Learning Support at ISS
We believe that all children should receive the correct access and accommodations to be successful in their learning. We embrace differences in learning and diversity within our school community, and strive to create the best support for each student’s individual needs. Students all learn at different rates, and no child is the same. By embracing diversity in our student population, we are able ensure that all our students have access to the instruction and support they need to succeed academically, socially and emotionally. Students from diverse backgrounds may have different experiences and perspectives, and it is important for us as a school to acknowledge and value these differences in order to create a welcoming and inclusive learning environment. Providing the correct support for our students leads to them feeling that their unique identities are recognised and valued, they are more likely to have positive self-esteem and a sense of belonging in our community.
Learning Support Programmes
Additional Support (Wave 2)
For a number of reasons, a student may not be making progress in their academic and social learning. When we identify a student who is not reaching their potential, we look into this and seek to build a picture of the factors that are contributing to the students’ progress. It is our goal to ensure that all of our students reach their full potential, so, as a team, we take steps to investigate further. Through a system of pupil-progress meetings, parental collaboration and teacher feedback, the school will work with the student and their family to determine an appropriate level of support and develop a plan for providing that support. This process is often called "Response to intervention" (RTI) which is a multi-tiered approach to providing support and interventions to students based on their needs. Below identifies, but is not limited, to when a student may require learning support:
A student's performance on standardised tests or assessments falls significantly below their year group level.
A student is struggling to keep up with the pace of instruction in their classroom or is falling behind their peers.
A student is displaying signs of a specific learning difficulty, such as difficulty with reading, writing, or maths.
A student has been diagnosed with a learning disability or other condition that affects their ability to learn
Once a student has been identified as needing additional support, the learning support department will advise parents on the next steps to be taken to ensure their child gets the support they require. Our learning support teachers will introduce a range of approaches, such as individual and group support to fit the individual needs of the students. A combination of push-in (in class) and pull-put (out of class) models will be used.
Higher Level Needs Programme (Wave 3)
As a school, we understand that some students have additional and complex needs, which result in them finding it difficult to work independently in their classroom. The school is able to support these higher level needs through a one to one support model with a specialist learning support teacher. The specialist teacher will work alongside the school’s SENCO to provide an individual support programme that helps these students access their mainstream classes either full-time or partly during the school day. This Wave 3 level support is for students who are experiencing significant difficulties in academic, social, or emotional areas. A multidisciplinary team, including the school SENCO, specialist and external educational psychologist, work closely with the student, their family, and the classroom teacher to develop and implement a comprehensive support plan. This plan may include interventions such as individualised instruction, behaviour management strategies, and counselling or therapy services. The goal of Wave 3 support is to help the student make significant progress in areas of difficulty and improve their overall functioning in school and in other areas of life. The level of support for this individualised level is based on the needs of the child. In order to qualify for this support, it is recommended that parents provide an external report from a specialist educational psychologist or specialist in the field.
This level of support is not currently offered in our senior school.
EAL Support Programme
At ISS, we understand that our students come from a range of different cultures and backgrounds. We strive to provide access to additional language support as a result. EAL (English as an Additional Language) is a program offered in our school to support students who speak a language other than English as their first language. The program aims to help these students develop their English language skills and proficiency so they can participate fully in the school's curriculum and activities. The EAL programs includes language instruction in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, as well as support for academic subjects taught in English. The goal is to help students become proficient in English so they can be successful in their studies and in their future careers. The EAL programme is delivered in a variety of ways, depending on the specific needs of the students at the school. Students will be supported in the following ways:
Pull-out classes: EAL students may be pulled out of their regular classes for specific English language instruction. These classes may focus on grammar, vocabulary, reading, and writing.
In-class support: EAL students may receive support in their regular classes, such as having an EAL teacher or class teacher work with them to understand the material being taught.
Immersion classes: EAL students may be placed in classes with native English speakers to be fully immersed in the language.
Online Learning: EAL students will have access to online resources such as video lessons, interactive activities, and quizzes.
Language Assessment: EAL students will take language assessment to place them in the appropriate level of language instruction.
Cultural and Social Activities: EAL students will participate in activities that help them to learn about the culture of the country where the school is located, and to interact with other students and teachers in a social setting.
Collaboration with teachers: EAL teachers will work closely with regular classroom teachers to ensure that EAL students are able to understand and participate in academic content.
Parental involvement: EAL teachers will communicate with parents about the student's progress and may involve them in the student's learning process.
The Learning Support Team
As a team, we respond proactively to the diverse learning needs of our school community. We have a team of specialists working across the school, including a Special Educational Needs Coordinator, Intervention Teachers, EAL Teachers, School Counsellor and TA’s. The learning support team makes use of a collaborative model, and works alongside classroom teachers. As part of our role, we work alongside parents to ensure that clear communication and collaboration is in place. This good working relationship is essential to ensure good outcomes for our students. Sometimes, a student may have a specific need, and may require external services. The learning support team works to liaise with external services, such as educational psychologists and speech and language therapists, to ensure the student receives the appropriate support required.
Senior Learning Support
KS3 Intervention (Wave 2)
KS3 support makes use of targeted interventions for students who are experiencing some difficulties in academic or behavioural areas. These interventions are designed to address specific skill difficulties or challenges and will be provided in small group settings. The interventions are offered within the general education setting, with support from a specialist intervention teacher.
The KS3 interventions include:
Small group instruction in reading, writing or maths to address specific skills
Social skills groups to address challenges with peer interactions
Study skills groups to help students develop strategies for organisation and time management
Check-ins with a counsellor or school psychologist to address emotional or behavioural concerns
The goal of this support is to help students catch up to their peers and become more successful in their general education classes.
KS4 BTEC Pathway (Senior Wave 3 Route)
Some students may benefit more from an alternative form of education. Our KS4 learning support pathway enables students to thrive and be successful in their learning, and provides an alternative from GCSEs. BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council) is a vocational qualification that is an alternative to traditional academic qualifications like GCSEs. It is designed for students who prefer a more practical, hands-on approach to learning, and it focuses on the development of specific skills and knowledge that are relevant to a particular career or industry. One of the main advantages of BTEC is that it provides students with the opportunity to gain real-world experience and skills that are highly valued by employers, especially here in Koh Samui. BTEC courses are designed to be highly relevant to specific industries and employers, which means that students who complete these courses are well-prepared to enter the workforce. Another advantage of BTEC is that it allows our students to explore different career options. Our BTEC courses are available in Travel and Tourism and Sport, which means that students can try out different areas of interest and see which one they enjoy the most. Additionally, these courses are highly relevant to the local economy here in Koh Samui. BTEC also allows students to progress to further education and training. Many students who complete BTEC courses go on to study at vocational colleges, apprenticeships or university level. BTEC is a good alternative to GCSEs for students who prefer a more practical and hands-on approach to learning. It provides students with the opportunity to gain real-world experience and skills that are highly valued by employers, allows students to explore different career options, and provides a pathway to further education and training.