03 April, 2023

Empowering Students with Learning Difficulties: A Look into Our Inclusive Learning Support Services

Empowering Students with Learning Difficulties A Look into Our Inclusive Learning Support Services-Empowering Students with Learning Difficulties A Look into Our Inclusive Learning Support Services-ALN Blog header

At Compass International School, we believe education should be inclusive and accessible to all students, regardless of their learning needs. Students with special learning needs are integrated into the general education classroom and lesson plans are developed with a structured, multi-sensory approach. Our teachers use differentiated teaching strategies, and progress is monitored through tailored Individiualised Education Program (IEP) targets.

To mark Autism Awareness Day, we sat down with our Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Instructor Ms. Turner where she provides insight into the learning support services offered to our students with learning difficulties and disabilities.

 

Empowering Students with Learning Difficulties A Look into Our Inclusive Learning Support Services-Empowering Students with Learning Difficulties A Look into Our Inclusive Learning Support Services


1. What kind of learning support services are available for students with learning difficulties/disabilities at this school?

We offer an inclusive approach that includes a great deal of in-class support intended to embrace the individual needs of children that have mild to moderate learning difficulties. We also use differentiated instructional teaching methods and techniques. Students can also work in small groups in the classroom under the supervision of the teacher or Learning Assistant (LA).

Where necessary, students can be provided individualized support by the ALN department if a specific need is identified, i.e., techniques for planning writing activities, activities intended to promote fine motor skills, interventions intended to support the social/emotional well-being of pupils, or even reading challenges are but a few examples. 

2. How do teachers accommodate students with learning difficulties/disabilities?

Teachers apply differentiated teaching strategies that target the individual skill levels and learning styles of all their pupils. Based on the principles of Quality First Teaching, pupils receive the necessary in-class support where applicable to meet their diverse needs. Teachers also apply strategies suggested by the ALN department to better support pupils so that they can reach their full potential. 

3. How are students' progress and success monitored in their learning support programs?

Pupils are assigned an IEP based on assessments conducted by the ALN department (Term 1 and Term 3) in their core areas of learning, namely Literacy, and Numeracy. IEP targets are tailored according to the results of these assessments and are monitored throughout the term to determine if they have been achieved. Any achieved targets are noted as achieved and new targets are then decided based on the pupils’ current needs. Additionally, the ALN department also monitors pupils’ termly reports to measure if any progress has been made and this is noted on their IEPs.

4. How are students with learning difficulties/disabilities integrated into the general education classroom?

Unlike some school environments where the child is expected to adapt to the existing system and culture of the school without any support, the pupils at our school who have mild to moderate learning difficulties are offered the necessary help needed to access the curriculum via our support personnel and teachers so that they feel valued and respected within the classroom. Based on our desire to include every pupil in the classroom, our highly skilled teachers create opportunities to both diversify and adjust teaching strategies so that all our students can learn together wherever possible. 

Empowering Students with Learning Difficulties A Look into Our Inclusive Learning Support Services-Empowering Students with Learning Difficulties A Look into Our Inclusive Learning Support Services

5. How do we communicate our learning support services to students and their families?

Parents are notified directly if their child has been identified as having any learning difficulties. A meeting is arranged to discuss potential challenges their child is facing. This meeting is also intended to highlight what support the school can offer the identified pupil and to gather any additional information from parents. Sometimes, parents are not aware of the support our school offers related to learning challenges, and these meetings provide an opportunity to create awareness of what our role is, and what services we can offer to help these pupils. 

Once the parents are on board, then the pupils are introduced to our support services. Where possible, the ALN department often consults with the child when deciding on their learning targets; particularly the older children (Year 3 upwards). This is important as they are the pioneers of their own learning. By giving them a voice, they are often more motivated to learn and achieve the goals they have set with the ALN Coordinator. 

Noteworthy is that the ALN Coordinator will be hosting a parent workshop to be held in May which is intended to create more awareness of our support services; parents are encouraged to attend this.

6. How are lesson plans developed and implemented for students with learning difficulties/disabilities?

Teachers use a continuous, structured, multi-sensory approach to help these pupils with their learning. This involves the following:

Breaking learning into smaller chunks.
Administering probes where applicable.
Providing regular feedback to pupils.
Using diagrams, pictures, and graphics to support topics covered in the classroom.
Pupils are provided with ample opportunities for the well-designed, independent practice of subject content.
Modeling of taught concepts.
Providing pupils with prompts as to which strategies to use in their learning.

 

Interested to learning more about our learning support services? Contact us today to speak to our academic team and discover how our Individiualised Education Program can help your child thrive in school.