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Introduction

Our intervention program

We are a specialist primary school for students with significant social, emotional and behavioural problems. We offer an 18 month intervention program to help students gain the necessary skills to re-engage with learning and transition back into mainstream schooling.

Who we work with

The students at The Cheshire School have a diverse range of needs and abilities. The team has extensive expertise at supporting students diagnosed with, for example:

  • Trauma
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Attachment Disorder
  • Depression and Anxiety.

Students with these diagnoses often present with associated behaviours, such as verbal and physical aggression, defiance, self-injury, withdrawal, helplessness and difficulties in forming friendships.

Some students may not have a diagnosis but may still present a range of challenging behaviours associated with the list above.

Typically students have missed formative years of school and their learning, therefore they may be working below their expected academic level or exhibit learning difficulties.

Strategies we use

The Cheshire School adopts a range of strategies to assist students self-regulate and re-engage with their learning in a small and specialised school setting. These strategies are based on staff identifying and rewarding positive behaviour and classroom engagement, along with staff disengaging from students who make poor behavioural choices. Staff encourage students to adhere to the school values of Tolerance, Respect, Teamwork and Perseverance.

The overall key objectives for students are to:

  • Increase positive participation.
  • Develop a sense of self-respect and desire to learn.
  • Accept responsibility for their behavioural choices.
  • Develop and build resilience.
  • Respecting themselves and others, including property.

What does learning look like?

We provide an engaging and innovative learning experience, based on The Victorian Curriculum. Students also participate in a range of activities that help them to self-regulate such as mediation, warrior fitness and yoga. Our class sizes are small and have a maximum of 11 students per class, with at least one Classroom Teacher and two Specialist Teaching Aides. Our high student-to-teacher ratio allows us to offer a unique and personalised learning experience for every child.

Explicit teacher modelling, careful scaffolding, support and feedback at the point of need, underpins our commitment to every student making progress in their learning. Students quickly build on their small steps of success, and acquire the characteristics of a successful learner.

In addition, each student has an Individual Learning Plan with clear learning goals, the plans are reviewed regularly and shared with parents. Students quickly learn to improve their resilience, self-motivation and confidence. They work towards improving their ability to build strong relationships and work collaboratively, before transitioning back into mainstream education.

Fortnightly excursions linked to Victorian Curriculum take our students beyond the core academic curriculum and further encourage each student to make deeper links with their learning.

Relationships are at the heart of great learning at The Cheshire School. Our team will work closely with you, to establish a working partnership and quickly build to your child’s confidence. The Cheshire School empowers our students to make valuable contributions to the world around them.

The Cheshire School Mission:

To provide a physically and emotionally safe environment, where the students’ experience of themselves and school is positively transformed. Through a partnership between educators and parents, students and their families are empowered to make positive changes, which will enable them to successfully return to a mainstream educational setting.

The Cheshire School Objectives:

For the community:

The Cheshire School will contribute to the broader community by providing children and their families with the skills and capabilities to achieve meaningful participation both now and into the future.

For the child:

The Cheshire School will contribute to children successfully engaging with and benefiting from educational opportunities, improving their knowledge and skills – and then enjoying optimal health, well being, relationships and quality of life. We facilitate children and their families to create positive change which will allow them to successfully return to mainstream education.

Democratic Principles:

The Cheshire School supports and promotes the principles and practice of Australian democracy, including a commitment to:

  • Elected government
  • The rule of law
  • Equal rights for all before the law
  • Freedom of religion
  • Freedom of speech and association
  • The values of openness and tolerance

The Cheshire School complies with all reporting requirements under Commonwealth and State funding agreements and makes available on request reports on all aspects of school performance to members of the school community.

Our Team

The dedication of the experienced and skillful staff at The Cheshire School are part of what makes the program unique. The team includes:

  • Dr Kylie Jackson-Principal/Psychologist
  • Helen Barrett—Assistant Principal/Senior- Classroom Teacher
  • Jess Platt—Junior Classroom Teacher
  • Angela North – Psychologist & highly skilled APS approved board supervisor & play therapy specialist
  • Andrew Garas—Provisional Psychologist (PhD candidate)
  • Darren Ball—Sport and Martial Arts Specialist/Educational Support Officer
  • Tina Chandler—Educational Support Officer
  • Ainslie Lamb-McCallum  – Educational Support Officer
  • Melissa NeSmith—Administration Officer/PA
  • Cyril Jezek-Sport and Martial Arts Specialist/Educational Support Officer