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Students with a disability

The Moura Special Education Program (SEP) is based at Moura State School. We are the umbrella that covers the students with disabilities in six schools and one 'Early Education' program. The schools that make up the Moura SEP Cluster are: Moura State School, Moura State High School, Early Childhood Development Program (ECDP), Banana State School, Baralaba State School, Bauhinia State School and Theodore State School. With the inclusion of the ECDP in our cluster, we cater for students from 0-18 years of age. 

The range of disabilities across the cluster include:

 
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)  

  • Speech language impairment (SLI)  

  • Intellectual impairment (II)  

  • Hearing impairment (HI)  

  • Physical impairment (PI)

 

While the SEP teachers are experienced in most of these areas, there are some areas that are outside our professional realm. Hearing impairment is a specialised category and students with HI have support from 'Advisory Visiting Teachers (AVT – HI)' and therapists who have the expertise in this field.  

Support from external agencies

 

AVTs and therapists who support our cluster are mostly based in Gladstone but make regular trips to the cluster schools. Support is usually in the form of assisting with diagnosis of students, assessing diagnosed students, writing reports based on assessment of students, writing programs for students, teaching SEP staff how to deliver the programs and liaising with classroom teachers, SEP staff and a head of special education services (HOSES),  on a regular basis. We are grateful for the support of the many therapists that we work with in our cluster schools. 

Autism Queensland (AQ) – provides an outreach program that we can apply to connect with. For our students on the Autism spectrum, we sometimes need a little extra support in meeting their needs, and call on AQ to come and visit our school. AQ personnel observe the student(s), talk to classroom and SEP teachers, and then write a report that will help us to deliver a more thorough and individualised program.  

What do we do?

 

The Moura SEP Cluster is administered by Judy Galos, who is based at Moura State School and visits the cluster schools on a regular basis. The HOSES role is to support SEP teachers across the cluster, liaise with Principals and Administration staff in the cluster schools, liaise with classroom teachers across the cluster, liaise with Therapists across the cluster, manage the Education Adjustment Program (EAP) across the cluster, liaise with officers of the Education Department, both regionally and centrally, support students at the base school, manage student data across the cluster, and liaise with parents of students with disabilities across the cluster. 

We currently have 4 SEP teachers across the cluster. The role of SEP teachers is to support students in the regular classroom, provide small group and individual instruction when necessary, support classroom teachers in making the necessary adjustments to their classroom programs to enable the students with disabilities to access the regular curriculum, case manage a number of SEP students which includes writing programs, Individual Education Plans, and reports, and liaise with parents. 

Teacher aides also play a vital role in the smooth running of the SEP. They are often the unsung heroes in education because they are at times overlooked as they work tirelessly in the background. The role of teacher aides is to support SEP students in classrooms, support SEP teachers, and manage SEP resources. Our teacher aides are our most valuable resource and we couldn’t make this work without their wonderful support and dedication.  

The SEP base school

 

Moura State School is the base school for the cluster. The HOSES is based here and administers to the cluster from here. We currently have 10 students from Prep to Year 6 at Moura State School who are diagnosed with a disability. Students at Moura State School are predominantly in the regular classroom with support from SEP staff, but are sometimes withdrawn for specialist programs, including a weekly life-skills program. 

At Moura State School the SEP is housed in a functional building that includes a

 
  • Kitchen  

  • Toilet  

  • Shower  

  • Laundry  

  • Classroom area 

  • Safety fenced play area

 

We cater for the needs of the students in the SEP in a number of ways which include extra support for the early years of learning (prep and year 1) based on available resources, and at the other end of the process, a transition program for our year 6 students. In term 4 each year our year 6 students have access to programs at the high school in conjunction with the SEP teacher at Moura State High School.  

Technology and the SEP

 

We are strategically introducing mobile devices into our teaching resources. The new generation of students is motivated by ‘interactive’ means, and it is our duty to teach our students in a way that is meaningful and motivating to them. Mobile devices are relatively inexpensive (compared to a laptop), portable, and very popular. They are not just a device for playing games, but are a valuable resource for teaching. For our SLI students, there are apps that encourage speech, and for our ASD students we have found apps that teach emotions and reading body language.  

School support

 

The SEP is not tucked away in a back corner of the school but is right behind the Administration building and in front of the library. This is a reflection of the inclusive nature of Moura State School. The SEP is a very important part of school life at Moura State School specifically, and of the Moura community generally. 

Parents play a key role in providing the support that makes our program successful. Parents know their child better than we ever will, and it is by working together with parents that we are able to provide a sound education to the children supported by the SEP at Moura.  

Please contact us at the SEP if you would like further information about what we do.

Judy Galos (Acting HOSES): jgalo1@eq.edu.au