At MSHS there is agreement among Learning Support staff that there is an imperative to shift towards teaching to diversity. In brief, this model means that all students are part of the same community, where their needs are met, and they can make a meaningful contribution. In practice, the time that students will sit alongside their mainstream peers is maximised.
There is strong research evidence that Inclusive Education is an effective approach when there is adequate resourcing, supportive teacher attitudes and educator training. The research evidence concludes that there are many benefits for both mainstream students and students with disabilities.
The following principles underpin the Inclusion Model at Mount Stromlo High School:
- That we should assume success (start with the least restrictive environment).
- That all students should feel included and supported.
- That students belong to the school
- That students should have equitable access to learning opportunities and school experiences
- That flexibility (of approach and attitude) is needed for success in meeting needs of diverse learners.
- Universal Design underpins successful inclusion.
These principles will serve to guide decision making as we move forward in the new model.
Model in Practice at MSHS
A summary of the supports offered in the Inclusion Model is provided below:
Start in mainstream
Withdraw when needed.
Inclusion teacher role
Support for faculties (planning, withdrawal of small groups, co-teaching), and be the point of consult for inclusion of students with disability in the faculty.
The students in the small group may change, depending on the assessed-need.
An individual may need small group support for one topic, and not another.
Case managers to be the experts on the individuals on their case management load. Each year group of Inclusion Students is assigned a Case manager.
Needs based, to be managed by case-managers
Calm space is a comfortable space to help students down-regulate
The study space is a quiet working space with LSA support.
The break space is a quiet space for students to enjoy their breaks.