James Meehan High School

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Support Unit

Welcome to the Support Faculty.

James Meehan High School has 6 specialist classes for students with disability who require additional learning and support for their education. These classes are collectively known as The Support Unit.

The specialist classes at James Meehan High School support students with disability including students with:

  • Autism
  • Emotional and/or mental health difficulties
  • Intellectual disability.

How do students enrol into the Support Unit?

Placement into specialist classes within NSW Government schools is done with the assistance of a regional team through an application process known as an ‘access request’.

For information about enrolments into the support unit please contact your school counsellor or Learning and Support Team. You might like to use the school locator to research regular and special schools which have specialist classes.

How will the Support Unit help my child?

Each of our classes is staffed by a specialist education teacher and supported by a School Learning Support Officer (SLSO). Class sizes are limited to ensure all students have increased support with their learning.

Our staff receive specialist training to use evidence based practices that support the learning and wellbeing needs of students with disability. We encourage multi-sensory, hands on learning in a structured yet stimulating and supportive learning environment. Our classes have a strong emphasis on personalised learning goals that encourage students to develop skills needed for independent living.

What will my child learn in the Support Unit?

Students in Years 7-10 complete the same mandatory curriculum courses as all students in order to achieve their Record of School Achievement (RoSA). This involves the study of:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • History and Geography
  • Visual Arts and Music
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
  • Technology
  • Languages

Students may access Life Skills outcomes and content for these subjects.

In Years 11-12 students work towards a Higher School Certificate (HSC) by completing courses that meet the pattern of study requirements. Students often undertake study in:

  • English Life Skills
  • Mathematics Life Skills
  • Science Life Skills
  • Work in the Community Life Skills
  • Technology Life Skills
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education Life Skills

What are Life Skills courses?

Life Skills courses provide options for students with disability who are unable to access regular courses. Life Skills courses place emphasis on:

  • Communication
  • Practical application of skills
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Skills for independent living

Life Skills courses are not awarded an A-E grade. There are no formal examinations required for Life Skills courses and they cannot be used in the calculation of an ATAR score.

Students studying Life Skills courses may be exempt from completing HSC minimum standards tests.

Can students study VET courses in the Support Unit?

Students in Years 11-12 in the support unit are able to enrol in vocational education training (VET) courses offered by the school or through external agencies such as TAFE.

All students enrolling into VET courses are required to complete mandatory work placements and this is an important consideration when choosing to study a VET course.

Will my child have a learning and support plan?

Yes, all students in the support unit work towards personalised learning goals that are established through a learning and support plan. This is a formal requirement for students in specialist classes.

Each year students, parents/carers, and any other significant people are invited to participate in a meeting with teachers to collaboratively discuss and plan the academic, social, emotional and/or health care goals for students.

Parental input in this plan is very important and is both welcomed and encouraged.

Will my child’s place in the Support Unit be reviewed?

Yes, every year schools are required to review a student’s enrolment into specialist classes. Reviews consider all aspects of a student's personalised learning and support, including whether or not the current placement is best meeting their learning and support needs.

Parental input is welcomed and encouraged for this review.

How will the Support Unit prepare my child for life after school?

For students in Years 10-12 there is a strong emphasis on transition that builds on individual strengths and interest areas to encourage community participation and alternative employment pathways. 

We currently support students to access one of two optional transition to work programs:

  • independent work experience placement
  • supported job crew for students requiring higher levels of assistance.

Students accessing independent work experience placements are required to have skills for independent travel or alternatively supported by parents/carers to access work sites.

Student participation in supported job crew work experience is dependent on the availability of staffing and resources.

The school is supported by a Support Teacher Transition who can assist families to access specialist programs and support provided by other government agencies such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Who can I talk to if I need more information?

For information relating to enrolments in the Support Unit speak to the School Counsellor or Learning and Support Team.

For information relating to your child’s learning speak to the key teacher who is coordinating their learning and support plan.

For additional information contact the Head Teacher, Special Education at the school.