Special Education

Faculty Aims:

We focus on our students’ individual strengths and abilities and their active involvement as members of the school community. Enrolment in a Support Unit within a comprehensive co-educational public high school promotes opportunities for both educational and social integration and inclusion in an age-appropriate regular school environment that reflects the nature of the wider community in which students live.
We encourage parents to keep in regular contact with the school and the Special Education Faculty. A collaborative approach to our student’s educational, social and personal well-being is essential. We expect our students to adhere to the ethos of the school and become safe, respectful learners who achieve to the best of their ability.

Supporting Students:

Specialist Staff
The support unit provides access to teachers with special education qualifications and/or experience as well as links to individual support services from a variety of specialist NSW Department of Education and Communities support personnel, government health professionals and disability service providers. Assistance from a school learning support officers forms an integral component of each student’s class program.
Smaller Class Sizes
Discrete special education classes (i.e. classes consisting only of students with a physical disability) taught by support unit or regular school staff are smaller and often more structured than those in general education classrooms. Such classes can provide specialised supports and more individualised assistance.
Individual Learning Plans
Individual learning plan meetings are conducted each year for all students. These meetings usually last for around one hour and provide an opportunity for students, parents, teachers and support service personnel to discuss educational programs and wider support needs.

Educational Settings

The range of educational settings available to students may include:
- discrete classes within the Support Unit taught by staff with special education qualifications and/or experience
- inclusive classes with small numbers of students with a physical disability in regular classes taught by general education staff
- inclusion in regular classrooms for those individual students for whom such placement best meets their needs and abilities.
Therapy and Other Support: 
Currently the Sydney South West Area Health Service provides occupational, physiotherapy and speech therapy support services to certain students through the Paediatric Physical Disabilities Team, which is based at Liverpool Hospital. The school works in close liaison with this and other service agencies to support the needs of school age students and their families through school and home visits. Other services such as the Cerebral Palsy Alliance and Northcott also visit the school to provide services on referral.

 

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Courses Offered:

Curriculum
An appropriate curriculum is delivered through the provision of modified teaching programs and strategies. The use of technology is an important feature of the support unit and the wider school.
The NSW Board of Studies recognises that all teachers have students in their classrooms with a range of needs and abilities. Life Skills is a curriculum option for students with special education needs. Life Skills is for those students who cannot access the regular outcomes and content with adjustments and/or special provisions and is predominantly for those students with an intellectual disability. Life Skills outcomes may provide a more relevant, accessible and meaningful option for some students with special education needs. An informed decision as to what type of educational program is appropriate and which courses are undertaken is made after careful consideration and consultation with parents and students, taking into account a realistic view of a student’s abilities and future goals. Many of our students choose to undertake a Life Skills course of study for most or all of their subjects. The implications of undertaking a Life Skills course of study should be discussed with your child’s teachers. 

Faculty Extra Curricula / Extension:

Sport, Recreation and Community Access
A weekly sports program is provided to students in years 7 to 12. A wheelchair accessible covered basketball court is available. Students are encouraged to learn skills, improve their health and fitness, and participate in games and organised team activities, including wheelchair soccer, wheelchair football, athletics and boccia. We have a number of "sports" wheelchairs that can be used to enhance performance. 
Many sporting activities are undertaken in preparing students to represent their school in Northcott sports carnivals throughout the year. We have a proud record of participation and success at Northcott swimming and athletics carnivals and the NSW Boccia competition. A program of recreational activities is also a feature. In recent years students have participated in activities such as ten-pin bowling, karaoke, Wii sports, board games, computer games, film appreciation and nature trails.
Students participate in community access visits to complement school-based learning programs with authentic life experiences. Community access outings may include visits to places such as shopping centres, parks and cinemas. 
The school has our own wheelchair accessible bus for use in the community access program.    


Accessibility

Accessibility features currently available for students with physical disabilities at Bossley Park High School include: 
- a wheelchair accessible school bus for use on excursions and community access
- disabled toilet facilities
- wheelchair accessible classrooms
- a sheltered multi-level eating table to accommodate manual and electric   wheelchairs
- electric wheelchair stage lift access in the school’s multi-purpose centre 
- covered pathways
- an electric stair lift for wheelchair access to upstairs classrooms
- a covered bus drop-off bay
- access ramps
- a modified wheelchair accessible kitchen bay area for food technology lessons.
- an outdoor exersite
- a dedicated accessible computer lab


Technology

Adaptive technologies currently available for students with physical disabilities at Bossley Park High School include:
- adaptive equipment such as pencil grips, slope boards, height adjustable desks, foot supports, book holders and cooking utensils
 - a dedicated wheelchair accessible computer laboratory with adapted access and hardware features
 - interactive whiteboards in all classrooms