Learning

Primary Learning Area

The Primary Years at Yarraville Special Developmental School caters for students ranging from 5 – 12 years old. Our warm, safe, friendly environment helps students to learn and develop skills to increase independence. As an integral part of school life, we support students to settle, move confidently around the school and learn the daily routines.

We aim to achieve the highest level of progress for each individual enabling them to communicate effectively, develop independent living and social skills, self-manage emotions, manage transitions, develop friendships and become confident citizens.

The environment is adapted to meet students’ needs – it is highly structured, calm, safe and secure providing opportunities to learn, explore, play and socialise. Our highly skilled and dedicated team of teachers, education support staff and Allied Health staff work closely together to make every school day a success for our students.

Secondary Learning Area

In the secondary learning area, we aim to develop students’ exposure and experiences beyond their immediate surroundings and community. We provide opportunities for purposeful learning so students are successful at school and beyond their years of schooling. Programs are designed to consolidate skill development around English, communication, Personal and Interpersonal capabilities and Mathematics. There is a high emphasis on interest, capabilities and identification, and development of suitable pathways that will equip students with transferrable skills (including 21st century skills) and knowledge required as youth adults in their post school settings.

We aim to achieve the highest level of progress for each individual enabling them to communicate effectively, develop independent living and social skills, self-manage emotions, manage transitions, develop friendships and become confident citizens.

The environment is adapted to meet students’ needs – it is highly structured, calm, safe and secure providing opportunities to learn, explore, play and socialise. Our highly skilled and dedicated team of teachers, education support staff and Allied Health staff work closely together to make every school day a success for our students.

Visual Art

Visual Art at Yarraville SDS is an essential part of the learning environment. Art has the ability to promote self-confidence and esteem by being fun and exploration based. Students at our school are provided with an opportunity once a week to engage in these experiences. They learn through sensory and creative use of materials. They share, communicate, turn take, work on fine motor skills and make choices.

Every two years the school has an Art show. This gives the students an opportunity to express their ideas, share their work and comment on the work of others. It is also an opportunity to socialise and be recognised for their achievements.

Health & Physical Education

Health & Physical Education focuses on students enhancing their own and others’ health, safety, well-being and physical activity. By working in varied and changing contexts, Health & Physical Education at Yarraville SDS uses movement as a medium for learning, through which our students work towards acquiring, practising and refining their own personal, behavioural, social and cognitive skills. Lesson programs aim to help students understand and acquire movement skills, concepts and strategies that evidently help enable them to confidently, competently and creatively participate in a range of individual and group-like physical activities.

Yarraville SDS is also a regular competitor in the Northern Special School Sports Association (NSSSA) Inter School Sports program. Within this program, middle and senior students are provided opportunities to partake and compete in weekly organised and modified sports. Participating against more than 10 other Special and Special Developmental schools from around Greater Melbourne, students play sports that include Basketball, Cricket, Golf, AFL, Soccer, Beach Volleyball, Lawn Bowls, Ten Pin Bowling, Netball, etc.

Performing Arts

To the student, the Performing arts program is simply a fun music and dance class that gives them the opportunity to have fun and to be a part of a group. The program incorporates music and dance to engage our students in the teaching and learning process.

In the Performing arts program at YSDS, students develop an awareness of music as they listen and respond, sing, play instruments, create and improvise. As students learn to communicate musically, they lay the foundation for life long enjoyment of and participation in music.

In dance, students integrate thinking, moving and feeling through movement the dance elements – students explore and identify their body, space, time, energy and relationships.

The following areas are a focus in the performing arts program.

Communication

  • Expressive
  • Receptive

Motor

  • Fine motor
  • Gross motor

Cognitive

  • Think
  • Reason
  • Problem solve
  • Process information

Social/Emotional

  • The ability to interact with others and express feelings and ideas appropriately.

Self Help/Adaptive

  • Daily living skills

Projects with Purpose Program

The Projects with Purpose program aims to engage students in applied learning tasks with the intention of developing useful skills that can be used in post school life. With a full day allocated to the program each week, students are provided regular opportunities and encouraged to develop their interests that can be further extended once they leave school. Some of the various programs that students are both currently partaking in, and have previously taken part in, include, but have not been limited to:

  • Swimming
  • Soap Making
  • Sing & Dance
  • Lego Club
  • Construction
  • Laundry
  • Travel Education
  • Photography
  • Math Games
  • Mindfulness
  • Minor Games
  • Bike Program
  • Pamphlet Drop
  • Laundry Program
  • Sensory Regulation
  • Yard Maintenance
  • Design & Technology
  • Creating Succulents

Our Projects with Purpose programs are regularly reflected upon so that we are continually evolving to reflect our student’s interests and skills, and evidently providing them with practical skills sets that can be utilised throughout their post school life.

Cafe

Our school-based Café is designed to provide work experience for students in the Secondary Learning Area. Open to staff and visitors every Friday morning during our Projects with Purpose day, it provides learning outcomes for students in Literacy, Numeracy and Personal Development.

Students practice skill development in the areas of:

  • Coffee making
  • Kitchen hand duties
  • Customer service
  • Money handling
  • Work safety

The Café program is fun and purposeful and also ensures that our Secondary students access the curriculum in meaningful ways to develop work, life, communication and independence skills for their lives beyond school.

We would like to acknowledge that our Café program has been made possible through donations from the Sidney Myer small grants program, Kefford Grants, the Commonwealth Bank, Altona as well as the Altona Men’s Shed who have fitted-out the space.

Canteen

Our Canteen program is a program within our Projects with Purpose day. Students who participate in the Canteen program learn a variety of skills beyond cooking. With the main objective to provide lunch to students who order it across the school, they also practice shopping for ingredients, collating orders, counting money, delivering to the correct people as well as cleaning up the kitchen on a weekly basis.

Swimming

The primary focus of our swimming program is to provide students with the knowledge and skills of water safety, as well as the basic and fundamental skills involved in water education. Qualified swim teachers from various local swim and leisure centres teach the students, while YSDS staff work in the water supporting their learning.

SWPBS

School Wide Positive Behaviour Support

The purpose of School Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS) at Yarraville Special Developmental School is to establish and maintain a positive and safe learning environment that enhances our school culture. Students are taught the expected behaviours in all areas of the school and are rewarded for demonstrating these throughout the day.

The benefits of SWPBS is to:

  • Build a positive culture that promotes social and academic success
  • Identify and prevent problematic behaviour in its early stages
  • Explicitly teach appropriate social skills to all students
  • Use data to assess and improve the culture of our school

SWPBS is a three-tiered approach with specific intervention principles and strategies at each tier. This pyramid diagram represents the continuum of school-wide instructional and positive behaviour support strategies that are applicable at three levels.