What you need to know.
The Westminster school embraces the principle of providing high quality education to all the children who attend the school. We welcome students of determination and give them access to appropriate provision, resources and curricular options. “At its heart, inclusive education is a provision that is committed to educating all students, including students identified as experiencing special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in a common learning environment. In such settings, all students have access to quality instruction, intervention and support, so that they experience success in learning.
TWS is committed to inclusion. We aim to engender a sense of community and belonging, and to offer new opportunities to learners who may have experienced previous difficulties. The special educational needs of all children will be met, where appropriate, in mainstream settings, otherwise in a withdrawal setting.
We will respond to learners in ways which take account of their varied life experiences and needs. We believe that educational inclusion is about equal opportunities for all learners, whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, impairment, attainment and background.
We pay particular attention to the provision for and the achievement of different groups of learners:
- English language learners (ELL)
- Learners with ‘additional needs’
- Those who are ‘gifted and talented’
Where appropriate, the views of the child should be sought and taken into account;
Parents have a vital role to play in supporting their child’s education; At TWS, we ensure that parents will be involved in regular follow-up with the school regarding the identified needs of the students and the progress they are making.
PURPOSE OF THE POLICY:
This policy describes the way we meet the needs of the students, who experience barriers to their learning, which may relate to sensory or physical impairment, learning difficulties or emotional/ social development, or may relate to factors in their environment, including the learning environment they experience in school.
DEFINITION OF SEND
“A need which occurs when a student identified with an impairment requires the school to make specific modifications or provide specific supports to prevent, remove or reduce any potential disability from occurring and to ensure that the student can access education on an equitable basis and within a common learning environment with same-aged peers.” (DIEP 2017)
According to the United Arab School Inspection revised categorization Framework for Students of Determination (2019), the four main categories of Disability and Barriers to learning:
Common Barriers to Learning
Categories of Disability
Cognition and Learning
1. Intellectual Disability
2. Specific Learning Disorders
3. Multiple Disabilities
4. Developmental Delay (Younger than 5 years)
Communication and Interaction
5. Communication Disorders
6. Autism Spectrum Disorders
Social, Emotional and Mental health
7. Attention Deficit Hyper activity Disorder
8. Psycho-emotional Disorders
Physical, Sensory and Medical
10. Deaf-Blind disability
11. Physical Disability
12. Chronic or Acute Medical Conditions
Gifted and Talented Students
• The term giftedness refers to ‘a student who is in possession of untrained and spontaneously-expressed exceptional natural ability in one or more domain of human ability.’ These domains will include intellectual, creative, social, physical abilities.
• The term talented refers to ‘a student who has been able to transform their ‘giftedness’ into exceptional performance’. Talented students will always demonstrate exceptional levels of competence in the specific domains of human ability.
The school acknowledges that given its size, there will be students who may be classified as Gifted and Talented. As a result, it is the teacher’s responsibility to ensure that students are identified and their needs duly planned for. Again, this will be done with and through the Key Stage Leader.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:
To continually monitor the progress of all pupils, to identify needs as early as possible and to provide support, while maintaining the balance of the mainstream class
- To signpost support for pupils with additional learning needs through external agencies.
- To facilitate access to the curriculum through differentiated planning by class teachers, and SEND support staff as appropriate.
- To provide specific input, match to individual needs, in addition to differentiated classroom provisions, either with the school or through external agencies, for those pupils recorded as having additional needs.
- To promote positive receptions of pupil with additional needs within the school community, so that inclusive provision is positively valued and accessed by staff and parent/carers.
- To enable children to move on from us as well equipped as possible in the basic skills of literacy, numeracy and social independence to meet the demands of post- 16 school life and learning.
- To form strong partnerships between all stakeholders so that the child’s learning and emotional well-being are optimally supported.
- To give the children a voice in planning and in decisions that affect them.
- To have an open door policy with the support of staff and parents.
- To make information on additional needs available to staff and parents.
At The Westminster School, we are in line with the Federal Law 29 (2006) and Law no 2 (2014) regarding the education and outcomes of individuals with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
At TWS we ensure:
- Students are not refused admission based only on their experience of SEND.
- All applicants have the right to sit admission assessment tests.
- All applicants are fairly assessed.
- Collaboration between parents and previous schools to ensure a successful transition.
- Provisions will be made to ensure barriers are reduced or removed during the assessment for applicants experiencing SEND. Access arrangements will be made based on the student’s usual way of working.
- Students who experience SEND will receive sibling priority subject to availability of spaces.
- Students who experience SEND will be provided with appropriate levels of support, accommodations and curricular modifications in order to access the same educational opportunities as their peers.
The Admissions Team will seek the support and advice of the Inclusion Support Team to conduct assessments and determine educational needs for new joiners experiencing SEND. The Inclusion Support Team will use the information gained from learning difficulty diagnostic testing or educational assessments provided to Admissions by the parents at time of application, together with assessment results, to determine the type and level of support appropriate for each student.
LEARNING AND TEACHING STYLE
- To aim to raise attainment levels through the use of SMART targets for those who need it.
- To support class teachers in producing Individual Education Plans;
- To raise awareness of the nature of learning differences and learning styles and how they are met in the school community.
