IB Program

The Choice School IBDP Inclusion Policy

SCHOOL MISSION

The Choice School, anchored in Knowledge, Character, and Health (KCH), provides a safe, inclusive, holistic, happy learning environment in an evolving, diverse world by equipping the students with scientific temperament and social skills to become global citizens in collaboration with a competent, supportive community.

 

SCHOOL VISION

At Choice School, we envision a passionate learning community that fosters a growth mindset for every student in a happy, caring and stimulating environment, providing them with equal opportunities to discover and develop aptitude and attitude for learning in an equitable environment that inspires and ignites curiosity, creativity and confidence to transform lives and the world.

INCLUSION PHILOSOPHY

Inclusion is an ongoing effort to improve educational access and active engagement for every student by identifying and removing barriers to learning. At The Choice School, we are dedicated to ensuring that all students, regardless of their background, abilities, or circumstances, have equal access to a high-quality education. Our commitment to inclusion and diversity is central to our school’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), where students come from diverse backgrounds, possess various abilities, and represent different interests and cultures.

We actively address the needs of students with diverse backgrounds, learning styles, and abilities to foster an inclusive learning environment where every student feels valued. Quality teaching involves differentiation to meet the needs of most students while recognising that some students may require additional and different support. This constitutes a special educational provision, and we make every effort to ensure it is available to those who need it. We ensure that all staff can identify and support students with special educational needs and/or disabilities, enabling all students to participate fully in school activities.

Our policy underscores our commitment to providing an inclusive learning environment for all IBDP students. We believe that all students share a natural desire to learn, and thus, we strive to offer a comprehensive and inclusive education within a nurturing and stimulating environment.

We emphasise teachers’ responsibilities to be aware of and cater to students with exceptionalities. Moreover, we encourage all students to actively identify, monitor, and address their own learning needs and abilities.

We view a student’s education as a partnership involving the student, their parent(s)/guardian(s), the school, and various community resources. However, as a small, independent private school, our capacity to provide extensive support to students with specific exceptionalities may be limited. Therefore, parent(s)/guardian(s) may need to seek and fund community resources to meet individual student needs.

PROVISION

The Choice School has created the Department of Health, Development, and Education Support (HDES) to assist students with special educational requirements. HDES is composed of a dedicated team comprising special educators and speech-language pathologists. This team collaborates closely with the school to advance the implementation of inclusive education.

HDES strives to achieve three primary objectives: first, to incorporate students with special educational needs into mainstream classrooms; second, to intervene by delivering personalised support and instruction; and third, to integrate students with special educational needs into various activities within the mainstream school.

ADMISSION POLICY

To better accommodate young learners at our school and ensure their overall well-being, we kindly request that parents/guardians provide essential information to help us identify students’ talents and needs. This valuable information enables the school to assess specific requirements professionally and appropriately. It’s important to note that in certain instances, the school may need more resources or expertise to meet the needs of exceptional candidates who apply for admission. Consequently, each application is assessed on an individual basis.

As a result, the school reserves the right to decline admission or continued education for a student in cases where it cannot adequately address the student’s special needs. While we make reasonable efforts to provide suitable learning accommodations for students with special educational needs, it is essential to emphasise that academic standards and program requirements must be maintained to accommodate all learning needs.

To maintain high and rigorous standards of IBDP, all “arrangements requested for a candidate, either during the course of study or in the examination room, must not give the candidate an advantage in any assessment”. The inclusion arrangements “are intended for candidates with the aptitude to meet all assessment requirements leading to the completion of the programme. In the case of internal assessment, marks must always be awarded based on the candidate’s work in accordance with the assessment criteria. Under no circumstances must teachers consider other factors such as the candidate’s challenges or difficulties”. (Access and inclusion policy: 1 Principles. Maintaining standards. IBO, Nov. 2018).

In the case of the IB Diploma program, the student receives recommendations for suitable subject combinations and levels. Admission to the program or course is granted once consent and confirmation are obtained from the student and their parents.

