Balaklava High School provides an education that focusses on the whole child and working in partnership with our young people, their families and the community to achieve individual success for all. We have one Special Class located in a central location at the school nestled between our Enhanced Learning Hub and new STEM buildings. The class is always staffed with one teacher and one SSO; extra support staff and/or specialist teachers may be present when required. The class capacity is 12 students and caters for students from Year 8 through to Year 12 with Year 7s beginning in 2022. To be eligible for the class, students must have a verified Intellectual disability and/or low cognitive function with complex learning needs. Special Class students are assigned a homegroup with their peers to develop connections outside of the targeted learning environment.
The class is supported by the Wellbeing Senior Leader and engages the support of Student Support Services including Psychologists, Behaviour Coaches, Aboriginal Support Services and Special Educators. The school can also work with external agencies providing speech therapy, occupational therapy and NDIS support. The afore mentioned support and extensive engagement with families help teachers and students to develop individualised goals and teaching and learning programs to support student learning which is outlined in One Plans.
The ultimate goals for our students are to achieve Modified SACE and/or a successful transition to life outside of school, build on life skills and strengthen community connections and contribution.
Assessment and Reporting
It is crucial that students, with support, develop achievable, meaningful and challenging goals. All students have a One Plan which include individualised learning goals that are formally negotiated annually. Regular review of these occur at Student Led Conferences.
These learning goals are based on a variety of guidelines and assessment tools such as: the Australian Curriculum Literacy, Numeracy and Personal Social Continuums, SACE capabilities and Abilities Based Learning and Education Support (ABLES). ABLES provides a suite of curriculum, teaching, assessment and reporting resources that guide educators to accurately identify students’ individual learning goals and track their progress against an individual learning plan over time.
Teachers will support students to collect evidence of progress toward their learning goals. Students goals are highly individualised and so too is the collection of evidence. Evidence can be obtained from observations, written, audio, and pictorial evidence. In accordance with the 'Guidelines for Reporting on Australian Curriculum in DfE Schools' (Section 4.3.6), there is no requirement for assigning A-E grades. Student learning is reported as 'Completed’, ‘Not Completed’ or ‘Not Yet Completed’.
Curriculum and Learning
For Years 8 to 10 the Australian Curriculum is the framework for planning, teaching and learning. Depending on readiness, some students will begin SACE subjects in Year 10; students in Years 11 and 12 solely focus on Modified SACE subjects. By the end of Year 12, students will attain the required 200 credits for Modified SACE completion. To meet the curriculum and promote lifelong learning, one day per week the students engage in work experience and/or life skills in the community during our Community Outreach program.
Our Special Class runs Stage 1 and 2 subjects in modified form. Modified subjects are available from eight learning areas of the SACE curriculum.
The following subjects will be taught to all students Year 8 to 11 as year-long subjects:
- Integrated Learning (Authentic assessment, PLP or Research Project)
- Business and Enterprise: Modified
- Creative Arts: Modified (All Arts subjects (PA, Visual, Media) and Tech)
- Cross-disciplinary Studies: Modified
- English: Modified
- Health: Modified (Health, PE, KS:CPC and SHINE)
- Mathematics: Modified
- Scientific Studies: Modified
- Society and Culture: Modified
At Year 12 level, teachers, families and students will work together to select 3 subjects from the list above and the school will endeavour to cater for all selections.
Results are reported on the Record of Achievement and SACE certificate, along with the following statement: 'This student has fulfilled the requirements of this qualification using one or more modified subjects'.
Special Class involvement includes a $50 per term levy to cover incidentals relating to cross curricula external learning experiences (Community Outreach) and onsite life skills activities such as Home Economics.