13 December 2023
Hello parents and carers,
Many thanks to all our staff and families for a wonderful year. We are absolutely delighted with the way the term has ended. We held the Year 12 Graduation on Tuesday 5th and then the Year 6 Graduation Ceremony on Friday 8th December. Both ceremonies went smoothly and highlighted the achievements of our students. Thank you to all the families and friends who attended. You made the day special for all of us.
School Reports have been finalised and sent home. I hope you enjoy reading about your child’s progress. Many students will also receive a Communication Profile which outlines how they communicate with others. I recommend that you take this Communication Profile to the next meeting with your child’s speech pathologist.
Classes for 2024 are filling up. We have a predicted enrolment of 247 students, and we are still receiving enrolment enquiries.
I hope that all the staff, students and their families have a lovely Christmas and holiday break.
We look forward to welcoming back students on Wednesday 31st January 2024.
Early Years News
Hello Parents and Carers,
Early Years classes have had a busy and productive end of term. In the last few weeks students have enjoyed a variety of incursions and excursions, which have consolidated learning and provided opportunities to generalise skills in a different context.
It has been a pleasure to read through the student’s reports and note all of the wonderful achievements this semester. 2024 personal items lists and classroom information will be sent home with your child. If your child is absent, it will be posted.
Should you have any questions please contact us by phone or email. We wish you all the very best for a safe and happy holiday period.
Dear Parents and Carers,
I can’t believe it is the end of 2023! Time has flown by, and all the students in the Primary phase have had a year of growth and progress towards their educational goals. It was a pleasure reading all of the student reports and hearing about all of the fantastic things that have been happening in the classrooms. Congratulations to all of the students for their achievements this year.
On 8th December, we celebrated our year 6 students at their Primary Graduation ceremony. It was a great morning, and well deserved for our 13 year 6 students moving in to high school. I’d like to thank our special guests who contributed to the morning- Cr Lorna Clarke (City of Bayswater), Ian Bresland (P&C President, Norman Paini (President- Lion’s Club Ballajura) and Hon Donna Faragher MLC as well as our teachers for all of the preparations that go in to planning a graduation. Also, a big thank you to the parents, carers and family members of the students who were able to attend to support the students.
The students all received an award and were recognised for their efforts throughout their primary school years. We enjoyed morning tea afterwards, with a big graduation cake! The students then participated in a daylight disco hosted by Michelle Toye (Lead Education Assistant). We’d like to wish our graduating students all the best with their future endeavours and high school years.
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all families the best for the holiday period. I hope everyone stays safe, has an opportunity to relax and recharge, and I look forward to working with you and the children in 2024.
Dear Parents & Carers,
It has been a busy end of the year! We are incredibly proud of the three young men graduating from Satellite 4 Hamish, Harry and Dean. We wish you all the best for their upcoming high school journeys.
All the Satellite classes participated in the end of year Christmas and Book Awards Celebrations. We had some amazing productions from the students from Satellite 1, 2, 3 & 4. A big congratulations to all students who won an Academic Award.
In Term 3, Satellite 3 and 4 finished their ballet lessons at school and in Term 4 were fortunate enough to be invited to attend The Nutcracker production at His Majesties Theatre in Perth. The students had a great time.
We would like to thank Cricket Australia for coming in during term 4 to give cricket lessons to all the Satellite students. The students enjoyed learning to bat, bowl and field.
Next year will see a new face in management with Cassandra Camacho taking over as Program Coordinator for the Satellite phase of learning. I would like to congratulate her on the appointment and know that she will do an amazing job with the phase. Any future questions regarding the phase can be directed to Cassandra at Cassandra.Camacho@education.wa.edu.au.
Finally, I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday and a fantastic new year. We look forward to seeing everyone next year.
News from the Heights,
We have had several exiting events in Secondary since the last school newsletter. The whole of Secondary Phase went to Perth Zoo at the start of November. Despite the very hot weather it was lovely to be at the zoo with many facility upgrades complete and the environment easy to navigate. All classes reported the excursion to be a success.
Soon after this big day out we had an even more unique experience in the form of Japanese Guests coming to formalise a “Sister School Partnership”.
Mr Matsushima Yasuhiro (松島 康浩) the Principal of Hiroshima Prefectural Mihara Special Needs School (HPMSNS) along with his Junior high division manager, Mr Hiyama Akiyoshi (檜山 祥芳) came to Perth for a three-day visit. During this time DRS staff took the lead on teaching them about the Western Australian school system, curriculum and culture.
