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Learning Support

Woodvale Secondary College (WSC) is an inclusive and proactive school for students with cognitive disabilities. At WSC, this most commonly includes: dyslexia, ADHD, autism, hearing impairment, dysgraphia, processing disorders, and intellectual disability (amongst others).  Approximately 9 % of students have a diagnosed cognitive disability which is well below the national average of 12-15%.

Over the last few years WSC has engaged in a rigorous program of professional develop to support our teachers in adapting learning activities to meet the needs of our students with disability. In 2019, all teachers have engaged in professional development in Specific Learning Disability in Reading and Writing (dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyspraxia), ADHD, and Autism. A strong focus for our College is differentiation of the curriculum and learning environment to support students with additional needs.

Supporting Students with a Disability – IEP requirements

WSC does everything it can to support students with disability. Where at all possible, students are provided with an IEP that supports teachers to support students in a fair and consistent manner across all areas of learning. To do this we require some information:

  • A copy of diagnosis paperwork and reports from a qualified external service provider. This report is required by SCSA. It tells us not just the diagnosis of your child but also the level of functional impact that their disability has on them and how best to support them in the school. Without this, your child will receive support in the classroom through quality differentiated teaching practice (QDTP), but may not receive an IEP, or special conditions in NAPLAN, OLNA, or Exams. This paperwork needs to be based on the DSMV and issued by a specialist recognised within Western Australia.
  • Letters from external service providers detailing the frequency and type of therapy a student is receiving.
  • Bi-annual reviews of how the student’s disability is impacting their ability to access the curriculum.

Education Assistant Support

Students with significant disability, such as Autism, Severe Mental Health Disorders, Intellectual Disability, and some physical disabilities may receive additional support from education assistants in the class room, where additional funding has been provided by Disability Resources and an EA is available.

Extra Supports

 In addition to IEPs and EA support, students have access to our 1:1 laptop program and assistive technologies including the Word Q program and C-pens for students with severe issues with reading and/or writing; our 1:1 Reading Support Program for our weakest readers (based on classroom and NAPLAN results); small classes for Essential students in years 8 – 10 for students who need extra academic support in MESH subjects; and our new ‘Retreat’ room: a P&C funded  space where students experiencing sensory or emotional overwhelm can go to de-escalate before re-engaging with the classroom.

If you think your child may have a cognitive disability, please consult your GP for a referral to a paediatrician.

Helpful links:

Word Q how to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pqaI-k9EBs

Could your child be autistic?  https://www.autismawareness.com.au/could-it-be-autism/ 

Autism Association: https://www.autism.org.au/

Dyslexia SPELD Foundation: https://dsf.net.au/ 

ADHD Screener based on DSMV:  https://www.psycom.net/adhd-test

ADHD Western Australia: https://www.adhdwa.org/

Mrs Dee Kennedy - Learning Support Coordinator

A high quality, holistic education is the right of every student irrespective of difference. I have a strong sense of social justice and a deep personal understanding of the difficulties many students with learning disabilities face, both of which make me a passionate advocate for inclusivity, acceptance, and support for all students with disabilities. As an educator of almost 20 years, I have an profound respect for young people and a deep admiration for their tenacity and courage: school is hard. School is especially hard if you are different. I am lucky to be able to make a positive difference in the lives of young people with extra needs and provide them with the support structures they need to achieve success at school and, hopefully, beyond.

Contact details

Phone: 9309 0808

Email:

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Some useful information from the Learning Support Coordinator: