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The Learning Support Team understands that some students in the classroom experience difficulty in some areas of their learning. Our purpose is to provide them with an equal opportunity to receive a quality education at the school. A student who has been identified with a specific learning difficulty or diagnosed with a cognitive, sensory, physical or social/emotional disability will receive either individual, small group withdrawal or in-class-support through a range of explicit teaching and learning educational strategies.
To ensure students with learning difficulties and disabilities can access and participate in the educational opportunities at MFIS, Learning Support collaboratively plan with classroom teachers, parents and health care professionals to develop Individual Education Plans suited to their particular needs. An IEP identifies measurable goals for the student and the teaching and learning strategies and adjustments to best achieve those goals. Learning Support welcome the opportunity to work alongside health care professionals to help facilitate a student’s therapy and accelerate their learning progress. All IEPs are monitored and reviewed regularly by Learning Support.
MFIS continues to achieve excellent NAPLAN results in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy - exceeding State average percentages and performing above National Standard. In response to the school’s thorough NAPLAN analysis, Learning Support teachers take on the recommendations made in the analysis to achieve future growth. They access SMART data and use this information to closely examine any areas of improvement for individual students or as a grade cohort. They then develop Action Plans and implement explicit teaching and learning strategies to targeted individuals and groups of students in order for them to competently achieve learning outcomes and fulfil their learning potential.
Learning Support work collaboratively with classroom teachers and provide ongoing academic support to all classes throughout the year. They identify specific learning and support needs for students and recommend adjustments to the curriculum to maximize learning opportunities for these students in the class. The Kindergarten Learning Support teacher consolidates the Get Reading Right Synthetic Phonics program of work and helps students develop their early reading skills. Some Year 1 students need a little extra support in Synthetic Phonics which is at the core of Year One’s Get Reading Right spelling program. The Year 1 Learning Support teacher implements the accompanying intervention program to help students become successful readers and spellers. Flowing on to Year 2, the Learning Support teacher provides instructional assistance during Guided Reading sessions focusing on the explicit teaching of reading strategies. Learning Support reinforces the most effective way to teach students to read and spell by using systematic and explicit phonics.
Progressing into the primary years, Learning Support teachers use TORCH (Tests of Reading Comprehension) to estimate reading achievement and identify comprehension levels and skills requiring further instruction. Years 3 to 6 Learning Support teachers continue developing students’ literacy skills in reading to understand and writing for a purpose. They support the implementation of Springboards Into Comprehension, a reading program that develops competency with key comprehension skills.
Reading is essential for a student’s success in school and in life - the early literacy intervention program, MiniLit (Meeting Initial Needs in Literacy), provides explicit reading instruction for struggling Year 1 readers and some struggling Year 2 readers at MFIS. The research-based program focuses on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Learning Support teach the structured MiniLit lessons to small groups of students during 3-4 one-hour lessons, per week. To reinforce the success of MiniLit, young readers are given the opportunity to practise their phonic knowledge using the InitiaLit decodable readers and enjoy their reading.
The ultimate goal of reading instruction at MFIS is to ensure that students read accurately and fluently so that they have the best chance of reading for understanding and meaning. To help struggling Years 3 and 4 students become functional readers, they participate in the effective MultiLit (Making Up for Lost Time In Literacy) intervention program. MultiLit teaches phonic word attack skills, sight word recognition and reinforces reading using the pause, prompt and praise technique. To further assist Years 5 and 6 students who have learnt basic decoding skills but are finding it hard to improve their reading to an age appropriate level, the MultiLit WAS (Word Attack Skills) Extension program focuses on strategies for the students to tackle more complex words and become more confident and competent readers.
The dedicated Learning Support team offers additional academic support to students through BASIL – Before and After School Intervention Learning. The literacy intervention programs MultiLit and MultiLit WAS Extension are delivered in thirty minute one-to-one sessions, 2-3 times a week, either before school or at the end of the school day. BASIL also offers students a more individualised and structured learning experience that is tailored to increase their understanding and knowledge in order to achieve learning outcomes. If a BASIL student is having difficulty understanding a concept in class or cannot solve a problem for homework then the Learning Support teacher will reinforce classroom instruction and guide the student to get answers to those problems. BASIL offers the many benefits of tutoring for students in a positive and educational environment.
Great teachers combined with great learning support ensure that the educational needs of students at Malek Fahd Islamic School are being met.