Many children at Leda ESC demonstrate reduced functional mobility, high levels of stress and anxiety, a reduced ability to concentrate and lack of confidence. Many also do not participate in regular physical activity. After much research and discussion with therapists and parents we incorporated swimming into our Community Access program for all of our Junior classes.
Children are supported 1:1 by school staff and three swimming instructors. Activities are structured to ensure maximum participation in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Swimming is fun and a change of pace from other forms of exercise and therapy.
1,2,3 Magic and Emotion Coaching
Staff at Leda ESC have been trained to deliver and implement the 123 Magic and Emotion Coaching program. 123 Magic provides us with a whole school strategy for confidently managing student behaviour, while at the same time helping them to learn to make good choices about behaviour for themselves. Some children may still require an Individual Behaviour Management Plan, developed in consultation with parents/caregivers and/or other agencies, that is highly responsive to their needs.
Emotion Coaching is a complimentary strategy to the behaviour management techniques of 123 Magic. Emotion coaching helps us to help children reflect on and identify their emotions and become more competent at managing those emotions. As a result children learn to respond more flexibly to environmental triggers.
We know that the behavioural outbursts of the children we teach often results from their inability to manage or use language. Emotion coaching enables us to recognise situations where we might be able to use empathy to connect with children over difficult emotions, help children to reflect on how they're feeling and learn a language for those emotions. This is the first step toward children being able to track and then better manage their emotions.
Leda Education Support Centre embraces the Be You initiative accross all classes.
We believe that mental health and wellbeing is vital for learning and life. Children who are mentally healthy are better learners, benefit from life experiences, and have stronger relationships with family members, school staff and peers. They are better equipped to meet life's challenges and to contribute productively to their families, friends and society in ways that are appropriate for their age.
It is not always possible to predict which children will develop mental health difficulties. We need to target all children and a range of needs by teaching skills for emotional wellbeing. We know that school is the most significant development context (after family) for primary school-aged children and believe that mental health programs to be effective in improving students' learning emotional wellbeing.
Be You Primary is a national initiative that aims to contribute to:
improving student mental health and wellbeing
reducing mental health difficulties among students
increasing support for students experiencing mental health difficulties
At Leda Education Support Centre we work closely with occupational therapists and deliver occupational therapy programs to ensure that our students are able to successfully participate in the activities of every day life.
Occupational therapy achieves this by enhancing children's ability to engage in the activities they want to, need to, or are expected to do, or by modifying the activity or the environment to better support their engagement.
Occupational therapy helps children achieve their developmental milestones such as fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Individual and group programs and activities are developed to enhance children's independence in everyday activities and to improve their self esteem in social situations.
Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)
At Leda ESC we have multiple staff members trained to deliver our ABA Program:
Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is a field of psychology that focuses on applying learning theories to different people and situations. One specific application of these techniques is early, intensive intervention for children with autism.
Three decades of research have demonstrated the effectiveness of ABA principles for children with autism. Teaching techniques based on ABA have been shown to significantly improve the abilities of children with autism to learn and develop a range of new skills.
The techniques of ABA are grounded in science. Some of the hallmarks of ABA include:
Breaking complex tasks into smaller tasks that can be taught more easily
Providing repeated opportunities to learn and master new skills
Using reinforcement procedures to assist in the acquisition of new skills
Understanding the functions of behaviours (e.g. communication, attention seeking, avoidance, etc.) and developing programs to meet the child’s needs
Making objective, data driven decisions to guide our evaluations of treatment progress •Utilising effective teaching techniques, such as discrete trial teaching (DTT)
We all have the right to feel safe all the time. There is nothing so awful that we can’t talk about it with someone.
The Protective Behaviours Program is simple and flexible and promotes positive self-esteem. It empowers students to make their own decisions rather than having others tell them what to do and links rights and responsibilities. By engaging in the program students are supported in their development of a sense of moral and social responsibility and in the development of life long skills of assertiveness, self-confidence, problem solving and communication.
At Leda ESC we support students’ speech and language skills acquisition with an individualised weekly program that caters to each child’s needs. As an Independent Public School we re-profiled our staffing and have been able to employ a Speech Therapist. Our Therapist undertakes individualised assessments with our students and then tailors plans to suit their needs. We include several components in our Speech and Language Program:
•‘Articulation’ - “the way we pronounce our words”. The way in which we use our lips and tongue to produce sounds. Our work focuses on producing sounds correctly and may involve re-training the mouth muscles and correct placement of the tongue.
