The Support Unit
This Support Unit consists of three classes of deaf / hearing impaired students ranging from Years 7 to 12. This is a sign language unit, but we also have a number of students who have come from oral units. All the teachers and interpreters are fluent in sign language.
The unit offers several programs, ranging from mostly integrated courses, to Life Skills Courses. There is a Year 7 to 10 Life Skills Course, and a Year 11 to 12 Life Skills Course.
When students attend integrated classes, they go with an interpreter and they cover the same work and same courses as their integrated peers. Some students also choose to complete TAFE Courses.
Other pupils follow a full Life Skills Program which also involves Work Experience; either Work Crew which is supervised Work Experience by a teacher one day per week for 10 weeks or a Job Coach which allows students to complete a block of work experience (usually one week) or one day a week for a number of weeks. There are also TAFE Courses for Years 11 and 12.
Students complete a course that combines regular mainstream courses and Life Skills courses. Programs are designed to fit the individual needs of each student.
Every year each student has an ITP meeting (Individual Transition Program) to look at the students progress. The meeting is attended by the student, parent, teacher, counsellor, transition teacher and other relevant personnel (depending on which year the student is in). For example, someone from TAFE may attend Year 10 to 12 meetings. As a result of this meeting we can plan ahead and cater to the students needs. We are always available to talk to parents or answer questions.
The purpose of this specialised class is to help
students who have learning difficulties. It provides
an excellent opportunity to improve the individual's
literacy, numeracy and computer skills. The students
come from all the years of High School (Years 7 to
12), and there is a maximum of 18 pupils in the
class. The content of the subjects they study is
specially adapted to their abilities
('Life Skills Course'), but the students can study regular mainstream subject content if it is appropriate.
Pupils in this Unit study Maths, English and H.S.I.E. (History & Geography), but attend most other classes ( P.E.; Design and Technology; Music; their various electives, etc.,) outside the Unit.
To maximise the opportunities of their special education, each year every student has an Individual Transition Plan (I.T.P.). The purpose of this is to look at each student's progress, and to tailor plans for the following 12 months. This Plan is the end result of a meeting with the pupil, parents, teacher, transition teacher, and often the counsellor and any other relevant personnel (depending on the year the student is in.) For example, someone from TAFE may attend this meeting to offer suggestions.
Another advantage of attending this Unit is that the students can benefit from attending various forms of appropriate Work Experience. These range from places where the pupils are supervised on the work site by teachers or experienced personnel, to those who are suitable being able to attend TAFE courses, such as Retail Certificate Courses, or Automotive Courses.
Before leaving school, both parents and pupils are able to be introduced to various organisations that can provide specialised assistance for the student to find a job and enter the workforce.