Staff at East Loddon P–12 College (Vic), Parafield Gardens High School (SA), Craigmore High School (SA), Reece High School (Tas) and Como Secondary College (WA) discuss how they use timetabling and intensity of intervention to support an MTSS framework aligned with AERO’s guidance.
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Duration: 4:35


Steven Leed, Principal, East Loddon P–12 College: The timetable is something, I suppose, that creates a bit of a barrier for any type of intervention program. What we've really tried to do is prioritise the tiered intervention groups, and so that's something we've discussed as a whole staff. And so if we prioritise it, it is first when we actually timetable subjects. Students will need to come out of classes from time to time that aren't literacy-focused classes, but we prioritise that knowing that the results that we can try and achieve through the literacy intervention will actually have a flow-on effect in all other areas of the school.

Stasha Demosthenous, Literacy Lead Teacher, Parafield Gardens High School: Students who are part of our Tier 2 reading intervention program, which is called the 'Reading Acceleration Program' – 'RAP', for short – they are not withdrawn from any other classes. It’s its own class that sits on the language line.

Christine D’Arcy, Senior Speech Pathologist, Parafield Gardens High School: In a high school setting, you’re always constrained by the resources you have available to you – your human resources, funding, the number of trained staff and support staff that you can access, and also the temperament and disposition and backgrounds of our learners.

Kathryn McDiven, Literacy Intervention Teacher, East Loddon P–12 College: Our timetable’s pretty flexible. We look at it each term and we move things around depending on where our different groups are. So, if we've got some Years 7s, that might look a bit different to our Year 8 group. So, we're pretty flexible, and we'll sit down with a group as we know that a group’s emerging that needs some Tier 2 intervention, and we'll formulate a timetable plan from there.

Tina Brunton, Diversity Teacher, Parramatta Marist High School: We don't want to take them out of things that they love, like we don't want to take them off the footy field for PE [physical education] or out of tech where they experience some success. And we have had to be more flexible in that regard. So we've had to work with the kids and work with the context.

Kathryn McDiven: We remove them from 4 different classes in a given week – and we try and spread that load a little bit – so it's often out of one of their LOTE [languages other than English] subjects. It might be out of a science or a humanities or an English or a mathematics, with the intention that we don't disrupt their whole program.

Kate Hardinge, Literacy Intervention Teacher, East Loddon P–12 College: We have an agreement with our staff, because we have such great buy-in from everybody, that our students – if they miss something because they are with us in intervention – they will not be asked to make it up or take it home as homework or be given extras to make up for what they've missed during that class.

Melissa Saliba, Senior Speech Pathologist, Craigmore High School: Class size is really important and support is really important. So, we consciously decided we didn't want to withdraw students from class, and with the number of students that needed the support, the literacy leadership decided that a class-based approach would be best to start with.

Stasha Demosthenous: Last year, we ran with the model with one teacher and one SSO with a RAP class of around 14 to 15 students. But this year, we've trialed a different model in where we have a slightly bigger class of around 20 students, give or take, but 2 RAP teachers in the room. That way, then, more adults in the room, you can support more students, which we have found has been successful.

Anne Thomas, Quality Teaching Coach, Reece High School: If students are well below their reading age, they would work one-to-one with a teacher for 2 periods of time a week – 2 lots of 20 minutes – and that's called 'catch-up literacy'. And then, those students are assessed at least once a term.

Digby Mercer, Principal, Como Secondary College: If I had my way, the students would be getting one hour on reading, spelling, maths every day of the week. The way a typical high school timetable is structured, it's 4 hours per week. I wouldn't go any less.

Melissa Saliba: The students are receiving this intervention 4 times in the week, which is excellent for working memory, and then students who might need additional to that, we would then go through processes around looking at Tier 3 work with them.

Vardis Rafiei, Leading Teacher, Teaching and Learning, Mount Rowan Secondary College: We really wanted to have enough times per week where we were able to hit those kids with those particular supports. And so, if we left it at one or 2 periods, we weren't going to be able to make the difference we wanted to see. That was something that we thought was really important to fight for, was this idea that we needed enough periods per week in order to actually make a difference.

Keywords: multi-tiered system of supports