Specific needs program
The Specific Needs Program is provided by the school to meet the developmental needs of a student on an individual basis. It is a collaboration with the student, his/her parents, the Principal, the class Director and the Specific Needs Director.
The class Director identifies a specific need of a student who is at risk of not achieving his/her potential. The Specific Needs Director assesses the child in his particular area and sets goals and an Individual Education Plan (I.E.P.) for that student. The student and his/her parents has the plan explained and all agree to the plan.
Parent involvement is essential for an effective program and are actively involved as part of the “Partners in Planning” program. Please refer to the document Partners in Planning.
The student works with the Specific Needs Director for one or two sessions a week, implementing the strategies and then transferring that learning to the classroom.
During the program, the parents are invited to participate in a session so that they can observe the implementation strategies and provide valuable input and home support.
At the end of the term, there is an evaluation of progress from all the parties involved. If any concerns are raised, there may be a need for more diagnostic tests or specialised assessments. However, most students have their individual needs met and are able to continue with their class work with improved skills, greater confidence and heightened self esteem.
Brenda Harvey - Director Specific Needs
Personal Background: I was born in London. My family moved to Perth, ("Paradise" as my late father referred to Perth), when I was six years.
Education and Work Experience: After Matriculation, I attended Claremont Teachers' College where I received my Teacher's Certificate. I taught in State and Catholic schools until I married and then spent the years as mother to two daughters and wife of a country doctor. During this time, I studied at the University of Western Australia and received my Bachelor of Arts degree. My life then changed direction and I left Perth to live on a Kibbutz in Israel. During the eight years on the kibbutz, I trained to be a Registered Nursing Sister at Rambam Hospital in Haifa. On completion of this, I returned to work in the kibbutz clinic with two other nurses. On my return to Perth, I was successful in helping a young man with Multiple Sclerosis, to return to his own home after spending several years in a hospital for the elderly. I cared for him for four years. For his 50th birthday, I was able to take him back to his homeland, Holland. Unfortunately, he died. I returned to Israel and was nursing in the hospital in Beer Sheva when the first Gulf War occurred. When it finished, I returned to Perth. I was a private tutor for primary students, also secondary students in English, Literature, Human Biology and History before returning to the State system as a relief teacher in music and in regular classes.
Philosophy of Teaching: I read a book by Robert Kiyusaki, "If You Want to be Rich and Happy, Don't Go to School". In this book, he condemned the competition in schools and that schools focussed on academic achievement only. He recommended Montessori schools as preparing children for life and that he witnessed co-operation among students and the encouragement of independence. I considered that to be what I wanted in my teaching, so spent four years with M.W.E.I. to gain my Montessori qualifications.
The first school in which I answered an advertisement was Perth Montessori School. In one of the Children's Houses, I saw exactly what I had learned about in my course. This was over twelve years ago and I feel so fortunate to still be part of Perth Montessori School.