The goal of every great teacher is to ensure that learning occurs for every student in every period of every day.
Particular attention is warranted by those students who are not the ‘typical student’. Some of these students will have exceptional talents and abilities, and some of these students will have particular learning needs. Our Gifted and Talented Education program (GATE) caters particularly for the former students, and our LINKS program caters particularly for the latter students.
Both our GATE and LINKS have a range of special features, but we believe that differentiation can occur within the context of the everyday classroom. This is an expectation of teaching staff at Oxley.
The GATE program operates throughout the Senior School, in a variety of subtle ways. A few students within the GATE program receive scholarships. GATE students are encouraged to strive for excellence in all they do, to maximise their gifts and talents within the regular classroom environment. Additional opportunities are also provided on an occasional basis.
The Links Department consists of specialist teachers and assistants who work in conjunction with all staff to cater for students with special needs. These may be students who experience learning difficulties in class.
Links staff work closely with parents, teachers, external specialists and the students who are involved. Curriculum differentiation may occur in the classroom. Some students may occasionally be involved in small group or one to one withdrawal sessions, although the focus of our work with students in the Senior School is integrated within normal classrooms.
Minor adaptations to the assessment expectations are made for a number of students in Years 7-10. If the learning needs warrant greater modification of the curriculum, then an Individual Learning Plan is created for the individual student in the appropriate subjects.
Some students, on the basis of standardised testing, are offered an exemption from the compulsory LOTE program. These students are particularly supported by the Links team.
In the Links Department, we aim to develop the students’ self confidence and independence as a learner, while acknolwedging that all people have a variety of strengths and challenges. We believe that students will achieve in an environment of trust, acceptance and challenge.