SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS (SEN)
Dwight School Seoul is committed to promoting a safe and supportive learning environment in order for students with special educational needs to thrive academically, socially and emotionally. Dwight School Seoul provides an inclusive curriculum and is non-discriminatory against students and prospective students with special education needs, both in the admissions process and in the provision of education and associated services. (Refer to Dwight School Seoul Admissions Policy)
The purpose of the Dwight School Seoul Special Education Needs Policy is therefore to recognize and articulate our responsibility in identifying, and providing support for students who have special education needs which cannot be met within the parameters of the taught curriculum. Hence these students will have the opportunity to fulfill their potential and be prepared to access an international education to the highest recognized academic standards. Dwight School Seoul is committed to finding and igniting the “spark of genius” in every child. Kindling their interests, we develop inquisitive, informed, self-aware, and ethical citizens who will build a better world.
Special Educational Needs
Special educational needs at Dwight School Seoul include but are not limited to:
- learning difficulties
- emotional and behavioral difficulties
- medical conditions
- speech difficulties
- visual/aural impairments
- gifted and talented students
Learning support at Dwight School Seoul includes the provision of accommodations, modifications and various supports to enable students to reach their potential. Learning support enables students to succeed academically, socially and emotionally.
Dwight School Seoul employs teachers across the school to provide learning support to students through the Quest program. The focus of Quest is to support students with special educational needs and assist with the educational planning and monitoring of the student’s progress. The Quest team provides training for teachers to best support SEN students through offering differentiated lessons, altering resources and taking account of different learning styles.
The development of an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) by the Quest department aims to:
- Establish a learner profile by identifying a student’s strengths, skills, preferences and abilities
- Set educational goals, both short term and long term
- Promote collaboration amongst teachers to develop a whole-school approach
- Provide additional support, strategies and resources for other teachers of the student
- Teach skill development to students with special educational needs either during or after the school day
- Evaluate and review student progress and programs
- Establish effective home-school partnerships, including the development of support strategies for parents
The ultimate aim of our Quest program is to help the students lead a more independent life both in school and their social environment.
Admission to the School
Through Quest, students with documented special educational needs may be placed in the school, and be provided with any or all of the following support options:
- Mainstream class with indirect support
- Mainstream class with withdrawal and in-class support
- Mainstream class with withdrawal support
The school Admissions Director, Principal and Quest Coordinator will assist parents in determining the best support strategies for the student, taking into account the student’s specific additional learning and support needs, and parent’s input on the matter. The student’s profile will then be established on SIMS (school database) and made available to all teachers of that student.
The school will also provide information and may refer parents to other professionals outside of school that may help support the development of the student.
It is expected that parents of current students identified with special needs will agree to opt for Quest sessions in order to receive additional learning support. If that does not happen the school cannot guarantee that the child will have full and appropriate access to the curriculum and alternative arrangements will be recommended.
Identification of a student with a learning need can occur at any age or stage of development. Special Educational Needs may become apparent as a student progresses through the school. When a classroom teacher suspects that a student may need additional support, the procedure for referral is as follows:
- Class teacher is to observe the student in various settings and while working on various tasks. Assessments and work of the students, as well as “average” work for the class to compare need to be collected. Teacher is to document any strategies that have been tried and whether or not they have been successful. The teacher is to fill in a student referral form.
- Teacher is to send the form and accompanying documents to the Principal and a copy of the form to the Quest Coordinator.
- The Principal then requests a Quest teacher to do assessments and/or observations
- Once assessments and/or observations have been conducted, a member of Quest department will compile all the information.
- The Quest department will then make recommendations to the appropriate Principal and Admission Director of any teaching interventions or support which may be needed.
- The Quest teacher will communicate with the referring teacher, and other teachers as appropriate.
- A parent meeting will be held to share the areas of concern and explain the Quest program.
Identification procedures apply to the whole school with referral forms being available within the Student Support Referral Procedure Documentation on the school’s N drive.
