Specialist programs

Learn about the specialist programs offered at our school.

Aboriginal Education Strategy

Our school has a strong commitment to Aboriginal education. Our practices are based on the objectives of current Aboriginal Education Strategy guidelines. We employ an Aboriginal Education Teacher (AET) and an Aboriginal Community Education Officer (ACEO) to work collaboratively with the school community and oversee the site programs and initiatives in aboriginal education.

Our focus is based on:

  • increasing literacy and numeracy outcomes for Aboriginal students through targeted learning programs
  • building community engagement within the school by collaborating with members of the local Aboriginal community
  • facilitating and implementing whole school initiatives linking to Aboriginal perspectives across the curriculum
  • raising cultural awareness across the school/community by acknowledging significant cultural events such as Reconciliation Week, National Sorry Day, and NAIDOC.

English as an additional language or dialect (EALD)

We have a wonderful multicultural community at our school. We employ a range of methods to support children and their families with an EALD background. Our EALD teacher supports children with literacy skills and runs EALD programs across the school.

Our school also uses the services of Bilingual School Support Officers (BSSOs) and Community Liaison Officers (CLOs). These roles provide culturally inclusive support to students and families.

Our EALD objectives include:

  • providing ongoing support for student outcomes in literacy
  • assessing student writing using the language and literacy levels
  • building relationships with EALD students, parents and caregivers, and the community through targeted programs, school assemblies, meetings, and special events such as Refugee Week
  • acting as a liaison between agencies to help students and families access the support they need (eg CAMHS, Refugee Association)
  • supporting children and families to honour their cultural beliefs in a school context
  • organising interpreters and translators to facilitate communication between school and families.

Intervention and support

Our school has a strong focus on providing all students with the support they need to belong to the school community, engage purposefully in learning and experience academic success.

Our Intervention Management Team work together with leadership, classroom teachers and support services. They focus on identifying students who may need support and prioritise these needs from a whole school perspective.

Our intervention programs focus on supporting students across a range of areas including literacy, numeracy, social engagement and emotional wellbeing.

Emotional regulation

Elizabeth Park Schools are trauma-aware and all staff are trained in the Berry Street Education Model.

The Berry Street Education Model provides schools with the training, curriculum, and strategies to engage even the most challenging students. This education initiative is different because it is based on proven positive education, trauma-informed and wellbeing practices that enable students’ academic and personal growth.

The model is unique because it educates schools and their leaders to reinforce and sustain cognitive and behavioural change, re-engaging young people in learning and progressing their academic achievement.

Each of our classrooms follow the Berry Street Education Model strategies, which includes:

  • morning greetings
  • beginning and ending the day with circle time
  • incorporating brain breaks and positive primers into each day
  • the use of ready to learn plans.

Restorative practice is another focus where repairing and rebuilding relationships allows for students to feel supported and safe at school.

Junior primary literacy

Teaching students to read is essential in the early years of schooling. To do this effectively, research suggests that phonemic awareness is central to the process.

Phonemic Awareness (PA) focuses on the sounds of the English language and deals with spoken language. Through PA instruction, students can play with the individual sounds in words.

In the early years of schooling, students are taught to be phonemically aware through language awareness, rhyming, onset fluency, blending, identifying initial, middle or final sounds, segmenting, and then adding and deleting sounds.

The next step in learning to read is to learn the basic phonetic code. We use the Jolly Phonics program which focuses on:

  • reading and writing letters according to their sounds
  • learning spelling patterns
  • the phonological structure of words.

Through phonics instruction, students learn letters (graphemes) and the sounds (phonemes) that correspond. Students are taught the basic code in Reception (42 Jolly Phonics sounds through animated stories and actions), how to blend learnt sounds together to read simple words, and how to separate sounds apart to spell them.

In year 1 and 2, students learn the extended code (alternative spelling patterns used for English sounds). Students are taught how to use these sounds to blend and separate individual words before moving onto sentences.