Casino Public SchoolJuly 12, 2017
According to Casino Public School’s Principal, Garry Carter, if a student can’t hear they can’t learn, and the school is doing everything possible to ensure that doesn’t happen.
Casino Public School is one of a new breed of schools where budget constraints give way to students’ learning needs rather than community expectations, and a high priority at Casino Public is audio technology.
Since 2010, Hearing Support Teacher Ms Sue Snelgrove and her team have earmarked funding to install Hear and Learn’s RedCAT audio system in every classroom.
“There are lots of benefits for students using the RedCATs,” says Ms Snelgrove. “Students have different hearing abilities with varying language concentration. It’s important to support student engagement, encourage interaction with their peers, and highlight explicit teaching points and times.”
According to Principal Garry Carter, up to 85% of Casino Public School’s student population have some level of hearing loss, which makes the Hear and Learn audio system a crucial element of the school’s teaching and learning environment.
Casino Public School champions an holistic approach to its student learning with an ethos of positive behaviour for learning, growing respect, active listening, healthy relationships, stronger and smarter students and staff.
Following the initiative from the then Principal and Ms Snelgrove and her team in 2010, the Hear and Learn audio technology was initially installed in the Kindergarten rooms. Hear and Learn has since been installed in every classroom throughout the school from Kindergarten to Grade 6. It provided an early impetus for success, meeting 80% of staff expectations as well as teacher improved practice as well.
“We use the RedCAT system to make our learning environment as conducive as possible for as many students as possible,” says Mr Carter. “If you can hear, you can learn. It’s as simple as that.”
“If you can’t hear because you have a hearing difficulty or if the classroom is too noisy for you, then you can’t learn and you’re going to be disengaged. We actively promote the engagement of our students in all aspects of their learning experience.”
“It’s really up to us to promote the benefits of the Hear and Learn system to the general school community, but we’re ecstatic that we have them,” says Mr Carter.
“The engagement of students in their own learning is built into whole school expectations,” says Ms Snelgrove. “We’re very proactive about that at Casino Public.”
Technical backup for the RedCATs is ongoing from Hear and Learn. As Mr Carter explains, staff prefer to keep their fingers on the pulse in terms of the system’s performance and effectiveness in teaching and learning, therefore raising their own high levels of expectation and success.
In her role as a Hearing Support Teacher, Ms Snelgrove supports children from birth, so Casino Public School is aware in advance of the particular needs of children long before they begin attending class at the school.
“It’s rare to have this level of expertise and the professional contacts it brings,” says Mr Carter. “We are proactive in optimising good listening conditions for all our students so they are confident learners and there’s no reason for them to be embarrassed or hesitant about hearing loss or difficulty. We want to provide all our students with positive behaviour for learning. I’m very proud and pleased with the way our staff are using Hear and Learn’s technology. There are high expectations on them to provide the best learning conditions possible for our students and we support them in every way we can for them to achieve that.”
The school’s budgets are regularly examined and are not seen deterrents to student learning. As part of a determined plan to provide teaching and learning tools considered most crucial for their students, iPads were not high on Casino Public School’s priority list until after the installation of Hear and Learn’s RedCATs.
The Hear and Learn technology is part of a whole school approach but it’s not, as Ms Snelgrove describes it, “a magic bullet”.
The success of any technology like Hear and Learn’s Redcat audio system depends on the philosophy, positive and proactive approach of the whole school.