assessment using specialised screening programmes to ascertain future goals or specific direction, within school. As a result of this fine grain assessment it may be advantageous for the child to take advantage of specialist programmes within the school to facilitate breaking down identified barriers if the results of the assessment ascertain there are barriers which prevent the child learning in the regular classroom environment.
In some instances the child may be referred to outside agencies for further assessment. This will always be done with appropriate Parent/teacher consultation and there must be a very clear reason why this additional information is required.
The Team Leader of Learning Support will be the key staff member which overseas Learning Preferences/Support. In the first instance a staff member will discuss their concerns with their Team Leader. Once the Team Leader has an understanding of the teachers concerns they may consider it necessary to follow up with The Team Leader of Learning Support to establish next steps.
If the next step is Learning Assistant time an IEP will be written by the classroom teacher where learning objectives/goals are shared and worked toward. Evaluation of objectives/goals will occur and decisions made as to the effectiveness of the intervention.
Our Learning Assistants are a key to helping support our children and classroom programmes. Some children are withdrawn from class if required to up skill them in an identified area and whole class support is provided as well. We have a team of highly competent and committed people.