Curriculum tailored
to students' needs

Kerri Carr

SLSO Liz Haanstra provides individual support to a student in a stage 2 classroom

More individualised learning programs have been put in place at Lavington Public School courtesy of Gonski schools funding, says Workplace Committee member Kylie Dawson.

The needs-based funding has enabled all stages at the school to implement smaller literacy and numeracy groups.

Ms Dawson said this greater differentiation of curriculum better supports student needs.

“We have smaller support groups for children who require it and a greater opportunity to cater for our talented students in these areas,” she said.

The school has received $215,000, spending it on a variety of teaching and learning and social programs, as well as resourcing.

Gonski money has facilitated a school learning support officer (SLSO) in every classroom for a period of time each week, enabling smaller groups, and in some cases, class sizes in some key learning areas have also been reduced.

The school is starting a support program for children with dyslexia and a MultiLit program for students who have difficulties with literacy, again thanks to Gonski dollars.

Ms Dawson said newly arrived students to Australia now have greater access to English as an Additional Language support for longer to help them adjust.

“Gonski funding means we can offer these children more English as an Additional Language support per week, and if needed, we can extend their support beyond the two years they are entitled to under the New Arrivals Program,” she said.

A school breakfast program will be starting at the school soon, financed by Gonski funds.

Initially the program will run one morning per week, but will grow to three.

“It is important for kids to start the day with a nutritionally balanced breakfast in their tummies to help with their concentration; it will also offer kids the opportunity to interact with kids across other grades,” Ms Dawson said.

Staff and students now also have greater access to 21st century technology to assist with learning. All learning spaces now have an electronic whiteboard in them and children needing extra support have iPads available to them in small group situations, again thanks to Gonski dollars.