Welcome to Latrobe Special Developmental School


Learning and Teaching

Our Curriculum

Emphasis is placed on the development of programs that address individual student needs, through Individual Learning Plans. Educational goals and priorities are reviewed every six months. Class groups are comprised of 5-8 students with a teacher and teacher assistant. This ensures safe and effective learning environments, where individuals are respected and self-esteem and dignity are strongly advocated. The school has a trans-disciplinary approach to student learning with input from educators, therapists and parents.

Our school curriculum is driven by the Victorian Curriculum. Communication development is a high priority, enabling students to further express themselves through multimodal communication including gesture, speech, Key Word Sign and visuals. An emphasis is placed on students attaining skills and knowledge that they will use as young adults when graduating at 18 years of age.

We value and promote a collaborative working partnership with families; in recognition that respectful and caring relationships with children and families will foster and deliver improved learning for children. Learning experiences are designed to expand children’s knowledge and skills and promote their health, safety and wellbeing.

Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships (RRRR)

The Respectful Relationships whole-school approach, recognises that schools are a workplace, a community hub and a place of learning. Everyone involved in our school community deserves to be respected, valued and treated equally.

We know that changes in attitudes and behaviours can be achieved when positive attitudes, behaviours and equality are lived across the school community, and when classroom learning is reinforced by what is modelled in our school community.

School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support

Latrobe Special Developmental School uses School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS), which is a framework designed to support student's academic outcomes and social competence. It does this by looking at data, systems, and practices which impact on student outcomes. These supports are organised into a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS), whereby Tier 1 supports (universal) are used across the whole school, Tier 2 supports (targeted) are used for groups requiring additional support, and Tier 3 supports (individual) are used for intensive support to individuals where it is deemed necessary.

Our school wide values are Act Safely, Show Respect, and Try Your Best. At present Latrobe SDS is focusing on implementing Tier 1 supports consistently across the school. This includes practices such as clarifying, teaching, and acknowledged expected behaviour, discouraging inappropriate behaviour, and ongoing monitoring of student data. It is important to note that SWPBS does not stop once a student leaves the school grounds. Staff can support families to use the same philosophy, language, and strategies in the home to improve outcomes in this area as well.

Zones of Regulation

The Zones of Regulation is a complete social-emotional learning curriculum, created to teach children self-regulation and emotional control.

The program teaches a variety of social-emotional skills to children, starting with early emotional skills and advancing on to self-regulation and navigating social situations.

Here are some skills taught during The Zones of Regulation:

  • Identifying your emotions by categorizing feelings into four zones.
  • Self-regulation: Achieving the preferred state of alertness (zone) for a situation. This is all about regulating your body and emotional regulation.
  • Identifying triggers: Learning what makes you “tick” and why
  • Coping strategies: Various techniques and strategies that help achieve emotional regulation and manage strong emotions
  • Size of the problem: Introduces the idea that the size of your reaction should match the size of your problem, how to identify the size of your problem, and strategies for problem-solving.
  • Expected behaviour vs unexpected behaviour: This also covers perspective taking and how your behaviour affects the thoughts and feelings of the people around you

The Zone Colours

The Zones of Regulation uses four colours to help children self-identify how they’re feeling and categorize it based on colour.

The curriculum also helps children better understand their emotions, sensory needs, and thinking patterns.

They learn different strategies to help them cope and manage their emotions based on which colour zone they’re in.

Additionally, the Zones of Regulation helps kids recognize their own triggers, learn to read facial expressions, develop problem-solving skills, and become more attuned to how their actions affect other people (Kuypers, L.M, 2011).

The Green Zone

The green zone is used to describe when you’re in a calm state of alertness.

Being in the green zone means you are calm, focused, happy, or ready to learn. This is predominantly the state you want your child to be in.

It’s also the state most needed in the classroom in order to learn.

The Yellow Zone

The yellow zone describes when you have a heightened sense of alertness. This isn’t always a bad thing, and you still have some control of your actions when you’re in the yellow zone.

Being in the yellow means you may feel frustrated, anxious or nervous. But, it could also mean you’re feeling excited, silly, or hyper – which is okay in the right situations.

The Red Zone

The red zone describes an extremely heightened state of intense emotions. When a person reaches the red zone, they’re no longer able to control their emotions or reactions.

This is the zone kids are in during meltdowns.

Being in the red zone means you’re feeling anger, rage, terror, or complete devastation and feel out of control.

The Blue Zone

The blue zone, on the other hand, is used when a person is feeling low states of alertness or arousal.

When you’re in the blue zone you may be feeling down – sad, sick, tired, or bored. You’re still in control, as you are in the yellow zone, but with low energy emotions.