Our wonderful staff worked hard to make the visit a complete success. Our maintenance staff ensured the grounds looked fabulous whilst many secondary classes put out welcome signs in Japanese and English. We arranged visits to other local schools and some sightseeing whilst also getting to know a little bit about schooling in Japan.
It was interesting to find out that despite the different cultures our schools experience very similar challenges and achievements.
The Sister School Partnership was formalised with an assembly that took place simultaneously in Japan and Australia. Cameras were set up so that each school could see the other and both national anthems were played. Each school also provided a presentation about their school, many of our students were enthralled by the video of HPMSNS which is very different in appearance to DRS.
Moving forward we will be exploring how to have “pen-pal” relationships between our two schools and to learn more about each other’s countries.
Communication Intensive Group
Dear parents and carers,
Durham Road School provides its students with a wealth of educational experiences and observable outcomes. The Roadmap of Communication Competence (ROCC) has been a school wide focus this year. In the Communication Intensive Phase of Schooling, we have seen huge gains in students moving towards more socially recognisable ways to imitate communication and in seeing their communication system, as their voice. This meant students had access to comprehensive Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems that provide them with opportunities to say whatever they want to say, in the way they want to say it, to whomever they want to say it, and whenever they want to say it. Congratulations everyone.
We recently held our annual Art exhibition, where most students from Room 22 , once again, displayed their artwork. Thank you, Kate Sellin for your efforts and behind the scenes work on making art experiences physically adapted to student’s needs, achievable and of a high standard. The artworks are available to purchase as mugs and 3D artboards and the artwork will be going home at the end of the term. I have included pictures for you.
My role at Durham will change in 2024. I will be working as a Deputy Principal for Support Services across the whole school. One of my roles is to collaborate with parents and carers on all complex therapy and medical matters. As a result of this change, the Communication Intensive Phase of Schooling will amalgamate with the existing Phases of Schooling: Early Years, Primary and Secondary. Classes will remain the same. All teaching and learning will stay focused on quality AAC instruction and access to the WA curriculum.
As we come to the end of our 2023 school year, I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all our families, carers, support workers, EAs, teachers and staff at DRS for your continued support. It has been a pleasure working with the students and staff.
I wish you all the best for 2024.
Sharon Peach (nee Rollinson)
Communication Intensive Program Coordinator
Early Years Learning Centre
Early Years Learning Centre has had a great term. We welcomed Ana, a pre-service teacher who has been in our classroom for 4 weeks. We have enjoyed her Art and Science lessons, following a model and visual schedule. Some of our students from kindergarten and pre-primary had their transition day at Embleton Primary School and it was a great success. We wish them all the best for next year and hope everyone enjoys their well-deserved school holidays!
What a fantastic time we’ve had in Semester 2! We've been on a Science rollercoaster figuring out what things are made of, how things move and tasting the global rainbow of kiddo snacks during our cooking sessions.
We participated in a brilliant assembly that showed us how we can set boundaries to keep us safe and we had a lot of fun.
The students in Room 18 have worked extremely hard during their literacy, making sentence books each week that relate to the story we have been reading. We are currently reading books about the summer and discussing what things we would like to do during the summer holidays. All our art this semester has been related to our weekly books too! We have made wonderful Hairy McClary art with black wool and some paper plate possums for our Week 6 book: Possum Magic.
During numeracy, we have been practicing our addition and subtraction, how to continue a pattern and how to measure different items, categorising them as big, small, long or short.
As we come to the end of a wonderful semester, all the staff in Room 18 want to say just how proud we are of all our amazing students. We wish you all a happy and safe summer and holiday season.
Hi Durham Road friends,
What a ride this Semester has been, and we’ve soaked up every thrilling moment of it. We explored the wonders of Science from freezing orange juice, chocolate milk and water to create mouth-watering ice blocks, to unravelling the incredible life cycles of plants, frogs, spiders, butterflies, and penguins. Science has never been this cool!
Our HaSS adventures took us on a journey through the breathtaking landscapes, fascinating people, and enchanting places of Western Australia.
In the realm of literacy and numeracy, we embarked on a whimsical journey through the pages of ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jnr. Picture this: lively sessions filled with fun and engagement, culminating in a sensational assembly item where we brought the story to life through song and the power of Key Word Sign.
As the curtain falls on an incredible semester, we’re both exhilarated and a tad exhausted but, we are so excited because the Christmas break is just around the corner! Here’s to a fantastic and safe holiday season for everyone!
Term 4 in Room 20 was an extremely busy one. In Science, we learnt about the differences between living and non-living things, features and adaptations that help living things survive and the life cycle of plants. We planted sunflower seeds and watched some of them sprout into green shoots over a few weeks.
