Port Augusta Special School provides modified and alternative learning programs for students identified with intellectual and in some cases additional disabilities from Reception to Year 12. Enrolment occurs after an assessment and recommendation by the educational psychologist, and DECD Suppport Services Special Educator,and in consultation with families. The school provides a specialised learning centre to eligible students from Port Augusta and surrounding areas, such as Quorn and Wilmington. There is a strong focus on independence and life skills including numeracy, literacy, social skills and communication. The school is committed to using the PODD communication device (Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display)to facilitate communication and enhance the development and understanding of English.
The school receives professional support from government and non-government agencies, such as Novita and Autism SA provide consultative services. These agencies provide a wide range of services to the students, staff and families to enhance learning opportunities. Students have the opportunity to participate in an extended swimming, program, the Premier's Reading and Be Active Challenges, the annual basketball carnival for students with disabilities and local community excursions. Transport to and from school is available to eligible NDIS students over six years of age.
The school provides a modified and alternative learning programme developed within the Australian Curriculum Framework and addressing all areas of learning. Post-compulsory students are enrolled in the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) as part of a transition plan to adult life, and can participate in a comprehensive work experience program which includes community and school-based work. Class sizes generally have no more that 10 students and learning is supported by a full time teacher and school service officer in every class.
Our program is stimulating in order to expand childrens intellectual, physical, social and creative capacities and deepen their capacity to think and learn. We aim to meet the needs of each child and include childrens' voice at every opportunity to enhance dispositions for learning. Our school community has been active in developing well-presented and purposeful facilities that assist in creating an effective learning environment. The school is well resourced and works towards ensuring students are matched with resources needed to equip them for their future.
We believe that young children learn best when they have a sense of belonging and are actively engaged and interested. Children need time and opportunity to make choices, think critically and creatively to problem solve, act independently and to work collaboratively with their peers. Staff also recognise the importance of supporting student well-being, developing positive behaviours and having a healthy approach to life. We believe positive relationships are essential to quality teaching and learning and that parent involvement strengthens our programme and student outcomes
The classroom programmes are developed from the Australian Curriculum and reflect an approach that caters for a variety of learning needs. Programmes and strategies are provided to support students with particular learning needs as well as ensuring that students'learning is challenged. Teaching and learning programmes focus on developing a depth of skill and understanding at each student's level. The development of learning skills and knowledge are fundamental in all our work. The culture at the school involves a team approach to educating and supporting all children. Our vision is that all students achieve to their potential and make positive contributions in their community.