In Year 7 we are able to target a number of students with low literacy levels to work independently and online at home using Lexia Core5 Reading. This resource allows boys to work individually, through mastery learning, to advance through multiple levels to improve their literacy skills while their progress is monitored online. Similarly such students can improve their numeracy skills online and independently by using Mathletics.
As a College, for students who need additional learning support, we strongly recommend the use of the College library before and after school. Here students may work independently or seek teacher assistance with the completion of homework and more complex research tasks. The Learning Support team specifically run workshops during the mornings before school that target skills, such as touch typing, using Typequick, and maths tutoring. Students are also provided with the opportunity to access computers, ipads and print completed assignments. For many boys their academic achievement has improved with increased confidence and self-esteem gained by this proactive initiative.
Another support provided to eligible students for common assessment tasks is the continuing use of Disability Provisions, previously known as Special Provisions. This ensures that all students have equal access to realising their potential under test conditions. This role is ongoing and particularly important to those students sitting NESA assessments during their Higher School Certificate. It is important to acknowledge the valued support that many of our more able students provide in acting as Readers and /or Writers for these assessments. This program also allows the volunteers to add these hours to their Waterford projects through the service they provide to others.
At St Edward’s College we are also fortunate to have four very experienced teacher assistants who contribute to the ongoing individual and collective learning needs of students in the classroom. The learning support staff are very empathetic and considerate to the needs of all students and, under the direction of classroom teachers, our aim is to continually make appropriate adjustments in the classroom to suit the learning needs of students.
Although the Learning Support Department is set up to specifically target students with particular learning needs our presence in the College benefits all students allowing teachers and assistants to work as a team to improve learning outcomes for all. The College relies on the support of parents and caregivers in this education process and consequently we try to maintain effective home-school links based on mutual respect, recognition of equity of differing roles of parents and educators and the sharing of relevant information. With this partnership we aim to provide the best learning gains for all students using the resources we have.