Our aim is not to keep students segregated but to prepare them for the mainstream, where they typically take up similar vocations as any other students. To this end, our curriculum is based on the Key Learning Areas developed in policy statements and guidelines by the New South Wales Board of Studies. Most students at JVS will participate fully in learning experiences based on the regular syllabus outcomes and content.
Our students often require additional support or adjustments to teaching, learning and assessment activities and our teachers are specialists in providing this extra support.
Adjustments are measures or actions taken in relation to teaching, learning and assessment that enable a student to access mainstream syllabus outcomes and content. These adjustments may involve:
- positive individual and group teaching strategies based on an understanding of individual students
- setting boundaries to allow everyone to learn
- classroom organisation
- appropriate materials and resources to support teaching and learning activities
- the amount of content to be covered in a particular lesson or unit of work or the time allocated to complete work
- consideration of students’ individual communication strategies, including verbal and nonverbal communication systems
- additional demonstration of key concepts and skills by the teacher, teacher’s aide or a peer
- a range of appropriate learning activities with structured opportunities for guided and independent practice and effective feedback
- group work, peer or tutoring, and other individual assistance.
The school supports learning and development by providing for each child an Individual Risk Assessment, Individual Educational Program (I.E.P.), and where appropriate, an Individual Transitional Educational Program. These Programs are developed in consultation with the school’s psychologist and the student’s teacher and are assessed on an ongoing basis.
The Joseph Varga School follows the normal four term schooling pattern of the public school sector.
Once a semester each class goes on a two to three day camp that focusses on Personal Development. A few of the objectives are as follows:
- improve confidence, increase self esteem and develop maturity
- develop teamwork, co-operation, effective communication and understanding
- focus on resourcefulness, initiative, self reliance and capacity to adapt to change
- encourage personal achievements and goal settings
- challenge the individual to cope with change, overcome difficulties and build on personal strengths
- increase social skills and deepen personal relationships
- transition to “normal” school settings, places of employment, the community, social settings.
In this program the emphasis is on the respect individuals have for themselves as a prerequisite for learning to respect, relate to and care for others. All programs designed for the children at the Joseph Varga School are based on the belief that children can and do learn if they feel positive about themselves.