Billy is a Year 3 student attending a primary school in a large country town. Billy is working approximately two years behind grade level in most areas. While Billy’s teachers have not ruled out a specific learning disability, they believe his consistent non-attendance at school has had a significant impact on his literacy and numeracy development. This in turn impacts on his achievement in areas such as science and humanities. The school has discussed their concerns with regard to academic achievement and attendance with Billy’s parents. Billy is on an individual education plan (IEP) to address his attendance, literacy and numeracy issues. The IEP has been sent home to his parents.
The strategies in place to address Billy’s attendance have had some success and he now attends approximately three days per week. The key strategies the school is using to support Billy include:
- a small-group intervention program for literacy
- a differentiated maths program to target the gaps identified in his maths concepts
- allowing Billy to demonstrate his content knowledge in a range of formats such as giving verbal answers to content based questions in science.
The school is waiting to see the impact of their teaching and learning adjustments now that Billy is attending more frequently. They will make a judgement and possibly discuss testing with the School Psychologist depending on Billy’s progress over the next year, as at this stage his non-attendance could be a more reasonable explanation for his low achievement levels.