Inclusion is a whole school responsibility where all staff need to be aware of strategies and procedures to support all pupils, including those with additional needs, through differentiation or referral where appropriate. Teachers need to ensure that they build confidence, motivation and self-esteem through a safe, calm and secure atmosphere in all lessons. The Curriculum is flexible enough to meet every child's needs. No child will be excluded from any learning activity due to their impairment or learning difficulty, unless it is clearly of benefit to that individual and leads towards inclusion.
The Inclusion Department works across the whole school to promote inclusion for all children through:
1. Literacy and Numeracy Interventions
2. Behavioural Management strategies
3. Learning Support Assistants
4. Gifted and Talented
IDENTIFICATION AND ASSESSMENT
We recognize the importance of identification as early as possible, followed by intervention for any child who may have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Identification is carried out through the GEMS 3 Level model. Please see appendix 1.
Level 1 – classroom teacher responds to a child’s learning needs. The child is closely monitored and work is differentiated within the class. This could include a teacher aide working in the classroom with a small group or with an individual child. Teachers differentiate their lessons within their lesson planning, through provision maps, parent meetings and children’s personal classroom targets; The Story of the Class or other formal records which details the child’s needs and which is accessible to all teaching staff.
Level 2 – any child needing additional support, the child would have an individual education plan and this provision goes beyond the “normal” classroom. This may also possibly involve some external assessment and possible cost of support such as withdrawal in small groups to support literacy and/or mathematics with the Achievement Centre staff.
Level 3 – any child needing additional support/assessment from outside agency specialists such as speech therapists, occupational therapists or psychologists and/or any child who requires a one-to-one Learning Support Assistant in order to access the curriculum. The child would have an individual education plan. There may be withdrawal from lessons for specialist therapist support on a one to one or small group basis.
- Assessment of learning
All the children undergo the school’s normal assessment procedures that are implemented at different times of the year.
- Assessment for learning
All school staff, regardless of grade or section, have a responsibility to identify those who may have particular learning needs. TWS graduated approach to SEND identification and provision is detailed on TWS inclusion flow chart.
Inclusion Support Team
In line with the Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework, all members of the school community are expected and encouraged to adopt behaviors which support the school’s inclusive ethos. TWS works together with others to promote inclusion for all children.
- Board of Governors
- Familiar with the inclusion policy and practice.
- Are advocators for the inclusion policy and practice.
- Senior Leadership Team
- Responsibility for making a school truly inclusive lies with the Principal and Senior Leaders of the school.
- School Leaders also ensure that the principles of inclusion are applied to all activities with which students engage in at school or on educational visits.
- School leaders need to provide training to educators at all levels to increase their awareness about SEND and enable to best support these students.
- School leaders need to ensure that SISD has access to appropriately qualified and experienced staff.
- School leaders need to provide teaching and non-teaching staff with the support and training they need in order that their work promotes the best outcomes for each student.
- Inclusion Department
- The Head of Inclusion takes the leading role in coordinating support and provision, particularly regarding students with determination and their families.
- Together with admissions the Head of Inclusion coordinates the liaison with previous schools, organizes appropriate support and ensures a smooth transition for students with SEND.
- In partnership with the school’s senior leaders and the Principal, the Head of Inclusion monitors, advises, evaluates and plans for the development of inclusive practice and provision across the school, supported by the Inclusion Department and assigns learning support assistants to individual students who experience SEND.
- The Inclusion Department works in close collaboration with classroom teachers and other educational staff to support the education of students who experience SEND (DIEP p. 24) in class or work with individual students or groups of students during lessons to support students’ learning and promote their well-being.
- At TWS, the Inclusion Department consists of the SEND Year Leaders, Learning Support Assistants, Special Educator, Student counsellor, Career Guidance Counsellor and a Head of Inclusion. The team is responsible for the leadership and development in each of their specialized roles. On-going weekly team progress meetings are held to assess the effectiveness of each aspect and to inform future developments.
- Learning support assistants may be employed by the parents of students who experience SEND.
- Learning Support Assistants collaborate with the Inclusion Team and the class teacher to assist in learning, facilitate peer interaction and non-instructional tasks.
- In line with the Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework, close partnerships with special centers have been developed to ensure access to inclusive education for students with determination.
- Teachers are responsible for managing and creating an inclusive classroom environment.
- Teachers share responsibility for removing barriers to learning.
- Teachers Identify barriers to learning and communicate through the referral process.
- Teachers collaborate with inclusion to create opportunities that ensure meaningful participation in the learning environment.
- Teachers implement individual education plans and set targets to specific needs in certain areas or aspects of the curriculum through differentiated lesson planning, classroom support plans in line with the expectations as set out in the Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework (p. 28, 29)
- Teachers, in collaboration with the inclusion department provide students with learning opportunities that allow students with determination to access subjects taught, encounter appropriate challenge and promote progress.
- Teachers will collaborate effectively with Parents/Carers and inform them of any additional or different provision being made for their child.
- Teachers take the lead role in monitoring the attainment, learning, behavior and well-being of all students in their class.
The team strives to establish equal opportunities to all students and establish learning environments that encourage and support the active involvement and inclusion of every student thereby promote the wholesome development of all students.
Monitoring and review
The SEND department monitors the movement of determined students within the system in school. The department functions effectively with a detailed Action Plan providing a regular summary of the impact of the policy on the practice of the school.
The department is also instrumental in providing strategies to teachers and supporting all involved in drawing up and carrying out Individual Educational Plans for the determined students.
This policy has been discussed and agreed by the TWS teaching staff and leadership teams for implementation.
The policy is amended and updated in line with the Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework.
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