School Name: Frankston Special Developmental School (5143)
School Principal Name: Scott Tucker
School Council President Name: Marita Hayes-Brown
Senior Education Improvement Leader Name: Stan Szuty
Accredited School Reviewer Name: Heather Norbury
Review Company Name: Valad Solutions Pty Ltd
1.1 SCHOOL CONTEXT
Location and history
Frankston Special Developmental School (FSDS) is located in Karingal in the outer southern suburbs of Melbourne, about 54 kilometres from the City of Melbourne. The school was founded in 1961.
The school grounds include seventeen classrooms with adjoining bathrooms, a gymnasium, three multi purpose areas, a homecrafts room, an art and craft room, two adventure playgrounds, a library, an Information Communication and Technology (ICT) laboratory, two therapy rooms, an outdoor basketball court and a large grassed playing field.
Enrolments at the time of the review were approximately 119.8 students. Over the past few years, enrolments have decreased by about ten students. There are six Junior classes, six Middle classes and five Senior classes, based on ability and age.
SFO and SFOE
The current Student Family Occupation (SFO) index is 0.6623 and the Student Family Occupation Education (SFOE) index is 0.5349.
The staffing profile of Frankston SDS includes a Principal, Assistant Principal, a teaching and learning specialist, the equivalent of 3.8 full time (FTE) leading teachers, 17.2 FTE classroom teachers, a business manager, administrative assistant, facilities manager, 3.2 FTE speech therapists, two occupational therapists, a physiotherapist one day per week, and 20 Education Support staff. The Blackwood campus has one leading teacher and one classroom teacher.
The FSDS curriculum has been adapted from the Victorian Curriculum to cater for the educational needs of all students. The school’s Individualised Learning Programs (ILP) aim to develop social competencies, communication and personal independence. Students are assessed twice a year using the ABLES (Abilities Based Learning Educational Support) assessment tool. The Pathways school based curriculum is a framework used to teach students in their last three years of school and includes work experience oportunities. Pathways focusses on teaching students the functional skills required to operate successfully in post school settings. All senior students have a Managed Individual Pathway (MIPs) plan that outlines the skills required by the students to successfully transition to their preferred post school option.
The Blackwood Special Schools Outdoor Education Centre (BSSOEC) is located 80 kms north west of Melbourne and is a registered campus of FSDS. Blackwood SSOEC provides outdoor education programs to students with disabilities across the state.
FSDS also provides an Early Education Program for students aged between 3.8 and 4.8 years who exhibit significant global developmental delay. The Early Education Program operates out of the East Karingal Kindergarten with staff from FSDS assisting with the program.
In 2018, two middle school classes from FSDS operate at Karingal Heights Primary School (KHPS). The students attending KHPS have acces to a fully equipped computer lab, indoor gynasium and commercial kitchen.
Me-TV, a television show written, directed and starring FSDS students has been used to teach and reinforce important aspects of the I Can be Safe program. Me-TV is broadcasted across the school weekly each Friday.
1.2 SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS
Professional Learning Communities
With the introduction of a revised Victorian Curriculum, created to meet the needs of the diverse range of students at Frankston SDS, the school examined the most effective mode of delivery to empower both the staff and students in the new materials. With increasing evidence that distributed leadership made a positive difference to organisational outcomes and student learning, the leadership team decided to place an emphasis on the design and implementation of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) as a catalyst for collaboration as well as the opportunity for shared leadership. Collaborative planning days and professional development enabled teachers to work collaboratively to plan and implement the new curriculum. Feedback from teachers indicated increased confidence and capacity, which allowed classrooms to work more collaboratively, and to implement a number of differentiated learning programs over multiple subject areas.
MeTV is a weekly school-produced television program that had been developed as a way to deliver and address behavioural, social and academic skills to the school community. MeTV is based on the principles of Video Self Modelling (VSM) and Video Peer Modelling (VPM) and is underpinned by the School Wide Positive Behaviour Support framework. MeTV is hosted by students and staff and consists of regular segments including ‘I Can Be Safe’, ‘School Expectations’, ‘Cybersafety’, ‘Jolly Phonics’ and ‘SRC Reporting’ as well as other segments focusing on healthy eating, environmental sustainability, science, welfare, social skills, communication, and independence. Reflection segments highlighted students’ work as well as whole school special events. Students highlighted the importance of MeTV to their education, identifying with various characters and articulating the learning presented each week.
During the Strategic Plan period, Frankston SDS had focused on increasing student voice across the school. The expansion of the speech therapy team had seen communication increase across the school, particularly through the increased use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems. Students now had the ability to make comments, give opinions and make requests through their AAC devices, as was evidenced in student focus groups, with students using their devices to respond to questions about their learning. The introduction of school leaders had also helped to create role models for the younger students and they also ran assemblies. House captains supported the junior students in sports days and whole school events. The Student Representative Council organised whole school events and fundraised for worthy causes. Senior school students were encouraged to be more involved in planning for their future. Managed Individual Pathways (MIPs) plans were created in consultation with students and parents through a MIPs survey and Student Support Group (SSG) meetings. Students were encouraged to be involved by attending planning meetings and expressing their ideas. Frankston SDS had also encouraged critical thinking across the school and constantly challenged the students to be reflective learners. Clearer expectations within the classrooms had empowered students to have more voice in their learning and to reflect on what was being taught.