Catholic Education South Australia

Learning Support

At St Barbara’s Parish School we believe each child has unique gifts and talents.

Students have a range of learning abilities and learning styles. To accommodate our students’ range of learning abilities and styles, teachers plan units of work based on inclusive practise and using differentiated programming and planning techniques.

Students are given the opportunity to experience success and learn in an atmosphere of co-operative learning.

Extensive programs to support students with special needs are given high priority. Our dedicated teachers and ESO’s work collaborarively with parents and health professionals including Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Educational Psychologists to develop programs that suit the specific needs of the child. Individual Education Plans (I.E.P’s) are written in consultation with parents to detail key goals and teaching techniques to ensure students achieve success.

Levelled Literacy Intervention

Levelled Literacy Intervention (LLI) is a small group, supplementary intervention designed for children who find reading and writing difficult.  These children are the lowest achievers in literacy in their grade level.  The goal of the intervention is to bring the children to grade level achievement.    

LLI also provides strong support for children who are acquiring English as an additional language.  Children who are identified as having special needs may also be included if the content of the LLI intervention meets the educational program specifications of the child.

The LLI texts are graded by text difficulty.  Each level of text makes increasing demands on the reader, but the change is gradual.  By engaging in intensively supportive lessons on each level, young readers have the opportunity to expand their reading and writing abilities.  With the support of instruction, they stretch themselves to read more complex texts with accuracy, fluency, and comprehension and to write more complex messages.  With these goals in mind, children are effectively engaging in the reading and writing process every day.

The amount of time a student may spend on LLI varies.  Children may reach grade level performance between eighteen and twenty four weeks with regular lessons, whilst others may require intervention for longer periods of time, up to one year.

ABC Cracking the Code

St Barbara’s Parish School recognizes and values the importance of evidence based, quality intervention programs that focus on assisting students with improving their literacy skills.  This phonics based program utilizes a highly successful approach and provides students with the opportunity for over learning to occur in order for information to be retained in the long-term memory.

“The written language is actually a code for the spoken language.  When we read, we are decoding (deciphering the code).  When we spell, we are encoding (writing down the code).  The Cracking the ABC Code Multisensory Reading program teaches students this literacy code by systematically introducing the phonemes and their common graphic representation using the multisensory format.  The aim of the program is to enable students to instantly recognize the common graphemes so they are able to rapidly decode familiar and unfamiliar words.  Students are then in a position to use their ‘mental energy’ in understanding the text.  In addition each lesson students are taught a spelling rule and are required to learn to spell five words using the strategy which focuses on the encoding process rather than just relying on remembering the visual appearance of the word.”  (Dr Lillian Fawcett, 2013)

Quicksmart – Maths Intervention

The Quicksmart Maths Intervention program aims to improve the numeracy development of students who are experiencing learning problems or delays and, hence, not achieving their academic potential. Participating students may have varying levels of learning difficulties because of knowledge gaps, lack of practise, mild intellectual disability, anxiety, low confidence, or associated behaviour problems.

The Quicksmart program is a responsive small-group intervention that aims to develop fluent (Quick) and efficient (Smart) strategy use. Quicksmart uses research-based instructional strategies to support the learning of persistently low-achieving middle school students so that they are more actively and successfully engaged in inclusive classroom settings.