École Internationale PACA, Manosque

European School Manosque – Educational support policy additional to the official documents.

1. Local policy for educational support

The educational support policy for the secondary school is based on the general documents for educational support for all the European schools “Provision of Educational Support in the European Schools – Procedural document” version 2012-05-D-15-en-10, “Policy on the Provision of Educational Support in the European Schools” version 2012-05-D-14-en-8 and “Instructions for the request of Special Arrangements in the European Baccalaureate cycle” version 2016-03-LD-16-enMB/cc.

1.1. Concept

Educational support aims at setting up remedial teaching when and where deemed necessary. Educational support is organised to offer support and help to students experiencing difficulties in one or more areas of learning and
who fail to reach the standard required in the relevant subjects.

1.2. Organisation/ Differentiation

The teachers take into account the different learning styles and needs of individual students. Educational support is usually organised for groups, but it can also be organised for one-to-one tuition in particular cases. The support groups are formed into small groups of students with similar abilities so that contents in the learning support can differ from course to course. Groups may be formed horizontally or vertically as appropriate and the teachers take into account the different learning styles and needs of individual students.
It is the responsibility of every teacher at the International School to differentiate within his/her class with regard to the content of the subject, so that the needs of every student are met.

1.3. Who is it for?

  • students:
    • in need to improve their learning / organisational skills
    • studying in a language section different from their mother tongue
    • arriving late in the system with gaps in the language of the section
    • coming from completely different school systems (e.g. lack of incorporation of certain subjects in their previous schooling)
    • with a mild educational difficulty (e.g. lack of concentration/hyperactivity, etc.)
    • with a diagnosed special educational need

At the end of the school year, teachers can propose that certain students follow Intensive support lessons. These are normally long-term needs. For the students that are experiencing serious difficulties it is possible to activate support courses during the school year. This can also happen at any moment when a specific educational difficulty or a gap in their knowledge is detected.
These are normally short-term needs.
Students themselves and parents may also discuss with the teachers the necessity of joining educational support lessons at any time during the school year.

1.4. Priorities

  • Educational support applies to all subjects; priority is given to:
    • Languages
    • Maths and Science subjects
    • Compulsory subjects
    • Exam subjects

1.5. Limitations

  • Financial restrictions – Budget
  • The school timetable (e.g. Cross sections: compiling courses for students from different sections)
  • Timetable of students
  • Timetable of teachers
  • Availability of teachers

1.6. Objectives

• Help students to overcome shortcomings in a specific subject and give them a more solid foundation in skills and knowledge

• Help students to improve results in the subjects concerned so that their promotion to the following school year will not be jeopardized

• Foster learner autonomy through enhancing students’ study skills

2. Specific Educational Difficulties

SWALS: The secondary school has the possibility of giving support to those students whose mother tongue or previous language of instruction does not coincide with that of the section they are enrolled in. Support is given to facilitate their integration in the new L1 and/or L2. L2: This programme aims at supporting students who have little or no knowledge in L2/, or had a different L2 prior to arriving at the school. It can consist of very intense support for a shorter period of time.

3. Organisation of Educational Support

3.1. General Support – Procedure and Documentation

For the students in need of educational support, the subject teacher writes a request to the learning support coordinator. Together with the subject teacher, the support teacher writes the Group Learning Plan (GLP) of the group’s work – the plan includes group targets and success criteria. Records are kept by the support coordinator. The parents are informed of their child’s participation in the learning support and also about the progress in the support group.

3.1.1. Role of the Educational Support Teacher

  • The support teacher:
    • will use appropriate differentiated teaching methods
    • will undertake detailed observation and assessment
    • will decide on the most appropriate teaching strategies for the student and catch up in the areas in which the student shows weakness; in consultation with the class or subject teacher and any other professionals
    • working with the student
    • will control the absences of students and give feedback to the vie scolaire
    • will write a GLP for the group receiving general support
    • will evaluate the student’s progress and give feedback to the subject teacher and the educational support coordinator
    • will keep records of achievement in order to have accessible information when needed
    • will inform the parents about the child´s progress and needs
    • will participate in the student’s class councils

3.1.2. Role of the Student

Students receiving general and moderate support are encouraged to discuss their needs with their teacher. Students are obliged to attend educational support the same way as a regular class; i.e. the same rules apply as for normal tuition (e.g. absence, homework, etc.)

