2021 has been a year of reinforcement and progression for Inclusive Education at Merici College. With the ever growing team of professionals we have seen The Hub, our central location, become a consistent hive of activity for students from across all year groups needing additional support. This space houses many varying aspects of improving learning for students.
Classroom Support Assistants (CSAs)
Our CSAs work tirelessly to support our students both in the classrooms and across many aspects of the curriculum. They are present in the classrooms to work as facilitator to teacher lesson delivery and to provide support for all students based on individual need. During the remote learning phase of Covid 19 restrictions, the team consisting of Mrs. Cusack, Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Kingsford, Mrs. Medd and Mrs. Evans, were present online every day to support students to ensure that access to quality engagement and learning was consistent and ongoing. The team also worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that necessary additional adjustments were included in the remote learning phase of school to ensure students felt supported.
Cross Age Tutoring
Facilitated by Mrs Cusack, the Cross-Age Tutoring Program continues to run successfully bringing together Junior and Senior members of the Merici Community. The Program runs during lunchtimes and after school. Currently there are 30 teams of girls participating in this program and their enthusiasm is both visible and audible. The girls work together with the senior students providing learning and insights to junior students, discussing ideas, giving explanations and finding solutions for those challenging problems across a range of subjects. The Program showcases examples of both cooperative learning and supportive learning applications as documented in the Principals of Powerful Learning. During remote learning, many of our senior volunteers in this program continued to check in on their tutees to provide ongoing and additional support. This was a commendable application of their skills during such a challenging time.
English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D) support
Mrs. Kate Jarvis attends the Hub during the week to work with, and foster ongoing learning for, students where English is their second language. Together with the classroom teachers, she aims to bridge the gap between the curriculum and language barriers in order to make learning more accessible.
Facilitated by Mrs Williams, the Homework Club occurs in the Hub and the Information Centre two afternoons a week and is frequented by students invested in making sure they are up-to-date with their work.
Targeted Literacy, Maths and Organisational lessons
Aside from these activities, the Hub is a space dedicated to students as a place to work and receive support. Merici teaching staff provide targeted Literacy and Maths sessions, as well as workload management sessions. This increases student understanding of assessment requirements and develops literacy and numeracy skills, along with focused attention on assisting students to complete classwork.
The Merici community fosters a joy of learning and a shared mindset that inclusivity is more than just the acknowledgement of others. Our team aims to demonstrate, at all times, a sense of collaboration to foster belonging and acceptance for all.
Inclusive Education Coordinator