Each term the teachers in a Grade meet with the Head of Curriculum and the Phase Head. This is called the Education Support Team or EST. This team evaluates the performance of the children in each class and advises the teacher on how best to deal with the barriers. Those with specific learning challenges are identified. After perusing the Learning Profile on each child, a programme of intervention is designed. The parents are informed of the EST’s recommendations.
One of the recommendations could be for the child to be placed in the Inclusion Programme. The Inclusion Programme is a free scholastic assistance programme that is offered by our GAP (Guided Approach to Pedagogy) students and/or Room Parents. They assist the teachers by taking the Inclusion children out of the classroom in small groups to build their confidence and provide them with scholastic support. The tutor will monitor their coping strategies and encourage project preparation. Many of these children have language barriers and the additional attention provides valuable support.
The school also offers enrolment for children with special educational needs. Although they are mainstreamed in a limited enrolment programme i.e. only one severe Leaner with Special Education Needs (LSEN) per class, realistic outcomes are designed for each candidate. Simply being in a mainstream environment can be therapy for the child as well as for the rest of the class. Parents with severe LSEN children will need to supply a facilitator to assist the class teacher. Our school boasts a large number of children who have been identified as LSEN in their early grades, but who later passed Grade 7 competently. This is indicative of what can be achieved by allowing children to develop at their own pace.
Children with barriers to learning can also benefit from the Inclusion Programme during the Formal Assessment week. For a small fee, the Inclusion Programme will appoint scribes and readers for the children. The facilitator reads the examination paper to the child and records the answers. This provides an opportunity for bright children, who have specific barriers, to perform well during the formal assessment period.