1. What support is available at BSB for children with Special Education Needs (SEN) and/or social- emotional needs?
At BSB we are an inclusive team which consists of a SEN Coordinator (SENCo) and Counsellor working together with a multidisciplinary team (class teacher, teaching assistants and if necessary external specialists). Our team’s aim is to provide additional support, where required, to assist all students at BSB to meet their individual potential. The Inclusion Team (see below for further information) has strong links with class teachers, parents and students which are critical for the educational and emotional success of the students in our care.
All additional teaching support given to a child should build on and complement the support delivered by the class teacher in the regular classroom situation. Effective additional teaching support can be provided to a child in a number of different ways including:
- a child being taught by the class teacher, as part of a small focus group, within the regular classroom
- a child being withdrawn for one to one SEN or Counselling support
- a child being part of a small group in class with SEN or Counselling support
- a child being part of a support group taught by an SEN teacher out of the regular classroom environment
No single method outlined above will suit all children with Special Educational Needs for the duration of their school life. Our specialists are flexible and may use a variety of the methods described above, in different combinations and using different resources, to meet a child’s changing needs as required. The school will take the particular needs of individual children into account when planning how best to provide support to them.
2. Who is part of the Inclusion Team?
At BSB we have an educational philosophy to integrate and include students with learning difficulties and social-emotional needs by differentiating and individualising their learning experiences. Our Inclusion Team, consisting of the SENCo and Counsellor, work collaboratively with teachers, parents and specialists to help students achieve their full potential.
The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) plays a key role in determining the strategic development of the Special Educational Needs policy, support and provision in the school to raise the level achievement and rate of progress of children with Special Educational Needs.
The SENCo will also work together with children with special needs setting up individual or group support outside or inside of the classroom to ensure that their needs are met and supported. The SENCo works with the teachers and teaching assistants to provide appropriate intervention programmes to support children with their learning. SENCo can apply for exam access accommodations where neccessary.
The Primary SENCo is Veronica Neresoff. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Secondary SENCo is Rebecca Maize. She can be contacted at email@example.com
The Counsellor supports children’s needs when they are going through a difficult time which may be emotional, social or behavioural. For children it can be difficult to talk about their problems with their family, teachers or friends and they might prefer to talk to someone with whom they have a more distant relationship. The counsellor gives students the chance to share their feelings in a safe and non-judgemental environment. By using different therapy, such as play and art therapy, the feelings of the child can be explored.
The Inclusion Team will coordinate additional support, Individual Education Plans (IEP) and Action Plans for pupils with Special Educational Needs and liaise with their teachers and other professionals who are involved with their education. The Inclusion Team will develop effective ways of overcoming barriers to a child's learning and ensure that they receive effective teaching through assessing the child’s needs and setting targets for improvement. The SENCo will also collaborate with curriculum coordinators at the school to make sure that the learning requirements of all children with SEN are given equal emphasis and priority.
3. How are a child’s educational needs assessed?
In most cases the key to providing children with a good start is early assessment and intervention. The Inclusion Team at BSB has a structured procedure system to support children with special needs. These procedures are known by the class teachers, who are responsible for referring the child to the Inclusion Team. The Inclusion Team is then responsible for deciding the course of action for the child, which can be SEN support or counselling. If the teacher thinks a child needs more support than the other children in the class they will talk to parents and to the Inclusion Team who may suggest strategies or resources for the teachers. These strategies are usually described in an IEP or Action Plan. This will be discussed with parents and will be reviewed at least once per term.
Usually, with a modified programme of work and extra help from the class teacher and teaching assistant, SENCo or counsellor the child is able to make appropriate progress. If he/she doesn’t, the Inclusion department will ask for advice from an outside specialist, such as an educational psychologist, occupational therapist or speech and language therapist. These specialists can provide in-depth assessments of the child’s difficulties and learning preferences. The recommendations made by these professionals will help the Inclusion Team draw up a better IEP and support plan.
4. What are Individual Educational Plans (IEPs)?
An Individual Educational Plan is a documented plan developed for a student with special learning needs that describes their individualised goals, the support being provided to them, the services and support to be provided, and measures for tracking their achievement. It serves as a tool for collaborative planning involving the school, the parents and the student (where appropriate) and, as necessary, external agencies. An IEP includes individualised targets and goals with measurable objectives, adaptations and/or modifications of the National Curriculum where appropriate, the strategies used to meet these goals, and measures for monitoring student achievement in relation to the goals.
An IEP also documents the special education services being provided as these relate to the student’s identified needs. Some students require small adaptations and minimum levels of support; other students with more complex needs may require detailed planning for educational modifications, adaptive technologies, or health care plans. The IEP also helps teachers to monitor the student's progress and provides a framework for communicating information about the student's progress to parents and to the student. The IEP is regularly monitored throughout the term and it is updated each term to record any changes in the student's special education programme and services that are found to be necessary as a result of continuous assessment and evaluation of the student's achievement of annual goals and learning expectations.
5. Which outside agencies are available in Beijing to support a child with special needs?
Early identification is an essential element of supporting educational development for students with special needs. The class teacher informs parents at the earliest opportunity to alert them to concerns and enlist their active help and participation. At BSB the Inclusion Team is able to run early identification screenings to help identify the needs of a child. However, for those children whose progress continues to cause concern, the school may request support and advice from external agencies (e.g. Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist). This is only necessary if the school cannot provide all the support that your child needs or if further recommendations and in-sights would be beneficial.
At BSB, we work closely with LIH Olivia’s Place. This organisation offers both in-school and external support. This centre has a variety of specialists, such as Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language therapists as well as Occupational Therapists. We work as a multidisciplinary team with the different therapists and include them in the writing and implementing of Individual Educational Plans (IEPs).