Teaching is based on students’ individual needs using their SLD assessments as a guide. Students are grouped with peers based on their current academic level and supported in their learning based on these needs.
Our belief is that a child with SLD must feel secure and accepted to be available for learning. Development of social skills is part of the curriculum. While positive reinforcement is the main technique used, discussion of children’s social errors or negative behaviours will often be part of the learning experience. Positive and appropriate alternatives may be offered at these times.
The school is divided into two levels:
Junior level: approximately 6-10 years of age
Senior level: approximately 9-12 years of age (not offered in 2021)
Overlapping often occurs and placement will be made with consideration given to achievement levels, social grouping and chronological age. Each class has a maximum of twelve students. We have a ratio teachers/teacher aides to students of 1:6.
Senior students learn touch-typing using Touch-Type, Read and Spell, a computer aided learning course. The programme uses a multi-sensory approach, seeing, hearing, speaking, touching and can be modified according to the student’s needs.
Each week students have Art class with a specialised Art teacher. Students are encouraged to work collaboratively on projects each term as well as individual work, using a multi-sensory approach.
Each week students have Music class with a specialised Music teacher. Students work on learning beat, rhythm and pitch. Each class includes singing, movement, a jam session and lots of laughter.
Each week students have Social Skills classes with our onsite Psychologists. The classes work on positive self-imaging, confidence building and teamwork, experiencing success, recognising and dealing appropriately with feelings and forming friendships.
Fitness is part of the daily routine in each classroom at JSMS: often beginning the day with a variety of movement activities. Throughout the year Physical Education class can include, Athletics, Swimming, Ten Pin Bowling, Football, Gymnastics or Horse-riding. When appropriate, specialised sports teachers, such as Sports Canterbury, will come to school to run PE.
All students enrolled at JSMS have a half-hour Occupational Therapy session weekly. Some will have one on one sessions while others will work in pairs with a student with similar needs. Sessions involve a range of games and activities that build on gross motor skills such as postural control, balance, aiming, catching, and fine motor skills such as pen control and manipulation.
Students go on a number of excursions each term, including Sailing, Beach Day, Art Centre and Refuse Centre. We will always use public transport where possible however at times will ask for parent help for transport.