ICS welcomes a diverse student population with a broad spectrum of learning styles and aptitudes. Experienced learning support specialists ensure that all students successfully engage with the curriculum.
Our Learning Support Department at ICS works to provide the necessary support needed for students to receive an education that develops their full potential. We do all of the following:
- encourage students with learning challenges to recognise their strengths and talents;
- provide the necessary support for students with learning challenges to access the curriculum;
- ensure that students with learning challenges are fully participating members of the school community;
- establish and maintain strong links between home and school; and,
- encourage the students we work with to be responsible for their own behaviour.
Primary School Learning Support
The Primary Learning Support programme exists to support the unique needs of students through appropriate instruction, accommodations and modifications to maximise their academic, social and emotional success at ICS. A key guiding principle of the department is to know our students well and define their individual strengths and weaknesses rather than apply global labels. The programme delivery is based on needs determined through assessment, observation and consultation. Learning Support staff, together with the class and specialist teachers, help equip students to learn independently and productively and develop lifelong learning skills and behaviours. Speech and Language services are available within the school setting.
To meet the needs of students requiring support beyond the regular Learning Support programme, ICS has a partnership with an Extended Learning Centre. The Learning Support Department also works closely with outside professionals such as Educational or Clinical Psychological services and Occupational Therapists, as required.
The Learning Support Department’s guiding principles are as follows:
- to know our students well and define their individual strengths and weaknesses rather than apply global labels;
- to develop a student’s understanding of their own learning profile and, given this understanding, promote their ability to self-advocate;
- to work together as a multidisciplinary team, drawing on each individual’s unique skills and strengths;
- to work closely with parents, teachers and other external agencies involved with each particular student; and,
- to provide the most appropriate instruction for each individual student.
Learning support services vary across a continuum of tiered delivery models. Services may be provided through the following:
- consultation with classroom and/ or specialist teachers;
- in-class support;
- withdrawal services, in which the student comes out of the regular class setting (often to follow a specific, structured program); or,
- a combination of these models.
Support may be provided on an individual or small group basis, based on the needs determined through assessment, observation and consultation. The structure of the support is based upon an individual support plan which consists of specific goals collaboratively agreed upon by the LS teacher, class teacher, parents and student. Plans are monitored and revisited throughout the year.
Speech and Language Therapy
Within the Learning Support department, the Speech and Language Therapist provides services to children who have communication delays or disorders that interfere with their academic and/or social- emotional growth. These can include difficulties with articulation, expressive and receptive language, voice and fluency, and the social use of language.
Secondary School Learning Support
The Secondary Learning Support Department offers help to Secondary students who have an identified learning difficulty. The aim is to help them access the IB curriculum as much as possible.
The learning support is based on our belief in the following:
- empowering students to take control of their own learning through effective study skills;
- helping students to understand their specific learning styles, including their strengths and areas of difficulty, and offering strategies to overcome those difficulties;
- developing a partnership with subject teachers to help provide differentiated classroom strategies that enable students to reach their educational potential; and,
- ensuring there is regular communication between the supported student, the school and home to maximise learning opportunities.
Experienced Learning Support staff help students who need curriculum support in two ways. One is an out-of-class programme - where students are taken out of class to work either individually or in a small group on learning and developing specific skills. Additionally, there is in-class support within specific subject areas. Additional academic support is also offered through after school drop-in sessions.