We had our Christmas themed assembly item in Week 8 to the tune of “Santa Shark”, which we perfected after plenty of practice. We made amazing decorations in art and made sure we were on our best behaviour to make sure Santa knows to visit us at home in a few weeks.
2023 has been absolutely wonderful in Room 20. We wish you all a happy and safe Holiday Season and New Year. Bring on 2024!
Term 4 has been BUSY for Room 21!
Our overall highlight has been going to Perth Zoo! All of Room 21 loved walking around the zoo seeing all of our favourite animals!
Thank you for an outstanding year!
At the end of Term 2 we presented our assembly item. We took on the role of farm animals as Kate, our teacher, read the book. It was so much fun and all the visitors, students and staff really enjoyed it.
We have a section of the wall in the classroom dedicated to our Super Heroes with lots of photos.
We have enjoyed having our library sessions with Sian and doing educational activities on our computer.
Lately we have been very busy making Christmas decorations to decorate our classroom.
Our room have had an amazing term. Everyone has worked hard to prepare for our Assembly that had “happy” as a theme. The students showcased their switching skills and delighted in singing along to music, enjoying the support of their families.
Our class have been completing a daily Literacy block, Mathematics, Science and Music sessions among other regular tasks, which have enriched the learning experience for students. Music and Science have been favourites this term. Wishing you all a happy holiday and looking forward to seeing everyone back at Durham next year!
It has been a terrific year in Room 24. As the year comes to an end, it is clear to see the friendships and bonds that have been built within the class. We have made many great memories. This term, we continued transport training and visited a few more War Memorial sites. We went on our Secondary outing to Perth Zoo and we welcomed Sandinu into our class. Wishing everyone a safe and happy holidays.
In Room 27, we have been trying some new and exciting activities and have been having a blast! Our Maths lessons have taken us to the world of coding, in our case, to our very own ‘SpongeBob World’. We have been architects, building skyscrapers, shopping centres, parks and much more, all for our Bee-Bots.
We have also been exploring The West Australian Reptile Park where we were lucky enough to pet some blue-tongue lizards and even a snake! The boys in Room 27 have been extremely brave and have made amazing memories over all our excursions this term. We cannot wait for our end of year Lazer Tag trip!!
Room 28 joined the secondary excursion to Perth Zoo. We started with the African giants, then moved to the rainforest section. Key favourites were the elephants, the rhino and the lions.
We also maintained our once-a-week excursion to Zone Bowling. We have continued to practice our skill in bowling and in socially appropriate behaviour in the community.
What a year it has been! Room 29 has had a wonderful 2023 doing all kinds of things.
Griffith and Efraim have made great strides developing their communication skills. Ahmed has taken steps in being more independent in both the playground and the classroom, Zayla has excelled academically in all subjects and Jack’s work abilities and communication skills are getting stronger.
We say goodbye to Zamahn Jack, after eight years at Durham Road, Zamahn is graduating. Whilst we will miss his recognisable laugh and his almost perfect attendance record, we wish him all the best for what is ahead.
Room 29 loved cooking classes and swimming lessons on Tuesdays and Friday afternoon dance sessions. Room 29 have been a delightful class and we look forward to 2024!
We have had lots of exciting things happening in Satellite Three. On the 19th of October, the students and staff attended the WACA and participated in the Cricket Carnival. The students had lots of fun playing different games and activities focusing on a range of cricket skills.
The students busily practiced their dance item, which was performed with the Year 3’s and Year 4’s from Embleton Primary School at the End of Year assembly! Thank you to all the parents for cheering us on. In week 8 the students were invited by Western Australian Ballet company to attend His Majesty’s Theatre to watch The Nutcracker. The students thoroughly enjoyed the performance! I would like to thank all the families for their amazing support and kindness this year and I wish everyone a safe and relaxing Christmas and New Year!
Here are some photos of staff and students jumping with joy to celebrate a fantastic year!
We wish Miss Mac a fond farewell as she jumps into a new opportunity in Broome, she will be very much missed.
Satellite 4 had a busy term working hard in class as well as participating in various fun events. In October, our students visited the WACA and participated in a Cricket Carnival. Everyone had a fun time practicing their bowling and batting techniques. Students had further opportunities to work on these skills during the weekly cricket sessions at school.
Satellite four students and staff had fun participating in the annual Colour Run.
Our class engaged in organising and running a stall for the Legendary Lunch to raise funds for the Year 6 camp. Three of our students attended the Year 6 camp at Ern Halliday Recreation Camp. They had a fantastic time, visiting AQWA, enjoying the beach activities, having a go on the flying fox, archery, participating in a talent show and making new friends.
Satellite 4 wishes everyone a safe and relaxing Christmas break.