3.1.3. Role of the Parents

Parents will play an active role in maintaining contact with their child’s teachers. Parents will make any relevant information available to the school on admission or during the school year. When parents decide to refuse the educational support proposed by the school, they will inform the school of their decision in writing.

3.1.4. Duration and General Characteristics of the Lessons

In principle, some of the courses are planned as all-year-round courses (long-term needs) at the beginning of the school year and they are mostly language subjects. However, they may be discontinued if the intervention is deemed successful and therefore no longer required. Students may be excluded from educational support if they do not show interest, miss lessons with no justification or do not take responsibility for their own learning, showing no effort or motivation. In particular circumstances, a student may be recommended for only a few lessons (short-term needs). These are specific educational support actions focusing on a clearly defined problem or on the revision of some specific subject matter, or in preparation for an exam, etc. Study skills or “learning to learn” strategies can also be the aim/ content of educational support.

3.2. Intensive Support A

Intensive Support is provided for students with special educational needs; learning, emotional, behavioural and/or physical needs. Students ’ legal representatives will provide the Support Advisory Group with a medical/ psychological/ psycho-educational/ multidisciplinary report.

3.2.1. Special Arrangements up to and including S5

When a student would benefit from a special arrangement in order to compensate for a physical or learning difficulty, teachers or parents can request this from the Director of Studies. Parents are informed that special arrangements have been recommended for their child and parents are asked to provide a medical/psychological/psycho-educational/multidisciplinary report explaining the need for special arrangements. The Director of Studies takes the final decision to allow special arrangements and to define in which subjects these can be applied. Any special arrangements taken are recorded in the student’s file.

3.2.2. Medical Reports

Medical reports should include the original test results as well as the recommendations based on the impact the test results show regarding the student’s learning. Approval of requests will depend on the original test results.

3.2.3. Criteria for the Reports

  • Reports must:
    • Be legible, on headed paper, signed and dated
    • State the title, name and professional credentials of the expert(s) who has/have undertaken the evaluation and diagnosis of the student
    • Through medical/ psychological/ psycho-educational or multidisciplinary report, state specifically the nature of the student’s medical and/or psychological needs and the tests or techniques used to arrive at the diagnosis
    • Report for learning disorders need to describe the student’s strengths and difficulties (cognitive assessment) and their impact on learning (educational evidence) and the tests or techniques used to arrive at the diagnosis.
    • Report for medical/ psychological issues need to specify the student’s medical/ psychological needs and their impact on learning (educational evidence).
    • All reports need a summary or conclusion and stating the accommodations required as well as where appropriate, recommendations for teaching/learning for the school’s consideration.
    • This documentation must be regularly updated and not be more than two years old. In case of permanent and unchanging disability and when the Support Advisory Group agrees, no retesting other than regular updates will be required.
    • In order to avoid possible conflict of interests, the expert assessing students will be neither an employee of the European School nor a relative of the student.
    • If not written in one of the working languages, be accompanied by a translation into French, English or German.

