Raffles World Academy (RWA) is truly inclusive as a school through the value it holds to that every student’s contribution matters.
The Inclusion Team provides appropriate support to students experiencing Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) who are the Determined Ones, students with special talents or giftedness (the Highly Able), and those requiring English language support with English as an Additional Language (EAL).
For further details on our programme, please contact Ms. Hayley Bunsell, Head of Inclusion, at [email protected]
All students applying for Grade 2 and above sit the CAT4 tests as part of our admission process. Should scores from these tests not be in the expected range, the admissions staff contact the Head of Inclusion regarding these new applicants. The admissions department collates data from previous school reports for all students from KG1 to Grade 12 and this information is also provided to the Head of Inclusion, as required. Additionally, the admissions team is also familiar with the identification procedures followed for students experiencing SEND and decide on when the application needs to be passed onto the Head of Inclusion for further assessment.
Once assessed, the Head of Inclusion then liaises with the Head of Section and/or the Principal to make the final decision. Should a student require additional assistance, the Inclusion Support Department puts in place the appropriate support, based on whether the student needs fall under Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, the Gifted and Talented, or English as an Additional Language.
B) Teacher Referrals:
Individual teachers can refer any student to the Inclusion Support department throughout the academic year. The referral form duly filled in by homeroom / subject teachers is sent to the Head of Inclusion. This referral form, alongside the standardized testing data, teacher observations and parent/student interviews, helps in making decisions regarding the support provisions that need to be put in place to cater to the individual needs of students needing support.
For students experiencing special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), the teacher referral form is followed by observations by the inclusion support teacher along with internal screening assessments and discussions with parents, to set up appropriate provision for students with SEND. In line with DSIB guidelines, we support students experiencing SEND with or without external educational psychologists' assessment report. The school also helps the parents in making individual learning support assistant (ILSA) provision available, if needed.
For Highly Able students, teachers complete the Gifted and Talented Evaluation Scales (GATES) screener forms. These are evaluated by the Head of Inclusion and a Talented and Gifted (TAG) register is maintained, which is further reviewed by the Head of Section to determine whether the student requires the TAG programme. The comprehensive TAG register is shared with all the relevant staff and suitable programmes are planned collaboratively.
For students with English as an Additional Language (EAL), teachers fill in the referral form and send it to the Head of Inclusion. This is followed by an observation and a placement test by the EAL teacher. Based on the results of these tests, EAL support is provided for the academic year.
C) GL Assessment Data Based Referrals:
All students appear for standardized testing at the beginning of the academic year. The Cognitive Ability Testing (CAT4) combined with the Progress Tests data play an important role in the identification of students experiencing SEND, and those that may be Highly Able or having EAL needs. The Head of Inclusion is responsible for the analysis of the standardized testing data for the whole school to help determine possible additional needs that students may have.
Raffles World Academy (RWA) upholds the principles of the Dubai Disabilities Strategy to assure and protect the rights and access to equitable opportunities for people of determination through the services of its Inclusion Action Team. Our inclusion provisions are developed with an eye on our school’s strategic improvement plan for inclusion, which is geared towards meeting the Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework | PDF 3MB by 2020.
The concept of inclusive education lies at the heart of effective education. It encompasses the principles of diversity, personalization, equity, respect, acceptance and enrichment. When we improve the quality of inclusion within our schools, we improve education for all
Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework, 2017
The Inclusion Team works across the entire school to put in place special educational needs provision that is an integral part of the program on offer, working side by side with teachers and leaders to cultivate inclusion as an essential feature of RWA. In addition to the school’s Principal, the Head of Primary, the Head of Secondary, the Head of Inclusion and the Inclusion Support Teachers, all members of staff have specific responsibilities in providing every student access to the curriculum. This makes the continuous cycle of identifying, planning, teaching, learning, assessing and evaluating vital to the process as it requires every teacher to take into account the wide range of abilities, aptitudes and interests of the students. At RWA, we encourage students of determination to be a part of the activities of the school, wherever possible and reasonably practical, whilst being considerate of optimal learning for all students present. Personalized learning is implemented within the learning environment to ensure progress of all students, highlighting how inclusion is of benefit to every member of the community.
‘Talented and Gifted’ refers to having outstanding ability in one or more areas of intelligence, creativity, academic achievement or special talents and abilities, such as the performing arts or in a leadership capacity. Once identified, individual teachers support the Talented and Gifted (TAG) students at RWA with challenging learning objectives, independent research opportunities, flexible grouping, etc. within the main classrooms.
Additional TAG services may be in the form of enrichment programmes inside the general education classes or resource rooms. These include assigning students’ individual projects and studies or having them attend lectures, debates, educational seminars, or participate in educational competitions, thereby providing students with a variety of programmes to solve problems, build leadership, communication and computer skills, and other such enrichment programmes.
The Inclusion Support Team coordinates and develops resources for the Enrichment Club in the Primary School. This is run as a co-curricular activity (CCA) for Grades 1 to 5. In the Secondary School, our Highly Able (TAG) students in each grade are mentored by various members of staff. The Head of Inclusion coordinates this mentorship programme.
The English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme is available for students who are in need of English language support in the Primary School and is provided via pull-out or in-class support sessions.
Pull-out Sessions: Students are pulled-out of the homeroom class to attend lessons with the EAL teacher on a scheduled basis to target specific language goals at the level of the student. This small-group situation provides a safe learning environment for students to practice speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.
In-class Sessions: EAL in-class support takes place in the homeroom classes with EAL students grouped and provided with support. The homeroom teacher and the EAL teacher work collaboratively to plan and strategize how best to assist and help students during these lessons.
In the Secondary School, students having English as an additional language join the curriculum English Language Acquisition lessons, wherein they are able to work on their English language skills within the Middle Years Programme (MYP) setting.
As RWA is an IB continuum school, all our staff members are language teachers and trained to cater to a diverse student population.