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Student Exceptionalities

Due to the rigorous nature of the academic program, ISNS is not prepared to support students who have exceptional needs that require significant support.  Should your child need special support, please contact the school administration.

Inclusion Policy

Philosophy and Purpose of the Inclusion Policy

The International School of Nanshan Shenzhen (ISNS) philosophy of inclusion is based on two of our core beliefs:

“We believe in the worth of every student.”

“We believe in the value of different perspectives.”

The purpose of ISNS Inclusion Policy is to increase the likelihood that children with exceptionalities in our school will make progress and grow in confidence in their own abilities and to help students become independent, motivated, life-long learners.

In this policy, the term “exceptionalities” embraces multiple dimensions including academic learning and social-emotional development.

Objectives of the Inclusion Policy

The implementation of the Inclusion Policy at ISNS is the responsibility of all stakeholders in the ISNS community, all of whom must actively support the achievement of the following objectives:

  • To ensure that students with exceptionalities have maximum access to the whole curriculum according to their potential.
  • To encourage a shared responsibility in the school, by all professional staff to support the Inclusion Policy at all levels of education.
  • To allow the Student Support Team access to the school decision making process through PYP, MYP and DP division meetings.
  • To encourage and ensure that professional staff provide equality of opportunity for students with exceptionalities.
  • To ensure the Inclusion Policy works towards goals related to the core beliefs of the school.
  • To encourage staff to continue to assume responsibility for the learning of all children in their class and to maintain high expectations for all students.
  • To ensure that support is related to the needs of the student in order to accomplish the outcomes of the curriculum.
  • To encourage and support staff to differentiate, ensuring access to the curriculum for all students.
  • To encourage collaborative planning and teaching by all staff in support of the Inclusion Policy.
  • To provide an inclusive climate of warmth and support in which students' self confidence and self-esteem can grow, and in which all students feel valued.
  • To develop partnerships with external professional agencies and/or skilled professionals to assess, identify and assist in providing support for students with exceptionalities.

The Head of School and Principals have responsibility for overall management of the Inclusion Policy and for keeping the governing body fully informed.

Alignment with the Admissions Policy

ISNS’s Admissions Policy sets out the criteria for admitting students to the school.  ISNS may not be able to accommodate the exceptionalities of all students.

The Admissions department will consult with the relevant Principal before accepting a student with known special needs into the academic programs offered by the school.

Parents are required to divulge all relevant information regarding their child’s exceptionalities and medical history (including a complete medical report of the child) to allow the school team to make an informed and realistic decision about the appropriateness of the child’s placement at ISNS. Each individual with exceptionalities will be reviewed on an individual basis at the time of application.

The review will look at the support the child will require in terms of human, financial and material resources, as well as the parental commitment to supporting their child’s educational program at home and school.

The school leadership will consult with the Student Support Team and Diploma Program Coordinator before accepting a student with exceptionalities as a candidate for the IB Diploma program.  If a student with exceptionalities is accepted into the Diploma Program, careful consideration must be given to the candidate’s choice of subjects. 

Once the decision to admit a student to the school has been made, it is our duty to provide all possible support within the limits set by the resources at the school’s disposal. 

Addressing Special Needs

Learning difficulties can arise at any time as a result of new curriculum demands, changed rates of learning, absence from school, settling into a new educational environment or a specific learning or language difficulty. There also is a need to challenge students with high abilities and stimulate a higher level of achievement in a particular area, or across subject areas.

When such special educational needs are suspected, the teacher or grade level lead should make a referral to the Student Support Team following the establish protocols.

The Student Support Team, in cooperation with the appropriate administrator and student’s subject teacher(s), will identify exceptionalities of individual students (including the highly able) by the following methods:

  • Liaise with parents
  • Liaise with teachers
  • Review of previous education history
  • Conduct observations in the classroom
  • In some case, require parents to obtain formal assessments by external professional consultants.

As soon as all information has been collected, the appropriate learning support team member and principal will call a meeting.  Attendees may include:

  • Homeroom or Subject teacher(s),
  • Members of the Student Support Team
  • Administrator(s)
  • Parents
  • In some cases, the student

During this meeting, the team will review and draft a copy of a plan to better meet the needs of the student. This plan will specify the student’s learning objectives, the way they will be achieved, the staff that will be responsible and the time frame for evaluation and review, all of which are subject to staffing, material and physical limitations.  It is the responsibility of the Head of Student Support to perform continuous reviews of these plans to ensure that they abide by the ISNS Multitiered System of Support (MTSS).  A record of the plan will be placed in the student's ManageBac profile and confidential records will be kept in an internal, secure location.

In situations where ISNS resources are insufficient in accommodating the student’s special needs, a recommendation of transfer to a different educational institution may be the most appropriate course of action.

Program of Study

As each child is a unique individual with differing needs, the program of study for each child will be unique to the child. Programs of study may also include recommendations from formal assessments given by external professional consultants.  They will attempt to incorporate the child’s learning style and multisensory methods.  In keeping with the Primary Years Program (PYP), Middle Years Program (MYP) and Diploma Program (DP), the teacher will, whenever possible, use materials related to the programs of inquiry as a vehicle to explicitly teach the skills with which the student requires support. 

The IB Diploma Program allows for limited accommodations for IB DP Examinations based on medical and/or educational psychological evidence. Application for such accommodations  must be made through the IB Diploma Program Coordinator in accordance with the process laid out by the IB.