By connecting to the real world of students’ lives, authentic learning enables students to become lifelong learners who contribute to society and the wider world as active and discerning citizens. Authentic learning is central to our work as Catholic educators because it promotes the continual growth and wellbeing of the whole person — spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, socially and physically.
A student-centred approach to education is based on catering for the pastoral and learning needs of all students. The De La Salle Cronulla Mission Statement challenges teachers to recognise that each student can be at different stages of development. Programs, policies and practices are developed to cater for the needs of students with diverse needs, including those that are identified as Gifted, having ESL background, and those with specific learning disabilities.
The college will work closely with feeder schools to support the identification and transition to Higher School Certificate studies for students with diverse needs. This includes:
- Communication between specialised staff at the schools in the year prior to enrolment. This includes consultation with colleagues in the Southern Region Catholic Education Office.
- Discussion with students and parents during the enrolment process to ensure complete understanding of the nature of the diverse needs.
- Negotiation and preparation of flexible patterns of study such as programs to accommodate acceleration in one or more Key Learning Areas, courses with an emphasis on vocational education, and the opportunity to achieve an HSC based upon successful completion of “life skills” courses.
- Negotiation with students and parents in the engagement of outside agencies/tutors to provide highly specialised teaching in areas that might not be included in the current college curriculum.
- For some students and parents, making a commitment to an Individual Positive Behaviour Plan and/or an Individual Learning Plan.
The college has recently established a Diverse Needs Department with specialist staff (including volunteer educators) to assist students by offering:
- Specific course consolidation work. This is normally one-on-one tuition and can be teacher or student referred. Most often this takes place in “study periods” within a student’s normal timetable, however, it can also take place on a “withdrawal from class” basis.
- Personal study organisation skill development. This can be by student/parent initiated appointment or referral from teachers, and is not necessarily course specific.
- Teacher mentor support during practical classes in course such as Hospitality and Construction.
- Application to the Board of Studies for Special Provisions for those students who are eligible. When this is granted by the BOS, Diverse Needs staff will facilitate the use of these provisions when eligible students attempt assessment items.