What is the selection criteria for entry into Propel?
Students are selected based on the documentation supplied to the college, which adopts the guidelines of the School Curriculum and Standards Authority for evidence and accommodations. Students who are experiencing on-going mental health disorders, will need re-confirmation of diagnosis and on-going therapy yearly, as many of these issues will be resolved over time. Typically students who are invited to join PROPEL evidence one or more of the following and have provided documentation:
- documented learning disability by a psychologist;
- documented diagnosis or assessment fitting Department of Education’s Disability Resourcing Branch categories (Autism Spectrum Disorder, Deaf, Global Developmental Delay, Intellectual Disability, Physical Disability, Severe Medical Health Condition, Severe Mental Disorder, Vision Impairment);
- documented attentional disorder under the care of a paediatrician or psychiatrist;
- documented mental health disorder with F Code/ICD-10 by a psychologist or psychiatrist with on-going therapy noted;
- English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D) including students of Aboriginal heritage.
Is there a stigma attached to attending PROPEL?
We have lots of students self-referring – PROPEL is very popular with students, teachers and parents. Depending on what has occurred in primary school, this may shape their and your perceptions of participating in PROPEL. PROPEL students are a discrete group who will only know other students who are attending at the same scheduled period.
What do students do in PROPEL?
We see students from Years 7 to 12, often in multi-age groups and team teach. Our focus is on academic achievement incorporated with pastoral care. Some students complete private study which reduces the burden of after school work or is a safe place when staying in class is impossible. Others will work with one of our teachers who will reteach concepts, explicitly detail expectations and requirements for tasks, teach strategies (also for organisation) and provide resources. We do not carry out remediation, but teach at the point of need when possibly the child is most receptive to understanding and learning what they do not know. Propel does not replace a subject or become their whole curriculum.
My child is doing really well at school and AEP; I think PROPEL isn’t for them.
Many students who attend PROPEL are doing very well at school, often in AEP and with their sights on entry to university. We offer PROPEL support as a matter of equity, not because of poor achievement. The majority of PROPEL students are performing in the average to excelling range.
What if my child doesn’t want to participate?
This decision is up to the child and parents. PROPEL isn’t compulsory and it is counter productive to force students. What we do find is that the majority of students stay with us once they have tried PROPEL and will often see us throughout their whole secondary education. If your child does not want to participate initially, they can join at any time. We ask your permission yearly for our involvement.
Does my child receive extra working time for assessments?
We put into place accommodations in line with what the School Curriculum and Standards Authority will grant for NAPLAN, OLNA and WACE Exams. Only a limited number of disabilities will be granted extra working time, these being Specific Learning Disorders. Other diagnoses, for example ADHD, ASD, Mental Health Disorders, will be granted rest time. This provision will be put in place for NAPLAN, OLNA and exams only, at up to five minutes per 30 minutes. In NAPLAN and OLNA this is a pause function on the assessment. For exams students will be able to let the teachers know they wish to have a break at times of their own choosing to gather their thoughts. They will not be able to work on their assessments or read during the rest time.
Will PROPEL appear on my child’s timetable?
With the exception of students who have an Individual Disability Allocation (IDA), PROPEL students must forfeit one period of a single class per week. From 2019 this has been from one Enrichment class. In certain cases it may be from English or HASS. PROPEL does not appear on the timetable. However, for students with an IDA, an option class may be replaced with PROPEL which equates to two periods a week
Students for whom English is an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D)
Many students at John Curtin College of the Arts have English as an additional language or dialect. Support is provided to students who have recently arrived from countries where English is not the main language and for students born here who come from a non-English speaking background. Students with Aboriginal heritage are also supported in the PROPEL program.