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Te Aka

WEGC Supported Learning Class

From Akatarewa pā - Aka is a vine of any climbing plant, referencing a supportive growth environment.

At Wellington East Girls’ College we pride ourselves on being inclusive, accepting and able to adapt programmes to meet the needs of individual students. Our aimis to support students to become as independent as possible by developingliteracy, numeracy, academic skills, life skills and social skills.

ORS and In Class Support funded students have the support of a learning support classroom which focuses on the individual student’s learning needs. Te Aka works as a hub for students to access mainstream classes. Te Aka staff work together with students and their families to create a meaningful programme for each student, including both WEGC classes and focused programmes within Te Aka.

ORS funded students can stay at school until the end of the year in which they turn 21.

Individual Educational Plans (IEP)

The specialist team of teachers and therapists work together with parents to set individual goals for students. Specific programmes are then developed to suit each student’s individual needs. IEP meetings take place twice during the year. 

We use StoryPark as a tool to communicate between home and school. The teaching and therapy team take photos and videos to share student learning and successes.

Literacy and Numeracy

The Te Aka team has a strong focus on developing students literacy and numeracy skills, and applying these skills to real-life experiences. Students are assessed using standardised tests to find their next learning step. The teaching programme within Te Aka includes small group teaching as well as individual lessons.

Curriculum Areas

Students are able to access mainstream classes within our inclusive school environment. They are supported by both their peers and teacher aides.

Options for mainstream classes include: English, Mathematics, Science, Te Ao Tangata, Foods, Dance and Drama, Health and PE, Fashion, Music, Design Technology.

Classes are adapted to ensure students are successful with their learning, and the development of student timetables is completed in consultation with the student and their whanau.

Students are encouraged to be involved in extracurricular activities such as choir and clubs. Support is offered by staff or other students to ensure these activities can be accessed.

Within Te Aka students take part in learning experiences such as:

  • Art
  • Health and Values
  • Cooking
  • Community Participation
  • Sports and Fitness
  • Special Olympics
  • Dance
  • Work Experience
  • Life Skills
  • Sign Language
  • Music
  • Hygiene
  • Science
  • RDA
  • Aquatics
  • Literacy and Numeracy
  • Duke of Edinburgh Award

We enjoy creating a broad and rich curriculum which follows students’ interests and needs.

ORS - Very High Needs

Wellington East Girls’ College provides an accessible environment for students with Very High Needs. This includes:

  • Accessible bathrooms, including change beds and shower facilities
  • Sensory Programmes such as Sensology, TAC PAC, Sensory Volume and Intensive Interaction. These programmes are individualised to assist students in gaining an understanding of the world around them, to develop communication and exploration
  • MOVE trained staff. Mobility Opportunities via Education focusing on developing functional physical skills
  • Focus on communication as a fundamental life skill. Staff are trained in using a variety of alternative communication devices and have a total communication approach
  • Sensory spaces and learning experiences for developing vision
  • Support with transition into post-school programmes

Specialist Support

Music Therapy

Kia Ora! Ko Pip Algie Ahau.

I’m an experiencedmusic therapist based in the Wellington region. Part of my clinical practicefocuses on the wellbeing outcomes for disabled people. I feel fortunate to knowmany amazing families in the Wellington region through this mahi. I take astrengths based approach and draw from different music therapy methodologies,depending on the needs and abilities of the person I am working with. I alsowork in a collaborative way with the student, other therapists and the widermultidisciplinary team, and believe that in working together we can movetowards the student’s goals effectively, and thrive.

Occupational Therapy / Whakaora Ngangahau

Annie Kenning has been an Occupational Therapist since 2002 and a parent since 2012.She is a mum to 2 busy boys and a treasured fur-daughter (a dog named Quincy).
Her goal as an occupational therapist (OT) is to empower, grow and inspire TeAka students.

Annie uses a variety of therapeutic techniques and frameworks including:sensory integration, strengths-based interventions, neurodevelopmental therapy,Te Whare Tapa Wha, acceptance commitment therapy, cognitive behavioural therapyand group therapy.
She uses these techniques - along with her gentle manner and good humour - tohelp students more meaningfully and purposefully engage in their self-care,school, social and leisure activities.

Annie takes thesensory gym session on Fridays. She will also work alongside students in classto get to know them and how she can support them best.

Speech-And-Language Therapy

We have a group oftherapists supporting our students’ language, literacy and communication. Weare all registered with the New Zealand Speech-language Therapy Association ingood standing.

Shannon Hennig, MNZSTA, MS CCC-SLP

My area of expertise is literacy, autism, neurodiversity, and AAC (augmentative communication). I have been working for over 20 years in this field and will be focused on AAC/assistive technology, supporting teachers in the mainstream, writing goals, providing staff training,and attending IEP meetings.

Rowan Woodfield: MSLP

I finished my Masters at the end of 2021 and was on a clinicalplacement at East in 2021. I worked closely with Shannon and continue to work on literacy, language, and social communication during a weeklysession in Te Aka.


I’m Shirley Dong, a registered physiotherapist.My role as a school physiotherapist is to work with Wellington East Girls’College to support students to fully participate in the school curriculum,especially the students with physical disabilities.

I work with students and the school to set upphysical activity goals and programmes, such as individual or group fitnessprogrammes, swimming programmes, or physiotherapy programmes to supportstudent’s individual physical needs. I also support students who need equipmentreviews (wheelchairs, walking frames or standing frames). Students can bereferred to me via the IEP process.

Transition out of school

Moving on from school can be a difficult time for students and their families. At Wellington East Girls’ College we work closely with families, transition providers and post-school agencies to ensure that students have a wonderful future to look forward to once they graduate from school.

When do we start?

The college years are all about developing independence and creating pathways for the future. During the Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings the home and school team work together with the student to identify their next steps in learning to enable them to follow their desired pathway.

Students who are ORS funded are able to stay at school until the end of the year in which they turn 21. From 18 - 21 years of  age their programme will have a strong emphasis on community participation. Work experience, linking in with day bases, becoming more independent with recreational activities, and using public transport will be included in their learning experiences. 

When students turn 18 years old a transition wheel is completed during the IEP meeting as a way of focusing on what is important to the student and her family. This will guide the planning for essential learning and experiences that need to be focused on during the final years of transition.

At this meeting parents will be offered support with exploring options for their daughter, for example, Community Participation providers, day bases, residential homes, courses, work opportunities, work experience, and voluntary work.

For more information about Supported Learning at Wellington East Girls’ College please contact:
Sue Perry, Head of Supported Learning,
Email: or phone 04 3858514