At Lenswood Primary School we fund additional SSO hours to support all students and provide a personal learning program for students who we identify as requiring a little extra support or even extension in certain learning areas. While many schools provide funding for students with verified disabilities or learning difficulties, we have made the decision to use our own funds to provide extra support and improve the staff to student ratios within our school.
Our philosophy is to provide additional support early to ensure that all students keep up with the expected Australian Curriculum, rather than having some fall behind and having to be caught up later. As you would be aware, all children learn at different rates and this is our way of making sure that no students fall through the cracks.
Our team of SSOs plan support sessions with the teachers and work with students requiring intervention and extension alongside their peers. In most cases this occurs within the class and students across the full range of abilities work with our SSOs. The benefit of this is that working with an SSO is completely normalised and even the children who are often seen by their peers as the “smart kids” receive 1:1 or small group learning support.
For this to be effective we base support on achievement data and plan targeted goals with your child. If your child is identified as being someone who would benefit from extension or intervention, we communicate this regularly via termly letters identifying goals and strategies and are available for ‘check in meetings’.