Enhanced Learning Programmes
The school provides a number of programmes for children who have special learning needs.
Access to any programme requires consultation with, and approval from the school's Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) to ascertain student needs and priority. Once this process has been carried out, the following programmes may become available to identified / appropriate pupils. Research shows, interventions are best in short, intensive periods. Therefore, apart from Reading Recovery, students will be reviewed each term.
RAINBOW READING (reading / language) Years 2 to 6
A school-wide programme for pupils identified through reading results and class teachers' observations as reading six months or more below their chronological age. Twenty minute daily sessions, Monday to Thursday where students listen with headphones to a story at their reading level, whilst following the written text. A running record (reading assessment), to check on progress is taken every fourth day.
BOOK CLUB (reading mileage / language) Years 2 to 6
A school wide reading mileage programme held between 9.00am and 10.00am Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 40 students per session with students reading individually for 15 minutes to and with adult tutors to improve reading fluency (speed reading / tracking).
ORS (On-going Resource Scheme) Years 1 to 6
An Intervention for students with very particular special needs (only available to about 1% of the school students). Provided the application is successful, Ongoing Resourcing Scheme, (ORS) funded students receive Teacher and Teacher Aide support through the Ministry of Education, sometimes also topped up from the school's Special Education Grant. Teacher Aide assistance develops independence, and socialisation rather than dependence on support. Hours received by each student depend on the degree of the disability but typically are in the range of 7-12 hours per week which must cover both class and break times. ORS referrals must be made through the SENCO.
Quest is the name for our Gifted and Talented pull-out enrichment programme. There are many possible definitions for gifted and talented. Our School definition is:
"Gifted students at Whangaparaoa School are those with the potential to achieve outstanding performance related to other students of the same age, in one or more areas of human endeavour. Talented students are those who demonstrate exceptional ability in one or more areas. They require differentiated educational programmes and/ or services, (such as social and emotional support) in order to realise their contribution to self and society."
Children are identified in a variety of ways - with teacher, parent and self-nomination considered. Each year in March teachers are asked to identify children who stand out, in a number of categories (academic, social/emotional areas, various strength areas). The GATE coordinator then makes recommendations for further clarification - often with a cognitive screening. In newsletters early in the year (March / April) parents are invited to contact the GATE coordinator to discuss if they feel their child may be gifted. Those identified as gifted (usually the top 5% of cognitive abilities, but those with other exceptions - 2e - such as ASD, ADHD, Dyslexia etc, may be accepted with lower cognitive results) are invited to participate in our pull-out enrichment group, and teachers are notified so that accommodations can also be made in class where necessary.
Children involved in Quest are withdrawn from the regular classroom one block a week with a small group of children of a similar age and ability, to participate in enrichment activities. Students learn about higher order thinking skills and how to utilise these skills to extend themselves. Children are taught to use tools of research effectively so that they can become more confident independent learners. They participate in challenges and undertake problem solving. Most importantly, these children are given the opportunity to work with others of similar ability - learning together and challenging each other, working on social and emotional skills where needed. We aim to make it fun and informative, so that these children remain 'switched on' at school. You can see the blog about Quest here to get an idea of what the learning at Quest is like.
SPEECH / LANGUAGE, including LLI (Language Learning Intervention) Years 1-6
A programme designed to support improvement in talking, reading and comprehension, as well as to boost confidence, language skills and understanding of English. Some individualised instruction may be provided by Ministry appointed speech therapists who visit the school.
An individual daily programme available only for 6-7 year old students in Year 2, with particularly low reading scores. Runs Monday to Friday with 30 minute sessions. These students receive 1 on 1 reading / language instruction from a specially trained teacher for 20 weeks (or 100 hours) with the goal being to accelerate the pupil until they are reading at chronological age by the end of that time. Any child enrolled in this programme must have regular attendance in order to take full advantage of the specialised instruction.
COSMDBRICS Years 2 to 6
This is a programme to accelerate progress in Mathematics – specifically number knowledge. Sessions are run for 20 minutes to half an hour, four days a week and are taken by the Learning Assistants. Each session covers counting, ordering, sequencing, making, dictation, basic facts, games and regular assessment. Students complete up to a term of COSMDBRICS at any one time. Children will be selected for this programme if the class teacher has concerns about their mathematics, based on a range of assessments.
ORCA AGENTS Year 6
These are selected Year 6 role models who take on the job of further reinforcing our ORCA values, positive playground behaviour, encouraging fair play and caring attitudes and acknowledging students who are showing such skills.