What is Learning Enrichment? And How Does ETAustralia Secondary College (ETASC) Provide Students With Tailored Learning Opportunities? The Learning Enrichment (LE) team at ETASC deliver additional learning opportunities to students who might fall through the cracks in large school settings. Learning Enrichment’s objective is to support all students to develop independence and responsibility for their own learning. To achieve this, ETASC Learning Enrichment teachers provide an encouraging and caring learning environment, targeting specific literacy and numeracy proficiencies and teaching students the skills they need to succeed. Learning Enrichment at ETASC is datadriven. At the beginning of the school Alyshia (right), helping students learn with the Quicksmart Literacy program. undertake a series of standardised year or upon enrolment, students tests. These standardised tests provide diagnostic data which, along with teacher observations and referrals, help determine the learning needs of each individual. Learning Enrichment teachers use a collaborative approach so that students themselves and their parents/ carers are involved in planning students’ short and long-term learning goals. To ensure that all students receive the assistance they need to thrive, ETASC employs a Multi-Tiered System of Support. This is a three-tier hierarchical model that enables Learning Enrichment teachers to systematically meet the learning needs progress frequently to determine if the interventions in place are working for that student. “Tier 1 of this model is support within the classroom; this typically suits about 80% of students. In Tier 1, the class is taught using strategies that research has shown to be effective. All students are assessed frequently to determine who is and isn’t responding to this approach. Here, students may receive targeted teacher or teacher assistant support and may be placed into smaller groups. If Tier 1 is not meeting the needs of a student, they will receive additional support in Tier 2. Approximately 15% to 20% of students benefit from this level of intervention. Tier 2 can involve small group learning programs and or consolidation of course content. Students who have difficulties progressing in the previous instructional tiers receive intensive, individualised instruction in Tier 3”, Alyshia said, one of the ETASC Learning Enrichment teachers on staff. ETASC’s five Learning Enrichment teachers work with the students in a number of ways; in the classroom team teaching, in small groups, afterschool tutoring and working with individuals. Learning Enrichment offers strategies, resources and evidence-based programs to support all students to access the 16
Melanie ( left), guiding students through a Macqlit learning session. QuickSmart Numeracy helped with algebra because I’m now better with multiplication and division. Chris, Year 10 curriculum. The primary focus of Learning Enrichment is to improve the students’ literacy and numeracy proficiencies. The programs used at ETASC to support literacy include Macquarie University’s MacqLit reading intervention program and the University of New England’s QuickSmart Literacy program. The University of New England’s QuickSmart Numeracy program is used to support students’ understanding and recall of basic number facts, numeracy language and problem-solving skills. One student who has benefited immensely from Learning Enrichment is Chris, who started at ETASC in Year 7, 2017. Chris completed the QuickSmart Literacy program in Year 7 and the QuickSmart Numeracy program in Year 8. Throughout Year 9 he chose to attend ETASC’s free Mathematics after school tutoring to consolidate his understanding of new concepts. “Before QuickSmart Literacy I had trouble with spelling and sequencing my ideas, now I can gather ideas and put them on paper independently. QuickSmart Numeracy helped with algebra because I’m now better with multiplication and division.,” said Chris. Hayley, another student who started at ETASC in Year 7 in 2017, was also identified by the LE team as needing some extra help with her basic numeracy skills. Hayley began QuickSmart Numeracy in Year 7 and completed the program half-way through Year 9. Hayley is now more self-reliant in class and only attends after school Mathematics tutoring when she is having difficulties with new content. “At my old school, I did not feel like I could keep up with the Maths work. Maths was really tough because I didn’t have enough support. Coming to ETASC and completing QuickSmart helped me gain confidence in my Maths ability and improved my basic skills,” she said. “It’s not a case of fail first and then intervene; we take a proactive approach. ETASC students, like Chris 17 and Hayley, are identified early through diagnostic testing, classroom teacher referrals and Learning Enrichment class observations. The LE team then collaborate with other teachers, the student, their parents/carers to develop an individual learning plan,” said Alyshia. To ensure all students can achieve at ETASC this year, all new Year 7 students will undergo additional testing called YARC (York Assessment for Reading Comprehension), which provides the LE team a thorough understanding of a student’s word recognition and comprehension skills. This year the LE team have three full time and two part time staff who enhance the already positive outcomes the team is achieving with ETASC students. Sophie (left), supporting an ETASC student in Mathematics class.