Support for Learning
We believe Al Sahwa Schools should provide education that is inclusive, welcomes diversity and provides an equal opportunity for all students to develop their personality, skills and abilities to their fullest potential. The Support for Learning Department aims to make provisions for students needing additional support that is in line with the schools’ curriculum and the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Philosophy and Mission regarding the inclusion of students in learning.
We recognise and respect that our students come from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and levels of life experiences. The diversity of student backgrounds contributes to our school community and inspires teachers and students to be caring and open minded. Multiple teaching strategies are employed to ensure all students have equal access to the curriculum.
We recognise that students have different levels of additional needs that may vary with time. Students may require long or short-term support to help them make the most of their school education.
Support types include
Learning Support : for students with communication and interaction needs, cognition and learning needs, sensory and/or physical needs, and behavioural needs that impact access to the curriculum.
English Language Learning (ELL) : for students experiencing difficulties in accessing the English language curriculum.
Arabic Language Learning (ALL) : for students experiencing difficulties in accessing the Arabic language curriculum.
Identification and Support Procedures
Students may be identified as needing support at various times during their academic career. Teachers or parents can raise concerns with the Support for Learning (SfL) staff about students at any time during the year, following a referral process. The SfL team will work with teachers, parents, and outside professionals (where necessary) to identify students who require assistance from the SfL department. Student achievement data and assessments conducted by learning or health professionals may be used. Official recommendations from assessments conducted outside of the school must be submitted to the SfL department by the parent for the school to use the information. Initial parental consent is required for students to be placed on the SfL register.
With consent from parents, the SfL staff will work with teachers and outside professionals (where necessary) to develop student education plans that will be reviewed annually. SfL staff and teachers work together to ensure the strategies, accommodations, and modifications outlined in these plans are used with fidelity. Students on the SfL register will stay on the register until they meet the requirements for exiting SfL.
More Able Learners
We provide inclusion for students who are exceptionally academically gifted and need extra challenge to reach their potential. We define more able in “terms of those whose progress and attainment significantly exceed age-related expectations.” (NACE 2019). To support our most able achievers (previously called “Gifted and Talented”) we have a more able enrichment programme in the secondary school led by the Teaching & Learning Coordinator and the secondary SFL department.
Results from CEM baseline assessments are used to highlight students with above average abilities in Maths, English and Skills. Students who are in the top 10% globally are added to our more able register. In subjects such as Arts, Music, Design and PHE students are identified by teachers as being talented and referred to the register. All teachers are made aware of the most able students in their classes through the most able register. Parents are notified by a letter that their child is identified as more able. Each subject or department has a more able champion (teacher) who coaches and encourages talented students in their subject. The programme starts in semester 1 with goal setting and concludes in semester 2 with reflection and celebration of most able student achievements.