Curriculum & Services
At St Mary’s College, we aim to develop the capacity of our students to build and maintain healthy relationships, hold a positive and strong sense of self, a belief in their worth and the value of their contributions as global citizens and have a sound understanding of their place in the world as a deaf or hard of hearing child or young adult. As well as individualized goals that may be identified and supported through a student’s ILP, the following general strategic services are offered.
Our counsellor is highly experienced with qualifications in Special Education, as a Teacher of the Deaf and in Family Counselling. She is one of a small group of professionals in Australia who specialise in working with deaf people. Student and family participation is voluntary, but available to our entire school community at no cost.
Our Auslan Club operates over lunchtime at various campuses as requested by students. The club, usually facilitated by a deaf role model, is open to students who use Auslan as a first language or those seeking to learn it as a second language. Hearing friends are encouraged to attend and discover this dynamic Language other than English.
Friendships with other students who are deaf or hard of hearing are facilitated through lunchtime social gatherings at various campuses. This may involve video conferencing with St Mary’s College students at another campus, or deaf students from other schools in Victoria or internationally. This is further enhanced for students who may also choose to participate in primary and secondary deaf sports days and camps or activities organised by Deaf Children Australia.
St Mary’s is developing strong links with the John Pierce Centre, which is the centre for Catholic Deaf people in Melbourne. The chaplain, Fr John Hill, visits children at the Wantirna campus on a regular basis and has commenced visiting other campuses.