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Teaching and learning

Pedagogical principles

Pedagogy refers to the way in which we deliver our extensive and complex curriculum requirements. It is not only about the techniques applied when working directly with students but about the attitudinal and ethical standards that we set in our organisation.

A strong focus of our school is communication and because of this so many of our pedagogical principles pivot on the student’s ability to communicate with the world around them. Effective communication tools allow our students to access, engage, participate and advocate. Ensuring that our students have a voice that strengthens as they grow and carries them through to post school options is imperative.

Access

At Mudgeeraba Special School we believe that access to self agency, inclusive curriculum, self management and communication are integral to students reaching their full potential. To enact this principle we will:

  • ensure each student has access to the communication tools that are suited to their preferred form of communication

  • use nominated assessment tools to identify physical access to the environment and use a planned approach to further this access

  • utilise an environmental scanning approach when attending to areas of concern that includes all facets of school, home, respite and other care/education programs

  • devise plans that connect and incorporate the cultural considerations of our families and their diverse backgrounds

  • design Individual Education Plan (IEP) that primarily focus on reducing barriers to the curriculum and include at least one communication goal

  • investigate and consider all available resources inside and outside of the school and Education Queensland to develop and implement individualised curriculum initiatives.

Engage

At Mudgeeraba Special School we believe that students need to be engaged and engage themselves to become a learner and participant in their home, school and wider community life. To enact this principle we will:

  • promote communicative behaviours in each and every part of the day allowing time for processing and response

  • communicate clearly, simply and effectively with each student in a way that is most effective for their preferred form of communication

  • provide multi levelled experiences and environments that are multi modal in presentation to promote engagement and independence

  • apply knowledge about individual student’s interests and skills to draw them into rich and challenging learning opportunities

  • create strong partnerships with outside school agencies and post school providers linking together these and other significant stakeholders with families/guardians through the post school transition process.

Participate

At Mudgeeraba Special School we believe that active participation takes many forms and is the cornerstone of community contribution, self advocation and the development of leadership. To enact this principle we will:

  • provide a holistic approach that values the child/adult, their learning styles, personality and family/care culture

  • expect participation in all curricular events/activities providing support that allows this participation

  • extend students in the many areas of curriculum to an effective, functional level for their ability and promote extension

  • recognise that participation in social opportunities is a part of our curriculum and is a platform for teaching and learning

  • expect students to extend themselves physically on a daily basis providing programs and opportunities that are personally relevant and individually beneficial

  • extend leadership opportunities into the student community through students council, spokesperson responsibilities and promote natural leadership of class and other groups

  • participate in the curriculum cycle that includes the intended, presented, achieved and reported curriculum ensuring this is an ongoing evaluative cycle that extends and challenges the professionalism of our teaching teams

  • take ownership of our professional development utilising multi modal approaches that suit the individual learner.

Advocate

At Mudgeeraba Special School we believe that advocation for self is one of the critical skills that will impact greatly on post school life options. Students making decisions for themselves across settings and with both familiar and unfamiliar persons is a goal that is worked towards from day one. To enact this principle we will:

  • define vehicles of connectedness for each student providing opportunity and the expectation that each student will connect with those responsible for their well being in each setting

  • model and expect behaviours of respect, understanding that allowing time for processing and response is integral to this principle

  • use verbal and visual cues for guidance with physical prompts delivered in a manner that is both respectful and nominal, i.e. can be quickly or gradually reduced if student independence increases

  • inform students when physically engaging with them – ensuring that all students have a way for communicating both emotional and physical discomfort. Importantly, it must be obvious to the student when health or care procedures are taking place and that their dignity will be retained

  • include students, families/guardians and significant stakeholders in decisions made about the student in planning contexts and where possible extend the student’s involvement to manage these plans.