REACH - GIFTED AND TALENTED PROGRAM
Our Gifted & Talented Program - REACH Reasoning Endeavour Analysing Challenging Higher Order Thinking currently involves more than 70 children per week from Year 3-6. Students identified as eligible for inclusion in the REACH Program are considered according to:
- Diagnostic testing (eg Nelson; TOLA; AGAT & SPM)
- Standardised testing (NAPLAN; WAMSEW; PATR; PAT; EYLND)
- Student and parent commitment to learning and a desire to be part of a group
- External psychometric testing by a practicing psychologist
Students who are part of the program are generally those who excel or have the potential to excel in all or specific ability areas such as English, Mathematics, Science and Technology. The TOLA (Test of Learning Ability) is the diagnostic testing that is administered by an external consultant each year which identifies the students who are invited to participate in the REACH Program.
Another of our enrichment programs, STRETCH, is provided to students in Years 1 & 2 who are nominated for inclusion by the class teacher from assessment data gathered early in the year.
The enrichment program has run for the past 10 years with some of the ‘REACH’ children participating annually in a variety of interschool competitions including; the National
History Challenge, Make Your Own Book Competition, Science IQ, Science Talent Search, Catholic Schools SciTech Brainstorm Challenge Day, the Academic All Stars, the Northern Region Spelling Bee, Chess and the Young Voices Speaking Competition.
The program aims to provide positive educational outcome for gifted and talented students through:
- Appropriate identification using diagnostic testing conducted by an external consultant.
- Provision of well-planned programmes within the REACH Program provision
- Enriching classroom activities provided by classroom teachers
A range of strategies are employed so that students are engaged and challenged. Students complete a range of open-ended tasks, enter competitions and are led by self- driven interests and activities during the sessions. The activities undertaken in the classes involve the development of a variety of skills, including:
- Independent working skills
- Higher order thinking skills
- Research skills
- Problem solving skills
- Self confidence
- Intrinsic motivation
LITERACY AND NUMERACY SUPPORT
Every child at Liwara is entitled to the opportunity to receive the best education by being given opportunities to gain proficient literacy and numeracy skills. We offer the Reading Recovery and EMU (Extending Mathematical Understanding) programs to our students. It is important to deliver programs that are effective, implemented with commitment, and positively received by staff, students and parents.
These programs have proven to be successful because of the explicit teaching, strong pedagogy and sound research.
Reading Recovery is a highly successful early literacy
intervention program that is implemented in countries
throughout the world. The goal of Reading Recovery is
accelerated learning. It is an individual intervention
program intended to reduce the number of students in the early literacy stage who are continuing to experience difficulty with reading and writing after one year of formal schooling.
Extending Mathematical Understanding, EMU, is a research-based intervention program, focusing on the early years of schooling.
The EMU Program has been proven by detailed research to improve children’s learning and confidence with mathematics. It aims to enhance their mathematical understanding through rich mathematical experiences. Children are actively involved in ‘hands on’ mathematical learning. They use equipment to assist in developing mathematical knowledge, share and listen to the learning of their peers and reflect on and record their understandings in a supportive, fun and challenging environment.
Levelled Literacy Intervention, LLI is a research-based small-group, supplementary intervention program designed for children who find reading and writing difficult. Designed to prevent literacy difficulties from becoming entrenched, the program has been highly successful in bringing readers who struggle, up to grade level performance.
The Support- A-Reader and Toe By Toe Programs
successfully running again this year are based on the philosophy that children who require additional assistance with the reading process will benefit from daily support on a one-to-one basis, with trained Educational Assistants’s or parent tutors.
The Sensory Room at Liwara is designed to both calm and stimulate the senses in children with special needs. Occupational therapists say that sensory rooms have three main purposes:
- To provide relaxation and enjoyment by eliminating distraction
- To increase creative sensory input and
- To facilitate communication and mobility for children with a wide range of disabilities.
Sensory issues are common in children with special needs. Sensory issues include sensitivity to smells, touch, texture, taste, light and sound. For example, some children with sensory issues find different types of clothing bothersome. Sounds bother other children, even sounds most of us struggle to hear. The exact cause of sensory problems is not known, however, it relates to poor processing of the information received through the senses. Many children with autism have sensory issues and there is also a specific disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder.
The Sensory Room provides students with sensory experiences in order to meet a wide range of needs. From encouraging positive actions to promoting rest and relaxation for the agitated or stressed. A sensory room is extremely therapeutic for children with sensory processing disorders, from mild to severe.