The Quest department assists classroom teachers in addressing the educational needs of students with learning difficulties. In the classroom, provisions for students with special educational needs will be made by class teachers to ensure access to the whole curriculum.
All students with an IEP will follow the same curriculum as their peers. In some areas of the curriculum such as literacy and numeracy, students may require modification of content or assessment. In certain cases, Quest students will be withdrawn from the mainstream classroom to focus on the skills development required to access the curriculum. Students may also be given in-class support during lesson time in order to ensure the skills they have learned are implemented, and to assist them in accessing the curriculum in the classroom.
Extent of Learning Support
There is always a possibility for students to be able to work independently without support; this is especially true for students with mild learning difficulties. However, for students with a more severe learning difficulty the school is able to provide limited support. The amount of support needed may vary, depending on the interaction between the school’s demand and the individual’s strengths and needs. All faculty involved with a student with special educational needs will provide input to determine the support needed, if any, in each area of the curriculum.
In the fully staffed Quest department teachers are dedicated to supporting student needs. Quest supports students with special education needs and those who require special tuition due to external demands, e.g. modeling or travel for work, or special interest in a subject. Teachers who work with students with special education needs will be expected to read and implement the IB Candidates with Special Assessment Needs Policy.
To ensure students receive the best possible personalized support, Quest is an additional fee and students may enroll in Full Quest or Half Quest.
All Lower School students have access to an iPad. All Upper school students are required to have a personal laptop or ipad which is utilized to support their learning.
Professional development is provided through the continuous development framework at DSS (as per the Staff Handbook). Specialist quest teachers, Student Support Team and Programme Coordinators will, where required, provide in-service training to support teachers within the classroom. The Quest Coordinator is responsible for keeping up to date with current SEN methods and practices. The Quest Coordinator presents regularly to staff.
Quest teachers are responsible for:
- Preparing IEPs in collaboration with classroom teachers and parents
- Planning and implementing intervention strategies and classroom accommodations with other teachers to achieve IEP goals
- Writing and monitoring lesson plans for small groups or one-on-one intervention sessions with Quest students
- Supporting an inclusive learning environment inside the school
- Attending parent-teacher interviews as requested
- Contacting parents on behalf of the school whenever necessary
- Observing and monitoring student performance in different learning areas
- Providing feedback on student’s improvement and performance evaluation during parent-teacher meetings and on the interim and end-of-semester reports
- Conducting formal and informal assessments when needed
- Evaluating the IEP based on student’s achievement and performance at the end of each semester
A key element of successful learning-support is a high level of collaboration between the class teacher and the Quest (learning support) teacher. Collaboration is central to the development, implementation and review of the IEP.
Classroom teachers’ responsibilities include:
- Being alert to the possibility that some students may have specific learning difficulties and bringing their concerns to the attention of the learning support teacher who has responsibility for coordinating special needs service, following the school’s identification procedures
- Collaborating with the learning support teacher in the development of an IEP and identifying appropriate accommodations to support learning
- Implementing the accommodations stated in the IEP
- Maintaining a record of pupil’s progress towards achieving the goals specified in the IEP
- Differentiating the curriculum to meet the needs of all learners, within their class
- Participating in a review of the progress of SEN students at the end of a term
- Consulting with parents to outline the support that has been practiced at school and the progress made by the student
Parents have unique knowledge of their own child and therefore have much to contribute to their child’s learning program.
Parent involvement and participation will improve the intervention and support by:
- Providing a good learning environment at home which provides opportunities for parents and children to participate together in developing language and numeracy.
- Supporting the work of the school by engaging in activities at home like storytelling, discussion about reading, writing lists, review what they have done at school, etc.
- Being a role model at home by modeling their own involvement in different learning areas.
- Discussing the learning targets and actions to be taken by the school to meet those targets.
- Discussing their child’s progress with the learning support teacher at the end of each semester.
