Our Life Skills students study individual programs in an accepting school environment with strong emphasis on encouragement, developing self-confidence and social skills. Students receive extensive living skills education and work experience opportunities to establish appropriate post school directions.
A CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
As a Christian school, Danebank aims to encourage students’ understanding of the Christian faith and the development of personal values.
The Life Skills Program is managed by a fully qualified professional, committed to the best outcomes for each student. She is supported by other specialist teachers, School Counsellor, Careers Advisor and Teachers’ Aides.
Life Skills programs cater for girls with predominantly mild, ranging to moderate, intellectual disabilities. There are two classes, one group studying in Years 7–10 and the other in Years 11-12. Essentially each student follows an individual program that satisfies a Board of Studies syllabus titled ‘Life Skills’.
Students are taught within their Life Skills groups, following programs that are individually appropriate so that each student can work to the best of her ability. The emphasis of the teaching is on literal living skills, reading, cooking, sewing, writing, money, etc. Each student has individual and on-going assessment and where appropriate, Life Skills students may attend mainstream subjects. Careful consideration is given to the academic and social needs of each student.
While programs are individually based, there is also an emphasis on the development of interpersonal skills and respect for others.
Years 11-12 students participate in a weekly work experience program throughout their senior years which provides them with a range of school and community work experiences. They work with a Teacher’s Aide on travel training and to develop interpersonal skills and confidence in a range of work environments. The work experience programme links with the Board of Studies Life Skills syllabus ‘Work and the Community’.
At the completion of the work experience program, teachers can advise the family and student of the appropriate further education or work programs that would be suitable. Many girls have graduated from the class and have successfully entered the workforce or continued career-based courses.
Life Skills classes embark on an annual camp experience, usually at Teen Ranch, where students are well-challenged. The program maintains an emphasis on developing independence and social skills.
LINKS BETWEEN HOME AND SCHOOL
At all times, the school seeks to have an active partnership with parents and caregivers to be involved in the various stages of the program. Each student has an Individual Education/Transition Plan annually which includes the student, family, school representatives and any other professionals involved in students’ support. Participants plan learning and social goals for the year ahead. Communication between home and school is ongoing with regular contact.
INTERACTION WITH OTHERS
Life Skills students mix within the broader Danebank school community. They enjoy a strong level of acceptance and the happy friendships that result. This in turn leads to the development of their social skills and confidence.
Life Skills students attend some activities with mainstream students. These include Sport and full year group excursions. Life Skills students in Years 7 -12 undertake pastoral care programs alongside mainstream students and they contribute to all whole school activities such as Form activities, Sports Carnivals and House Festival Day. Many students are also involved in extra curricula activities and clubs.
Once each semester, the Life Skills classes go out as a social group to the movies, dinner or bowling etc. Teachers, Teachers’ aides and former Life Skills students attend, making for a happy social outing for all. Life Skills Old Girls are also invited back to the school on a regular basis to attend farewells and Christmas parties.