Students are introduced to an array of skills needed for healthy and safe participation in the community outside school, such as shopping, pedestrian safety, using public transport, safe use of public conveniences, borrowing books from the library and asking for help. Riverside Education Support Centre covers all these learning activities and more as part of its individualised learning programs for Years 1 to 7. Students can replicate these tasks in a classroom setting but transference of skills from school to community receives a major investment in time, energy and resources.
For students with difficulties transference does not happen automatically. Our students receive repeated coaching in context. For example –
- At the supermarket they experience how to manage a trolley or basket, where to find the deli, choosing a good piece of fruit or vegetable, locating toilet paper or hygiene items, and so on.
- At the swimming pool the students are taught change room behaviour - how to stage undressing and dressing and facing the wall when changing; management of personal items – what to do with their clothes, bag, towel, and where to find them again; and poolside behaviour – observing rules, safe practices, finding help, using toilet facilities.
Riding for the Disabled
With the generous assistance of Mandurah Murray Mayday Club, students have been able to particpate in the Riding for the Disabled programme made available through the Riding for the Disabled Association of Australia (RDA). We continue to see excellent outcomes as a result of the programme. Students have improved their gross and fine motor skills and their social skills through working with RDA staff and volunteers.
Schools Alive Choir
Four children from Riverside Education Support Centre participate, with children from six other Education Support Centres, in the Schools Alive Choir. They practice each week, at a different school each term, and participate in a number of performances. At the end of each term they give a performance for the whole school where they have been practising.
Students attend swimming lessons at the Mandurah Aquatic Centre every year. Prior to our annual ESC swimming carnival all students attended practice sessions at the pool, building confidence and familiarity.
A variety of short-duration and one-off activities complement the learning framework at Riverside ESC. A recent example is that of Circus Therapy, whereby students gain confidence from involvement in fun motor activities. Click here to read the Circus Therapy article.