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Support staff

The Willows Whole School Approach to Intervention

The Willows State School provides an effective and supportive curriculum for all students.  Students are provided with explicit and scaffolded learning experiences required for them to achieve success both within and out of the classroom.  The school’s core business then focuses on maximising learning for every student. 

The universal approach to prevention of learning difficulties involves analysis of data and collaborative decision making. Targeted and intensive intervention is provided as required for our more able students and our students with learning difficulties. Targeted and intensive intervention involves analysis of data and collaborative decision making by our Learning Support Teachers, Head of Curriculum and the Leadership Team.

Three levels of support are provided within the school:

  • Universal teaching
  • Targeted teaching 
  • Intensive collaborative teaching

The Support Teachers: Literacy and Numeracy (ST:LaN) work within the school to support students in all three levels.  They assist teachers in identifying students who are experiencing some level of difficulty in learning and then work collaboratively with the teachers and teacher aides to provide learning experiences tailored to the needs of those students.  This may be targeted group work or individual instruction for a specific period of time.

Identification of ‘at risk’ students:

Students having difficulties in Literacy and Numeracy are provided with targeted support aimed at improving their learning outcomes within the class.  However, some students may not show improvement in learning.

Teachers will discuss their concerns with the caregivers and a Special Needs Referral will be completed.  The referrals are presented to the Special Needs Committee which then decides upon a course of action to improve the students’ learning outcome. 

Courses of action may include:

  • Further monitoring and re-teaching by the class teacher;
  • More in-depth diagnostic assessment by the ST:LaN.

Referral to the school’s Guidance Officer, Speech-Language Pathologist, Behaviour Management Support Teacher, Advisory Visiting Teachers, Child Youth and Family Health or other external agencies.

At all times, the goal of targeted and intensive learning support is to maximise the learning outcomes of ALL students at The Willows State School.

Guidance and counselling service

Education Queensland provides a Guidance and Counselling service to students. The Guidance Officer at The Willows State School is Verity Pennisi. Verity is available at school from Monday to Thursday and is located in L Pod.

Guidance officers work closely with students and their families, teachers, non-teaching professionals and in some instances departmental agencies and authorities to provide a wide range of support to students. The Guidance Officer may:

  • work directly with students and teachers, support personnel, family and other specialists or professionals
  • provide guidance and counselling services to students and their families
  • perform case management and referral services to optimise students' access and engagement in education
  • work collaboratively with other school-based support personnel to assess and address the needs of students
  • plan or assist in planning support programs that can help students achieve positive outcomes
  • identify factors that can be barriers to the learning and development of students
  • support the personal and social development of students