The Head of HDES aids the student and DP Coordinator in fulfilling the necessary requirements to secure permission from the IBO to offer specialised assistance to that particular student. The Inclusion Policy document does not encompass external factors that could impact a candidate, such as family bereavement or medical conditions that may arise during the IBDP course or examination session. These situations are continuously assessed individually and categorised as ‘adverse circumstances’.

IDENTIFICATION OF SPECIAL NEEDS

Identifying special needs occurs at two distinct stages: during the IB admission process and throughout the teaching and learning phases. The HDES Department oversees this procedure. It necessitates the active participation of all academic staff, including teachers, the teacher-librarian, the counsellor, Pedagogical Leadership, and, when necessary, external specialists for assessment purposes.

IMPLEMENTATION OF LEARNING SUPPORT

  1. Validating Identity and Cultivating Self-Confidence

A positive identity framework guarantees the visibility and appreciation of every student, fostering the understanding that learners have the capacity to effect change in both their personal lives and society. At The Choice School, our dedication lies in assisting students in cultivating a favourable self-identity and positive self-esteem. Our advantageous low student-teacher ratio allows us to intimately understand and provide guidance to each child as they embark on this crucial journey of development. We actively encourage the growth of their profile traits while fostering responsible citizenship. Empowering students to take educational risks is made possible through the extensive support provided by our staff. Additionally, we implement programs to nurture acceptance and personal well-being, equipping our students with the necessary tools to navigate their emotions effectively.

  1. Valuing prior knowledge

Recognising and valuing prior knowledge is a pivotal aspect of effective education. It involves a multifaceted approach that includes assessing existing knowledge, strengths, and interests while remaining attentive to the possibility of gaps or overlaps in a student’s learning journey. Constructing individual learning profiles in collaboration with students is a valuable foundation for informed teaching and learning. Moreover, explicitly leveraging learners’ prior understanding is crucial in acquiring new knowledge and skills. When designing, differentiating, and planning for new learning experiences, it is imperative to consider the wealth of prior learning experiences that students bring to the educational landscape, ensuring a holistic and tailored approach to their development.

  1. Scaffolding

Scaffolding serves as a transient method that empowers learners to achieve tasks that would otherwise be daunting or significantly more challenging. This support system encompasses various elements such as graphics, visual aids, demonstrations, role-playing, organised collaborative groups, teacher language, and using the mother tongue or preferred language to facilitate the development of ideas and initial plans.

  1. Enhancing Learning Through Learner-Centred Engagement

Considering the extensive array of differentiation methods recommended by the IBO, it is reasonable to anticipate that students with learning support needs and their educators will require ample time to establish a rapport and discover, through firsthand experience in each subject, the most effective teaching and learning approaches. Educators should be prepared for a potential trial-and-error phase when implementing differentiation and exhibit considerable adaptability and patience during this period. In parallel, students should commit to collaborating with their educators and adhering to the agreements established, with the awareness that accommodations for their learning support requirements should only become permanent fixtures if they prove effective in practice. It’s essential to acknowledge that differentiation should not solely rely on written recommendations; instead, it should undergo ongoing reflection to determine its efficacy, with adjustments or updates made as necessary. Keeping comprehensive records of the student’s progress is of utmost importance.

  1. Differentiation

Differentiation is a valuable approach to facilitate learners’ access to content at an appropriate level, utilising a range of resources. This framework is a collection of strategies meticulously structured to ensure every learner can realise their full potential. By placing students at the forefront of educational planning, differentiation enables educators to tailor their instruction to address each student’s unique needs. This approach encompasses various dimensions of differentiation, including but not limited to:

Content: Adapting teaching methods to align with learning objectives may involve modifying the quantity or format of instructional material.

Process: Offering students a range of options and choices in how they engage with and absorb the curriculum.

Product: Leveraging students’ preferences and strengths by granting them autonomy in showcasing their learning achievements.

