Alia National School values the individuality of all children. We are committed to giving all our children every opportunity to achieve the highest of standards. (These are stated in the school's aim, mission statement and objectives which are reviewed and reflected upon annually.) We do this by taking account of pupils' varied life experiences and needs. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum and have high expectations of all our children. The achievements, attitudes and well being of all our children matter. This policy helps to ensure that the school promotes the individuality of all our children, irrespective of ethnicity, attainment, age, disability, gender or background.
Alia National School aims to be an inclusive school. We actively seek to remove the barriers to learning and participation that can hinder or exclude individual pupils or groups of pupils. This means that equality of opportunity must be a reality for all our children. We make this a reality through the attention we pay to the different individuals and groups of children within our school:
- girls and boys;
- children who need support to learn English as an additional language;
- children with additional learning needs;
- able and talented children;
Our Curriculum is a key part in planning a curriculum that meets the specific needs of individuals and groups of children. We meet these needs through:
- setting appropriate learning challenges;
- responding to the diverse needs of the children;
- overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils;
- providing other curricular opportunities to meet the needs of individuals or groups of children;
- commitment to the Core aims for Children and Young People (Every Child Matters).
We achieve educational inclusion by continually reviewing what we do, by asking ourselves these questions:
- do all our children achieve their best?
- are there differences in the achievement of different groups of children?
- what are we doing for those children who we know are not achieving their best?
- are our actions effective?
- are we successful in promoting racial harmony and preparing pupils to live in a diverse society?
Learning and teaching styles
We aim to give all our children the opportunity to succeed and reach the highest level of personal achievement. We analyze the attainment of different groups of pupils to ensure that all pupils are achieving as much as they can. We also make ongoing assessments of each child's progress. Teachers use this information when planning their lessons. It enables them to take into account the abilities of all their children. For some children, we adapt programs of learning from a previous phase delivered in age related interest level.
When the attainment of a child falls significantly below the expected level - using formative and standardized assessments - teachers enable the child to succeed by planning work that is in line with their child's individual needs. Where the attainment of a child significantly exceeds the expected level of attainment, teachers use materials from a later key stage or extend the breadth of work within the area or areas for which the child demonstrates a particular aptitude.
Teaching and support staff are familiar with the equal opportunities legislation covering race, gender and disability.
Teachers and support staff ensure that all children:
- feel secure and know that their contributions are valued;
- appreciate and value the differences they see in others;
- take responsibility for their own actions;
- are taught in groupings that allow them all to experience success;
- use materials that reflect a range of social and cultural backgrounds without stereotyping;
- have a common curriculum experience that allows for a range of different learning styles;
- have challenging targets that enable them to succeed;
- participate fully regardless of disabilities or medical needs.
Children with disabilities
Some children in Alia National School have disabilities. We are committed to meeting the needs of these children as we are to meeting the needs of all groups of children within our school. All reasonable steps are taken to ensure that these children are not placed at a substantial disadvantage compared to non-disabled children.
The school is committed to providing an environment, within its resources and Health and Safety consideration, which allows disabled children full access to all areas of learning. Teachers modify their learning and teaching expectations as appropriate for children with disabilities. For example, they may be given additional time to complete certain activities or modify teaching materials. In their planning, teachers ensure that they give children with disabilities the opportunity to develop skills in practical aspects of the curriculum.
Teachers and support staff ensure that the work undertaken by disabled children:
- takes account of their pace of learning and the equipment they use;
- takes account of the effort and concentration needed in oral work or when, for example, using vision aids;
- is adapted or offers alternative activities in those subjects where children are unable to manipulate tools or equipment, or use certain types of materials;
- allows opportunities for them to take part in educational visits and other activities linked to their studies;
- includes approaches that allows hearing-impaired children to learn about sound in science and music, and visually impaired children both to learn about light in science and also to use visual resources and images both in art and design and in design and technology;
- uses assessment techniques that reflect their individual needs and abilities;
- takes account of pupils whose disabilities impact upon their behavior and make reasonable adjustments to accommodate this.
The school, where necessary, modify the Curriculum and its assessment arrangements. Alia's school policy is to do this only in exceptional circumstances. The school makes every effort to meet the learning needs of all its children without recourse to modification. Alia achieves this through greater differentiation of planned learning or through the provision of learning resources. When necessary, Alia also supports learning through the involvement of appropriate external specialists. In such cases, teachers work closely with them to support the child.
In exceptional circumstances we may decide that is the correct procedure to follow. This would only be undertaken following detailed consultation with parents. The school SPED Supervisor with responsibility for additional learning needs would also be closely involved in this process. Alia would ensure that every effort had been made to provide the necessary support from within the school's resources before considering such action.
In Alia National School we value each child as a unique individual. We will always continue to strive to meet the needs of all our children and seek to ensure that we meet all statutory requirements related to matters of inclusion.