Immersion Courses and residential services are available at the Homai campus and may also be available off-site. These cater for ākonga and whānau/family from birth to 21 years. Immersion Courses provide opportunities for intensive programmes, mentoring and peer support. Learners may also attend the Homai Campus School when it is identified through the IEP process as the most appropriate educational placement.
You can read more about what happens on our Immersion courses by reading this Immersion for Inclusion article in a September issue of the Education Gazette.
Immersion Course Programme
Short term immersion courses support delivery of the national curriculum and the Expanded Core Curriculum. They may range from one day to one week. These may include:
- Support and training in the use of access technology
- Ongoing development of skills of daily living
- Support in regular curriculum areas, especially where there is an emphasis on spatial and/or visual elements (e.g., maths, science, geography);
- Research and study strategies for senior students provided in intensive short courses through collaboration with librarians, Resource Teachers Vision and mentors;
- Longer term education programmes where it is agreed through the IEP process that the student’s educational needs can best be met at the national campus. Length of enrolment is dependent on identified student outcomes and review meetings with the family/whanau are held regularly.
- Education and support programmes for families and whānau;
- Transition services and programmes;
- Peer support programmes in conjunction with the Blind Foundation; and
- Opportunities for parents to participate in education programmes.
Application forms are circulated electronically to Visual Resource Centres around the country and can also be requested by phone from BLENNZ Homai Campus, Visual Resource Centres and the Coordinator Immersion Programmes. Each course application form includes:
- The purpose of the course
- An overview of the course content
- Criteria for participation.
- Personal information
- Parental consent and risk disclosure forms
- Medical information
In some instances the applicants are very clearly defined e.g. BrailleNote research for senior students. In these instances the potential applicants are identified and invited to attend.
Please note that submitting an application does not guarantee a place on any course. The Immersion Programmes Application Committee meets to consider all applications.
Members of this committee are as follows:
- Senior Manager, Assessment and Teaching Services
- Coordinator Immersion
- Resource Teacher: Vision (nominated by the RTV Working Party)
Factors that are taken into consideration by the committee when determining placement on a programme will include:
- programme criteria
- student need, including age and developmental level
- safety of learners
- dynamics and needs of the group
- opportunity to participate in the future
- number of courses previously attended
- access to support in the course content in own region or educational setting.
At times a weighting may be given to learners from a:
- remote area or
- region with only one RTV.
Connecting with friends and developing interests underpins most things at this age. Being a teenager is tumultuous at the best of times, but the added challenge of a vision impairment increases the need to make sure the building blocks for good social skills are in place.
This is a new and evolving service and as such processes and procedures are being revised and refined as feedback is received. Feedback and comment is welcome and can be provided to Natalie Stewart, Coordinator Immersion Programmes.