These differentiation methods are applied by educators on an individualised basis, taking into account factors such as readiness and the specific profile of each learner.

  1. Collaboration

We have integrated designated collaboration time into our weekly schedule, enabling our staff to foster productive relationships with their colleagues. During this allocated time, we address various aspects, including curriculum planning, inquiry, instructional methods, data communication, and day-to-day interactions. Additionally, we utilise digital tools for professional collaboration and communication. This dedicated time facilitates discussions on strategies, idea sharing, curriculum planning, personalised instruction, the creation of authentic assessment tasks, and the alignment of grading practices. Through these collaborative efforts, we aim to enhance the accessibility of our instruction for all students.

  1. Extended Learning

Our commitment at The Choice School revolves around fostering the social and emotional conditions necessary for effective learning, all within environments that wholeheartedly embrace diversity. Central to our educational approach is establishing student-centred classrooms driven by inquiry. To realise this objective, our teachers employ subject-specific and school-wide strategies. Across various subject areas, we implement Reciprocal Teaching to enhance communication and critical thinking among students. This approach encourages collaborative work and exposes students to a diverse range of contexts and concepts. Furthermore, our educators are trained in teaching the Approaches to Learning Skills across all subjects, enabling our students to explore multifaceted aspects of issues, process information more effectively, delve deeper into concepts, and develop empathy as they engage with diverse perspectives.

PRINCIPLES OF GOOD PRACTICE

1. Validating Identity and Cultivating Self-Confidence

A positive identity framework guarantees the visibility and appreciation of every student, fostering the understanding that learners have the capacity to effect change in both their personal lives and society. At The Choice School, our dedication lies in assisting students in cultivating a favourable self-identity and positive self-esteem. Our advantageous low student-teacher ratio allows us to intimately understand and provide guidance to each child as they embark on this crucial journey of development. We actively encourage the growth of their profile traits while fostering responsible citizenship. Empowering students to take educational risks is made possible through the extensive support provided by our staff. Additionally, we implement programs to nurture acceptance and personal well-being, equipping our students with the necessary tools to navigate their emotions effectively.

2. Valuing prior knowledge

Recognising and valuing prior knowledge is a pivotal aspect of effective education. It involves a multifaceted approach that includes assessing existing knowledge, strengths, and interests while remaining attentive to the possibility of gaps or overlaps in a student’s learning journey. Constructing individual learning profiles in collaboration with students is a valuable foundation for informed teaching and learning. Moreover, explicitly leveraging learners’ prior understanding is crucial in acquiring new knowledge and skills. When designing, differentiating, and planning for new learning experiences, it is imperative to consider the wealth of prior learning experiences that students bring to the educational landscape, ensuring a holistic and tailored approach to their development.

3. Scaffolding

Scaffolding serves as a transient method that empowers learners to achieve tasks that would otherwise be daunting or significantly more challenging. This support system encompasses various elements such as graphics, visual aids, demonstrations, role-playing, organised collaborative groups, teacher language, and using the mother tongue or preferred language to facilitate the development of ideas and initial plans.

4. Enhancing Learning Through Learner-Centred Engagement

Considering the extensive array of differentiation methods recommended by the IBO, it is reasonable to anticipate that students with learning support needs and their educators will require ample time to establish a rapport and discover, through firsthand experience in each subject, the most effective teaching and learning approaches. Educators should be prepared for a potential trial-and-error phase when implementing differentiation and exhibit considerable adaptability and patience during this period. In parallel, students should commit to collaborating with their educators and adhering to the agreements established, with the awareness that accommodations for their learning support requirements should only become permanent fixtures if they prove effective in practice. It’s essential to acknowledge that differentiation should not solely rely on written recommendations; instead, it should undergo ongoing reflection to determine its efficacy, with adjustments or updates made as necessary. Keeping comprehensive records of the student’s progress is of utmost importance.

