We offer a thorough and comprehensive curriculum experience for all of our students according to their individual learning and social needs. Teaching and learning programs are developed from outcomes in the NSW Education Standards Authority's Kindergarten to Year 12 syllabuses for NSW.
A curriculum reform is taking place starting with English and Mathematics K-2 implemented in 2023. This will provide a new focus for our primary school.
In high school, outcomes have been organised into a four-year scope and sequence that ensures students have full access to a wide range of topics, content, and skills embedded in the curriculum for their age groups.
K-6 Primary School
Students in grades Kindergarten to 6 participate in differentiated curriculum learning in each of the following subject areas:
English learning underpins all aspects of curriculum and social engagement. The core focus of English for our students is effective communication and literacy development. All students have access to appropriate augmentative communication systems including: Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), Key Sign Language (Auslan), Proloquo2go as well as visual scheduling and organisational systems. These communication skills are linked with multi-sensory enrichment activities that focus on shared reading, listening and visual text comprehension so to provide students with opportunities to link their emerging communication with family, community and the wider world.
Once the foundation of effective communication is established students work towards fundamental literacy skills including reading, writing, talking and listening. At the appropriate time for each individual student they commence learning in strategically levelled programs involving phonemic awareness, guided reading and writing and comprehensive listening.
Mathematics is a powerful, precise and concise means of communication. Some aspects of mathematics are required by individuals in order to function adequately in society and are essential for living. Mathematical skills can be generalised to support students with intellectual disabilities to participate to their fullest capacity within society.
Students with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities need to access Mathematics during grades K to 6 in a way that caters to their developmental level and learning needs; this may mean including mathematics concepts and strategies at a developmental level lower than that presented in the syllabus documents. It may be relevant for some students to explore mathematics through approaches provided in the Early Years Learning Framework in conjunction with more precise learning programs such as Count Me In Too. Learning focuses on individual needs, interests and abilities of each student when planning the most appropriate combination of outcomes and content available.
Teaching staff also seek to provide students with opportunities to explore mathematical concepts through their daily life skills development. As appropriate students will be immersed in communication rich exploratory and structured activities that support pre-number math concepts such as spatial awareness, pattern and predictability. As students’ abilities develop they will be introduced to functional number usage through the Count Me In Too program. It is a program that teaches effective number strategies and is based on concrete, practical learning, aiming to promote number ability in children pitched specifically to extend their skill level and abilities.
Personal Development Health and Physical Education
PDHPE is a learning area treated with particular care within individualised learning programs. It is of key importance in the social, emotional and physical development of all students to promote good health and welfare. Students also engage in social skills development within peer groups and through the structure of the PBL strategy.
In addition to this, physical education and fundamental skills development is a focus for each student within the parameters of their physical capacity to increase physical fitness, stamina and coordination. Included with explicit individualised personal care programs students are skilled to their highest level of independence.
Units of inquiry for cross curricula learning
Creative and Performing Arts, Science and History are incorporated into thematic areas of study within units of inquirt. Within these units students have access, exposure and opportunities to learn about a wide variety of content areas. For example: nutrition, space, the community and its workers, Earth and the environment, space and the solar system, living things of the land, sky and sea, Aboriginal Australia, personal histories and cultures as well as many more. Students access these themes though a variety of sensory, practical, exploratory and guided learning opportunities to suit their individual learning strengths and needs.
7-12 High School
Students in grades 7 to 12 participate in Life Skills based programs that target their learning needs and prepare them for life after school in the community or at work. Students in high school have a wide variety of subjects within their scope and sequence of learning, including:
English, Mathematics, Science, History, PDHPE, Creative Arts, Music, Geography, Society and Culture, Information Technology, Food Technology and Aboriginal languages.
Learning in these areas is structured similarly to the primary years with English, Mathematics and PDHPE being taught explicitly within individualised programs and other subjects being brought together with thematic connections within units of inquiry for cross-curricular learning
The Work Education syllabus provides educational opportunities that prepare students for effective and responsible participation in their community. It encourages them to be self-motivated learners who understand the need for continuing skills development throughout their lives. We offer students a comprehensive school-based work experience program that links their learning and development across curriculum areas. To do this our 7-12 classes work within a series of industry activities divided into modules that are interlinked, this means that each work activity plays a functional role in facilitating the smooth running of other modules. In this way the program is a practical application of a ‘real life’ workplace and is run with the added security of our school’s high competent staff, familiar with the individual needs of the students on our secured premises. The aim of the program is to provide students with workplace learning opportunities that lead to real products and services.
Community participation programs include student work placement with local businesses, travel training and community service as well as a variety of recreational and sport-based learning activities such as bowling, recreation parks and water/swimming facilities.