Ask the expert: Amanda Jayne Harriet Buckley
Mother, Baby and Child speaks to Amanda Jayne Harriet Buckley, Assistant Headteacher, Inclusion, Attitudes & Aspirations, Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba
How can a school ensure its students feel like they’re part of a community?
Dubai is a very cosmopolitan city where many cultures live harmoniously alongside each other. This is reflected in our school community where it’s clear that children from all around the world learn wonderfully together. In a place where many of us don’t have our extended family, being an inclusive school is so important because it ensures that all students truly feel that they’re part of the school community
What is the ‘Achievement Centre’ and where does this fit in?
Pupils are referred to the Achievement Centre when their teachers feel that they need some additional support. This could be for many reasons:
- They have moved to Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba from a different curriculum and have some gaps in their understanding within the British curriculum.
- English isn’t their first language and they need some language support.
- They have a special educational need or disability.
- They’re more or exceptionally-able students.
We offer inclusive provision with additional support, intervention, differentiation and personalisation where appropriate. This might be through support within the classroom, in a small group or in a 1:1 situation.
What does ‘inclusion’ mean for Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba?
We believe that all children have the right to access quality educational provision. Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba caters for students with a range of special educational needs and disabilities, along with those who have English as an additional language, and those who might be more or exceptionally able.
Every child is different and has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. We always play to children’s strengths while supporting them with things that they may find challenging. Inclusion doesn’t simply mean the placement of students with special educational needs in mainstream classes, but the way in which a school community supports and addresses the individual needs of each child, whatever these may be.
What does ‘differentiation’ mean for Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba?
One of the most important principles of inclusive education is that no two learners are alike. Therefore, we place great emphasis on creating opportunities for students to learn and be assessed in different ways. We consider a wide range of learning styles, ability levels and interests when planning and delivering lessons.