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Learning Support

Our Mission

The Āwhina Learning Department seeks to support and enhance the academic and personal development of identified students, who need extra support for all or part of their day, within a safe and positive learning environment through differentiated curriculum programmes and specialist classroom strategies.  

Those students who have been identified as not achieving and/or as having special needs, receive teaching and learning programmes to address those needs.  Access to this support may be within a mainstream class or a supported class. Where appropriate, students are supported in their learning by a Teacher Aide.  


Supported classes have been put in place to address learning needs within a smaller and specifically targeted learning environment.


The Department provides inclusive support to enable all students to access the curriculum and to experience success across a range of areas while at school through the provision of a combination of the following:

  • Extra assistance

  • Adapted programme or learning environments

  • Specialised equipment or materials.


Our Services

  • Differentiated curriculum programmes

  • Smaller classes

  • Teachers trained or training in special learning needs

  • Teacher aide support

  • Diagnostic assessment

  • Support for students with specific learning difficulties, e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia. etc.

  • NZQA Special Assessment Conditions coordination and assistance

  • Implementation of specialist programmes and/or alternative pathways for students with moderate/global learning needs, e.g. Skills For Life

  • Individual education plans for identified students

  • Co-ordination of Special Olympics

  • Provision of support for ORS-funded students.


Junior Programme

Year 9 and 10 Supported Learning Classes

The Awhina Learning Department provides core subject programmes that cater for the individual learning needs of students in Years 9 and 10. These programmes are closely related to the core subject curricula and follow a differentiated curriculum with complete differentiated assessments.  Where appropriate, students are supported in their learning by Teacher Aides.


Year 9 and 10 Strengthening English and/or Mathematics 

Support is provided to Year 9 and 10 students who need accelerated teaching in Literacy and Numeracy strategies so that they can access the English and Mathematics curricula and achieve at the curriculum level for their age.  


Senior Programme

NCEA Level 1 English and Mathematics

The Āwhina Learning Department provides supported NCEA Level 1 English and Mathematics programmes for students in Year 11 who are capable of achieving at NCEA Level 1. These courses are internally assessed and consist of Unit and Achievement standards.  Students will be given the opportunity to gain the Unit Standard credits first and then they will be given the opportunity to gain the Achievement Standard credits.


Skills For Life Year 11 – 13  

This course provides an alternative pathway for students who require a course that offers a more individualised approach to provide successful learning outcomes. Tasks and projects are linked to NCEA Level 1-3 Unit Standards on the NZQA framework. For some students, senior programmes linked to NCEA standards may not be appropriate. In such cases, alternative pathways which encourage learning within a variety of authentic contexts, may be designed according to student needs and availability of resources. 


The focus areas for the Skills for Life programme are: 

•           Self-management Strategies

•           Social and Cooperative Skills

•           Goal setting 


Special Assessment Conditions (SAC) Support

Special Assessment Conditions support can be in the form of a reader and/or writer, computer use, extra time, rest breaks or separate accommodation. This support is used for internal and external assessments.


SAC support is for identified students in Year 9-13 across the school, who have specific learning difficulties such as: Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Auditory Processing Disorder, ADHD, ASD, vision/hearing impairments, etc. The Department provides information to teachers as to whether the identified students need accommodations and/or modifications so that they can access the curriculum and achieve. The Department undertakes assessment of these students to establish whether they meet the SAC criteria and coordinates the provision of SAC support. 

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