Melbourne Specialist International School uses an integrated approach to deliver its programme to its students. An important part of this approach is to bring arts-based therapy and teaching closer together.
Speech and Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy come together with Physiotherapy, class teachers and specialist subject teachers to plan appropriate units of work to engage and extend the learning opportunities for our students. Melbourne Specialist International School has been created by Jayne Nadarajoo who was seeking an alternative model for Specialist Education in Singapore. Having founded White Lodge Preschools and Kindergartens in 1999, Jayne’s vision for MSIS was to implement a model using the Foundation to Year 10 Victorian Curriculum Framework as a guide with a Visual and Performing Arts Inspired Approach and therapy services to help those with special needs reach their full potential.
The F10 Curriculum at MSIS is designed to help young children become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens. Presented as a developmental sequence of learning from Foundation to Year-10, the Melbourne Specialist International School describes to teachers, parents, students and others in the wider community what is to be taught and the quality of learning expected of young people as they progress through school. This integrated approach includes therapists from Art Therapy, Music Therapy, and Drama Therapy when appropriate.
In practical terms this means that students at MSIS see specialist teachers in Art, Dance, Music and Physical Education. These areas of learning are also used in meaningful and directed ways by the classroom teacher to achieve literacy, numeracy, and living skills goals.
At MSIS we are very proud as we are current with the latest practises and use computers, Smartboards and associated technologies as part of our educative process. Students use appropriate technologies to extend and enhance learning
The Early Years programme has been thoughtfully designed with young learners in mind, to provide an environment that truly supports each child’s learning journey, developing children’s communication and language skills, creative expression, physical skills and well-being, as well as personal and social development. Carefully structured learning as well as emergent experiences occurring through daily interactions with people, manipulation of materials, play routines and transitions are effective curriculum strategies employed to support children’s language and cognitive growth.
The foundation 1 classroom is an evidence-based approach to education that focuses on the strong relationship between behavioural support and social-emotional learning (SEL). The Classroom approach empowers educators to create safe, joyful, and engaging learning communities where all students have a sense of belonging and feel significant
The major focus of the foundation program is to develop language and communication skills. We strive to integrate the students into the school by using their existing strengths to develop a program in conjunction with parents, therapists and specialist staff that are appropriate for the individual’s needs. The foundation program includes the following educational objectives;
Pathways 3 focuses on Daily Living skills to ensure children thrive on schedules, habits, and routines, which not only create a feeling of security, but also help children learn self-control and focus. This includes high-touch personal interactions every day to build healthy social-emotional skills, including the ability to understand and communicate with others.
Pathways 4, Transition 5 & 6
Pathways 4, transition 5 and 6 focuses on Academics and Pre-Vocational training. The class promotes positive social interactions and provides opportunities for students to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for lifelong learning.
Literacy and numeracy are a regular timetabled series of lessons each week. The focus in literacy is on communication, awareness of print, and developing understanding of multiple ways to communicate. Numeracy covers such topics as number, space, time, and money.
Victorian Curriculum Level 1 & 2
In Levels 1 and 2, students continue their exploration of how dance can communicate ideas about themselves and their world and they make dances to express their ideas. They share their dance with peers and in informal settings, learn about safe dance practice and experience dance as audiences. As in Foundation, the starting point for Levels 1 and 2 Dance is ‘everyday movements’. Students increase their awareness of the movements their bodies can create and further explore the elements of dance (space, time, dynamics and relationships) as they make and observe dances. They extend their learning about how to make dances and respond to feedback as part of their dance-making process Students are introduced to dances from a range of cultures, times and locations, beginning with dance from cultures in their