Student Services: Personalized Learning, EAL, Counseling & Health
Student Services at NIS
Student Services at NIS is a team of staff who ensure that each student has the opportunity to succeed by inspiring and empowering all our students to think creatively and critically, to pursue lifelong learning, and contribute positively to the global community. Working across the school, the Student Services team reinforces the school’s Mission by providing support for any language, learning, medical, social or emotional need that may impede a student’s ability to articulate their dreams, to question the world around them, or to contribute to that world.
At NIS we believe that each student is an individual with individual needs; the role of the Student Services team in the school is to support these needs. This role may take the form of supporting a student's acquisition of English so that they have better access to the curriculum, or it might be helping to boost literacy or numeracy skills. Alternatively, the team might work to address a knowledge gap or be involved in revisiting previous learning to ensure students are at the appropriate level. Equally, their role may involve providing a safe space for students to talk through worries or doubts, or to support teachers in the classroom; co-planning, co-teaching and working with students. Since there are a wide range of possible actions, support is allocated based on the needs of the individual student.
The Student Services team can also undertake further assessments of students’ specific needs in order to provide detailed information to staff, parents and the student themselves about the things that can be done to maximize access to the NIS mission and curriculum. This information allows staff to better plan and deliver high quality lessons and ensure maximum progress for the students in their care.
We believe that inclusion and diversity are at the heart of what makes NIS a special place, and the Student Services team play a significant role in finding opportunities to celebrate our diverse community. The Student Services team tries to ensure that the strengths and interests of each individual student is recognized and valued, alongside the identification of any challenges they may have. The Student Services team offer a diverse range of skills, knowledge and backgrounds bound together by a belief in supporting the needs of each individual student in our community.
Student Service Aims
The primary aim of the Student Services Department is to ensure that the individual needs of all students, from Preschool through to Grade 12, are met through appropriate differentiation and teaching.
The overriding goals for Student Services are that:
- Students are identified as early and as thoroughly as possible.
- Students are integrated as much as possible within the mainstream curriculum.
- Students experience appropriate and meaningful adaptations and teaching.
- Each student’s potential is maximized; academically, physically, socially and emotionally.
Each student in Nagoya International School receives the provision they need to maximize their potential.
Student Services recognizes each student as an individual human being. It is about adapting the system to the needs of the individual rather than forcing the individual to fit the needs of the system. This means strengthening the link between learning and teaching by engaging students-and their parents-as partners in learning.
Student’s uniqueness is valued through learning experiences that will provide opportunities to celebrate their cultural, social and academic backgrounds. By identifying their needs, we seek to develop potential and nurture individual talents.
Student Services Strands
NIS has a holistic approach to supporting each student. As such, Student Services work collaboratively to engage in a TAC (Team Around the Child) approach in supporting students. However, Student Services staff tend to have expertise in one or more of the following broad areas:
The IB and Inclusion
NIS is an IB World School. What it means to be an IB World School is articulated in the Programme standards and practices. The following practices require schools to demonstrate their support for learning diversity.
- A9. The school supports access for students to the IB programme(s) and philosophy.
- B1:5. The school develops and implements policies and procedures that support the programmes.
- B2:8. The school provides support for its students with learning and/or special educational needs and support for their teachers.
- C1:6. Collaborative planning and reflection incorporates differentiation for students’ learning needs and styles.
- C3:10. Teaching and learning differentiates instruction to meet students’ learning needs and styles.
Inclusion supports the democratic process by teaching through the learner profile so that all students, including those with learning support requirements, are equipped to exercise their rights and accept their responsibilities as citizens in mainstream social life. As detailed in What is an IB education? (2013), IB programs aim to increase access to the curriculum and engagement in learning for all students, and therefore the terms “inclusion” and “inclusive education” refer to a broad understanding that embraces the diversity of all learners and all minority groups.
Inclusion is achieved through a culture of collaboration, mutual respect, support and problem solving. “Dynamic learning communities” refers to the whole school community, and any work on developing inclusion should not forget the voices of all learners, their parents and caregivers, support staff and non-teaching staff.
Students are at the center of international education in the IB, with their own learning styles, strengths and challenges. Students aged 3–19 come to school with unique and shared patterns of values, knowledge and experience of the world and their place in it (IBO 2013: 3).
It is the responsibility of the school and the leadership team to put in place processes to remove barriers to learning for every member of the school community. Barriers to learning may be found in the way schools are organized and resourced, their cultures and policies, the approaches to teaching and learning, the physical aspects of buildings and the ways in which individuals within the school community interact with each other.
The four principles of good practice identified by the IB as promoting equal access to the curriculum for all learners are: affirming identity and building self-esteem, valuing prior knowledge, scaffolding and extending learning. Student learning is enhanced when these four principles of good practice are considered in conjunction with the IB approaches to teaching and learning, which are those deliberate strategies, skills and attitudes that permeate the teaching and learning environment. The IB definition of differentiation (IBO 2010: 4) is stated as a way of thinking about teaching and learning; it is a process of identifying with each learner the most effective strategies for achieving agreed goals.