Overview of Inclusion
At Garden we believe a holistic and inclusive approach to education is the way forward. As such, in-class support, coaching cycles, collaborative-planning and co-teaching will be the priority for supporting students identified as having difficulty accessing the curriculum. This could be for issues related to EAL (English as an Additional Language) or SEND (Special Educational Needs or Disabilities).
Support will primarily and initially consist of Quality First Teaching (QFT); lessons that are differentiated and scaffolded to ensure all individual students can access. This is achieved through the careful planning by teachers, with support from the EAL and SEN department. Teachers and support assistants will have regular training and meetings, as well as attending collaborative planning sessions to ensure needs are being met. In addition, there will be in-class support, according to the individual need of the student.
We take an individualised approach to supporting learners. Those identified as in need of additional support will have a ‘learner passport’ developed with all stakeholders’ input included (student, parents, teachers, counsellor, administrators, external providers). This will work on an ‘assess, plan, do, review’ cycle and will outline the best approach in supporting that child, using the variety of interventions available.
Although not a legal requirement in Thailand, as a British school, Garden will broadly follow the guidance outlined by the UK government in The SEND Code of Practice, 2015. This states:
6.12 All pupils should have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. … Teachers should set high expectations for every pupil, whatever their prior attainment. Teachers should use appropriate assessment to set targets which are deliberately ambitious. Potential areas of difficulty should be identified and addressed at the outset. Lessons should be planned to address potential areas of difficulty and to remove barriers to pupil achievement. In many cases, such planning will mean that pupils with SEN and disabilities will be able to study the full …curriculum.
Pupils will be referred for further assessment if progress:
- is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
- fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
- fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
- widens the attainment gap
SEND may be outlined in 4 main categories:
- Social emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH)
- Communication and interaction
- Sensory and or physical needs
- Cognition and learning
The Inclusion Department will work in conjunction with the School Counsellor, who is experienced in supporting students, particularly with category 1 and 2. The below model outlines the primary responsibilities of each, with some overlap.
It may be necessary on occasion to refer students for outside assessment from an Educational Psychologist or other specialist, such as Speech and Language Therapist or Occupational Health practitioner. We will work closely with all involved in this case to ensure recommendations are implemented in school, as far as possible. A formal diagnosis becomes more important moving into secondary school, as exam accommodations can then be requested.
Here at Garden we have a diverse community with various linguistic backgrounds and, as such, a range of students with language acquisition needs. We value this diversity and, for all students, emphasise the importance of maintaining home language. This affirms identity and culture; supporting social and emotional well-being. It also helps teachers to effectively utilise translanguaging techniques and avoids issues of subtractive bilingualism.
For EAL provision, the same inclusive approach will apply. Although support is primarily for students assessed as below a certain proficiency, it is important not to forget it can take up to 7 years to achieve Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP, Cummins), and therefore many students benefit from an inclusive approach.
We use the WIDA framework to assess students and to align subject standards with language standards. WIDA helps to bridge between language proficiency and academic language and runs from Foundation to Year 13 in one system. We take a school-wide approach and intervention will be considered for those identified to be below level 2 or 3 on screening assessments. Screening to identify students who require additional support and progress testing for those students will take place throughout the year, to inform individualised teaching and learning.
Four Big Ideas anchor the WIDA standards and are interwoven throughout the framework:
- Equity of opportunity and access This is essential for multilingual learners’ preparation for college, career and civic lives.
- Integration of content and language Academic content is the context for language learning, and language is the means for learning academic content.
- Collaboration among stakeholders Stakeholders share responsibility for educating multilingual learners.
- Functional approach to language development This approach helps educators focus on the purposeful use of language.
Subject specific language standards support language learning within each discipline, ensuring that language is not only considered in planning but in the foundations of curriculum. It is particularly important to learn language in context, which means within the subject that language applies to. The language of science or maths for example is very specific to the individual topic and is, in fact, often new for native speakers too. As such, a robust support system that gives students the frameworks needed to learn and use this language should be embedded into the subject curriculum.
WIDA focuses on ‘Can Do’ descriptors rather than limitations, so we are always looking for what students are able to do within their classes and capitalising on this, rather than focussing on what they can’t access. By utilising students’ strengths, accessing prior knowledge and making real life connections within classes, we aim to close the gap between EAL students and first language English speakers.
If a child is identified as requiring additional support there will be an associated fee which will be used to provide the above support in terms of staff, training and resources.