5. Differentiation

Differentiation is a valuable approach to facilitate learners’ access to content at an appropriate level, utilising a range of resources. This framework is a collection of strategies meticulously structured to ensure every learner can realise their full potential. By placing students at the forefront of educational planning, differentiation enables educators to tailor their instruction to address each student’s unique needs. This approach encompasses various dimensions of differentiation, including but not limited to:

Content: Adapting teaching methods to align with learning objectives may involve modifying the quantity or format of instructional material.

Process: Offering students a range of options and choices in how they engage with and absorb the curriculum.

Product: Leveraging students’ preferences and strengths by granting them autonomy in showcasing their learning achievements.

These differentiation methods are applied by educators on an individualised basis, taking into account factors such as readiness and the specific profile of each learner.

6. Collaboration

We have integrated designated collaboration time into our weekly schedule, enabling our staff to foster productive relationships with their colleagues. During this allocated time, we address various aspects, including curriculum planning, inquiry, instructional methods, data communication, and day-to-day interactions. Additionally, we utilise digital tools for professional collaboration and communication. This dedicated time facilitates discussions on strategies, idea sharing, curriculum planning, personalised instruction, the creation of authentic assessment tasks, and the alignment of grading practices. Through these collaborative efforts, we aim to enhance the accessibility of our instruction for all students.

7. Extended Learning

Our commitment at The Choice School revolves around fostering the social and emotional conditions necessary for effective learning, all within environments that wholeheartedly embrace diversity. Central to our educational approach is establishing student-centred classrooms driven by inquiry. To realise this objective, our teachers employ subject-specific and school-wide strategies. Across various subject areas, we implement Reciprocal Teaching to enhance communication and critical thinking among students. This approach encourages collaborative work and exposes students to a diverse range of contexts and concepts. Furthermore, our educators are trained in teaching the Approaches to Learning Skills across all subjects, enabling our students to explore multifaceted aspects of issues, process information more effectively, delve deeper into concepts, and develop empathy as they engage with diverse perspectives.

INCLUSION OF THE GIFTED AND TALENTED STUDENTS

The Choice School includes gifted and talented students, and recognising that giftedness can manifest in various ways is essential. Children may demonstrate giftedness in one or multiple ability domains. However, a student’s giftedness may only sometimes be evident in standard curriculum areas and might not always manifest in expected ways. While gifted students share some common traits, each gifted student possesses unique characteristics. It’s crucial to support students with exceptional potential during their early and middle childhood stages to ensure the continued development of their specific gifts and talents as they transition into secondary school. Equally important is the acceptance, appreciation, and nurturing of the abilities of gifted and talented students by teachers, parents, peers, and the community. The Special Education Needs (SEN) department collaborates with teachers and coordinators to make the necessary accommodations to engage the students and enable them to operate at their optimal potential.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

HEAD – HDES

The primary responsibility for orchestrating support provisions for students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) at The Choice School rests with the Head of HDES. This pivotal role entails close collaboration with the IB head and members of the Leadership Team, including the School Counsellors. The Head of HDES/Special Education Counsellor is accountable for effectively implementing the SEN policy and ensuring identified students’ needs are fulfilled.

  • The responsibilities of the HDES (Special Education) department include:
  • Identifying students with Special Educational Needs.
  • Keeping the list of students with Special Educational Needs up to date.
  • Supervising referrals and conducting informal assessments of students.
  • Developing checklists, forms, and reports to screen, identify, and provide interventions for students with special educational needs.
  • Overseeing the planning and execution of Individualized Education Plans and Individualized Therapy Plans.
  • Reviewing and monitoring intervention sessions conducted by the HDES Team. · Assessing and reviewing adaptations, modifications, and classroom accommodations for students with special educational needs.
  • Providing psychoeducation to parents and informing them of their children’s progress.
  • Maintaining case files for students in accordance with department guidelines.
  • Monitoring the assistance provided by shadow aides.
  • Conducting training sessions for HDES staff.

