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Ashfield Public School

Ashfield Public School

Every child, every opportunity

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Sometimes an intervention is required to achieve success

Within any school there always is a diversity of physical, social and intellectual characteristics amongst the student population. For example, students may experience a disability, or be high performing, they may have social and emotional issues, come from a particular cultural and linguistic background, or be affected by socio-economic circumstances.

This diversity creates an immense range of learning needs which must be understood and responded to, if a school is to succeed in enabling all students to make progress and have appropriate achievement. At Ashfield Public School, an initiative to engage the diversity of learning needs and support success is Interventions.

An intervention is a planned activity with focused and precise teaching to address a particular learning need, and result in measurable progress. It is used from Kindergarten to Year Six, and involves small group of students working with a teacher or Student Learning Support Officer (SLSO) on a specific area of learning in Literacy or Numeracy. Examples include practising sight words for ten minutes each day, learning to use trading for multiplication, or developing mathematical thinking for sophisticated problem solving.

All interventions are intentional, and prepared through the analysis of student performance data. Working in teams, teachers use data to identify a specific learning need for a particular student cohort. These students might not be meeting minimum proficiency, or might require extension and enrichment to achieve expected growth.

A smaller learning space is made available which is away from the main class group, most often outside of the classroom, with the intervention occurring for a set period of time during a school term, either weekly or on a daily basis. Each intervention is regularly reviewed and evaluated for its impact to improve student learning. 

One important benefit of an intervention is that it reduces the student-teacher ratio, which increases the frequency of feedback which can be given to a student about their performance on a specific task. Feedback includes clearly identifying for students where and why mistakes have been made and emphasising opportunities to learn and improve.

Interventions have a high impact on student achievement. This is because interventions are responsive to students’ needs and involve applying staff expertise to address a precise area in a student’s learning.

If education is to provide the circumstances for students to learn, it must meet the learning needs of all students. Interventions is a whole-school strategy which supports the classroom teacher to provide intensive small group learning and achieve expected results.