Special Educational Needs Policy

ARIS offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

PHILOSOPHY

Al-Rayan International School (ARIS) provides all-inclusive education, embracing the uniqueness of all students. Based on the philosophy of equality, sharing, participation, worth, and dignity of individuals; the mainstream classroom is viewed as the most enabling environment for students with learning differences. We believe that an inclusive educational programme has a value that enriches the whole community and that inclusion is a careful and thoughtful marriage of educational excellence and equity.

The purpose of all-inclusive Special Education Needs (SEN) programme is to provide children with learning differences with a meaningful and respectful learning experience that engenders their self-confidence and a sense of belonging to a larger community.

We embrace the challenge of serving the whole family including students with a range of differences. We also embrace the challenge of developing our abilities to meet their specific learning needs. We strive to ensure education for all children in our community and to help each child develop emotionally, intellectually, physically and spiritually and to realise his or her full potential.

“...schools with inclusive orientation are the most effective means of combating discrimination, creating welcoming communities, building an inclusive society and achieving education for all”

— (Salamanca Statement, Art 2)

OUR DUTY

ARIS duty is to support all pupils, staff, parents, caregivers and other users of the school by:

  • Promoting equality of opportunity
  • Eliminating discrimination
  • Eliminating harassment
  • Promoting positive attitudes
  • Encouraging participation
  • Taking steps to meet all people’s needs

AIMS & OBJECTIVES

  • To ensure that students with SEN have maximum access to the whole curriculum according to their capability and potential.
  • To encourage a shared responsibility by all ARIS professional staff to support the SEN policy at every level of education.
  • To allow members of the SEN department access to school decision-making processes through secondary and primary coordination meetings.
  • To encourage and ensure that teaching and learning practice, assessment recording, reporting and curriculum area documents support children with SEN.
  • To encourage and ensure that professional staff provide equality of opportunity for students with SEN in the classroom and in exam situations.
  • To encourage staff to continue to assume responsibility for the learning of all children in their class and to ensure the importance of maintaining high expectations for all students.
  • To ensure that support is related to the curriculum.
  • To encourage and ensure that a broad, balanced, relevant and differentiated curriculum is taught in the classroom.
  • To provide a climate of warmth and support in which students’ self-confidence and self-esteem can grow and in which all students feel valued and are able to risk making mistakes without fear.
  • To identify, assess and provide support for students with SEN needs.
  • To develop resources with and get support from contacts with outside professional agencies or skilled individuals.
  • To ensure that all members of the SEN team are adequately trained and have opportunities for ongoing professional development.

DEFINITION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION NEED

A child or young person has a SEN if they:

  • Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning in comparison to the majority of his/her same age peers
  • Have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age

The four areas of SEN are:

  • Communication and interaction challenges
  • Cognition and learning challenges
  • Social, mental and emotional health challenges
  • Sensory and/or physical challenges

Students are not regarded as having learning disability solely because their language or home language is different from that in which they are taught. Identifying and assessing SEN for students who first language is not English requires particular care. We look carefully at all aspects of a students performance in different areas of learning and development to establish whether lack of progress is due to limitations in their command of English or if it arises from a Special Education Need or disability.

ADMISSION POLICY

All children will be treated according to their needs in line with the school’s policy for equality of opportunity. No child will be denied admission because of his or her creed, race, physical ability or academic attainment. Where a child has a particular need the governors will make reasonable adjustment to ensure the child’s needs are fully met. If a child is transferring into the school with a statement, or has been receiving extra support in their previous school, the continuation of this support will be negotiated accordingly. Any variation to the above will need to be agreed by the full governing body.

With the current school resources we are unable to administer a programme for children with severe learning disabilities (e.g. severe speech disability, severe autism, severe physical disability etc). Families with children who are admitted to ARIS with special needs must present a recent psycho-educational assessment, which has been conducted by a licensed educational psychologist within the last two years. These results will determine the appropriateness of the child’s enrolment in the school.

We require that parents inform the school of any previous testing. Previously identified special needs or previously received support must be communicated at the time of application. In some cases, parents may be asked to commit to providing extra support for their child, which may include a financial contribution. The extra support may take the form of in-class support or out of school provision or a combination of the two.

