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Students with additional needs

Student Support Services Management group

The Student Support Services Management group meets weekly to discuss the needs of our students with additional learning requirements. These meetings involve a representative of the school’s leadership team, Guidance officer, Speech language pathologist, Head of Special Education Services, Support Teacher: Literacy and Numeracy (ST:LaN), English as Additional Language or Dialect (EALD) teacher and classroom teachers.

Special education unit

At Middle Ridge State School, the Special Education Unit (SEU) is referred to as the ‘Canopy.’ The Canopy staff and specialists manage and support students diagnosed as having a health condition such as Hearing Impairment (HI), Intellectual Development (ID), Physical Impairment (PI), Visual Impairment (VI), Speech Language Impairment (SLI) Autism (ASD). The Canopy may also extend its support services to students awaiting a diagnosis of a learning or health condition.

Students who have been diagnosed or may be awaiting a diagnosis can be supported in a number of ways:

  • Total inclusion with their year level cohort - engaged in the Australian curriculum in all learning areas.
  • Engagement in some learning areas (e.g. physical education, music, library, science, geography, history) with their year level cohort. Planned units in literacy and numeracy may be implemented in the Canopy to cater for their individual curriculum needs in a multi-age environment.
  • Inclusion in some learning areas with their year level cohort (e.g. physical education, music, library) whilst also engaged in the Australian curriculum in a multi-age environment in the Canopy.
  • Each student verified as having a disability will have an Individualised Curriculum Learning Plan (ICP) prepared which assists the classroom teacher to engage the student inclusively in the curriculum through deliberate program/teaching adjustments and/or curriculum support.
  • Specialists such as: Speech Language Pathologist, Guidance Officer, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Advisory Visiting Teacher (Hearing Impairment, Physical Impairment, Visual Impairment and Autism) will be engaged by the school on a needs basis to assist teachers in planning for and implementing strategies to support student learning needs.

English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D)

More than 90 students from 29 different cultural and language backgrounds who nominate English as an Alternate Language or Dialect students are enrolled at Middle Ridge State School. We strive to cater for students from migrant and refugee backgrounds, as well as many born in Australia. Individual and small group support is provided in class or on a withdrawal basis, (depending upon need), by a specialist teacher and experienced teacher aides. The programs developed collaboratively by the specialist and class teacher will focus on the English language, literacy and cultural demands of the curriculum and the student's current capacity to meet those demands.

Gifted and Lalented program

Programs are developed within the school and across year levels to cater for students who have been identified as gifted and/or talented. Advice is sought from regional Education Queensland personnel to collaborate with class teachers to design and implement programs, activities and support measures that aim to challenge, extend and enrich learning opportunities for children who have identified as gifted or talented. Planning and the provision of support and enrichment is guided by Education Queensland's Gifted and Talented Framework.

Support programs

The following intervention and/or support programs are offered for students identified as requiring specific academic support and development in literacy and numeracy.  The extent of the support time provided is often contingent upon the prioritisation of students’ needs and the availability of funding or resourcing within the school. The following support initiatives are implemented by the ST:LaN and/or trained teacher aides:

  • Support-a-talker (prep)
  • Phonological Metalinguistic Awareness Program (PMAP) - Speech language pathologist support (Prep to year 1)
  • Early literacy skills – Letters and sounds (Prep to year 1)
  • Guided reading groups (Prep to year 2)
  • Levelled literacy intervention (Prep to year 1)
  • Rainbow reading (Years 1 to 3)
  • Decoding / phonics (Years 2 to 3)
  • Fast forward reading (Years 4 to 6)
  • Targeted intervention (Years 2 to 6)
  • Guidance Officer

Guidance Officer

The Guidance Officer provides a counselling service for school related issues as well as a referral service for children and families with health and welfare support agencies. She is also involved in assessment and reporting in response to behavioural, learning, developmental and psycho social difficulties. The Guidance officer assists in the implementation of departmental and school policies such as student protection, gifted education and responsible behaviour.

Speech Language Pathologist

The Speech language pathologist (SLP) visits the school for two days each week. All referrals go through the student services management group. The SLP’s role includes: assessment and reporting, intervention support programs and home programs.


As a non-teaching staff member, our Chaplain provides social, emotional, and spiritual support for students, staff and parents. The Chaplaincy service runs programs including: 'Rock and Water',' Shine', 'Strength', and 'Friends for Life'. The Chaplain also supports students in the classroom and in the playground in order to develop a rapport with them and provide social and emotional support.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

Educational support is provided to indigenous students as part of a strategic focus on improved learning outcomes.

Students with acute medical needs

The school maintains a register of students with acute medical needs. All medical plans for these students are updated annually, or as needed.