Special Educational Needs Policy
MYP & DP Programmes Special Educational Needs (SEN) Policy
- Special Educational Needs - Definitions.
- School Context.
- Admissions (Middle Division, Upper Division, IB Programmes).
- Supporting Special Educational Needs in The Middle Years Programme.
- Supporting Special Educational Needs in The Diploma Programme.
- Supporting Language Development.
The Tamagawa Academy IB Programmes recognizes and supports making both the MYP and Diploma programmes accessible to the broadest possible range of students from Grades 7-12. The IB Programmes is committed to provide an adaptable, positive, safe learning environment that appropriately strives to meets learners’ needs and that encourages all learners to achieve their fullest learning potential.
The Tamagawa Academy IB Programmes understands:
- the need to acknowledge individual students’ cultural, social, and religious differences;
- the need to address as much as viably possible the special learning needs of students in the MYP and DP Programmes;
- the necessity to provide support to all students in order to meet their own individual learning needs, personal goals, and overall educational success;
- the necessity to identify and manage as much as viably possible the needs of students by implementing a variety of continuous classroom, learning, and or assessment procedures;
- whereby students identified with special learning needs the IB Programmes seeks advice, guidance, referrals and strategies from specialist staff and services;
- the necessity for consistent, regular, transparent communication related to special educational needs processes, procedures, and requirements with parents, students, and teachers
Tamagawa Academy supports the IB`s philosophy on inclusion through the following Programme standards and practices
- 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.
2. Special Educational Needs - Definitions
The following definitions are common references to students with individual learning needs, who have the intellectual capacity to meet all curriculum and assessment requirements, and who require special arrangements to demonstrate their level of achievement.
Extension: gifted and talented students who demonstrate extended levels of proficiency in their learning and require further challenging, extension, and inquiring tasks
Specific learning issues, language and communication disorders issues in reading, writing, spelling or manipulating numbers associated with issues in processing symbolic language (for example, problems interpreting music notation, dyslexia, dyscalculia).
Speech and language issues characterized by communication problems (for example, aphasia, dysphasia, articulation problems).
Emotional and behavioural issues Includes: attention deficit disorder (ADD)/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); autistic spectrum disorders; withdrawn, depressive or suicidal attitudes; obsessive preoccupation with eating habits; school phobia
Physical and sensory conditions Physical disabilities include a wide range of conditions that are not always immediately obvious, but affect mobility.
Sensory issues: hearing embraces an extensive range of hearing loss from mild to profound and can present communication difficulties; visual includes difficulties with either the structure or function of the eye, affecting vision.
Medical conditions The most common being: congenital heart disease, epilepsy, asthma, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, diabetes, renal failure, eczema, rheumatoid disorders, allergies, leukemia and other cancers.
Mental health issues A wide range of conditions that can affect a person’s state of mind, ranging from psychotic conditions, such as schizophrenia and manic depression, to eating disorders, anxieties and emotional distress caused by circumstances in a candidate’s life.
3. School Context
As an article-1 Japanese national, independent school, Tamagawa Academy accepts students based on both students and parents demonstrated commitment to the School’s Zenjin (Whole Person) educational philosophy and principles.
Tamagawa Academy Middle and Upper Divisions do not currently have rigorous Special Educational Needs (SEN) policies, processes and procedures established within the School. Therefore, individual students’ learning needs are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
4. Admissions (Middle Division, Upper Division, IB Programmes)
Students admittance at each grade level in Middle and Upper Divisions is based on:
- admissions application: application form, previous school reports, recommendations from teachers/ supervisors
- examinations in: Math, Science, Social Studies, and Japanese; (IB Programmes) English – Cambridge English Placement Test;
- admissions interview with both the students and his / her parents.
In accordance with the above admissions process, students may not be granted admittance to the School based on the required specialist levels of support that students might require. The School communicates that students who require higher levels of special educational needs support, parents and families must facilitate of their own accord any long-term, ongoing specialist assistance.
5. Supporting Special Educational Needs in The Middle Years Programme.
IB MYP Programme (Grades 7-10)
The Tamagawa Academy IB Programmes, with the assistance and guidance of the mainstream divisions and or specialist staff will aim to identify as early as possible the needs of students.
If students are deemed as requiring special educational needs, specialist staff referred by the school and the mainstream homeroom teachers will collaborate with teachers to endeavor to plan, implement, and monitor programs.
