A unique Sydney Catholic Schools support structure is in place to optimise learning for all students. High-quality inclusive education is provided for students with diverse learning profiles relating to: giftedness, speech, language, communication, vision, hearing, literacy acquisition and post-school pathways. Central office diverse learning teams work with our classroom teachers to enhance their capacity to maximise learning outcomes for students. Specialists in these teams collaborate widely to consolidate an inclusive approach to learning. Each school also has dedicated learning support staff.

Sydney Catholic schools provide reasonable adjustments to assist and support students with disability to successfully engage in learning. All Sydney Catholic Schools engage in the annual Nationally Consistent Collection of Data for School Students with Disability. Students with moderate intellectual disabilities and complex developmental needs may benefit from the educational program at Eileen O’Connor Catholic College Lewisham.

 

Newman Selective Gifted Education Program

Exclusive to Sydney Catholic schools, the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program provides a clear educational pathway, underpinned by contemporary research, for identified gifted and talented students from Kindergarten to Year 12. Responding to the pace, depth and curriculum complexity required by gifted learners, students take part in a rigorous program with like-minded peers for a significant amount of time each week.

This not only assists with their academic growth but also their social and emotional wellbeing. To sustain a high-quality educational program, teachers undergo training in identifying gifted students and developing curriculum differentiation strategies. All ‘Newman Selective schools’ undergo a comprehensive accreditation process every three to four years.

The staff at St Michael’s are engaged in the professional learning program GENE (Gifted Education Naturally Embedded). This program responds to the pace, depth and curriculum complexity required by gifted learners. Students take part in a rigorous program with like-minded peers for a significant amount of time each week. This not only assists with their academic growth but also their social and emotional wellbeing.

Specific Learning Support

Through expert support and resources from Sydney Catholic Schools, we collaborate and deliver personalised plans for students who have cognitive or developmental disorders, sensory disability, autism, physical disability, and speech, language and communication disorders. These plans focus on specific educational goals and adjustments related to areas such as curriculum, communication and social skills.

The Diverse Learning team at St Michael’s work closely with the principal, teachers, parents and students to ensure that children with diagnosed or imputed disabilities can access the curriculum.  This is made possible with the creation of individualised adjustment plans which show the adjustments made for each student to allow equal access to the curriculum for all.  

Case management meetings ensure that all stakeholders can collect and review data, share resources and strategies and formulate goals and objectives to be met.

Interventions can include individual intensive instruction, small group instruction or in-class support.

Reading Recovery is a short-term preventative early literacy intervention that provides extra help to Year 1 students who are identified as the lowest achievers in literacy. It helps students catch up to the average reading and writing level of their class and become independent readers and writers. Reading Recovery is delivered by a specially trained teacher.

The children in Year 1 who are identified as the lowest achievers in literacy take part in the Reading Recovery program. This program is a short-term preventative early literacy intervention delivered by a specially trained teacher. This program is a one- on-one, 30-minutes-a-day tutoring program. It helps students catch up to the average reading and writing level of their class and become independent readers and writers.

Students learning English for the first time are supported by dedicated staff within our school, staff from the Sydney Catholic Schools offices, and programs for new arrivals.

St Michael’s has a specialist EAL/D teacher who collaborates with class teachers to identify and work with students who are from another language background rather than English. Intervention programs are also developed to assist the children in becoming competent users of the English language.

We are committed to working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their families to ensure students obtain a high-quality education as a platform for achieving their full potential.