With so many skills being introduced and mastered simultaneously, the early years of schooling can be challenging for some students. Learning support in the Junior School is provided through Meriden's Learning Enhancement program. This program is designed around the principles of collaborative learning and progression through work pitched at the individual student’s level of development. Learning support intervention promotes the self-esteem of each student and encourages her to develop appropriate, individual skills and abilities.
The program addresses the specific learning needs of selected students. Assistance takes place within the framework of the regular classroom or small groups of students may be withdrawn to an area of minimal distraction. Students cover core work taught in class, where possible, and are given additional instruction specific to their areas of need. Evidence-based reading programs such as MultiLit and MiniLit are provided to assist students who require additional support in developing reading fluency.
The frequency of instruction varies according to the needs of each individual. Where possible, learning support sessions are timetabled to coincide with their class literacy and numeracy times. Technology is used to advantage in the program, with individualised instruction facilitated through available computer programs.
Identification and assessment of students’ needs is an ongoing process at Meriden. A school-wide standardised testing program is conducted progressively throughout the year, which facilitates the tracking of student progress and gathering of reliable information regarding the educational needs of all students. Further information about students' academic performance is obtained through classroom assessment, work samples, anecdotal evidence, teacher observation, parent interview and reports.
Meriden aims to support each girl to become the best that she can be.
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
Support for students through the EAL program is offered according to need to students whose first language or main language is not English.
EAL is an intervention program that addresses specific language needs, helping students to become competent enough in English to take an effective part in mainstream Australian social and educational activities. The program is scaffolded with grammatical and vocabulary intensive learning experiences in reading and responding, writing and oral interaction. The program design ensures that these learning experiences are linked to all curriculum areas and builds on students' linguistic and cultural identities in order to foster their confidence and motivation. Individuals or small groups of students may be withdrawn to an area of minimal distraction. At times, assistance takes place within the framework of the classroom.
Meriden’s EAL program is highly effective, well-staffed and well-resourced.