The Student Services Team, under the direction of Mrs Lydia Tweedie, provides programs to assist students in the development of strategies that ensure they can experience educational success.
Donvale Christian College (DCC) is a school that has an open entry enrolment policy for all students whose parents demonstrate a commitment to the Christian faith. The college embraces students with a wide range of abilities; however, at any stage, a student's academic progress may be affected by a number of challenging variables. It is at this point that specialist intervention and provision beyond the classroom may be required.
The Student Services Department at DCC is committed to discovering and providing the best learning conditions for all students with extra needs in an environment that promotes intellectual, social, emotional, physical and most importantly spiritual well-being.
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First Aid services exist to provide immediate first aid care, ongoing support, education and advice to students, parents and staff at DCC. First Aid care is available for injuries and illnesses that occur during a school day. First aid requirements for excursions and camps are provided for, including medical forms and comprehensive first aid kits. For students who have chronic or on-going medical conditions that require support at school, School Nurses will spend time with their parents discussing individual requirements and care needs, and formulating an appropriate support or management plan. First Aid provides “Return to School” planning and support for students following extended periods of absence from school for health reasons. School Nurses undertake health education for students, parents and staff via informal advice on health issues, medical conditions and recommended first aid care.
The Counsellor is an integral member of the Student Services team. Students can access the School Counsellors to provide one-to-one or group sessions. Students who may experience difficult situations or emotional issues are catered for in both primary and secondary school as part of DCC's ongoing care for the whole student.
Another role of the counsellors is to collaborate and engage with teachers, parents and management to create a safe, healthy and supportive learning environment for all students. Counsellors are also responsible for addressing student behavioural issues including bullying, socialisation difficulties and can suggest strategies to enhance classroom management.
The English as an Additional Language (EAL) course at DCC is designed to assist students from a non-English speaking background.
The students who qualify for EAL assistance and EAL as a VCE subject are those who have been in Australia for less than 7 years and have undertaken less than 7 years of English language training prior to arrival in Australia. Documentation from the country of origin regarding the students' English language experience is required to confirm their EAL status.
EAL students participate in mainstream English classes which are supplemented by regular EAL classes. It is very important that EAL students are provided with the resources to build their confidence so that they can maximise their potential at both educational and social levels. EAL sessions are aimed at addressing the students' individual needs in the areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking. This enhances their English proficiency and competence in their mainstream subjects to a level where they are able to function in the classroom and undertake their assessments without disadvantage.
As a school with an inclusive enrolment policy, Donvale embraces students with a wide range of abilities. At any given time, the school population includes a number of students who require specialist intervention beyond the classroom. The specialists who work with these students see the opportunity to show God's love and care as a special calling.
Special Education at Donvale Christian College is committed to discovering and providing the best learning conditions for all students with special needs, in an environment that promotes intellectual, social, emotional, physical and, most importantly, spiritual wellbeing. Special Education Teachers assess students with ISV accredited assessment tools and help diagnose different learning issues.
All classes include students with a wide diversity of educational needs. The core objectives of our Special Education Teachers is to facilitate the students' access to the curriculum and to meet the unique needs that arise out of their specific learning challenges. Our team provides consultation and advice to teachers, shares teaching resources, as well as providing individual and group intervention to build students' learning skills.
Our exceptional children are those students who require specialist intervention or provision beyond the resources of the classroom.
This includes students who:
- Are academically highly able (gifted and talented) and who may benefit from extension and enrichment of the normal curriculum
- Have a language processing disability
- Have learning disabilities
- Meet the Commonwealth criteria as having a disability in the area of: physical, social, emotional, visual, hearing. Aspergers/Autism, chronic health or sensory difficulties
- Fall behind the general progress of their class
- Have behavioural or emotional difficulties which may impact on their learning
Student Services Staff
- Lydia Tweedie - Head of Student Services
- Ros Butcher - Special Education Teacher (Secondary) and LINK support
- Helen Knight - Special Education Teacher (Primary) and literacy support
- Kate Price - Special Education Teacher (Primary)
- Kathy Szallasi & Jack Hibbard - English as an Additional Language Co-ordinators
- Tim Hunter - Head Teaching & Learning, Director of Gifted and Talented Program). Works with the Socrates Progam - offering opportunities to extend and enhance student learning
- Peter Jones - Co-ordinator of the Enviro Progam (Primary and Secondary) and works with the Socrates Program
- Karin Elenius - Tutor Co-ordinator and Secondary HUB administration
- Carol Devenish - Student Services Administrator
Individual support is provided by Integration Aides for both Primary and Secondary
- Michelle Tucci - School Nurse/Health Care
- Amanda Harman - School Nurse
- Jessica Killeen (Monday, Tuesday)
- Joel Grant (Monday, Wednesday,Thursday, Friday)
- Nicole Lang (Tuesday and Thursday)
External specialist consultants are accessed through Student Services and they include:
• Speech Pathologist
• Occupational Therapist
• ACU Educational Placement Psychologist