Understanding Individual Variability
Differentiation in the classroom is all about understanding that each class consists of a group of diverse individuals who all have a common goal – to learn and gain knowledge. Differentiation is about adapting the teaching to ensure that all students have access to learn. As the ISH mission states, we want to empower individuals to fulfil their human potential.
The Learning Support Service Department is working hard to identify any barriers to learning, since that is the first step towards inclusion. The barriers need to be broken down in order to engage different learner profiles in a learning process. Every student has unique learner characteristics and therefore, learning strategies must also vary. The whole process of catering to different learners is tied to different teaching methods.
Student Support Services at ISH encompasses learning support, psychological support and health support. The student support team consists of me in the role of Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), one full-time and one part-time learning support teacher, the school nurse, the school psychologist and two interns. We are all passionate about our common goal: improving the learning outcomes for our students.
Learning support is offered in individual or small group sessions and the type of support varies depending on the individual student needs. We offer pull-out sessions, individual in-class support, small group teaching and guidance for teachers and students. When a teacher refers a student to Learning Support, she or he needs to fill out a pedagogical evaluation form describing the student’s challenges and learner characteristics. The form is filled out in collaboration with you as parents, since we want to work transparently and because we want to share the educational responsibility with you. Furthermore, we want to be able to give optimal support to the students together with you. This is a new procedure which we expect will bring clarity to the support need system across the whole IB Program at ISH.
Successful learning requires certain elements, such as a flexible learning environment and an open attitude towards learning. We wish to be able to create these elements in our inclusive school. Regular monitoring for skill acquisition is part of the development work that the Learning Support Service department currently focus on. When we are fully aware of what we monitor in students, we will be able to obtain strong teaching practises that support every individual at ISH. I would like to encourage you to contact your child’s teacher(s) if you have any concerns about your child’s emotional, social or academic wellbeing.
Wishing you many enjoyable learning experiences with your child(ren) and supportive participation in our learning paths.
Karoliina Bøg Hokka
Student Support Services
Special Educational Needs Coordinator/SENCO