Taieri College Excellence Report
Taieri College has been offering SPEC courses as alternative programmes across the school since 2008. The programme has been
endorsed by the Principal, Senior Leadership Team and the Board of Trustees. As a college we are committed to providing alternative
and realistic programmes for students who have a wide range of learning and behavioural needs.
Our focus is on developing the competencies and skills needed for work and/or further learning for our students. This has proved to be
personalised learning at its best. Over the years we have seen a positive change in students’ motivation, resilience, self-esteem, and
pride in their work.
At Taieri College we offer SPEC across Years 9-13 with our programme including both the supported learning courses and the
mainstream courses within the normal classroom environment.
SPEC is available as an option line in Years 11-13 and teachers across the curriculum are involved in recommending students for
these courses. In this option line students chose their modules depending on their interests and future plans. Time is taken to meet
discuss the programme with the students and parents and explain its benefits. Parents are very positive and supportive of the work
being carried out. In Years 9-10 the courses run alongside the normal classroom programme by choosing Headway modules that relate
to the class topics. This allows the students to be part of the class programme as well as operating at their own level. Our plan is to grow
this further to involve more students and more curriculum areas.
The college is committed to providing teacher aide funding to assist with the success of these courses. Each year we make certain
both our teacher aides and staff are upskilled by arranging for them to attend both training and verification meetings. The school SPEC
coordinator also provides regular training throughout the year. We are committed to having skilled staff, in front of the students, who
have a passion for SPEC and what it can offer.
In recent years Taieri College has facilitated SPEC verification meetings and stored a set of resources that are available for all schools
in our area to view at any time. Outside of these training times our school coordinator has been available to other schools for
professional development, advice and guidance, and sharing of ideas as requested. This has proved to be a great development
opportunity for both parties. Our SPEC Coordinator has also promoted the programme at RTLB facilitated SENCO days.
Our internal moderation procedures are thorough and are carried out by teachers, teacher aides and the school coordinator to ensure
we present the best work the students are capable of and to show they are moving ahead with their learning.
Verified portfolios are on display for staff and students following verification meetings and they are celebrated at school assemblies.
SPEC is promoted at our Open Days with a display dedicated to endorsing the programme and showing our commitment to a student
centred learning approach. SPEC has made a huge difference to the learning and achievements of those students participating in the
Taieri College - Mosgiel