Sommerville Special School - www.sommervillespecial.school.nz
Sommerville began doing SPEC in 2010. At that time, 42 students in the senior school completed Headway modules and 33 students in the middle school completed the Relating to Others TRUMP module.
In 2012, 56 students have completed Headway modules and 64 students have completed the Managing Self TRUMP module. This year, seven teachers have delivered TRUMP and nine teachers have delivered Headway.
SPEC links clearly with the Key Competencies and SMARTER targets and teachers have been encouraged to incorporate it directly into their classroom curriculum and IEP planning rather than run separate curriculum and SPEC programmes. This has worked well and has strengthened the quality of curriculum delivery as well as SPEC. We have emphasised the teaching and learning aspects of SPEC i.e. the students must be involved in an authentic learning process and not just produce something for their folder. Students have engaged in a wide variety of exciting learning experiences and at all stages are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning.
Teachers understand that SPEC folders are essentially a reflection of the student’s learning, not a glossy finished product with minimal student input.
Learning experiences are focused on the SMARTER Targets with the National Curriculum providing the context and SPEC providing a meaningful framework. Activities are increasingly innovative and exciting and encourage maximum student engagement and participation.
The SPEC Award evenings held in December each year, have become a highlight in the Sommerville school calendar. On two separate nights, one for TRUMP and one for Headway, families and whanau are invited to celebrate the student’s achievements with the presentation if certificates and videos that showcase each class’s SPEC work for the year. The students take great pride in taking their folders home at the end of the year and sharing them with their families.
Curriculum and IEP programmes will continue to be complimented by SPEC which offers a structured framework for learning. Students are motivated and engaged and teachers are already choosing their modules for the start of 2013, so they can be incorporated into their overall curriculum plans for 2013.
Lesley Skilton (Deputy Principal)
SPEC TRUMP Graduation movie
SPEC Wearable arts