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Middle school

Darling Point Special School is structured around the three learning phases to maximise learning opportunities for students and to promote teaching that reflects evidence-based research about the ways that children of different ages learn best. The middle year’s classes cater for students from year 5 to year 9 and offer increasing ranges of areas of study, dependent on each student’s strengths, interests and needs, whilst also incorporating the Australian curriculum melded with the school’s functional curriculum plan. All students engage with individualised lessons in literacy, English, numeracy, mathematics, visual arts, science, Asian and pacific studies, health and physical education incorporating mobility and positioning lessons based on conductive education principles, swimming and/or hydrotherapy, adaptive and information technologies, whilst teachers continue to work with them to enhance social skills and positive behaviours. The key components of the school’s generic multi-element plan – tolerating ‘no’, communicating ‘no’, making and communicating an informed choice, developing an increasing range of fun skills – guide teaching and learning in this phase and all others.

Teaching in the middle years, as in all learning phases at Darling Point Special School, recognises the importance of multi-modal communication. Auslan is incorporated in all classes and Auslan language mentors and educational interpreters are recruited to support students whose primary mode of communication is Auslan.

Middle phase learners are also invited to participate in the school’s active after school communities sports program, funded through the Australian government and coordinated by the deputy principal and a lead teacher. This program fosters healthy eating and exercise and is highly valued by the school as well as parents, guardians and students alike.