Dubai International Academy’s Learning Support Program consists of seven distinct components that work together to ensure each individual student has the necessary tools and support to succeed. These sections include:
- Mentoring of the Diploma and Middle Years Programmes At-Risk Students
- College Counselling and University Placement
- Special Educational Needs Counselling and Advisement
- Providing students with Emotional Support
- Academic Enrichment through the Gifted and Talented (G&T) Programme
- English as a Second Language
- Student Development through Teacher Training & Professional Development.
A team of dedicated specialists, counsellors, advisors and highly qualified faculty work in close conjunction to monitor student progress to ensure that all students are supported with individualised care and focus.
This programme creates unique life plans for each identified student in their specific area of need.
These plans focus on four key areas: inside the classroom, after school activities, clubs/teams/events, and external activities. Plans are developed with the input of the students, parents, teachers and counsellors, and are regularly reviewed and modified. In the classroom, differentiation strategies are targeted towards each student’s needs. Learning outcomes are tiered based on ability and lessons are modified accordingly.
English language support is provided in class to KG 1 and KG 2 children coming from non-English speaking backgrounds under the direction of the Learning Support Department. All KG teachers are familiar with key developmental stages in language development and have strategies in place to support language learners. Additional help in KG classrooms supports this.
English as an Additional Language (EAL) as a special programme starts in Year 1 and is available to non-English speakers or children who require additional support to access the curriculum. EAL teaching staff will work with small composite groups in designated EAL classrooms or join homeroom classes to support EAL learners, depending upon the learners’ needs.
In the Secondary School, we offer language support to all students from Year 7 to Year 11, who are users of English as an Additional Language (EAL). We aim to strengthen students’ ability to communicate fluently in English at school and in the wider community. In addition, students acquire the English language skills needed to make academic progress develop their potential, and affirm a sense of self-worth.
Our EAL programme strives to enable our students to join the full Language A Programme after a year in many cases. EAL has close links with the mainstream programme, but focuses on expanding vocabulary, oral skills, written skills, listening skills, comprehension and builds students’ confidence to interact in all settings.
We strive to provide an inclusive education to our student community, ensuring that students with a learning difference, our Students of Determination, all have a positive learning experience, make academic progress at their individual level whilst becoming confident, happy learners.
At DIA all teachers are responsible and accountable for the learning and progress of all the children in their class including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), also referred to as Students of Determination, and Gifted and Talented (ALPHA) students. The SENDCo’s and ALPHA coordinators are available to assist and guide teachers and parents in planning and coordinating the best support possible for these students. A holistic approach is maintained throughout, ensuring access to high quality education for each student at their individual level. Positive growth and helping students to experience success in their learning are the main aims of the Inclusion Team.
We work alongside parents, teachers and outside specialists to help students reach their full potential within an environment where diversity is championed. Support services include:
- Appropriate provision, resources and curricular options for identified students
- Individual Education Plans (IEP’s) or Advanced Learning Plans (ALP’s) with strategies to support the learning environment of the student
- Regular meetings with teachers and administration regarding the individual needs of the student
- Informal assessment/screening of the student
- Intervention classes targeting specific learning differences delivered by qualified specialists. Throughout the programs of tailored support, students’ progress is carefully monitored and recorded
- Smaller, personalised mainstream classes in Secondary school for English and Mathematics, providing a more nurturing environment for students that require this
- School counselling
- Access Arrangements for exams
- Partnerships with specialists including speech therapists, educational psychologists and occupational therapists, providing the best support and assessment for students
If you would like to discuss further your child’s needs, development or academic progress, please contact:
- Kindergarten & Primary School SENDCo, Francesca Edwards [email protected]
- Secondary School SENDCo, Asha Karam [email protected]
For regular updates please follow us on twitter: @DIA_inclusion
The KHDA guidelines on inclusion are set out in the Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework 2017