Recognise – Respect – Respond – Review

These four words summarise the rationale and work of the Faculty. We recognise that our learners present a very wide range of learning needs.

Each learner is unique and we respect their individual personalities, their strengths and weaknesses.

In responding to this diversity, we are constantly open to learning about new conditions, alternative teaching methods and strategies.

Our progress and interventions are regularly discussed and reviewed, especially during our fortnightly Diverse Needs meetings, which are attended by a multidisciplinary team.

Staying on track with Learning Support

Is your daughter working extremely hard but gaining poor results? Are there issues with organisation?  Does your daughter display 'avoidance' strategies with regard to her school work? Do you intuitively know that 'something is not right'?

The Learning Support team is available to work with students at all levels of the College and in any area of the curriculum. Through initial testing, groups of students are identified early in the year. These students will receive help from either a Learning Support teacher or a teacher aide. This help may be one-to-one, in a small group or within the regular classroom. To discuss learning support for your daughter, contact Lorraine Evening.

PATHWAYS and Supported Study – learning how to learn

The PATHWAYS programme teaches students the ‘how’ of becoming successful learners. These skills contribute to, and underpin, success in Level 1 NCEA. Choice is a vital component of the course. Students will have the opportunity to obtain credits for chosen modules and gain some NCEA Level 1 and 2 unit standard credits.

Supported study is targeted towards those students who, for a variety of reasons, might require some teacher assistance during a supervised study time. They will have access to a quiet space, a teacher and laptops. During the year they will also be given academic guidance relating to the Careers Pathways Vocational Framework and this option line will be customised to focus on each student’s needs and interests.

Appropriate STAR courses (worth NCEA credits) will be personalised to meet individual interests and/or needs. Eligibility for the Youth Guarantee scheme will also be assessed during Year 12.

Special Assessment Conditions (SAC) – use them or lose them

Students with a diagnosed learning difficulty are entitled to special examination and test conditions. If a student has an up-to-date Educational Psychological Assessment or has undergone Lucid testing in Learning Support, she may have been granted Special Assessment Conditions (SAC).

Parents and students must be aware that failure to use the SAC can affect her application in the following year. For example, if a student has been granted a writer and separate accommodation and she fails to use the writer during the assessment, it is highly likely that both conditions will be removed the following year.

Students need to be aware that exam supervisors complete paperwork after each examination. This informs NZQA of the SAC that was or was not used.  The students application for the following year is based on the contents of this report.

If you suspect that 'something is not right' with your daughter's learning and progress, please contact her Dean in the first instance. A discussion of your concerns may lead to a referral to Learning Support for a formal assessment – and improved outcomes for your daughter.

Seniors tutoring juniors – for the good of both

We have a number of dedicated seniors tutoring junior students in a range of subjects. Tutoring occurs before and after school, as well as during lunchtimes. This programme has become extremely successful again this year. The benefits of this service are reaped by seniors and juniors alike. Students who wish to be involved need to see Lorraine Evening.

Activities and challenges for the Gifted and Talented

Our philosophy is to provide for our gifted and talented students in class by way of differentiation of the curriculum. Cooperative learning strategies are also encouraged as a way of ensuring that the diverse needs of our learners are met.

In addition to the enrichment that occurs at a subject level, there may also be a separate focus for various year levels, dependent on student need. Students also have a vast range of extra curricula areas to choose from to extend themselves.

Some of the activities that our gifted students have been involved with include Future Problem Solving, book clubs, conferences, debating and critical thinking activities. Often giftedness can be masked by learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, and in some cases, our gifted students may even need individual tutorials in subjects that challenge them. The Teacher In Charge of Gifted and Talented is Monique Williams.

Dynamic learning for ORS students

In 2012 we established the McAuley room, which was a dynamic place of learning for our Ongoing Research Scheme (ORS) students. We have an extremely dedicated team of teacher aides who support the students to achieve their learning goals. This ORS team is ably led by Samantha Grbin.

In 2014 the BOD provided the girls with a brand new classroom equipped with their own kitchen. This has become an invaluable resource which enables life-skills training and experiences.

Volunteers – please!

Volunteers are able to assist the faculty in a variety of ways. We are very grateful for people who can assist by acting as Readers and Writers for assessments during the year, and for formal NCEA examinations in November and December. If you have some time to spare, please contact Lorraine Evening to discuss your possible involvement.