If it later transpires that the child had a previously diagnosed condition or that prior testing took place and the parents did not provide the documentation as stated, the family may be asked to withdraw the student. This would be at the recommendation of the Principal. If the need for an educational psychological evaluation and/or the introduction of additional support is identified after enrolment is completed the School will require full parental cooperation in order to provide a programme which is in the best educational interests of the student.

EARLY IDENTIFICATION & INTERVENTION PROCESS

Learning difficulties can arise at any time as a result of new curriculum demands, changed rates of learning, absence from school, settling into a new educational environment or a specific learning or language difficulty.

ARIS believes in the benefits of Early Intervention and will ensure all students who display signs a SEN are identified and assessed.

Parents/caregivers of students who are suspected of having SEN are to be informed as soon as concerns arise.

SEN identification assessments may consistent of:

  • Meeting with parents/caregivers
  • Advice from previous schools
  • Advice from external professionals
  • Standardized assessments
  • Specialized assessments
  • Observations
  • The ARIS team will conduct regular assessments and maintain records of progress for all students
  • An Individualised Education Plan (IEP) will be developed by the ARIS team and implemented for all students with SEN.
  • When students are not making adequate progress given age, baseline abilities and/or IEP targets, the ARIS team will re-evaluate support measures. If the ARIS team determines that current support resources are not proving to be effective, the student’s parents/caregivers will be invited in to discuss alternative options.
  • When significant progress is being made, the ARIS team and the student’s parents/caregivers can decide to decrease support levels and/or end the use of an IEP.
  • There may be a need to challenge able students and stimulate a higher level of achievement, in a particular area, or across subject areas. The term ‘Gifted and Talented’ (G&T) is used to describe those students who are achieving or who have the potential to achieve a level substantially beyond the rest of their peer group. G&T students may also present with a learning difficulty.

INCLUSION POLICY

Teachers are expected to make every effort to ensure that children with SEN are fully involved in the life of the class. For some children it will be necessary for them to spend some time in small groups or being withdrawn from the classroom for specific, timed activities related to the needs identified. This may be delivered by the teacher, teaching assistant, SEN Teacher, or SEN Coordinator (SENCO), and will complement classroom work so that the skills, knowledge and understanding will be transferred to the classroom.

  • ARIS believes in the “whole child” approach to education, which involves all the staff adhering to a model of good practice.
  • ARIS staff are committed to identifying and providing for the needs of all child in a wholly inclusive environment.
  • ARIS works to make all school building and facilities physically accessible
  • Access to the curriculum
  • ARIS will make necessary provisions for all students with SEN to match their individual needs
  • The classroom teacher, SEN teacher, and SENCO will keep regular records of the student’s needs, any extra provision that is implemented, and individual progres

Access to the curriculum

  • ARIS will make necessary provisions for all students with SEN to match their individual needs
  • There will be flexible grouping of students so that learning and social needs may be met in individual, small groups, and whole class contexts
  • Curriculum will be differentiated to meet the needs of individual students. Teaching styles and flexible grouping will reflect this approach.

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

Heads of Department will:

  • Keep up to date with the concerns list and ensure new members of the department are familiar with the SEN Policy
  • Ensure that practice and procedures within the department promote learning and teaching which is relevant and accessible to all students.
  • Support subject teachers to enable them to provide an appropriate and differentiated curriculum.
  • Ensure appropriate resources are available.
  • Discuss issues with subject teachers through departmental meetings

The SENCO will:

  • Develop and maintain contacts with outside professional services where available.
  • Communicate the school SEN policy to parents and importance of parental involvement in their child’s learning.
  • Monitor the identification and assessment of students with special needs.
  • Maintain Special Needs resources in the school.
  • Maintain record keeping procedures and keep a Special Needs Register.

