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Senior School

Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA)

The QCIA recognises and certifies the learning achievements of students whose learning is part of an individualised learning program. The Guideline for Individual learning provides a curriculum framework consisting of curriculum organisers, learning focuses and learning goals.

Toolkit 6-Transition Focused Transition operationalises senior schooling program.

ASDAN

Transition-focused education, senior schooling, and Kohler’s Taxonomy are ‘catch phrases’ that are synonymous with ASDAN.

2012 was the beginning of Mackay District Special School’s journey into the world of ASDAN. A community forum designed for parents, carers, teachers and private service providers launched ASDAN as a ‘bridge’ to productive post school life. There was a sense of excitement as the roll out plan emerged and teachers began to embrace what ASDAN had to offer. Trainers from Western Australia delivered a two day workshop to all staff.

From that moment on ASDAN became our framework to create rich learning environments with a clear purpose and focus. We began playing in the Preparing for Adulthood modules space from New Horizons, Transition Challenge and Towards Independence. We got our heads very easily around the organisational aspects and found the ASDAN website exceptionally useful. Teachers became very excited about the evidence portfolios as did the students.

Initially we started with the 3 senior classes and now ASDAN has been adopted across the secondary school beginning with Year 7s. We designed our own internal moderation processes as per the guidelines and found the evidence portfolios aligned beautifully with the QCIA moderation requirements.

Alignment to the Australian Curriculum was easier than we thought it would be. Most of our students are accessing the extended general capabilities and we have found the ASDAN modules effortlessly lend themselves to personalised learning and ICPs. We are able to plan for age-equivalent learning content with clear teaching and learning focuses. Some of our teachers have been experimenting with ASDAN and the pedagogy, TEACCH with success.

Our whole school community including the community of Mackay help us celebrate student achievement. There is much applause as the Mayor presents each student with their ASDAN certificate. The moments are caught by the local news station. Parents acknowledge the skills their young person has achieved. As we move into the new world of self-managed funding students and their families now have a greater say on how they will engage with their community. Private service providers are beginning to embrace opportunities for their clients to access lifelong learning through engaging with ASDAN. It is a new age for our students in being able to engage in meaningful post school pathways and ASDAN is very much part of this.

We have much to celebrate as MDSS has been successful in three external moderations. We have been able to award 60 certificates over the past three years. We can safely say ASDAN is embedded into the way we do things and it is here to stay!