Academic support is designed to cater for all students, not just students with a diagnosed learning disability. It recognises the individual needs of the students at Timbertop. In order to cater for these needs, screening and diagnostic tests are conducted at thecommencement of the school year. These tests assist in the identification of students who are either under-achieving academically or who have high intellectual potential and need to be challenged. The results are used in conjunction with teacher and parent recommendations.
Academic Support Programme (ASP) elective
The Academic Support Programme is a subject offered to a small number of students who are in need of extra assistance in literacy and numeracy. These students have been selected through diagnostic testing. This elective provides the necessary time for students to work on specific weaknesses identified by educational psychologists. In addition to this, instruction may be given in time management, involving the setting of short-term and longterm goals; organisation, incorporating the physical work environment; and study skills, involving strategies for effective study habits. This is run as an elective block across both semesters and students must meet a specific criteria to be eligible.
Other Support Structures
Given the busy nature of the Timbertop programme, students will find that with the loss of weekends and the competing demands for their time, keeping up with their academic workload is challenging. Staff at Timbertop offer a range of extra-help sessions for support out of class times. These are voluntary for students; however, some students may be asked to attend to give them the support they need beyond the normal class time. There is no paid tutoring available at Timbertop, however, for all students the opportunity to get assistance is available, they often just need to ask. In addition, students who experience some difficulty accessing the curriculum may be provided Inclusive Learning Recommendations, which assists them and their teachers to best meet their individual needs. These plans are prepared by the school after discussion with key academic staff, parents and the student, all done on a case-by-case basis.
Catering for High Achievers
Timbertop recognises an inclusive definition of giftedness and encourages excellencein all of its forms of intellectual, academic and creative endeavour. There are a range of opportunities to develop musical and artistic talents in the co-curricular programmes. In pure academic pursuits, enrichment is provided to students who show capacity beyond the core offerings. For example, in Mathematics, students can self-select the level of challenge in every part of the course. Classes are not streamed and staff will work with any student to guide them in their studies to achieve their best. Where students have significant prior learning, contact should be made with the Academic office to discuss appropriate subject choices and enrichment opportunities.