The SEN teachers will:

  • Act as advocates for individual students.
  • Promote differentiation by taking into account the learning styles, which encourage students with special needs to participate fully.
  • Provide professional support to colleagues.
  • Give staff information regarding students who need special arrangements
  • Encourage staff to continue to develop a healthy campus attitude to all students with learning differences.
  • Teach co-operatively with colleagues.
  • Teach individual and groups of students as appropriate.
  • Give students the opportunity to articulate their concerns regarding the challenges they face in their academic and social life.
  • Keep up to date professionally regarding new information about special education needs topics.

ARIS Teachers will:

  • Be aware of the school’s procedures for identifying, assessing and making provision for students with SEN.
  • Be able to gather information through observation and assessment.
  • Keep up to date with information on the concerns’ list.
  • Be responsible for devising strategies and identifying appropriate methods for ensuring access to the curriculum. This includes strategies for providing differentiated teaching.
  • Regularly examine their strategies and methods to see if they can make improvements that will help students to access the curriculum.
  • Work closely with and involve classroom assistants as part of the learning team.
  • Contribute to, manage and review IEPs
  • Liaise with Heads of Department and SENCO.
  • Inform parents of initial student concerns.

Teacher Assistants (TAs) will:

  • Support SEN students on specific programmes
  • Work under the guidance of the classroom teacher in the classroom, one-on-one, or small withdrawal groups.
  • Be involved in planning.
  • Look for positives by talking to the child about his/her strengths.
  • Listen to the child
  • Speak to staff on the child’s behalf
  • Explain boundaries and operate these consistently and fairly.
  • Keep records and attend meetings.
  • Assist with examinations.
  • Devise learning materials or resources.

The Student:

We show sensitivity, honesty and mutual respect in encouraging children to share concerns, discuss strategies and see themselves as equal partners in the school. All children are involved in making decisions, where possible, as soon as they start at the school. The ways in which we encourage them to participate reflects their emerging maturity. Confident young children, who know that their opinions will be valued and who can practise making choices, will be more secure and effective children during their school years. At ARIS, we encourage children to participate in their learning. We encourage them to have a voice in deciding the priorities through the school council. We encourage them to take ownership of their learning targets by discussing their targets and what they can do to improve. For children with SEN this includes discussing the strategies for their success. We encourage them to take part in reviewing their progress and in setting new goals and challenges.

The Parents:

Parents/caregivers are important partners in the effective working relationship with the school in raising their child’s attainment. They are fully involved in the identification, assessment and decision-making process in the school. Parents/caregivers’ contribution to their child’s education is valued highly by the staff of the school. Parents/caregivers are encouraged to involve their child in the decision-making processes, including recording children’s views and implementing and reviewing where necessary the IEP. The school will also update parents/caregivers with relevant information.

ARIS RESOURCES

ARIS specialist provision available:

  • Medical and/or physical support
  • Curriculum adaptations
  • Literacy support
  • Numeracy support
  • Social, mental, and/or emotional support
  • EAL support

Types of ARIS support available:

  • In-class support by teacher and/or teaching assistant
  • Pull-out for individual/small group work
  • Home/school reading schemes
  • Behaviour modification programmes
  • Use of specialist equipment
  • Access to external support

LIASON WITH EXTERNAL AGENCIES

Where it is necessary to contact outside agencies, the SENCO will make the necessary arrangements and discuss with parents/caregivers accordingly. These agencies normally include an educational psychologist, Specific Learning Disability Specialist, learning support service, visual impairment, physical impairment, hearing impairment service, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, behaviour support service and health. Any or all of these agencies may be involved in the provision map and/or construction, delivery or review of targets set in children’s IEPs in order to ensure children’s attainment is raised.

INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION PLAN (IEP)

Students who have been identified with a SEN will have an IEP describing their needs and any additional provisions.

IEPs can include:

  • A summary of the pupil’s individual needs/barriers to learning
  • A summary of the pupil’s strengths
  • Baseline assessment information
  • Input from the pupils and parents/caregivers
  • Description of the additional/different provision planned
  • Records of bi-termly (3 x per year) targets, which are inked to targets in the statement if the pupil has one
  • Suggestions regarding learning and teaching strategies for pupils and staff
  • Description of achievement and exit criteria, enabling a focused review of progress