Junior School - Academic Centre for Enrichment
The Academic Centre for Enrichment (ACE) works closely with classroom teachers to provide support and to assist in the modification and implementation of enrichment programmes. Students from Kindergarten to Year 6 are screened each year to monitor each child’s learning; from these results further assessments are conducted with students identified for support. ACE staff seek to work closely with parents, teachers and outside agencies in order to set goals that will meet their educational needs and accelerate their learning. After collaboration with classroom teachers and parents, programmes are designed to address students’ individual needs, both in small groups and within the classroom.
Kindergarten to Year 1
ACE focuses on the development of the vital foundations of literacy, phonemic awareness and pre-reading skills. Students are engaged in oral activities and games, which enable them to practise listening to sounds in words as well as identifying and manipulating sounds.
In Pre Primary and Year 1 support is also provided with a small group of students who require further development in their mathematical understanding.
Years 2 to 4
Literacy and numeracy support is offered in small withdrawal groups and within the classrooms. The literacy focus for these girls is the development of decoding skills using a combination of explicit teaching programmes.
All students are assessed individually to ascertain their understanding in the number domain. Their results are analysed and a maths programme is designed to address individual needs.
Years 5 and 6
The Literacy support programme for Years 5 and 6 is based on the development of sound reading comprehension skills through a guided reading programme using inferential and evaluative questioning. A modified numeracy programme is offered to students experiencing difficulty.
Although the ACE staff deliver a variety of enrichment programmes, research shows that best practice for highly able students is a differentiated programme within the classroom. Programmes delivered include Mathematical Problem solving, Philosophy, Critical Thinking, Scientific Inquiry, Research and Creative Writing. The programmes are flexible and are determined by student and cohort needs.
The Learning Support programme is available to students who may be experiencing difficulty in some aspect of their learning and require additional assistance.
Students are nurtured, supported and encouraged to develop their skills and individual strengths. For some students, difficulties with learning may be transient and can be managed with additional teaching and support time. Other students may be challenged throughout their school years. In all cases, innovative and effective programmes are designed to help each student participate as an active and engaged learner.
The learning programme is underpinned by the following philosophies:
- Provide systematic and explicit instruction.
- Use a framework that provides a measure of independence but at the same time assists the learner.
- Target a student's specific weakness and provide appropriate strategies to address learning requirements.
- Ensure students achieve success by being placed on an appropriate level of work, thus increasing self-esteem and confidence.
- Give regular feedback on work and re-teach skills if necessary.
Assisting students with learning difficulties is a whole school effort. Learning Support staff, classroom teachers and counsellors work closely with parents in order to build their daughter’s confidence, independence and competence.
Before school, classes are available for students to work on an intensive spelling programme. Low student/teacher ratio ensures each girl has an opportunity to work individually with a teacher.
Years 7 and 8
Students in Years 7 and 8 can attend Learning Support in place of a language class for three periods per cycle. This programme is only available to students who are experiencing difficulty in foundational literacy and numeracy skills, and require additional support.
Years 9 and 10
In Years 9 and 10, students can choose to give up an elective subject in order to receive additional assistance in Learning Support. The programme is available to students who are experiencing difficulty in some aspect of their learning.
Learning support sessions in Year 7-10 focus on targeted intervention, while assisting students to develop a positive academic attitude. Where there is a perceived need, consideration can be given for students to receive individual help with assignments and regular class work.
Years 11 and 12
English skills short courses are offered before and after school for students in Year 11 and 12. The learning programme covers the skills of analysing and answering examination questions, as well as planning, writing, proofreading and editing well-constructed essays.