Pine Rivers Special School is a state school catering for students form Prep to Year 12 who have been verified as having a significant Intellectual Disability qualifying them for the highest level of support offered by Education Queensland. Many students also have a second disability area identified and verified, which adds to the complexity of their learning needs.
The school also hosts the Pine Rivers Early Childhood Developmental Program, which caters for children from birth to the year prior to prep who have a verified or suspected disability. Children attend this program on a sessional basis.
At Pine Rivers Special School all students are supported in their engagement with the Australian Curriculum, which is differentiated to a level commensurate with the child’s cognitive ability and interest level. They also participate in a range of skills training programs, especially within areas such as Communication and Literacy development, Social Skills Training and the development of Positive Behaviours for Learning.
Within the Senior Secondary phase of learning, students use the ASDAN modules as the basis of their preparation and training for transition to community engagement, work and supported or independent living.
As the school is a regional facility, children who attend the Pine Rivers Special School may travel from quite a large geographic area that incorporated both rural and urban areas, including Lawnton, Bray Park, Strathpine, Bracken Ridge and Warner in the east, Petrie, Kallangur, North Lakes, Dayboro and Narangba. Students also come from a wide range of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.
The 4 Key Focus Areas for the School are:
- Implementation of a Quality Curriculum,
- Expert Pedagogy and School Capability,
- Communication and Literacy Training, and
- School-wide Positive Behaviour Support.
In it’s most recent iteration, these School Priorities are stated as:
- Curriculum: The implementation of the Australian Curriculum (V8) differentiated into meaningful learning experiences for students,
- Communication: The use of Visual Symbols and AAC devices to develop a functional communication system for each student,
- Capability: The development of Positive Behaviours for Learning in each student, as well as support for staff in the development of their ability to work effectively with students with complex learning needs, and
- Community: The building of a sense of community within and around the school, and collaboration with Community Agencies and Service Providers to support our students and their transition into the community.
There is a positive, caring relationship between staff members and staff, demonstrated by the manner in which staff members, students and parents interrelate across the school, with the school maintaining an environment reflective of its expectations that all students will learn successfully.
Teachers are highly committed to improving their pedagogical practices to maximise learning outcomes for all students. Staff members have engaged with a range of professional learning activities, especially around Positive Behaviour Support, Communication Training, A multi-sensory Approach to the Teaching of Maths and the 4 Blocks Model for Literacy.
A collaborative Coaching and Mentoring model is used successfully across the school, with teachers ready to re-engage with formalised observation and feedback on their pedagogical practice.
The school has strong and beneficial partnerships with the local community, and these have led to a range of work experience placements and successful transitions for students exiting school.