Every attempt is made to cater for the diverse differences that individuals and groups of students bring to our school. To help our students settle into our school we have a full-time Defence School Transition Aide. The role of the D.S.T.A. is to help create a sense of belonging for the student and their whole family . The D.S.T.A. also develops strategies to help children with the complexities of their mobile lifestyle by introducing welcome and farewell rituals, helping to develop social groups and providing support to families. Another important part of this role is to encourage and develop informal support networks and act as a conduit between home and school.
Teachers structure classes and lessons to provide children with a challenge at their individual level. No longer can teachers teach a ‘class’ with the same expectations for all children. Classes are differentiated to cater for all individual needs.
Sometimes children fall outside (either below or above) the scope of the class level and may be supported in a range of ways:
1. Through the PSDMS (Program for Students with Disabilities Management System)
2. Through intervention by school based support staff
3. Acceleration and extension classes
4. Defence Tutoring System
5. By input from specialists such as: Child Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Speech Pathologist, Physiotherapist
Access to these professionals is dependent on funds made available to the school. Access is limited to the most needy cases. Special programs may be offered, such as Reading Recovery, one-to-one or small group intervention and supporting individual students.
The Victorian Education Department supports a program to support children through PSDMS (a disability support & funding program) in Victorian Schools. To be eligible for funding individual children must meet criteria set out by the DEECD.
Parents need to be aware that applications must be supported by extensive medical reports along with other evidence. Funding in Victoria is not guaranteed even if a student has previously been funded interstate. Applications take time to be assessed. Applications for funding are dependant on the date of entry to Puckapunyal Primary School. Closing dates are determined by DEECD.