About the faculty
The support unit at Strathfield South High School has been an integral part of the school for over forty years. Our school has 4 classes that support students with hearing impairment and 5 classes supporting students on the autism spectrum. These classes are staffed by teachers trained in special education and are supported by School Learning Support Officers (SLSOs).
Across all of our classes we try to provide the least restrictive environment for students and allow for as much integration as possible. Each year students, teachers, parents, carers and other key stakeholders meet to discuss progress and goals at the personalised learning and support plan meeting. This is a great opportunity to collaborate on individualised goals and other key factors related to student learning and wellbeing.
Students accessing the support classes are able to apply for transport to school through the Assisted School Travel Program.
Hearing support classes
Hearing support classes are capped at 9 students and complete mathematics, English, science and HSIE (human society and its environment) in small discrete classes in our school’s support unit. This unit contains smaller sound proof classrooms which are equipped with Soundfield Systems for optimal hearing conditions free from ambient noise and distractions. Students are integrated with mainstream classes for Personal development, health and physical education, creative and performing arts (COPA) and technology and applied sciences (TAS). In Years 11 and 12 integration is increased and students complete most subjects in mainstream classes with SLSO support.
Students in the hearing support classes access all parts of the school and are involved in all aspects of school life. There is participation in all school excursions, school events, sports carnivals and programs. We have student representation on the student representative council (SRC) and there have been members of the support unit who have served as school prefects.
Additional programs and support
- Each semester the University of Sydney speech pathology faculty run programs for students from the support unit. These programs include social skills sessions as well as language and speech development.
- Every year our students have the opportunity to attend the Lions School Deaf camp.
- Many of our support class students participate in a range of wider school programs including: solar cars, chess club, gifted and talented programs.
Social skills programs
- Students regularly take part in social skill sessions, both in class as a part of teaching and learning programs and also informally through targeted social skill goals.
Work experience and support in post school transition
- In Years 11 and 12 students have the opportunity to complete an HSC (Higher School Certificate) subject called work and community. This subject develops a range of skills and knowledge important for life after school. Students have the opportunity to participate in supported work experience options. Post school transition planning takes place with assistance of an itinerant support teacher transition.
Autism support classes
Autism support classes are capped at 7 students and complete all of their subjects in small discrete classes. Subjects studied in these classes include; mathematics, English, science, geography, history, music, visual arts, technology and applied sciences, languages other than English, and personal development, health and physical education. Students have the opportunity for integration which is discussed at regular Personalised Learning and Support Plan meetings. For students with sensory issues or for those who require a quieter space during recess and lunchtime, a separate playground area is available.
Additional programs and support
- Speech therapy: Each semester the University of Sydney speech pathology faculty run programs for students from the support unit. These programs include social skills sessions, language development and speech development.
- Community based learning opportunities: Students in our autism support classes regularly participate in a range of learning opportunities in the local area. These opportunities include sport and recreation activities, practice using public transport, consumer based activities in local shopping centres and subject specific excursions.
- Mainstream programs: Many of our support class students participate in a range of wider school programs including: solar cars, chess club, gifted and talented programs
- Technology and coding: Students engage with a range of technologies that support learning and prepare students for life after school. The support unit uses computers, ipads, spheros and other web based programs in a range of curriculum areas.
- Social skills programs: Students regularly take part in social skill sessions, both in class as a part of teaching and learning programs and also informally through targeted social skill goals.
- Work experience and support in post school transition: In Years 11 and 12 students have the opportunity to complete an HSC (Higher School Certificate) subject called work and community. This subject develops a range of skills and knowledge important for life after school. Students have the opportunity to participate in supported work experience options. Post school transition planning takes place with assistance of an itinerant support teacher transition.
Applications for support class placement
Applications for support class placements are through the access request process. An access request is usually arranged by the school learning and support team at the local public school, but can also be organised through the local educational services team if a child is not yet enrolled.
A student is offered enrolment in a specialist support class in regular school through a placement panel process. A student's eligibility is determined through the department's disability criteria as well as the availability of a place in an appropriate specialist support class.
Read further information about specialist support classes in regular schools.
If you have any questions about the support classes please do hesitate to contact the school.
Peter Kerr (Deputy Principal Support Unit)
Hillal Kara-Ali (Teacher Hearing Support)
Margaret Jabbour, Leanne Stansbury, Rebecca Walter, Melissa Chung Yoon (Teacher Hearing Support)
Lisa Del Popolo, Leah Checkley, Sam Widmer, Mariah Dramountanis, Afaf Bazzi (Teacher Autism Support)
Dawn Helou, Garry Feeney, Gisella Mignacca, Natalie Sarabi, Irene Schellack, Ryan Lodge, Adam Holt, Sandra Giwargis, Nicola Aquilina, Rachel Owens (School Learning Support Officers or SLSOs)