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    Personal Story


    Catherine Scheffer
    Year 12 Siena College, Camberwell

    Along with six other Siena students and two teachers, I embarked on an immersion to South Africa for two weeks last year, living with a host family while learning of the history and culture of the country. 

    I noticed that despite all the hardships of the women of Kopanang, they were some of the happiest people I had ever met. The children stood out in particular for me; happy over the slightest of things. 

    For example, the other students and I brought balloons, pencils and stickers, which had them ecstatic for days on end. 

    This ability to draw happiness from poverty and quite often, hunger and pain, motivated me to produce a series of drawings under the title Happy Sadness which will be featured in the 2015 Visual Arts Display during Catholic Education Week. 

    A young boy named Tyron, who was a member of my host family, personally inspired me as he was always happy despite the conditions he lived in. I grew very close to Tyron, as well as having a strong connection to other children I encountered.

    It was after my time at Kopanang that I realised how much we take for granted; food, water, safety, education and much more. 

    Without knowing the children it is impossible to depict their current state of poverty. These children’s facial expressions show us that money is not the key to happiness. 

    It is my duty to tell my Siena school community that ‘happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.’  

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    Student Learning Needs

    Student Learning Needs encompasses the following areas:


    Literacy, Numeracy and Special Learning Needs (Students with Disabilities)

    General Overview

    The objective of the Literacy, Numeracy and Special Learning Needs (Students with Disabilities) (LNSLN (SWD)) program is to improve the learning outcomes of educationally disadvantaged students, particularly in literacy and numeracy, by contributing funding for additional teaching and learning assistance.

    Eligible students are funded under the categories of chronic health impairment, physical disability, vision impairment, hearing impairment, severe language disorder, intellectual disability or social/emotional disorder.

    Main Activities

    In 2014, there were a total of 6406 students eligible to receive funding in Melbourne. Of the 6406 eligible students, 57.3% were primary students and 42.7% were secondary students. Based on the total student population in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, 4.3% of students received funding.

    Scope is contracted by the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV) to deliver services and support to students with physical disabilities or chronic health impairments in Catholic primary and secondary schools across Melbourne and the whole of Victoria. In 2014, there were 251 eligible students for therapy in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

    Requests for equipment are available for eligible students who are funded under the categories of physical disability, chronic health impairment, hearing impairment and vision impairment. In 2014, 57 students were provided with equipment that was considered integral to their access and participation at school.

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