Katandra School is a special education setting for primary aged students who have an intellectual disability, we were successful in winning the 2015 Victorian Education Excellence Awards Inclusive Education Award Winner in a train-the-trainer style program for the Katandra Project.
The award-winning Katandra Project epitomises Katandra School’s vision to make inclusive education accessible and achievable for all. Through this ground-breaking, point-in-time advice and support program, Katandra staff share their extensive knowledge and expertise with teachers in mainstream schools about intellectual disability, engagement and behavioural concerns.
- Purpose – to increase the confidence and capacity of teachers to support students with additional needs enrolled in mainstream schools.
- Audience – principals, teachers, Education Support staff, Student Support Services Officers.
- Dimensions – Networks with schools, service and agencies; instructional and shared leadership; setting expectations and promoting inclusion.
The Katandra Project involves: Katandra staff sharing their extensive knowledge and experience with teachers at mainstream schools where students’ intellectual disability, engagement difficulties and/or behavioural concerns have been identified.
The Katandra Project provides a visiting ‘coach’ and support resources that increase the confidence and capacity of teachers to support children with additional needs enrolled in mainstream schools. This may involve a member of the leadership team visiting the mainstream school to conduct observations and provide initial suggestions, providing recommendation and supports around communication and learning strategies, providing whole school professional development to support students with learning difficulties, and providing recommendations and resources.
The Katandra Project is an excellent example of teachers, principals, and schools working together to exchange knowledge and ideas to develop and strengthen teaching and assessment approaches for all students with disabilities and additional learning needs. The Katandra Project builds a culture of collaboration and support. The project supported teachers in the network of schools to develop and plan curriculum and assessment that was inclusive of individual student needs, and informed them about the Abilities Based Learning and Education Support (ABLES) assessment and resource package.
The impact of the project has shown outstanding and immediate outcomes with noted improvements in student learning and overall engagement levels.
If mainstream schools wish to engage with the Katandra Project, they should contact the Principal Rhett Watts who will work with the school on the initial enquiry and planning the steps for support.