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 Kindy through to Year 6. 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.
With the generous assistance of Mandurah Murray Mayday Club, students have been able to particpate in the HorsePower programme made available through HorsePower Peel. 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 dedicated HorsePower staff and volunteers.
Students in junior classes attend swimming lessons at the Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre (MARC) every year. Senior students participate in swimming and water safety activities at one of the local Mandurah beaches.
A variety of short-duration and one-off activities complement the learning framework at Riverside ESC, many of which are funded through applications to SportAus (Sporting Schools), a federal government initiative under the Australian Sports Commission. For example, the initiative has funded qualified sports personnel to attend our school to impart volleyball skills, much to the delight of all students. Tennis and gymnastics programs have also been run.
The school also enjoys the services of Fishability via their Mandurah Jetty School Program, tailored specifically for Education Support Centres to enable students to experience recreational fishing in a safe environment.