As we finish the year, I often begin to reflect on what we have done and acknowledge how far our students have come. The amount and quality of work that was displayed at the annual art exhibition is impressive and appears to be getting better every year. The photos here represent the scope of creative works that our students are exposed to: they have done felting, painting, ceramics, sculpture, sewing, drawing, collage and more.
I have thoroughly enjoyed guiding our senior student’s creative learning journey this year and thank our staff for being a reliable and caring team that have assisted in the process of our weekly creative rotations. I wish everyone a safe summer break and I have already started looking at the arts program for Term 1 next year, so am excited to get creative over summer.
Term 4 has gone so quickly at the pool. We have been enjoying the water while the weather heats up. Our students have made wonderful progress in all areas of their swimming and hydrotherapy. Over the year many bubbles have been blown, many legs have kicked and arms have paddled laps. Together we have practiced standing, independent walking, sitting, stretching and of course swimming. It’s been a great year watching each student achieve their goals in all their individual ways. The pool staff would like to wish all the students and their families a safe and happy holiday break!
Everything in society seems to be rapidly escalating in cost. There is one thing that many Durham Road Parents and carers can do to save money for years to come. That is to apply for a “Companion Card” for their child.
The Companion Card Program supports people with a disability to have the same opportunities for participation and recreation as other community members. It promotes fair ticketing for people with a lifelong disability who need the significant assistance of a companion to attend activities and venues in their community. The card allows a person’s companion free entry into participating venues and events.
In short, this means that the adult/companion who accompanies the disabled person can get their ticket free to the movies, Scitech, Perth Zoo, concerts and many other places. It also allows free travel on public transport for the Companion.
There are 4 requirements to be eligible for a Companion Card:
- 1 You live in Western Australia; and
- 2 You have a significant disability, which may include issues related to ageing and psychiatric illness; and
- 3 Due to the impact of your disability you would be unable to participate at most community venues or activities without attendant care support; and
- 4 Your need for this level of attendant care will be lifelong.
To apply for a Companion Card carer’s must:
- Step 1. Complete the first section of the application form found here:
- Step 2. Get two identical high quality colour passport sized photographs.
- Step 3. Take your form and photos for verification to either a specified service provider or health professional to complete the second section. This may be a doctor, nurse or therapist registered with AHPRA, a speech therapist registered with Speech Pathology Australia or a manager in a disability service organisation.
- Step 4. Attach your photographs to the top of page 10 with a paper clip.
- Step 5. Return the completed application form and verified photos.
In 2024 we will be encouraging all parents to apply for Companion Cards. If you would like to get ahead of the game, feel free to ask us to print off forms and photos for you. Just write it in your child’s communication book or send us an email.
Family Liaison Officers
Your NDIS Plans
When talking with Parents and Carers, many have expressed that they are not sure of what’s happening wtih their child’s NDIS plan. It is very important that you seek some assistance if you’re not too sure of what’s going on with the supports and services that have been engaged or to be engaged.
If you have a Support Coordinator please contact them, they should be able to explain to you what is going on. You can also contact your LAC (Local Area Coordinator).
You can also get in touch with Durham Road Family Liaison Officers, Kerry Potter, or Lisa Burgess. We are here to assist you in any way possible.
It is so important to think about what you would like/need in your NDIS plan. Consider some of the challenges and changes you may have faced throughout the year or the last two to three years, depending on your plan. Is there something that you thought would be necessary to have but, unfortunately have not been able to do or achieve because the funding through the NDIS was not sufficient or not even considered previously. Planning is the key.
One thing to consider is Planning for an emergency - This is not something we want to think about, but what would happen if there were an emergency, and you were not able to care for your child and were unable to get assistance from a family member. You could discuss this at your next planning meeting. Short-Term Accommodation /Respite - this would be placed under your Core Support Funding. Please talk to your Planner/Support Coordinator or LAC, funding could be included in your plan.
Remember when talking/discussing funding, consider the NDIS’s - Reasonable and Necessary!!
Emergency Support Plan. There is also a wonderful resource from Leap In – leapin.com.au. This resource can give you a template of an emergency support plan. What may need to be included in this plan. This would also reflect well at your next NDIS planning meeting.
Planning ahead can reduce the stress associated with an emergency situation AND/OR School Holidays.
Yes, the School Holidays are fast approaching again. Your Family Liaison Officers have had inquiries about camps and activities over the holidays. This is when thoughtful planning comes into play. Most of the camps and activities have already been booked up.
A lot of these activities can be very costly. Your NDIS funding can be used for some of these activities. But planning ahead and getting some help in your next NDIS plan may also help.