Specialist staff may also assist staff to devise appropriate learning strategies for the provision of subject differentiation. Accordingly, teachers will endeavor to implement a variety of continuous assessment and classroom procedures.
If the IB Programmes and or the School is unable to provide appropriate advice, monitoring and support for individual students and families, students may be required to transfer out of the IB Programmes into the mainstream section of the School or to another school.
6. Supporting Special Educational Needs in The Diploma Programme
Support offered by the IB in the Diploma Programme
The support offered by the IB can be split into two parts.
The IB allows school to make their own decision on provision for SEN students in exams based on the following criteria from the DP Handbook 9.1.2 “Assessment requirements not requiring authorization”:
- A candidate is permitted to take an examination in a separate room if it is in the best interests of the candidate or other candidates in the group. For example, lighting may be a particular consideration for a candidate with a visual impairment, or a room with an echo may be difficult for a candidate with autism. Furthermore, a candidate’s condition or the nature of the inclusive assessment arrangement (for example, a scribe, a computer) may disturb other candidates, in which case a separate examination room is justified. If the examination is taken in a separate room, all regulations governing the conduct of IB examinations must be observed. The candidate must be kept under the constant supervision of an invigilator.
- The coordinator may arrange for appropriate seating to meet the needs of individual candidates (for example, sitting near the front may be appropriate for a candidate with vision or hearing difficulties).
- An assistant, if necessary a nurse, may be in attendance if this is necessary for the welfare or safety of a candidate. The assistant must not be another candidate or a relative of the candidate.
- A candidate who normally uses an aid (for example, a coloured overlay, a Braille slate, a sound amplification device, a radio aid, a hearing aid, a low vision aid, a magnifying aid, coloured filter lenses) is allowed to use the aid in examinations. Note: It is in breach of regulations if candidates are found in possession of any other mobile devices in the examination room.
- A candidate with a hearing condition may receive instructions from a communicator. This arrangement must be confined to explaining the conduct of the examination and the instructions in an examination paper. The communicator must not convey information about any aspect of a question in the paper without prior authorization from IB Assessment centre.
- If a candidate has difficulties in reading or attention, test directions may be clarified by the invigilator or a designated reader. This arrangement must be strictly confined only to clarifying the directions and the instructions and not the content of the questions.
- Magnifying devices to enlarge and read print may be used by candidates with vision issues. These may include magnifying glasses and line magnifiers.
- For a candidate who has colour blindness, the coordinator (or invigilator) is permitted to name colours in an examination paper (for example, on a map in a geography examination). However, no other form of assistance may be given without authorization from the IB Assessment centre.
- A candidate who is hypersensitive to sound is permitted the use of noise buffers such as headsets, earplugs and individual workstations with acoustic screens. If an individual workstation is employed, all regulations governing the conduct of IB examinations must be observed. The candidate must be kept under the constant supervision of an invigilator.
- A candidate may be permitted rest breaks if required to do so due to medical, physical, psychological or other conditions. The amount of time permitted for rest breaks is not counted towards the duration of the candidate’s examination. Rest breaks must be supervised to ensure that the security of the examination is maintained. There must be no communication with, or disturbance to, other candidates. The amount of rest time and number of breaks permitted must be pre-determined and will depend upon the candidate’s circumstances, although 10-minutes per hour is the general recommendation. During a rest break, the candidate is not permitted to read, respond to the examination paper or write notes of any kind. Candidates may be allowed to leave the room for all or part of the rest periods. For example, a candidate with diabetes may be provided rest breaks to check blood sugar levels and take medication. If a candidate’s personal examination timetable is such that, with rest periods and additional time more than six and a half hours of examinations would take place in one day, rescheduling should be requested.
- A candidate may be permitted the use of a prompter due to attention issues, psychological or neurological conditions. A prompter would ensure that a candidate pays attention to the examination. The use of the prompter should not disturb other candidates. The coordinator or invigilator may act as a prompter, but the examination must be conducted according to IB regulations. In all cases, the prompter may only prompt the candidate and not provide any form of assistance. The prompt may be a gentle tap on the candidate’s arm or desk/table but should not be given verbally. The prompter must not draw the candidate’s attention to any part of the examination paper or script. The prompter should be familiar with the candidate’s behaviour so that he/she knows when the candidate is off-task. The candidate should be familiar with the kind of prompt that he/she would likely receive from the prompter. The prompter should be in a position that provides a view of the candidate’s disposition rather than his/her work. The candidate should not feel as though he/she is under pressure or scrutiny. At the discretion of the coordinator, a candidate may be given additional time to complete assignments during the two-year programme (for example, the extended essay, the theory of knowledge (TOK) essay) without authorization from the IB. However, if an extension to the deadline for the submission of work for assessment is required, the coordinator must contact IB Answers (See section 4.7 Access to extensions and exemptions).
