SEN in the DP
In order to get the full support for students with Special Educational Needs I have worked with the International Baccalaureate, main school teachers and our school counsellor to establish Special Educational Needs support in the Diploma Programme.
Early on in my role I made contact with a school counsellor to get an understanding of the work she does at the school and find out the support the counselling department can offer students. It is a good idea to invite the school counsellor into staff meetings where he / she has given an overview of the role and explain how we can go from raising concerns about a potential Special Educational Needs student to getting them extra support from the IB if required. The school counsellor also meets new staff as part of the induction process.
The counsellor and I agreed a procedure where staff can contact us with any concerns they have about a student, on a range of issues from Special Educational Needs to emotional. The counsellor will then start the procedure of making contact with the student and parents. Having read the support the International Baccalaureate offers to students who require it I contacted them about how to set up a process where we can apply for extra time in exams, which needs International Baccalaureate agreement, including producing an independent assessment on the student. As the International Baccalaureate was relatively new in working in the Japanese language we worked together to create a form that students can take to a psychological and / or academic assessment. The form, which can be seen in here outlines the recommendations of the phycologist, aligning them with the different levels of support the school can give with and without the IB`s permission. The details on the form are from the IB`s Candidates with Assessment Requirements Document. As a school we got this form translated into Japanese and shared it with the International Baccalaureate.
I used the International Baccalaureate document `Candidates with Assessment Access Requirements` to create a document for staff called `DP SEN at Tamagawa` which can be found below. This document shows staff the procedures for getting extra support for students who have been identified as having a potential Special Education need. It includes the steps staff need to take within the school, as laid out in the Special Educational Needs and how the school must communicate with the International Baccalaureate. The guide also explains the procedures the school can put into place without having to notify the International Baccalaureate. I wrote the details from the document into our Special Educational Needs Policy which can be found here, which is updated on a yearly policy.
I created the booklet for staff at school using the following documents from the IBO:
- Handbook of Procedures
- Candidates with assessment access requirements
- In the cases where we have applied for extra time in the DP exams, I have worked with the Head of IB programmes, homeroom teacher, student, parents and school counsellor to understand the student`s needs and to get them analysed. It is important to remember that this process can only happen with the full support of both the student and the parents.
In every staff meeting, and during morning briefings staff are given the opportunity to raise any student concerns, including Special Educational Needs. When a member of staff has raised concerns I have held meetings with relevant teachers such as the student`s homeroom teacher and teachers of other subjects where the issue of concern might also manifest itself. At the meetings we discuss possible ways to support the student which I then share with the rest of the staff. Sending round robins to the staff is a good way of building up a picture on the student.
This booklet gives an overview of the steps school have to take to get extra support for candidates for their assessments in the Diploma Programme.
The booklet also shows the support that schools can give without needing to contact the IBO.
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