•Phonological Awareness’ - the ability to identify, discriminate and manipulate sounds/words in spoken and written language. Our work involves many activities to learn single and blended sounds and to identify, separate and blend these sounds in rimes, words and sentences both spoken and written.
•‘Pragmatics’ - the use and functions of language for communication. It includes verbal and non-verbal messages. Our work involves practising aspects of social interaction, the knowledge and use of conversation rules; what, where, when and how we say things. Knowing why we choose what to say and how to say things so as not to offend or give the wrong impression.
•‘Semantics’ - understanding the meaning of words and how they are correctly used in sentences. Our work involves expanding the child’s knowledge and use of describing words and concept words to tell about size, colour and location. It also focuses on telling about similarities and differences in objects and understanding the finer meanings of words, for example when used in a joke.
•‘Oral Text’ - being able to tell and then write a story in a correct sequence. Our work includes activities to help children to organise their story into correct sequence, to include important aspects of the story such as, Who, What, When, Where and Why. It also involves activities to help children to expand their text by adding better descriptions of characters, settings and feelings.
•‘Comprehension’ - the skill which enables children to understand language and their world. Our work includes activities to help children learn to listen for key information and to accurately follow instructions. It teaches them to predict what might happen in a given situation. It helps them to find direct information or to infer ideas that may not be actually written in words.
Direct Instruction (DI)
Students across the Centre engage in regular sessions of Direct Instruction Reading and Spelling. The program is teacher directed and follows a structure incorporating specific steps to guide the students toward clearly defined learning outcomes. The effectiveness of Direct Instruction is supported by substantial research.
The features of Direct Instruction (DI) at Leda ESC include:
Explicit, systematic instruction based on scripted lesson plans.
Ability grouping based on each child’s rate of progression through the program.
Emphasis on pace and efficiency of instruction – the lessons are designed to bring students to mastery as quickly as possible.
Frequent assessment which helps place students in ability groups and identify students who require additional intervention.
Our Community Access Programs assist students to achieve their expressed goals, increase independence and become a valued participating member of the community. The programs create opportunities for recreation while enhancing sociability and increasing life skills.
Experienced staff members support students to participate in activities, assist with travel and all other aspects of community access. The programs are carefully planned and are chosen to promote skills such as choice, interaction, socialisation, accompanied travel, responsible citizenship, basic etiquette and basic personal hygiene.
Swimming provides the following benefits:
Promotes a sense of wellbeing
Maximises body function and independence
Improves mood and increases self-esteem
Endorses water safety principles
Provides fitness opportunities
Travel training provides the following benefits:
Increased confidence and independence
Money handling/swipe card skills
Identification of local landmarks and facilities
Enhanced community access/social interaction opportunities
Students enrolled at Leda ESC undertake a variety of life skills experiences that teach them how to handle problems and situations they might commonly encounter in everyday life. These life skills are acquired both through classroom teaching and by personal experiences that take place in the community.
Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of a range of social and interpersonal skills that will enable our students to interact successfully with their community. Functional literacy and numeracy are also priority areas and our students will often be seen riding on public transport, shopping for a purpose and accessing a range of community services such as the library, post office and the bank. They also often undertake hygiene programs, plan and cook meals and learn how to take care of personal belongings and pets.
The long term goal for our students is for them to undertake successful independent living.
Our Intensive Early Intervention Program provides:
Intensive intervention for Kindergarten and Pre-Primary students with Autism or Global Development Delay.
A high ratio of qualified and experienced staff to students.
An Individual Education Program (IEP) developed in conjunction with parents for each student.
Collaborative processes with therapy based personnel.
Access to integration opportunities with mainstream peers.
Support with transition to Year 1.
Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is an intensive, highly structured teaching program where skills are taught sequentially in a clear and consistent manner.
The program includes:
Discrete Trials Training (DTT) - One to one teaching situations in which the program is individualised for each student.
Independent work - Students complete known tasks without assistance for increased periods of time.
Structured play - Development of a repertoire of skills to enable students to play with their peers.
Visual cues - Support learning and make connections
Social Stories - A tool for teaching social skills to children with Autism and related disabilities.
The drumbeat program supports students to develop resilience through rhythm. Drumming brings students together in a structured learning program using music which helps them to reconnect with themselves and each other.
Drumbeat is facilitated around the world and is an evidence-based program with proven social outcomes. Leda Education Support Centre currently has two trained staff members who can deliver the Drumbeat program. They adapt and change the program to support the needs of our students.
The sessions focus on different relationship themes such as identity and social responsibility, values, dealing with emotions, peer pressure, harmony, communication and teamwork. Drumbeat aligns with our Protective Behaviours and PATH's programs.