Diverse learning

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St Ursula’s College is an inclusive and nurturing learning community, committed to enabling every student to achieve their personal best.

Our College values the diversity of our students and seeks to ensure that each girl can access and participate in education on the same basis.

St Ursula’s is well equipped to provide additional academic support for students with specific needs, including those who are gifted and talented, those for whom English is a second language, along with students requiring literacy, numeracy and any other learning support.

Our programs which support this diverse learning approach include:

Newman Selective Gifted Education Program

The Newman Selective Gifted Education Program extends and enriches gifted and talented learners in each key learning area by placing them in selective classes with other students who have similar abilities.

The Newman Program enhances the whole student by providing them with an authentically rigorous program in a nurturing Catholic environment. We offer a wide range of opportunities that cater for a variety of gifted learners and support students’ social and emotional wellbeing.

Acceleration

Acceleration is one of a number of strategies available at St Ursula’s College to meet the needs of our highly gifted students. It allows a student who has demonstrated that they have advanced knowledge and skills in a particular domain to access a curriculum at least one year in advance of their current year level.

Acceleration is a placement strategy designed to meet the needs of gifted students who are not being fully engaged and/or extended by differentiated curriculum at their year level. Acceleration at St Ursula’s may include a combination of the options listed below. All involve exposing the student to advanced content and skills and include:

  • Early entry into secondary school – the child is allowed to enter our school at an earlier age than is mandated by education authorities
  • Single-subject acceleration – provides access to higher year level curriculum in a student’s area/s of strength, while they work at their year level in other subjects
  • Year level acceleration – also known as grade-skipping, this involves full-time placement with a higher year group, so that all subjects are studied at an advanced year level.

Learning Support Program

Our Learning Support teachers and staff work both within and outside the classroom to enable every student to achieve her personal best. Adjustments may be made in areas such as physical access (through equipment and building modifications), personal care, health care management (such as medication and emergency procedures), communication, wellbeing, curriculum, and specific teaching strategies. The type and level of adjustment required for a student is determined in close consultation with them and their family and the collection of other relevant information.

Literacy and Numeracy Strategy

St Ursula’s Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life Strategy is a school-wide plan aimed at improving student skills in these areas so that each girl can engage successfully at school academically – and in later life.

Literacy when English is an Additional Language or Dialect Program

The Literacy when English is an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) Program aims to help students access the curriculum and achieve academic success. It is facilitated by matching student learning needs to the academic challenges of the curriculum and supporting students through identifying and monitoring, providing a whole school approach to literacy and EAL/D, and targeted support.

Supplementary Learning programs

St Ursula’s has a number of Supplementary Learning programs, which support students in their transition through secondary school:

  • L@UNCH (Year 7) – offers a clear, explicitly scaffolded foundational course for Year 7 students to ground them in secondary academic skills, strategies and thinking, and provide a solid foundation to build academic success
  • Rock8t (Year 8) – builds on L@UNCH, to promote growth mindset and to build confidence and resilience through targeting Numeracy and STEM skills
  • Girls9Unite (Year 9) – focuses on strengthening the literacy skills of Year 9 students and is taught over three periods per fortnight, in addition to the existing six core English periods per fortnight
  • Act10n (Year 10) – helps our students plan for and shape their future and make a contribution to the wider community, by providing them with the essential knowledge, understanding and skills to participate in the rapidly changing world of work.