3.2.4. Procedures

  • A need for Intensive Support is identified either on enrolment or during the school year by a student’s legal representatives or teachers.
  • A written request is made to the Learning support coordinator for Intensive Support by the teachers or a student’s legal representatives.
  • The support coordinator contacts the student’s legal representatives and requests documentation (as outlined above) so that a meeting of the Support Advisory Group can be held.
  • The Support Advisory Group meeting is held to discuss how best to meet the student’s needs and to advise the Director on the arrangements to be put in place.
  • The Support Advisory Group meeting is chaired by either the Director or his/her delegate.
  • The support coordinator prepares the minutes of the Support Advisory Group meeting and the Intensive Support Agreement for signing by the Director and the student’s legal representatives.
  • Following the signing of the Intensive Support Agreement the support coordinator organises the Intensive Support and any other arrangements required.
  • An ILP is written by the support teacher(s) in cooperation with the subject/class teacher and/or support coordinator.
  • The Intensive Support Agreement is valid for one school year only and a full Support Advisory Group meeting should be held each year to begin, renew or terminate Intensive Support.
  • If necessary, a meeting of the Support Advisory Group, in either plenary or restricted session, may be held at any point during the school year to evaluate and/or amend the Intensive Support Agreement.
  • When the school cannot provide an appropriate education for a child it can declare itself unable to meet the child’s needs.
  • In such cases, the Director takes the final decision, taking the Support Advisory Group’s opinion into account.

3.2.5. Request for Special Arrangements in the European Baccalaureate

  • All requests for special arrangements in the European Baccalaureate cycle must be accompanied by a justifying medical / psychological / psychoeducational and/or multidisciplinary report. The reports must fulfill the following criteria:
    • Be up to date. It must not be more than two years old, i.e., it must not be dated earlier than October when in year S3 and not later than October when in year S5.
    • Be legible, on headed paper, signed and dated.
    • If not written in one of the working languages, be accompanied by a translation into French, English or German.
    • State the title, name and professional credentials of the expert(s) who has/have undertaken the evaluation and diagnosis of the student.
    • Provide a clear diagnosis according to DSM-V or ICD-10.
    • State the nature of the student’s medical/ psychological/ psycho-educational needs.
    • Contain a summary or conclusion stating the special arrangements required as well as where appropriate, recommendations for teaching/learning for the school’s consideration.
    • Reports for learning disorders need to describe the student’s strengths and difficulties through standardised scores (cognitive assessment) and their impact on learning (educational evidence) and the tests or techniques used
    • to arrive at the diagnosis.
    • Reports for medical/ psychological issues need to specify the student’s medical/ psychological needs and their impact on learning (educational evidence).

3.2.6. List of Special Arrangements and Codes

  • The special arrangements listed below may be authorised by the school Director for S6 and S7:Separate room for the test/examination/assessment.
    1. Change of seating arrangements.
    2. Taking of medication and/or refreshment in the case of a medical condition, for example, diabetes.
    3. An assistant to provide physical care for a student to ensure his or her well-being and safety. This assistant may not be a relative of the student or a teacher of the subject that is being examined.
    4. The use of a specific learning aid which is normally used in class, for example, a magnifying glass; a hearing aid; coloured overlay; a low vision aid; coloured lenses.
    5. For colour-blind students colours can be substituted with words on the test/ examination paper or a reader can name the colours for the student.

