Our Life Skills students follow programs that are individually appropriate in a welcoming and encouraging classroom environment. We place strong emphasis on resilience and social skills, with girls developing the skills to help them establish independence and work-readiness.
The Life Skills program
Life Skills programs cater for girls with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities.
There are two classes, one group studying in Years 7 to 10 and the other in Years 11 to 12. Each student essentially follows an individual program that satisfies a NESA syllabus titled Life Skills. The programs are developed in consultation with staff, parents, students and relevant external experts.
The Danebank Environment
Developing of confidence
Students are well accepted and mix within the broader school community. The friendships that result lead to the development of social skills and confidence in our Life Skills students.
As a Christian school, Danebank aims to encourage students’ understanding of the Christian faith and the development of personal values.
We seek to have an active partnership with parents and caregivers, encouraging their involvement in the various stages of the program.
Part of a whole school
Life Skills students in Years 7-12 undertake student wellbeing programs alongside mainstream students. They also attend mainstream classes in sports and attend whole-year-group excursions.
Life Skills students contribute to all whole-school events, such as Form activities, Sports Carnivals and House Festivals, as well as extra curricular activities and clubs.
Students follow programs that are individually appropriate so that each student can work to the best of her ability. Each student undergoes individual and ongoing assessment. On the completion of Year 10, students receive a RoSA (Record of School Achievement) and Year 12, the HSC.
Careful consideration is given to the academic and social needs of each student. Many girls who have graduated from the class, have successfully entered the workforce or continued their learning with further study through a job agency.
The emphasis of the teaching is on actual living skills such as functional maths skills, cooking, reading, public speaking, sewing, writing, technology, financial literacy and independence
By linking the Mathematics, English, Social Skills, Technology and PD/H/PE programs, our students have the opportunity to develop their cooking, shopping and road-safety skills through a weekly visit to Westfield. Here they buy the ingredients for their cooking lesson. Girls are challenged at an individual level to navigate around the supermarket, identify and compare prices and choose the best buy. Developing these functional skills is an important part of the course.
While programs are individually based, there is also an emphasis on the development of interpersonal skills and respect for others.
Subject areas for Years 7 - 10 include English, Maths, History, Geography, Drama, Science, Visual Art, Languages, Design and Technology, Christian Studies, PD/H/PE and Music. Years 11 and 12 students study English, Maths, Work & Community (which includes weekly work experience), Technology, PD/H/PE, Christian Studies and Science.
Students in Years 11 and 12 attend work experience one day a week, providing them with a range of workplace experiences. They are also introduced to agencies at the end of their schooling to assist in the development of work-ready skills in the future. Work experience is an essential part of the program.
Life Skills classes enjoy an annual camp experience. The camping program maintains the emphasis on developing independence, resilience and social skills.
Life Skills Dance
Each year, the Life Skills class organises a dance with more than 100 students from other schools. The dance aims to develop friendships, leisure skills and independence. Our mainstream students are also involved in running the day and, by working together, opportunities arise to develop friendships.
Life Skills Staff
Life Skills teacher Ms Bianca Jervis holds a Bachelor of Education (Special Education) and has a background in nursing. She is committed to providing each girl with the opportunities and experiences needed to move her along the pathway towards being a contributing member of society.
Mrs Carly Brown holds a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Inclusive Education. She believes in providing an opportunity for all girls to be successful by providing them with Individualised Educational Programs.
Ms Karlie Cunningham-Lloyd holds a Bachelor of Exercise Science and a Graduate Diploma in Education. She believes in providing an environment for all students to uncover their unique learning style so that they can achieve individual educational success.
Students learn a range of subjects with other specialist teachers. Our Teacher’s Aides assist staff and students, playing an important role in the work-experience program.
The School Counsellors are involved in supporting students and attend the annual IEP (individual Education Plan) meeting. All staff members are deeply committed to our students.
How do home and school link?
At all times, Danebank seeks an active partnership with parents and caregivers, encouraging them to be involved in the various stages of the program.
Each student has an annual IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting, attended by any health professionals involved in her support. At this meeting, the participants plan learning and other goals for the year ahead.
Communication between home and school is ongoing through the school diary, class blog and face-to-face meetings.