Language and mathematics are learned skills that are acquired easily by some students, and with varying degrees of difficulty by others. Genetic, neurological, and psychological factors may all contribute to a student’s readiness and ability to master the basics in the classroom environment.
We believe the ability to reason, analyse, debate, enjoy a fund of general knowledge, to set personal goals and to persevere in achieving them, are essential components of personal and academic success.
Through a unique curriculum, strong in creativity as well as functional studies, our students are intellectually stimulated, creatively inspired, and factually informed.
New Hope Private Special School’s program is research-based and focuses on remediating academic weaknesses while developing each student’s unique strengths. Students are assessed and assigned to their groups according to their ability levels in each subject.
This allows students with uneven learning profiles to have their needs met in all subject areas. Students, by being involved in a stimulating curriculum guided by understanding, compassionate teachers, soon discover that hey can learn. As their confidence develops and motivation returns, the process of failure and frustration is reversed.
New Hope Private Special School strives to reawaken the enthusiasm for learning inherent in all students. We offer a well-rounded academic program that includes:
– Remedial language training
– History and Social Studies
– Art, and Drama
– Computer Technology
– Physical Education and Sports
THE NEW HOPE LANGUAGE TRAINING
New Hope Private Special School’s remedial language training program offers students training in both beginning and advanced skills. Each student in the school meets twice a day in his/her double language class. These daily classes are tailored to the particular needs of each student and include work in:
– Reading: decoding, fluency, and comprehension
– Word Study: roots and affixes
– Handwriting and Keyboarding
– Organizational skills
– Reasoning and Analysis
LiFLexiA (Light Flow Lexical Approach)
As a part of the language training students are offered sessions on the LiFlexiA methodology, to improve their spelling, reading and writing skills.
This innovative multi-sensory method, pioneered by Dr. Eleni Rossides at New Hope, attempts to match teaching to learning style and increase the individual’s performance skills.
It is an important tool for students with reading and spelling difficulties. LiFLexiA is included in the students’ daily program to improve their skills along with their eye-hand coordination, visual and short-term memory, auditory discrimination and phonological awareness.
The language program addresses individual needs, while providing an ideal academic setting aiming to develop attention span. Teachers regularly test students in order to monitor their progress and to determine how well the student’s individualized program is working.
Teachers also keep detailed, regularly updated records of each student’s mastery of specific skills, and produce comprehensive, highly detailed reports two times a year.
Writing: The Application of Skills
Students with Learning Difficulties are in general, at the greatest disadvantage when required to express in writing. To promote success in this area, we devote a full academic period each day to development of organized composition skills.
During writing classes, students practice:
– Sentence and paragraph construction
– Creative and expository writing
– Organization of thoughts in a logical sequence
– Response to literature
All New Hope Private Special School students use the computer lab, which is equipped with assistive technologies, and are required to learn to:
– Restructure their written work
Mathematics: The Study of Patterns in Quantity and Space
Mathematics requires the ability to:
– Recognize patterns
– Extend patterns
– Create patterns
– Apply knowledge of patterns to novel situations, to generalize applications.
At New Hope Private Special School, mathematics is taught in small class settings where students are grouped according to ability. Math is taught using a multi-sensory, hands-on approach to engage students of all abilities and learning styles. The approach covers counting, addition, subtraction, place values, multiplication, division, time, money, fractions, story problems, shapes, sizes and algebra.
Manipulatives and games help illustrate concepts; and hands-on exploration, where students get a physical illustration of an idea, increases understanding and retention. Mathematical concepts are incorporated across the curriculum. Regular use of scientific calculators, and online interactive math resources are integrated into all coursework.
The philosophy of the New Hope Private Special School for the Science subject is that hands-on, multisensory learning and activities that foster critical thinking are central to our population of student’s acquisition of science concepts and skills.
To help develop critical thinking, classroom experiences place an emphasis on the process skills of observation, recognition of similarities and differences, categorization, sequencing, recognition of patterns, recognition of part to whole relationships, determination of cause and effect relationships, recognition and control of variables, making predictions, and drawing conclusions.
Visual presentations coupled with hands-on, inquiry-based, and design activities provide students with the tangible experiences that form the foundation for building an understanding of concepts and their associated vocabulary (scientific literacy).
History and Social Studies
History and social studies courses generally require a great deal of textbook reading. At New Hope Private Special School, however, these studies incorporate lectures, discussions, computer-assisted learning, individual and group projects, multisensory instruction, and hands-on activities and provide students with a wealth of historic and geographic information.
All academic subjects contain a language component. Because all New Hope Private Special School teachers are required to complete remedial language training, they are able to offer students a consistent approach to language learning skills in every class throughout the school day.
The role of art is a dynamic presence in the New Hope Private Special School’s curriculum, enabling our students to express their creativity while challenging their intellect. Through art, our students are given the chance to the unique means of expression that captures their passions and emotions and allows them to explore ideas, subject matter, and culture in delightfully different ways. Art cultivates essential skills, such as problem solving, creative thinking, effective planning, time management, teamwork and effective communication.
Although the object of art classes is to develop imagination and skill, through a safe venue in which to express ideas, creativity and innovation, the therapeutic benefits, such as the enhancement of fine motor skills, cannot be ignored. Many of our students have discovered that they possess superior talent in this discipline.
A typical New Hope Special School student’s class week includes two art classes. Drawing, sculpture, pottery, watercolour painting, and pen-and-ink techniques are taught.
Drama is valued at New Hope Private Special School as it contributes to general intellectual growth and personal development. It enables our students to develop the ability to pursue enquiry, and to extend learning and insight. We provide regular instruction in drama appreciation.
The important function of drama for our students is in fostering the twin aims of self-expression and confidence building. These are important tools in literacy building, and a confident student is more likely to learn well and to enjoy learning in general.
Drama also provides an opportunity to let off energy within the boundaries of the lesson itself. Though Drama we aim to:
– Promote self-expression
– Build self-confidence
– Enhance creativity
– Encourage co-operation
Juggling is a new innovative activity, offered by New Hope Private Special School and it focuses on introducing our students to the different juggling toys, and techniques and to learn juggling skills. Through this program we aim to improve:
– Eye-hand coordination
– Social skills
– Memory skills
– Kinetic skills
A computer is an important tool for the student who has spelling and expressive writing difficulties. New Hope Private Special School recognises this, therefore a fully equipped computer lab as well as a pc in each class are provided, all of which are Internet enabled. Students use the computers for a variety of reasons during their selected course including:
– To learn keyboard skills (taught in the language tutorials and writing classes)
– To use appropriate speech-to-text technology to assist them with reading and expressive writing
– To encourage students to use the internet in researching projects in different classes
– For other problem solving endeavour
– To compose, edit, and revise a creative story
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORTS
To ensure a well-rounded curriculum that includes not only academics but also physical activity, New Hope Special School balances the academic effort with a variety of sports activities. Students participate in Physical Education classes three times per week.
Activities in PE classes are designed to promote physical fitness, to develop motor skills and to instil knowledge and understanding of rules, concepts and strategies. Through participation our students learn the benefits of individual as well as team activities.
Physical education at New Hope Private Special School is also designed to give students the knowledge and skills necessary to self-assess, create and conduct personal fitness programs.
Special activities to address Dyslexia and Dyspraxia (DCD) are included each day to develop co-ordination, body awareness and relaxation. These activities are helpful in sharpening focus; fine motor skills, reading, listening, and writing or whole body movement.
The gym techniques are incorporated into the daily program during