In order to get extra time for one or more DP students in the exams we must follow the following steps in the DP Handbook 9.1.3 “Assessment requirements requiring authorisation”.
We must apply for special educational requirements 6 months before the exam session.
We must identify one or more areas of concern, regarding the student, for example: reading, writing, processing information, medical, mental health, anxiety, physical.
We must get both student and parent approval before we start the process. Without this approval the IB are unable to take any action.
The IB require two supporting documents from the school:
- The student must be referred to the school psychological / Special Educational Needs (SEN) counsellor.
- The counsellor must give the student a test in the area of concern only (The IB do not require tests in other areas). There are no official IB tests, each school/country will have their own preferred tests. If the school doesn`t have the tests, the counsellor should know how to get them, if this is not possible the tests can be bought from outside.
- The test scores must be sent to the IB.
- At least one piece of evidence of the student`s work (for example, showing unsuccessful work owing to lack of access or successful work owing to access given); the work submitted, which needs only be in one subject, must be work that has been written in English, French or Spanish.
- Teacher instructions given for the piece(s) of work sent in.
- Teacher feedback on the piece(s) of work handed in.
- Evidence of the support the teacher has given the student in relation to their potential learning needs.
- The teacher`s assessment of the problems the student faces in their subject and an overall account of his/her performance in the subject.
According to the IB Handbook of procedures, the following is also acceptable:
- anecdotal observations from the school such as records or correspondence from a class teacher, a learning support/inclusion coordinator or school counsellor
- an individualized educational plan (IEP)
- evidence of correspondence or records from a previous school where the candidate was enrolled and whether the assessment arrangement was used.
Procedures at Tamagawa for offering the IB Support in the IB Diploma Programme (Grades 11 and 12)
The process for identifying Special Educational Needs and applying for special arrangements in the Diploma Programme are as follows:
- At the start of each academic year the DP coordinator will address the school community to explain the IB`s commitment to inclusion and its supportive philosophy towards students who have special educational needs. The DP coordinator will give an overview of the support on offer to staff and parents through meetings and workshops. At the workshops the DP Coordinator will outline the provision offered by the IB, this information will also be communicated to parents through a letter in Japanese and English.
- Parents will be made aware that they can take the first step by contacting the school if they feel their child needs support from the IB.
- The Coordinator will make staff aware of the SEN process in the Diploma Programme as laid out in this policy and in the DP SEN at Tamagawa document at regular intervals throughout the academic year at meetings, staff briefings and in response to parent and / or teacher concerns.
- If a subject teacher suspects a student has Special Education Needs he / she will notify the Homeroom teacher and DP Coordinator of their concerns.
- The Homeroom teacher and DP Coordinator will speak to the student and their parents, explaining the process and the different types of support the IB can give in final exams and assessments (as seen in this policy and the DP SEN at Tamagawa document.)
- If there is agreement to carry on with the process, Yumiko Sakano, the school counsellor will be contacted and will meet with the student and parents.
- The school counsellor will recommend medical institutions who can give a test and diagnosis.
- The student's teacher (and other teachers if necessary) will provide the IB required sample of the student's work, teacher comments and teacher`s provisions for the student.
- The diagnosis and student/teacher work will be sent to the IB who will make a decision on extra provision based on the evidence received.
- The IB Diploma Coordinator will ensure that all documentation and registration of SEN students in the Tamagawa Academy IB Programmes conform with IB expectations and that “special arrangements” are authorised through IB Cardiff through the IBIS website. The IB Programmes understands its responsibility to determine whether accommodations can be made for individual students and that all such accommodations must be in agreement with IB policy.
- Accordingly, the IB Programmes recognizes that applications for special arrangements have specific requirements and require the appropriate supporting documentation. Hence, the Programmes shall ensure that all special arrangements comply with Section 4 of the Candidates with special assessment needs document.