SPECIAL NEEDS COUNSELLOR

A Special Needs Counsellor would work with students and staff in the regular classroom. The responsibilities of a Special Needs Counsellor include the following:

  • Delivering classroom guidance and providing individual or group counselling to students with special needs as part of the counselling program.
  • Collaborating and consulting with staff and parents to comprehensively understand a student’s special requirements.
  • Acting as an advocate for students with special needs within the school and broader community.
  • Assisting families in comprehending how specific disabilities can impact students’ performance in targeted curriculum areas.
  • Aiding the student and working alongside the Vice Principal/DP Coordinator to complete the necessary procedures for obtaining permission from CBSE/IBO to provide specialised assistance to that student.
  • Establishing connections with an extended school platform facility that identifies students needing assessments to determine their eligibility for special education, all within the framework of the comprehensive school counselling program.
  • Interpreting assessment findings and communicating them to parents, teachers, principals, and other professional staff.
  • Offering screenings and support services to the school community.
  • Providing orientation to teachers on the subject of differently-abled students, including information on different types of disabilities and the role of teachers in supporting them.
  • Promoting awareness and sensitivity among teachers regarding the unique needs of each student.

SPECIAL EDUCATOR

The responsibilities of the special educator include the following:

  • Delivering instruction and support to facilitate the inclusion of students with special needs in regular school settings.
  • Providing essential information to classroom teachers before a student enters the class, including details about the student’s disability, medical considerations, and any required equipment or unique needs.
  • Offering guidance to teachers on including students with special educational needs in mainstream classrooms.
  • Collaborating closely with mainstream teachers and recommending effective strategies, adaptations, and accommodations for students.
  • Working in conjunction with mainstream teachers to assess students’ overall progress in their classrooms and identifying those who may require special educational support.
  • Conducting observations and assessments of referred students in accordance with the Referral Process.
  • Assisting parents in supporting students with special educational needs at home. · Developing and ensuring the implementation of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that incorporate accommodations and modifications across all curriculum areas for students with special educational needs.
  • Regularly reviewing IEPs and monitoring student progress each term in collaboration with parents, class teachers, and other professionals.
  • Providing guidance and support to Shadow-aides to ensure the progress of identified students.
  • Maintaining and updating the case files of students in accordance with department guidelines.

SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGISTS

The responsibilities of Speech-Language Pathologists include the following:

  • Collaborating within a team to deliver speech and language therapy to students with special educational needs.
  • Collaborating with mainstream teachers to identify students who may experience challenges related to speech, language, communication, and social skills.
  • Conducting observations and assessments of referred students following the department’s referral process.
  • Providing guidance to teachers on effectively integrating students with speech and language concerns into the classroom.
  • Offering guidance to parents on how to support students with speech and language concerns at home.
  • Working in partnership with mainstream teachers and parents to utilise various alternative and augmentative communication aids and devices.
  • Developing and ensuring the implementation of Individualized Intervention Plans for students. · Regularly reviewing Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and tracking student progress each term in collaboration with parents and other professionals.
  • Collaborating with and supporting shadow aides to facilitate the progress of identified students.
  • Maintaining and updating case files for students in accordance with departmental guidelines.

CLASS TEACHER AND SUBJECT TEACHERS

Teachers are responsible for overseeing every student’s academic progress in their classroom. When a student encounters challenges in the learning process and necessitates intervention, curriculum adjustments, or modifications, the teacher refers the student to the HDES department. The School Leadership team, composed of the Principal, Vice Principals, DP Coordinator, and Head of HDES, conducts ongoing monitoring, assessment, and evaluation of the entire process of including students with special educational needs.

POLICY USE & REVISION

This document is a dynamic resource for administrators, IB faculty, school counsellors, students, and parents, providing essential information regarding the inclusion policy into the IB Diploma Programme or as a Course Candidate. The Inclusion Policy undergoes regular reviews every two years. The review panel will comprise the HDES head, the school head, the IBDP coordinator, and the DP staff.

Date of last review – October, 2023
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