Each of the 845 students at Shire Christian School have their own skills and abilities, as well as their own weakness and difficulties. Each of them is different and unique, created in the image of God.

Over the past few years, Shire Christian staff have undergone training in Universal Design for Learning. This approach seeks to make a learning activity accessible to all students.

The principles of Universal Design were founded by architects in an attempt to make buildings and spaces more accessible to people with disabilities, and in doing so benefits for all are seen. For example, the inclusion of an elevator in a building permits access to individuals who are wheelchair bound, in addition to all patrons who may use the elevator for speed and ease.

We apply Universal Design for Learning to the classroom, enabling teachers to break down barriers to curriculum and learning for every student. For example, a student with a hearing impairment may benefit from captions being visible when students watch a video. Not only will this support benefit the focus of students but will also aid others in the understanding and retention of information.

Students who require specialised instruction, either remedially or for enrichment, receive small group lessons from learning support teachers and classroom teachers in certain areas of the curriculum such as literacy, numeracy and critical thinking. Teachers explain concepts to students and provide them with direction and structure to help them complete learning activities in an emotionally safe environment.

Teachers and teacher’s aides work as a team, with a shared understanding of the lesson objectives. The teacher’s aide looks for opportunities to allow students to attempt parts of tasks independently, and to experience a healthy mix of success and challenge.

Students with specific disabilities may require an Individual Plan to enable them to access the curriculum. Learning Support teachers work collaboratively with classroom teachers, Psychologists, Speech Therapists and Occupational Therapists to implement adjustments and make modifications where necessary.

At Shire Christian School, we seek to ensure that every student is individually catered for, in a safe and supportive environment, so that all students will learn, achieve and thrive.

Jennifer Grose
Junior School Learning Support Co-ordinator

Lauren Dalrymple
Secondary School Learning Support Co-ordinator