Integrated Studies Support Unit

CROMER CAMPUS INTEGRATED STUDIES UNIT

BACKGROUND

Cromer Campus is a comprehensive High School, Years 7 – 12, and forms part of the Northern Beaches Secondary College.

The Integrated Studies Department is a valued and highly regarded part of the Campus and College. It has five classes with five teachers and five school learning support officers, catering for up to 54 students, Years 7 – 12. Senior students, in Years 11 and 12, have an impressive choice of curriculum based on Life Skills Courses which can be studied at Cromer Campus. Senior students can also access Vocational (VET) courses within the College or TAFE delivered vocational courses (TVET) through the Northern Institute at Brookvale, St. Leonards, Hornsby or Crows Nest.

LIFE SKILLS COURSES

Students follow Life Skills courses in Stage 4 (Years 7 and 8) and Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10) this leads to the attainment of the Record Of School Achievement (ROSA) at the end of Year 10. The Life Skills courses that the students undertake are English, Maths, Science, Human Society and Environment, Technology and Applied Studies, Creative Arts, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) and Languages Other Than English. Successful completion of Stage 4 and 5 leads to Preliminary and  HSC Life Skills Courses in English, Maths, HSIE, Creative Arts, PDHPE, Technology and Applied Studies and Work and Community Studies.

The HSC Life Skills Courses do not show grades or count towards an ATAR. Instead, students are awarded a Higher School Certificate, a Record of Student Achievement and their own Profile of Achievement.

Students can combine mainstream courses with Life Skills courses as part of their own individual program of study. Students and parents are actively encouraged to participate in planning for their program of study by attending Individual Transition Planning (I.T.P.) meetings. These are held once a year to plan an individual educational and transitional plan – from one stage to another – and are a wonderful opportunity for everyone to play their part. Some students may progress through an Integration Program to partial placement for some mainstream classes and electives

HOMEWORK

Homework is given by teachers to consolidate or revise work that is done in class. Sometimes homework may involve students practising functional skills at and in the home or community leading to the development of greater independence of the individual student.

READING PROGRAM

We are proud of our Reading Program which we place at a very high priority. All students in the unit are regularly assessed to determine their reading level and are divided into small groups based on this data. Reading lessons are conducted everyday where students are given reading instruction as well as the opportunity to read class novels. Some students are also included in an intensive specialist literacy program called MULTILIT which stands for Making Up Lost Time In Literacy and is a research-based initiative of Macquarie University. Without exception, students make great progress with their reading through this program.

INTEGRATION

It is our aim to make our students as much a part of the school as we can. They go to a daily roll call group with students from the whole  school. This roll group has students from their own year group. Students stay with their group throughout their time at Cromer Campus and so can make good friends with students of all years across the school. As well as this, our students go to Wednesday afternoon sport where they can choose from many sports such Tennis, Soccer, Surfing and Ten Pin Bowling. Our students are also involved in subject and year excursions as well as being included in attending all school camps assemblies, and all whole school sporting carnivals Every effort is made throughout the school to involve and integrate our students into the mainstream of school life at Cromer Campus.

CURRICULUM

Our curriculum is broad and varied with students going to specialist teachers for classes in Food Technology, Science, Design and Technology, Computer Studies, Commerce, Creative Arts, PD/H/PE and Human Society and its Environment. Our Department's core curriculum is designed to integrate all the studies that are needed to develop our students to reach their highest level of individual academic potential as well as developing their social maturity and independence. They receive skilled, patient instruction and guidance from their dedicated teachers and teachers' aides. Our students are also involved in utilising the Project Based Learning Model to encourage them to take a more active and engaged role in their learning

VOCATIONAL TRAINING

In the senior class, students are required to participate in the Work Experience program as the practical component of the Work and Community subject and as part of their Vocational Preparation program. They can go on as many work experiences as necessary to prepare them for that all important first job when they leave school. Work experience is undertaken one day a week for the whole year in Yr. 11 and Yr 12 in order to impress on students the continuity of work as well as developing the necessary stamina associated with a days work.

Where possible, senior students can go to TAFE and do mainstream or modified courses subject to course availability and funding. Students and their parents are involved in planning this program through regular meetings. Nearly all students leave to a job or are referred to employment agencies for further vocational training.

COMMUNITY ACCESS

Each class goes out into the community to practice the literacy, mathematics, map reading and technology skills they have learnt in the classroom. Some classes go out weekly and others fortnightly. Students learn to use varying forms of public transport and to develop independent travel skills which they use in the senior years to take themselves to TAFE or to work experience in Years 11 & 12. Many excursions start from Manly Wharf where the class meets before going into the city to perhaps see a movie, visit museums, the Art Gallery or on a walking tour of The Rocks. These days are great fun and gives students the opportunity to use their Travel Training skills in a realistic way.

DISCIPLINE

We want our students to be happy, safe and secure so they can give of their best. To facilitate this, we have included our own Discipline Guide in their enrolment package which is part of the Cromer Campus Welfare and Discipline Policy. This is issued to all students and carefully explained to them.

SUMMARY

The Integrated Studies Department is a friendly and supportive place. Here students receive skilled and patient instruction as well as guidance from their dedicated teachers and school learning support officers. Our students make great gains and enjoy their school years at Cromer Campus.