The Student Support Services Team is integrated in the life of the school. The primary focus of the SSS team is to provide services for students who demonstrate need for additional support for learning, or who are experiencing difficulties that affect their physical, social or emotional well-being and impact on their functioning or engagement with school life. Support is aimed towards helping students to reach their full potential whilst being included fully in the school community. The team also supports and follows the progress of students as they transition from one level of the school to the next.
The Student Support Services Coordinator supports all members of the Student Support Services Team, ensuring that student support needs are looked at holistically, via a collaborative, team approach. The Student Services Team work together to ensure:
that support services practice is consistent with the School Mission Statement, the Principles of Teaching and Learning and IB philosophy/pedagogy;
that effective collaboration between the different areas of Student Support exists and that the team meets regularly to discuss students needs and plan best options for support;that team members work collaboratively with class and subject teachers to identify strategies for them to effectively provide support to students with specific needs within their classrooms – to ensure that the focus of student support is to help students to better access the curriculum within the classroom with reduced emphasis on withdrawal;
that collaboration with parents takes place, to gather important information and insights , in order to plan appropriate support and/or develop individual learning plans;
that a student-centred approach to student support is maintained – that is flexible, dynamic and involves students in their own assessments and in setting their own targets; and
that team resources are used optimally - that expertise is shared within the team and across the broader school community, and that teaching resources are used effectively to enhance student learning in the classrooms.
‘All students who apply for admission to MICS must demonstrate through entrance assessments and/or previous school records that they can benefit from the educational programmes offered. This means that they must be able to operate academically, physically and behaviourally at a level where, if additional support is needed, it is either for a limited duration or can be met through in-class support.’
Specialists in this area provide support to assist students with mild/moderate learning difficulties to successfully access the curriculum within the classroom. This is achieved through collaborative planning and support for class and subject teachers, to enable them to meet differing student needs through differentiation, flexible approaches, modified outcomes and/or additional resources, as appropriate.
Parents will be involved in discussions around difficulties that their children are experiencing and the development of strategies for home support.
Learning Support is not intended to provide an alternative programme or course of study and LS teachers are not ‘responsible’ for students with LS needs – the responsibility rests with the classroom teacher, with support from the LS team.
COUNSELLING & PASTORAL CARE
The school provides a comprehensive counselling service catering for students’ emotional, social, behavioural, educational, and career guidance needs. These services are provided by one full-time counsellor plus a teacher/counsellor who offers counselling part-time. Secondary Year Leaders and the IB Coordinator provide additional guidance and pastoral support to students at their levels. The school also has a part-time College Admissions Advisor.
There is a school-wide focus on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) promotes the development of knowledge, attitudes and skills related to personal, physical and social well-being. SEL is concerned with the development of the individual with regard to feelings, beliefs, behaviours and choices, and helps students to examine how these can influence their present and future lives. The school has adopted a trans-disciplinary approach to SEL in recognition of its importance, its application in all areas of the curriculum and its relevance to life beyond school. As such, SEL activities are inquiry-based and concept-driven, and can take place both within and outside of the Units of Inquiry or areas of subject specialisation.
By providing for a comprehensive, school-wide focus on SEL Morgan International Community School has asserted its belief in a broad definition of intelligence - to include social & emotional skills and competence.
School policy states that: ‘All MICS students should also have reasonable expectation for meeting the School’s graduation requirements with appropriate English language skills. Therefore, where a student seeking admission has English as a second/additional/foreign language, enrolment will be dependent upon their ability to access the curriculum in line with this expectation.’
English as an additional language (EAL) specialists provide both in-class and small group withdrawal support, as appropriate. The EAL teacher/s works closely with class teachers to ensure that support provided is relevant and directed towards helping EAL students to access the curriculum within the classroom.