The TENNYSON CENTRE is named after Alfred, Lord Tennyson who was Poet Laureate of Britain and Ireland for 1850 until his death in 1892. He wrote the poem “Ulysses” from which our school motto “Strive, Seek, Find” is derived.
Mt Roskill Intermediate Tennyson Centre is an Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) funded Centre. That means that the students in the Centre have been verified as High, or Very High, needs by the Ministry of Education. The scheme is for students who have severe learning problems, physical or sensory disabilities or a combination of these. Funding granted under this scheme contributes to the therapy and class support (therapists and teacher aides) programmes for your child. The teachers are also funded through this scheme. Occasionally students with other forms of funding are also accepted onto the Centre roll.
Students may be educated in a setting that is fully mainstreamed, fully in the Centre, or a mixture of those two options, depending upon where your child’s needs may best be met. This decision is made in conjunction with you as a family, the centre staff and the school Principal.
The Centre is an attached unit. This means that the students are enrolled at Mt Roskill Intermediate, and our staff are employed by the Mt Roskill Intermediate School Board of Trustees. Our students participate in the corporate life of the school. This is a different type of unit from a satellite class where students belong to special school (base school) on another site, but are in a classroom physically situated in a mainstream school (host school), and the staff are employed by the Board of Trustees at the base school. Students at such schools may participate in only selected activities at the host school, so there is less socialising with mainstream students.
Tennyson Centre Philosophy
Our role is to support students and their families.
We believe in listening to parents/caregivers to find what support they require to assist their child with disabilities.
We recognise that we have input into students for only two or three years, whilst the parents will have their children for life.
Tennyson Centre Priorities
For our students the following aspects of schooling are important:
- Physical and emotional safety
- Therapy support
- Curriculum learning
In the Tennyson Centre at Mount Roskill Intermediate we use The New Zealand Curriculum as a basis for our long-term plans and classroom lessons. In the Centre we focus on the five Key Competencies, because these are going to help our students to become more independent citizens as they enter adult life.
The five Key Competencies are as follows: Managing Self; Participating and Contributing; Thinking; Using Language (symbols and texts), and Relating to Others. The traditional Learning Areas fit into the “Using Language” section of the competencies. Through each Key Competency, the students learn different important life skills.
In the Managing Self competency the students learn how to communicate their needs to others, monitor their own behavior, work independently, complete a task, and take on responsibilities if required.
In the Participating and Contributing competency the students learn how to work on a task in a group situation, to perform both familiar and new tasks, to listen to others and share their own contributions to a group, and to recognise that we belong to other groups within the community as well as school.
In the Thinking competency the students learn how to relate new information to their own personal experiences, communicate their own ideas independently, ask relevant questions independently and assess their own learning.
In the Using Language (symbol & text) competency the students learn how to understand what everyday symbols represent, communicate by understanding and produce written language, communicate by understanding and produce visual language, and communicate using assistive technology if required. This includes both literacy and numeracy.
In the Relating to Others competency the students learn how to listen actively to others, interact with others and recognize others’ point of view, work together cooperatively, share ideas and negotiate roles.
Our daily assessment of each student is based on these key competencies. The IEPs are written with these Key Competencies as the headings, so therefore the students’ goals are based on these.
The monthly portfolio assessments are also based on the five Key Competencies. These include pictures and comments that illustrate the student’s progress against the goals set in the IEP.
For more detailed information or to discuss enrolment, please contact Deputy Principal Mrs Tracey Hughes