The involvement of students in the development, implementation and evaluation of their own learning program is an effective way to support students’ needs, develop self-management and independence.
- Contribute to the setting of the learning targets on the IEP.
- Become familiar with their learning goals.
- Contribute to the selection of texts and materials that can help to achieve their goals.
- Reflect on their progress by participating in various assessments.
In order to provide the best possible support for students with special educational needs, the administration will:
- Collaborate with the Quest Coordinator on the process of admitting students who may need learning support.
- Acquire, and share with the appropriate teachers, any student records from previous schools and any medical references of the students in need.
- Arrange time for Quest teacher to assess students’ needs and organize possible support options.
- Provide information to parents about the school’s procedure and policy for students with special needs.
SEN Support within Each IB Programme
Whilst, the general ethos of supporting all students is a universal aim at DSS, the specific support within each programme is developed to support that specific programme. Also with a dedicated, support framework within the Quest Programme, details of support structures and implementation for each IB Programme are explained within the Quest Programme Handbook.
MYP teachers at DSS are expected to respect the general principles outlined by the IB when planning adaptations to teaching and assessment for students with special educational needs.
These principles are shown below:
- Where normal assessment conditions would put SEN students at a disadvantage, reasonable adjustments, including the use of Technology, must be given to allow the student to demonstrate his/her ability.
- The special adjustments put in place to allow students to demonstrate their true ability must not put SEN students at an advantage.
- Any grade awarded to a SEN student in any subject must not be a misleading description of the student’s level of attainment based on the course objectives. Schools may differentiate conditions in relation to the interim objectives to meet the needs of the student, however, in the final year of the MYP, the same assessment criteria must be applied to all students within the subject, regardless of whether they have special educational needs.
- Where special arrangements have been made for assessment, they must correspond to school policy and reflect the conditions available to the students in the classroom. Special assessment arrangements must be recorded and made available to the IB on request.
- If DSS requires validation of grades by the IB, then students with special educational needs should be identified as soon as possible.
Within the IB Diploma Programme SEN forms part of, though is not limited to access arrangements through IBO Accommodations. Where possible accommodation needs will have been recognized within MYP and strategies already implemented to support the individual student. Students entering in Grades 10 and 11 may either already have received SEN support in previous schools or may be identified as possibly requiring support within the Student Support Procedures from teacher referral, where this occurs Dwight School Seoul through the Quest coordinator will work directly with parents to prepare supporting documentation as part of the process for Request for Accommodations (D.1).
Requests for Accommodations will be completed by the Quest Coordinator and submitted by the IB Coordinator no later than April 1st of Grade 11. While formal provision of any accommodation will be received later in the academic year: through classroom management and Quest support, student deemed to require accommodations will begin a supported programme of training in the use of requested accommodations.
Dwight School Seoul promotes opening access to students through pedagogical methods which support the whole child. As such where students hold accommodations for the IBO, part of the educational process is developing how each student makes best use of the any accommodations to which they are entitled. Therefore all students have access to their accommodation entitlement for all assessments throughout the Diploma Programme in line with IBO Policy. Arrangements for meeting these requirements are developed jointly by the DP Coordinator and Quest Coordinator and implemented through articulation between subject teacher and Quest teachers.
SEN Policy Committee 2012
The Dwight School Seoul Special Educational Needs Policy was drafted jointly by the Early Childhood Division Coordinator, Primary Years Programme Coordinator, Middle Years Coordinator, Diploma Coordinator, and the special educational needs teachers, August, 2012.
The following documents were consulted to create this document:
- Learning Support at the Australian International School
- Dwight School Seoul The Quest Program Handbook 2012-2013
- Special Educational Needs within the International Baccalaureate Programmes 2010
The Dwight School Seoul Special Educational Needs Policy was reviewed by full teaching faculty and administration in October 2012.
The Dwight School Seoul Special Educational Needs Policy is scheduled for review December, 2013.