The school recognises the recent publication of expectations regarding Inclusion and will meet KHDA and UAE Ministry expectations that it will operate as an inclusive school that enables students of all backgrounds and abilities to meet their potential and develop their strengths. All children will be valued and will be entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum. They will be made to feel secure and supported, they will have opportunities to experience success, and they will experience both challenge and support to help them learn. Effective assessment – and close partnership between children, parents, school and other agencies – will enable the child’s needs to be met successfully.

Students with special needs are identified in a range of ways, such as:

  • the entry assessments and transfer records during admission
  • CAT4 testing and performance in all external examinations
  • teacher assessment in classrooms
  • performance in end-of-term or end-of-year exams (internal), and
  • the student tracking system.

Teachers will be trained to identify qualities associated with common learning difficulties, such as dyslexia. The Special Education Needs (SEN) Coordinator will work with each Year Leader to examine the progress of low-performing and high-performing students, as well as students who are not making expected progress. The school will consult with parents and use professional services external to the school where there are specialist diagnostics or support required.

Teachers and support staff will work closely with the Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) and Counselling staff who have particular specialisms in early childhood development and behaviour. SEND staff will prioritise observation in classes especially where children are newly admitted and help with the child’s settling in. They will use developmental checklists (concentrating on literacy, numeracy, personal and social ‘small steps’ to larger goals) and share observations with the SEN Coordinator and the Communication Specialist, so that a unified approach is ensured. Students who require a modified curriculum will be enabled accordingly.

Parents are also heavily involved in the target-setting process. They engage and approve the Individualised Education Programme (IEP) and have their own roles and responsibilities in contributing towards their child's achievement. Parents are also supported through workshops to create understanding and awareness of how their children are being supported in their learning.

With gifted and talented students, the school will provide customised enhancements and challenges designed to build on the identified student strengths. The systems and can be summarised as:

  • baselining potential and achievement
  • using student tracking to identify high performers and fast-progression
  • training and requiring teachers to identify high performers
  • requiring subject leaders to design schemes of work which include differentiated opportunities, enhancements and extensions
  • good communication with parents
  • twice-yearly monitoring and evaluation.

The key components in engaging parents of children with special educational needs, and forging a strong partnership, are:

  • initial communication to share questions, issues, information or concerns
  • agreement on diagnostics and on processes for clarifying needs and potential remedies
  • sharing of diagnostic feedback
  • cooperation and consultation in decision-making which the parent can control
  • familiarisation of parents with all the individuals, experts and responsibility-holders involved
  • clarity of plans about interventions and tiers of support
  • clarity about any short-term or broader resource implications for the parents
  • sign-off of agreed ways forward and of how to communicate this to the child
  • agreement concerning home support that is required
  • monitoring of progress and regular informal feedback
  • use of milestone feedback points to facilitate evaluation and review, and
  • the cycle renews.

In all these steps, a culture of clarity, communication, kindness, trust and respect is crucial. Parents will be shown how to communicate their concerns, if they have any.