7. Supporting Language Development
The majority of Tamagawa Academy IB students speak native-level Japanese, with most students spending their pre-IB education in Japanese schools. Some students have varied linguistic and cultural backgrounds due to living abroad and/or having multicultural families; most have native or near native level Japanese proficiency, although some students who have lived abroad come to the programme with weaknesses in their academic Japanese.
The predominant language of the school is Japanese, although IB teachers model and encourage the use of English whenever possible. The IB foreign staff come from a variety of countries, and interact with students primarily in English. IB support staff, as well as Tamagawa mainstream teachers who teach in the IB Programme, have varying levels of English proficiency, and communicate with students in both English and Japanese. The academic environment exposes students to a variety of world Englishes while encouraging bilingual development.
The primary language need for the majority of learners in our programme is to build both social and academic English skills and knowledge while continuing to develop their Japanese literacy. A few students who have come from other countries require support in Japanese language. All teachers endeavour to treat each learner as an individual regarding their language needs.
The majority of the IB parents are Japanese speakers. In addition Tamagawa mainstream teachers, mostly Japanese speakers, teach in the IB Programme. Official communication with stakeholders, through workshops and programme guidebooks, is done in Japanese and English.
Provision of language development
Students are encouraged to use English at every given opportunity, both inside and outside the classroom. In order to support students in the early years of the IB MYP Programme, the School makes every effort to allocate English/Japanese bilingual teachers to courses in Grades 7 and 8. For classes taught by such teachers, students may, in consultation with the teacher, submit assessments in Japanese and/or English. However, the expectation is that students will make significant efforts to increase the amount of English used in class and each assessment as they progress through the Programme.
English Language Morning Support Classes
- Middle Years Programme English: Language Acquisition students in Phases 1-3 are required to attend Morning Support classes from 7:45am until 8:15am each week as determined by the IB Middle Years Programme Coordinator. English students are assigned to a particular Morning Support group based on their current IB English phase.
- Morning Support Attendance is a priority over any type of extra-curricular activity.
- Some Middle Years Programme Phase 4-6 students may be required to attend Morning Support classes based on needs identified by proficiency tests and/ or work submitted in their IB classes.
- Morning Support classes are open to all students who would like English support.
Collaborative planning and reflection. Approaches to Teaching and Learning.
Approaches to Teaching and Learning, including differentiation for different learning needs and styles will be developed through weekly staff meetings and weekly departmental staff meetings and will be a focus of lesson observations between the Diploma Programme Coordinator and teachers.
A teacher learning partner scheme will be set up where staff can observe each other and reflect on different approaches to teaching and learning, including ideas for different learning needs and styles and different range of learners.
The school will commit to PD on differentiation to increase knowledge across the school community, developing teachers as educators of all. The school will hold an in house DP workshop with the IB on Approaches to Teaching and Learning in July.
In school training and workshops will include reference to the IB Document `Meeting Student Learning Diversity in the Classroom`.
Students and parents opinions on meeting the needs of all learners, including the support of SEN students will be sought through questionnaires, workshops and parent interviews.
The student counsellor will hold staff meetings where he/she will give an overview of his/her role at the school, the support they can offer and the system of diagnosing a special educational need in Japan.
This policy will be reviewed on a regular periodic basis in order to reflect the needs and profiles of the students within the School. The Review Committee will attempt to consist of representatives from all members of the school community.
The following documents were consulted in creating this policy:
- Candidates with Special Educational Needs (May 2011), International Baccalaureate
- Diploma Programme: Principles into Practice, (August 2009), International Baccalaureate
- Special Educational Needs Policy (March 2013), Highland Secondary School, British Columbia, Canada
- Learning Diversity in the IB Programmes (August 2010), International Baccalaureate
- Middle Years Programme: Principles into Practice (August 2008), International Baccalaureate
- Special Educational Needs Policy (May 2009), Queensland Academy for Creative Industries, Queensland, Australia
- The IB Guide to Inclusive education: a resource for whole school development.
- Candidates with Assessment Access requirements (Updated July 2014) International Baccalaureate.
- Learning in a language other than mother tongue in IB programmes (April 2008) Internal Baccalaureate.
- Meeting Student Learning Diversity in the Classroom. (May 2013) International Baccalaureate.