DVSDS has seven Satellite classrooms at four local mainstream schools. Each room has a DVSDS teacher and ES assistant to support an average of six students per class. Placement in a Satellite classroom is dependent on a criteria based on the student’s current needs, goals and educational pathway. Students generally wear the uniform of their Satellite school and assimilate into the school community.
The AusVELS curriculum is the basis for lesson planning, delivery and reporting in the Satellite classrooms. Personalised goals and lessons are timetabled alongside whole class and whole school priority programs. Integration and reverse integration are key focus areas in every Satellite room, with the aim to support the personal learning and social skill development of our students and the mainstream students.
The Satellite program allows our students to become immersed in the host school community. Daily integration occurs in the playground at recess and lunchtime each day. Specific classroom integration allows our students to participate in mainstream classes on a timetabled basis with staff support individually, in pairs or in small groups. Some of the subjects currently experienced by our students include LOTE, music, P.E., art, home economics, Stephanie Alexander garden project, ICT, integrated studies, cooking and library.
Structured reverse integration occurs when mainstream students join in our classroom based programs, join us on excursions and older students become ‘Buddies’. Reverse integration allows our students to observe and experience social norms and develop social skills in their safe secure classroom environment.
Special events at our host schools are enthusiastically attended by our students and their families. General school community occasions such as the school picnic, sports days and concerts are favourites.
The latest ICT technologies are available to the students in our classrooms. iPad based programs often form a part of a child’s learning plan, along with ITV, whiteboard technologies, touch screen computers, adapted communication devices and a range of software programs. Mainstream students and students with special educational needs can often work together on projects using the varying ICT supports available.
The specific program of each classroom varies every term. Inclusion in the host school camp is a feature at some campuses, along with specific Special School camps with students from other special schools in Melbourne.
Social skill development and civic knowledge is a priority across all of our classrooms. Excursions to access community based facilities are a feature of every timetable. Use of public transport, attending the local YMCA Gymnastics, Community House programs, swimming, shopping and integrated studies excursions such as the Melbourne museum, provide our students access to a broader curriculum and associated resources allowing students to generalise their skills and demonstrate improved understanding in the tasks they undertake and develop life skills.