  • The special arrangements listed below may only be authorised by the Board of Inspectors (Secondary) or the Inspector responsible for Support (Secondary). The justification for any of these arrangements needs to be contained in the specialist’s report and/or recommended by the school.
    1. Modifications to the format of the examinations.
      1 Severe dyslexia implies a Standard Score of 85 or less on a standardised academic achievement test in reading and/or writing.
      2 Severe dyscalculia implies a Standard score of 85 or less on a standardised academic achievement test in Maths
      3 Severe working memory deficits imply a standard score of 85 or less on a standardised cognitive test
    2. Additional time can be granted to students whose working pace is affected by their condition. For each hour of examination, a maximum of ten minutes can be granted. For 90 minutes’ assessments, an additional 15 minutes can be granted. For oral examinations, a maximum of ten extra minutes can be granted only for the preparation. The oral examination will take 20 minutes in any case. The examination time will not be extended.
    3. Use of a computer or laptop or a typewriter to replace handwriting for students diagnosed with dyslexia, dysgraphia or any other disorder affecting written expression. School ensures that any computer/laptop being used is cleared of stored information and the spell check function and is not connected to the Internet. It should be noted that in
      examinations, other than language examinations, competences and not language errors, are assessed.
    4. Use of a spell checker because of severe dyslexia1. This request has to be confirmed by the school.
    5. A scribe to transcribe word for word the student’s dictated answers and to read back the student’s answers where necessary because of severe dyslexia.
    6. An audio recording of answers because a scribe is not available and because of severe dyslexia. A reader to read both the assessment paper and to read back the answers because of severe dyslexia.
    7. Use of a simple arithmetic calculator, whenever no calculator at all would be allowed, because of diagnosed severe dyscalculia2, because of diagnosed severe dyslexia, severe ADHD or severe working memory deficit3
    8. Rest period(s) – during this time a student may not read, write or take notes of any kind and may leave the room under supervision.
    9. A communicator to provide assistance to a hearing-impaired candidate through sign language or lip speaking.
    10. A prompter to assist a candidate with severe concentration difficulties or neurological disability in paying attention to the assessments tasks.
    11. Written instructions for a hearing-impaired candidate.
    12. Written answers for oral examinations for a candidate who has severe difficulties in oral expression.
    13. Others
      The list above is not intended to be exhaustive. Where the student’s needs cannot be met by any of these arrangements, further appropriate arrangements may be proposed. These arrangements will be only applied if
      the school is able to provide them.
      Once the request has either been accepted or denied, a Learning Support meeting is called with the student and family and an ILP produced. This is then sent to all teachers of the student, with recommendations from the
      Learning Support Coordinator. Any arrangements are monitored by the Support Advisory Group, the form teacher, and the secondary secretary’s office, especially for implementing any special arrangements with regards to BTests or exams. Any computers that are authorized for use in exams are provided by the school, with either a QWERTY or AZERTY keyboard, depending on the language of the exam.

4. Tasks of the Educational Support Coordinator

  • At the EIPACA, the duties of the educational support coordinator are distributed between three people; the Deputy Director of the School, the Director of Studies for European School and the Educational Support Coordinator.
  • The duties of the former are:
    • to carry out a preliminary needs analysis for the following school year by gathering information from the end of the school year reports of class councils.
    • to follow the proposals of teachers for educational support during the school year together with the Deputy Director of the School and the Director of Studies for European School
    • to facilitate Educational Support and subject teacher collaboration.
    • to keep abreast of the progress of students receiving educational support
    • to ensure optimal support or withdrawal of students from educational support lessons where support is no longer needed.
    • to produce an beginning-of-school-year overview in which the Educational Support actions are summarized to the different teaching teams
    • to collaborate with the Deputy Director of the School and the Director of Studies for European School on all required tasks.
    • to identify needs for in-service training.
    • to discuss the difficulties students may experience with the subject teacher and decide together whether or not to suggest Intensive A support to the parents.
    • to inform the Deputy Director of the School and the Director of Studies for European School of the current situation.
    • to attend preparatory meetings with the parents and inform them about the assessments required.
    • to collect, review and file all signed ILPs in the student’s support folder.
    • to meet with the relevant Intensive A teacher(s) / Class teacher when necessary.
    • to meet with the subject/ support/ class teacher(s) informally towards the end of the academic year to discuss the student’s progress and whether or not support needs to be continued.
    • to control for updated Expert reports every two years if the student is to remain in the Intensive A support programme and /or requires special allowances for tests and exams.
    • to attend the review meeting (SAG) at the end of the academic year to review progress and determine whether or not the student should continue in the Intensive A support programme and whether there are any new circumstances or changes in support provided.
    • to identify needs for in-service training.

5. References

Provision of Educational Support in the European Schools – Procedural document (Ref.: 2012-05-D-15-en-12)Policy on the Provision of Educational Support in the European Schools (Ref.: 2012-05-D14-en-9)
Instructions for the request of Special Arrangements in the European Baccalaureate cycle. (2016-03-LD-16-en-MB/cc)
More information on Educational Support in European Schools

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