"Learning Support strives to empower students with diverse needs to embrace the process of growth within a supportive and caring community, leading to independence." Erin Madonna, Student Support Team Leader (Primary)
Learning Support at SIS ensures that inclusivity is so much more then just the presence of diversity in the classroom. Through inclusive practices we ensure that every child's strengths are employed to overcome their challenges. LIsa Jenkin, Student Support Team Leader (Secondary)
Learning Support Services
SIS recognizes and celebrates the diversity of the learning strengths and challenges of each of our students. In support of the mission, purpose, and philosophy of the school, as existing space and resources allow, students with additional learning needs will be admitted in accordance with the school's admissions policy. The school accommodates students with additional learning needs within the parameters of its existing resources and program options. Decisions regarding admission and continuation of services for a student will be made on a case-by-case basis within these guiding parameters.
Pursuant to these purposes and guidelines, the school (in partnership with the student and parents) will develop and implement appropriate support for admitted students to access the school’s curriculum and programs. Learning support services are not intended to provide an alternative course of study; rather they are intended to help a student be successful within the regular school curriculum.
Each campus has a full-time learning support specialist. The services provided by the learning support specialist include individual and small-group interventions, teacher collaboration and professional development, and parent education.
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
The EAL specialists at SIS are available to non-native English speakers with limited experience in an English-medium school. Students receive support through referral at the time of admission or by a teacher. The students are supported in their development of both social and academic language skills, utilizing the curriculum of the respective grade level. The EAL specialist works closely with teachers, and together they assess and monitor students’ English language acquisition. Students learn language in a safe and nurturing environment in which language is easily accessible.
The primary goal of the EAL program is to ensure access to the curriculum and expedite language acquisition. In order to achieve this goal, SIS supports a Sheltered-Immersion Model (SIM). EAL teachers work directly with students in their classrooms, simultaneously immersing students in the mainstream population. Students are not withdrawn from their classrooms. Within the students' core classes, support is provided in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
The EAL specialists and classroom teachers carefully review recent assessments, test scores and evaluate classroom performance to make a recommendation for support services.
English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses are available through Grade 6-10. The EAP course design is tightly connected to and aims to support the academic language demands of core classes (Humanities, English, Social Studies, Science and Math). The EAP teacher collaborates with core teachers to build the EAP curriculum backwards from the assessment tasks in these classes and based on the language needs of the students. The EAP curriculum develops academic language at the word/phrase level, sentence level and discourse level.
• Daily speaking and writing activities
• Explicit vocabulary instruction
• Explicit instruction of language functions required in core classes
• Explicit grammar instruction in context
• On-demand writing
• Continuous and ongoing assessment
• Communicative and cooperative approach
• Confidence building
We are committed to the optimal growth of all our students as individuals and as part of the entire SIS community. Our comprehensive, developmental, and proactive counseling program addresses the personal, social, emotional, and academic needs of our students. In addition, a focus on traits of global citizenship, effective communication, independent learning, complex thinking and collaboration skills help to reinforce the positive and productive learning environment at SIS. Counsellors provide individual and group counseling sessions, work in partnership with teachers and parents, and provide materials and resources to enhance the learning program.
SIS counselors are able to provide the following services to enhance student achievement and adjustment.
Counsellors in the Primary School
The primary school counselor supports the academic, social and emotional needs of primary students at SIS. The counselor offers classroom lessons and support services for students and families as they manage issues of studying and living in an international environment. The goal is to promote personal well-being, healthy relationships and the successful balance of academic, extracurricular and community involvement for SIS students.
Counsellors in the Middle and High School
Middle and high school guidance and counseling services support students in the development of their unique learning styles and personal growth. Classroom and parent programs are designed to help students and families in adjusting to overseas life. In the middle and high school there is an advisory program that guides the students in their academic, personal, emotional and career awareness growth. In the high school, an organized and systematic approach to academic counseling supports students in the development of a four-year plan to attain entry to the desired post-academic program. Individual and family presentations help with preparation of excellent college admissions applications and career planning.