Dept com­mit­ted to spe­cial needs

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - East Victoria Park -

“SCHOOLS and teach­ers are ex­pected to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment which en­cour­ages cre­ative, di­ver­gent and higher-level think­ing and an open-ended ap­proach to learn­ing that fosters the emer­gence of stu­dents' tal­ents and gifts.” That was the re­sponse from David Price, the WA Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment’s In­no­va­tion, Per­for­mance and Re­search act­ing ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor when ap­proached by the Gazette last week. “Com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween par­ents and the class teacher is an es­sen­tial el­e­ment in the de­vel­op­ment of mean­ing­ful and rel­e­vant learn­ing pro­grams for the ex­cep­tion­ally able,” Mr Price said. He said the depart­ment was strongly com­mit­ted to the needs of ex­cep­tion­ally able stu­dents in pri­mary schools, pro­vid­ing a mix of op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­tend stu­dents and en­rich their learn­ing pro­grams. The in­tro­duc­tion of one-line bud­gets un­der the new stu­dent-cen­tred fund­ing model gave schools greater flex­i­bil­ity to in­tro­duce pro­grams that best met the needs of par­tic­u­lar stu­dents, in­clud­ing those with ex­cep­tional abil­i­ties. “WA pub­lic pri­mary schools aim to pro­vide pro­grams that are chal­leng­ing and highly mo­ti­vat­ing to chil­dren with ex­cep­tional aca­demic ca­pac­ity or cre­ative tal­ent,” Mr Price said. “In the early years of school­ing, support for ex­cep­tion­ally able stu­dents is usu­ally pro­vided by the class­room teacher in con­sul­ta­tion with a range of rel­e­vant pro­fes­sion­als, in­clud­ing school psy­chol­o­gists and re­gional and cen­tral of­fice ex­perts. Based on the child's in­di­vid­ual ar­eas of strength, con­sul­ta­tion with par­ents and the ad­vice of other pro­fes­sion­als, ap­pro­pri­ate strate­gies are de­ter­mined at the class­room and school level.”

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