Foundations Program

The Foundations Program focuses on building the capacity of each of our students for greater independence in their adult lives.  

The goals set for each student are based on their abilities and future goals and we place a strong emphasis on building confidence; personal relationships and employability skills (communication, technology, planning and organising, self-management, teamwork and problem solving).

At Dickson, we work from a positive platform focusing on an individual learning plan for each student over the two year program.  We work closely with parents and carers to provide an engaging learning environment for a broad range of students with special needs.

Dickson College is proud of its inclusive education model and we encourage and support our students to undertake mainstream classes in their area of special interest. Students in the program have enrolled in Automotive Technology, Physical Education, Drama, Photography and Media.

Our curriculum is scaffolded to challenge students with differing abilities and reflects high expectations so that students are able to build their skills and experiences and transfer them into work, volunteering and the wider community after year 12.

Throughout their time at the college, students are monitored and their progress is tracked as this helps the Foundations team to support them in their progress as well making responsive changes as required. Positive links are built with parents and carers and we have an open door policy in the Foundations Program.

The Foundations Program provides a unique opportunity for students with special needs to complete a package of study related to their educational needs, interests and future options.

An important part of assisting students prepare for the transition from College is to make links with community organisations and services which may be of use to them in the future.  This is facilitated by a program of community visits and guest speakers.

Students enrolling in the Foundations Program must have completed year 10 studies in a special education setting or be assessed by a school psychologist as meeting the criteria for access to a place in the program.  Information is easily available to parents by phoning the College.

Successful completion of the two year program leads to the awarding of an ACT Year 12 Certificate.

Study options:

  • Life, Leisure and Learning (M)
    This course includes units on Community Involvement, Health, Relationships and Identity and Life Matters.
  • Work Education (M)
    This course includes units on Job Seeking Skills, Employability Skills, Work Behaviours and Skills and Rights and Responsibilities at Work.
  • Food For Life (M)
    Units studied includes, Food First, Nutrition for Life, Food and Culture in Australia and Independent Living.
  • English (R)
    The Foundations English program caters for a range of individual communication needs.  We work with students to increase their reading, writing, signing and language skills.  Like all Foundations curriculum, English is scaffolded to optimise student learning.
  • Work Experience (R)
    Students will have the opportunity to complete four placements over the two years. We work with students to develop their skills for different work situations and then support them during their placements. 
  • PE and Recreation Skills (R)
    This program combines physical activity with social skill practice.  The students often combine PE lessons with other programs such as the Secondary Introductory English Centre and mainstream Physical Education classes. This provides opportunities for students to make social connections with students across the college. 
  • Maths (R)
    This program focuses on functional maths for living as well as more complex problem solving tasks aligned with independent living skills and the workforce. Maths is regularly practised in the classroom and the Canberra community.
  • Independent Living (R)
    This program runs for 2 hours a week and was developed to help students develop their lifestyle skills. Students will begin to learn how to sew, fill out forms, apply for jobs, wash and iron clothes and many more important life skills.