Students in our  Specialist Support Class at Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School Hoxton Park are enjoying a sensory playground created especially for them.

Designed with learning in mind

After careful planning and deliberate design, the newly constructed playground at Good Shepherd has provided keen students the chance to enjoy the safe water play feature, climbing walls, scooter paths and swing.

“The students have been excitedly watching the progressand the technology and machines! As a result we integrated building and construction into their learning,” said Good Shepherd principal, Leonie Sewell.

The Specialist Support Class teaching staff will incorporate the playground into their learning program through the use of the outdoor learning areas and yarning circles. 

The sensory playground featuring hypoallergenic plants wraps around the classroom to join the Kindergarten playgroundcreating continuity with the main school. 

“My favourite thing [about the playground] is everything!” – Louis, Year 4 student

Specialist Support Classes

Students from Year 2 to Year 6 with intellectual disabilities and complex learning needs undertake a rigorous yet highly supported educational program within a specialised setting.

“Support Class teachers ensure that all programs and teaching approaches have a strong evidence base,” said Melinda Dinale – Specialist, Diverse Learning Infrastructure.

“Alongside literacy and numeracy, another key element or objective is for the students to become as independent as possible, especially in terms of every day life and living skills.” 

“We want each of our students to be valued and important members of the community with their own set of skills, talents and interests” – Melinda Dinale

The classes are a first for Sydney Catholic Schools commencing at Good Shepherd in 2019 and Good Samaritan Catholic College Hinchinbrook in 2022, with plans to extend across the archdiocese in the next few years. 

“Sydney Catholic Schools is committed to a quality innovative and inclusive learning experience that benefits all students and families in our thriving Catholic communities” – Tony Farley, Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools 

“The Specialist Support Classes, and this new playground, are great examples of how we are providing opportunities for students with diverse learning abilities to learn, grow and develop in a multitude of ways,” Mr Farley said.

Expressions of Interest

Enrolment applications are currently being accepted for students with intellectual disabilities and complex needs in Year 2 to Year 6 for 2023 and 2024.

Families interested in our Specialist Support Classes are encouraged to complete an Expression of Interest form on the Good Shepherd Primary School Hoxton Park website.

Please contact Melinda Dinale at melinda.dinale@syd.catholic.edu.au for more information.

Learner diversity at Sydney Catholic Schools