At ISL, we believe strongly in enabling our students to achieve to the best of their abilities. Our aim is to equip them to succeed in the mainstream classroom.To facilitate this, the department of Student Support Services has a staff of 4 teachers and 2 assistant teachers who work in close collaboration with the class teachers to support and encourage students who find learning challenging for a variety of reasons.
We have students that enter the school from many other countries and sometimes the content they have covered is different to what is being taught at ISL. The Learning Support teachers work closely with the subject or class teachers to fill in the gaps with Maths and the English language so that our students can succeed. At other times, students are identified with Specific Learning Disorder such as dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia. These students are given a specific programme that is worked on in small groups. There are other students that need a boost from time to time and they benefit from more individual attention to build skills and confidence.
The Learning Support teachers work both in the mainstream classes alongside the teachers and with small groups of students who are withdrawn from some class sessions. When a student is identified as needing support, the class teacher completes a referral form and the class teacher, Learning Support Teacher and parent will meet to discuss how to best meet the needs of the student.Standardised assessments are used as a baseline assessment to identify areas of need and to measure progress an Individual Action Plan (IAP) is then created with input from teachers, parents and the student with targets to work towards and strategies that will help achieve them. The Learning Support teachers monitor progress throughout the year and adapt the IAP as the students improves his/her skills.
As soon as a student is confident and successful at working with the level of the class, support is reduced and the Learning Support teachers monitor progress. The length of time that a student will be supported is dependent on the needs of each student. Our aim is to equip all students to learn effectively and to succeed in the mainstream classroom.
ISL is a truly international school and many of our students are bilingual. ISL has several ESOL teachers in the Student Support team who work with speakers of other languages. Therefore, we can offer the ESOL service at all levels of English (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced) in Primary and Secondary.
In the Early Years, students who enter the school with no or limited English develop their language skills through immersion in English. As learning at that level is predominantly play based with a higher teacher to student ratio, new students quickly learn essential language to communicate their needs and then move on to develop ways of communicating their feelings and sharing their thoughts for their classmates and class teachers.
As students move into Year 1 and the focus on reading and writing increases, ESOL learners are included in the separate programme with the ESOL teacher to develop the foundations of grammar, tenses, sentence structure and vocabulary. This programme continues across the Primary years. The ESOL teacher works closelywith the class teachers to promote key vocabulary for the PYP units of inquiry and to reinforce the grammar and sentence structure used in class in a small group setting. The ESOL teacher also works on his/her own programme tailored to the needs of each individual student.
Students entering the Secondary School as ESOL learners do not take the French or Spanish options and are timetabled for ESOL lessons with the ESOL teacher. The teacher will set assignments and assessments which are reported on in the termly reports.
As with Primary, there is a regular discussion between the ESOL teacher and the mainstream class teachers to ensure that the school is successfully meeting the needs of each student and creating an environment where our ESOL students can flourish and succeed.