Talia is a 13-year-old girl in Year 7 who has been enrolled in a regional secondary school for six months. When Talia arrived at the school, her family was unable to provide any prior school reports or other external assessments, but said she had struggled in primary school. As part of the enrolment process, with her parent’s consent, the principal contacted Talia’s previous school who advised that she appeared to have significant learning issues despite the provision of supports and adjustments. Talia’s attendance had become a problem during Year 6.
Initial screening by the learning support teacher at Talia’s new school found gaps in her literacy and numeracy. In consultation with Talia and her family, a personalised learning plan was developed and provided to Talia's teachers, identifying her strengths and the areas impacting on her academic functional abilities.
Talia’s teachers indicate she has difficulty following complex spoken instructions and reading and comprehending longer texts. Talia has been provided with a tablet device for some activities, which enables her to use the accessibility features to support her reading. Talia’s teachers provide a digital version of some assessment tasks that she accesses using the tablet device. Teachers also check the readability levels of class texts, and provide scaffolds for written work. In some learning areas, Talia is provided with alternative options for texts and handouts.
The school’s ICT teacher meets weekly with Talia to provide additional instruction on technology options in subjects with a literacy and numeracy focus. He also emails her family about ways to consolidate technology skills at home. Talia has responded well to the use of assistive technology and her teachers have noted an improvement in her ability to demonstrate her knowledge.
In a recent email to the school, Talia’s family indicated she is on a waiting list for a psychometric assessment and paediatric consultation.