Ready and able for learning fun

WHEN these three students started school for the first time at Beelbangera Public School last month they were as keen to learn as any kindy kids could be.

But it turns out that Tyler Smith, Molly Serafin and Samrit Grewal are the ones doing the teaching.

Tyler is hearing impaired, Molly  has Down syndrome and Samrit is  vision impaired but despite their  disabilities, the five-year-olds are loving school.

In the classroom or in the playground they are just one of the kids.

Acting principal Kristie Symonds said the students were fitting in and coping well with their school routine. 

“It helps that it is such a small, friendly family environment here at the school,” she said. 

“I find that we are all learning at the same time. 

“Having them here is teaching all of the other children acceptance and tolerance and that everybody is special in their own way.

“Because the students have been educated about their disabilities it takes the stigma away.”

Tyler has two cochlear implants and while his receptive language is good, his expressive language is limited.

He has a teacher’s aide with him two days a week and a hearing support teacher three times a week.

“He has had a great start to the year and is coping fantastically,” Mrs Symonds said.

“We use lots of visual things like cards to communicate and Tyler’s teacher wears an FM system to help reduce background noise so he can hear.”

Molly also has limited expressive language but that doesn’t stop her. 

She has a fulltime teacher’s aide, who has already noticed an improvement in her language skills.

Mrs Symonds said that while Samrit is close to being classified legally blind, she never lets it slow her down.

“We need a ready supply of Band-Aids because she goes flat out,” Mrs Symonds said.

“She comes to school via taxi each day and loves it.”

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