Learning Support, ESOL and GaTE
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At Windy Ridge, we aim to ensure that all learners can achieve to the best of their ability. We have excellent classroom teachers who are able to differentiate their lessons and meet most learners’ needs within the classroom environment. However, now and again, learners benefit from a little extra support to give them a boost in literacy or mathematics. Some of these extra programmes are run by teachers, but most are run by our well trained and highly skilled Teacher Aides.
Students are identified as needing extra support through various assessment processes. These include regular classroom assessment, observations and diagnostic surveys. Depending on their identified needs, children may be selected to participate in one of the following support programmes:
A volunteer-run reading mileage programme, which provides opportunities for children to read more frequently.
A Teacher Aide led, audio-assisted reading programme. Children attend 4 days a week for 40 minute small group sessions.
A Teacher Aide led web-based literacy and language programme which caters for a range of learners, providing structured, varied reinforcement which incorporates reading, spelling, comprehension, grammar, phonics, writing, dictation and proofreading. Year 5 and 6 learners attend 4 days a week for 40 minute small group sessions.
A qualified Teacher-led early literacy intervention designed to significantly reduce the number of children with literacy difficulties in schools. Reading Recovery provides daily one-to-one teaching with a specially trained teacher for children exhibiting slower progress in literacy learning after their first 18 months at school.
A teacher aide led mathematics support group using Numicon equipment to support children’s thinking and enhance confidence.
At our school, some of our students come from diverse groups where languages other than English are used at home or in the community. These bilingual and multilingual students represent an increasing proportion of many school communities.
At Windy Ridge, our aim is to develop in all English Language Learners a positive, enthusiastic attitude towards learning English and to give them the skills, concepts and understanding that will enable them to become confident and happy learners at our school.
Each learning area in the New Zealand curriculum has its own languages. For each area, students need specific help from teachers as they learn – the specialist vocabulary associated with that area, how to read and understand its texts, how to communicate knowledge and express ideas, how to listen and read critically and assess the value of what they hear and read.
Teaching in small ESOL groups enables students to grasp new concepts with more in-depth understanding and gives them the confidence to express their ideas and enrich their oral language skills and ability. It enables us to understand where they are at and to nudge them to reach their full social and academic potential.
Working in small groups gives the students the opportunity to share and reflect on their own cultural identity and compare this to our New Zealand culture. They gain insight into the unique ways of ‘Kiwi’ life.
Gifted and talented children are those of high potential or ability whose learning characteristics and educational needs may require differentiated learning. These can be within the classroom, withdrawal groups, leadership groups and lunchtime interest groups.
Possession of these talents and gifts, or the potential for their development, will be evidenced through high achievement, task commitment, motivation and creative ability.
The Enrichment programme is one of several programmes run at Windy Ridge School designed to meet the needs of the student and provide opportunities for the students to experience and learn from.
We are careful not to label students as ‘gifted’. Giftedness occurs in about 1% of the population and needs to be assessed by a psychologist.
Students will be considered for placements in relevant programmes in the classroom or withdrawal groups that suit their particular interests, abilities and needs.
A student may be selected one year and not the next. This does not mean there is a problem academically, merely that the programme being offered at the time may not suit their particular talents.