July 2016

Introduction and objectives

As stated in the Mission Statement of International school of Brno, we believe that “We learn and grow in unique ways to become lifelong learners and responsible global citizens.” 

It is the aim of the Learning Support programme at ISB to assist in the creation of a sense of belonging to the school community for each individual student.

The school employs a range of strategies to achieve this aim, one of the most important is the design and implementation of differentiated learning opportunities that will improve both the academic and social skills of students. We believe that more success in learning enables students to fulfill their potential, and enhances interpersonal relationships and self esteem.

Every reasonable effort is made by the School to welcome each and every student. However, there are practical issues within the school that set certain limits on the range of support strategies we can provide.

In identifying, acknowledging and supporting inclusive needs, the school and its Learning Support team are committed to work in close partnership with students, their parents/guardians and, when appropriate, outside professional agencies.

For students needing differentiated learning & teaching strategies, the School will:

● Ensure that, this information will remain confidential to teachers on a need to know basis.  

● Ensure that teachers in the school are aware of the importance of identifying and differentiating for those students who have special learning needs.  

● Ensure that the student is offered the possibility of joining in as many of the regular activities in the school, as appropriate.  

●  Inform to parents/guardians when their child is being considered for learning support and cooperate closely with parents/guardians when designing the appropriate provision(s) for supporting the learning of their child.  

Students Who May Require Learning Support

A student may require learning support if she/he has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of people of the same age and/or her or his progress is affected by one, or a combination of, the following:

        

         

Learning support at our school also extends to students who are gifted and talented and who require further extension.  If a student demonstrates that standard differentiation practices do not adequately challenge them, their learning needs to be modified in order to add depth or scope. A tool to help with identification of students who should be on a Gifted and Talented Register CAT4 tests are used followed by teachers' assessment and Checklist for Identifying Gifted and Talented Students across the Curriculum.

 More able students may be referred to the educational psychological services for further identification. The specifics of how their learning is modified are detailed in an Individual Education Plan (See ISB SEN policy).

At ISB, we are also committed to meeting the needs of students who are English Language Learners and who require extra support to fully access the school curricula. These students experience difficulty in language learning, therefore they are not regarded as having a learning difficulty solely.  The identification and assessment of the inclusive education needs of students whose first language is not English, requires particular care. Where there is uncertainty regarding individual progress, teachers will look carefully at all aspects of a student's performance across the various areas of learning in order to establish whether the difficulties they are experiencing in the classroom are due to limitations in their command of the language used or arise from inclusive education needs.  

List of arrangements for Providing Learning Support for Students 

Learning support team's responsibilities:  

●  meeting the needs of the students who require a differentiated programme  (in cooperation with teachers)

● monitoring and recording of the student’s progress through communication with the student, their parents and their teachers  

●  providing information to teachers about the student’s specific needs  

●  assisting teachers in the design of differentiated strategies for individual students to be applied in regular classes  

●  updating teachers about developments or new information about the student  

School's leadership responsibilities:

●  communicating developments to parents

●  supervising the LS team of teachers and teaching assistants  

● contributing to the in‐service professional development of staff about how to support a various kinds of learners through differentiating educational methodology  

●  consulting with external agencies (if required)  

Admission Arrangements  

Parents/guardians are asked to complete the Inclusive Education Needs Declaration. Parents/guardians with children who have previously diagnosed special learning needs are then requested to provide written documentation, in English or in Czech, defining the specific need(s)  and steps taken thus far to support the student at previous schools or institutions, including specialist reports and/or evaluations.  

Parents/guardians who do not disclose this information may jeopardising their child’s continued enrolment at the School.  When new students joining the school are identified as requiring support and possible differentiation, a meeting will be arranged with the parents, the student and an Administrator to discuss the ways the school can help.   In the event that the school feels it cannot meet the child's needs, the school may be able to provide assistance in helping the family find a suitable alternative.

Identification and Assessment Arrangements

In cases where the School believes that a student has special needs which have not yet been identified, the following steps are taken:

  1. The parents/guardians will be invited to meet the Homeroom Teacher and Deputy Head of School to discuss the evidence indicating that learning support may be in the best interests of the child. Teachers will utilize the Learning Support Team Referral process (appendix 1) as well as the differentiated instruction chart to plan a more individualised approach to the student (appendix 2).  

  1. The student and parents may be advised to undergo an evaluation by a specialist. In the event that local specialists are unable to help (often due to limitations involving language or technical expertise) the parents may be asked to consult a specialist in their home country for testing when possible.  

  1. The LS Coordinator/homeroom teacher will oversee the design of a confidential Individual Action Plan that will be shared with parents, relevant teachers, and the School Administrators. The student’s progress will be monitored and by the LS Coordinator in conjunction with teaching staff, parents, and whenever possible, the student via self-evaluations and reflections.  

To assist in the identification and assessment of special needs, the school may use any of the following sources of information:

Arrangements for Providing Access for Students to a Balanced and Broadly Based Curriculum

Students are placed in mixed ability groups, where appropriate, and provided with suitably differentiated learning experiences. This may include, but is not limited to reading materials, assessment, tasks, and instruction that have been adjusted to align more appropriately with the learning needs of the student. Support can be given in the classroom by the regular teachers, or by learning support assistants (under the direction of the LS Coordinator and the class teacher).

Assessment

Candidates eligible for inclusive assessment arrangements will continue to have internal assessments, albeit these may be modified to meet individual commitments.

The IB believes that all candidates must be allowed to take their examinations under conditions that are as fair as possible. Where standard examination conditions and assessment procedures would put candidates at a disadvantage and prevent them from being able to demonstrate their skills and knowledge adequately, reasonable forms of access arrangements may be authorized. Any reasonable adjustments for a particular candidate pertaining to his or her unique needs will be considered. For information about the IB’s policy on candidates who require arrangements to access assessment, refer to the IB publication Candidates with assessment access requirements.