Education Support Centre
Cheryl Lennox – Principal
Being a purpose built, specialist school, co-located with our multicultural partner Primary School, South Ballajura Education Support Centre (SBESC) offers “The Best of Both Worlds” for students with Intellectual Disability and Autism. SBESC intake area reaches beyond Ballajura to the neighbouring suburbs of Beechboro, Dianella, Mirrabooka, Alexander Heights and Landsdale.
Since opening in 1994, the School enrolments have grown from 25 to 45 students. Currently there are four classes of up to 10 students in years one to six and three Early Childhood classes intermingled with Primary classrooms. In 2006, the Department of Education Early Intensive Intervention Program for Kindergarten and Pre-Primary students (maximum of six per group) for students with Autism or Global Developmental delay was established. This program is based on Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) principles and is designed to equip students with the skills required to successfully transition to Year One in their local Primary School. A new Kindergarten/Pre-primary class for Education Support eligible students commenced in 2013. Staff teams have expertise in catering for the wide range of our students’ learning, social and sensory needs from kindergarten to year 6.
Our campus motto “Learning Together – Growing Together” highlights South Ballajura ESC and South Ballajura Primary Schools’ commitment to providing quality inclusive educational opportunities and a caring and supportive campus community. The Integration Buddy Class model enables staff to collaboratively plan quality learning experiences that meet the needs of, and benefit, all students.
Excellence in education at South Ballajura ESC is achieved in a variety of ways. ESC Staff implement and coordinate a range of successful inclusive initiatives including “You Can Do It” (YCDI) Social and Emotional Program, Encouragement Awards and our strong clubs programs which have expanded to include all ESC students and many Primary students in a range of activities: Signing Club; Drumming Club; Chaplain’s Group; Bike Education; Techno Club; Dance/Yoga. In 2013 we launched Jump Jam aerobics from New Zealand into WA, followed by Jiggle Jam for juniors in 2014. Campus and community performances are a highlight. In 2014 we extended our Playskills programs to include Playlinks, encouraging active citizenship by training Year 6 primary students to mentor special needs students in play and sensory activities.
Whilst the WA Curriculum provides a rich context for learning experiences, learning goals are established for each Centre student based on individual needs and parent priorities. Consequently, there is an overall focus on communication, literacy, numeracy, social and emotional skills.
South Ballajura ESC Staff are trained and skilled in tailoring and delivering customised, explicit learning programs that target individual needs and engage students in the context of inclusive small group instruction. Learning programs and assessment are both comprehensive and relevant. All students have an Individual Education Plan developed in collaboration with parents/carers, therapists and relevant agencies. Extensive provision is made for students requiring augmentative communication systems.
Our successful Community Access Programs provide students with a variety of settings over the year in which to generalise the social and academic skills taught in classrooms. Learning activities are structured and outcomes reported to parents. Families and primary buddy classes are invited to join in some sessions.
Students also benefit from specialist programs in Physical Education, Art, Music, Languages (Auslan/Indonesian) supported by ESC staff. Digital technologies such as Smartboards and iPads are utilised as communication devices, to motivate students, enhance learning programs, and enable students to show parents directly what they are learning via email.
Pastoral care is a vital component of our learning environment. South Ballajura ESC has been accredited as a “Safe, Friendly School” and we are an Asthma Friendly, Water & Wastewise and Sunsmart campus. SBESC ensures that Positive Behaviour Management and Protective Behaviour strategies are, frequently reinforced. Campus staff consistently models the language of the five “You Can Do It” (YCDI) keys: Getting Along; Confidence; Organisation; Persistence and Resilience to develop positive thinking, social and emotional skill development. South Ballajura ESC also utilizes De Bono’s 6 Thinking Hats as a visual framework to scaffold vital challenging thinking processes for our students. Two chaplains and a school psychologist support student, parent and staff well-being.
Building mutually respectful, positive relationships with our whole community is a focus at South Ballajura ESC based on our philosophy “T.E.A.M. Together Everyone Achieves More.”
Parents are seen as vital partners in planning and enhancing their own child’s individual learning program as well as being encouraged to be active Council members to steer the vision and direction of the school.
Parents are actively involved in Case Conferences, Learning Journeys, Mid-Year Reporting Interviews, Communication Books, Parent Information Sessions and supportive weekly Chat Times. We are fortunate to also have a combined active campus Parent and Citizen Association which collaboratively supports the needs of all campus students in relation to fundraising, canteen and uniform shop.
Strong wider Community Partnerships are also well established. South Ballajura ESC students enjoy a wide range of benefits through our collaborative partnerships with tertiary institutions, particularly Edith Cowan University, City of Swan, Youth Care chaplains, Therapists, Agencies, Members of Parliament, Ballajura – Malaga Rotary Club, Ballajura Lions Club, Ballajura Central Shopping Centre, The Dungeon Youth Centre, Aquatic and Sports Centre, as well as local businesses, other education support and local schools. We are very appreciative of the support provided and the opportunity to contribute to community and educational events.
We invite you to visit our dynamic, inclusive school community.
More information about South Ballajura ESC programs and school performance is available on this website, including the School Report, class and club activities and campus Newsletters.