At GEMS World Academy Switzerland, we believe in providing the best possible conditions for all our students.
That’s why we have a dedicated team – our Inclusion department – ensuring every child has the same opportunities to shine in a variety of fields.
In line with our core values, we respect each child’s individuality. All students are given full access to all areas of learning, and our teachers support them to reach their full potential, irrespective of race, age or ability.
Our inclusion programme is made up of four core strands:
Twice Exceptional and High Potential Support Programme (2E/HP) – for students who have been identified in our school as having talents in one or more particular areas academically. These students may also qualify for our scholarship programme. We have a qualified psychologist who screens and supports these students in our school under the guidance of the inclusion team.
Academic Support Programme (ASP) – for students with mild to moderate learning challenges. This might be in the form of push in and pull out support with a specialist teacher, assistive technology and individual or small group support. Students are assessed using CAT4 and MAP assessments. Support is based upon the individual need of the student. Provision for ASP is personalised to provide students the tools and strategies they need to cope in the curriculum. Typically, these students may have one or a combination of dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, attention and working memory difficulties, and speech and language needs.
Individual Support Programme (ISP) – for students with moderate to profound learning and/or social/emotional challenges. These students typically will have 1:1 or 1:2 support on a daily basis with inclusive access arrangements. These students will need support with a mixture of academic, emotional, physical and behavioural difficulties and sometimes medical needs. Each ISP student has a place in the regular mainstream classroom, however the programme offers an individually tailored timetable designed specifically to meet the personal learning needs of these students who are selected, considering their personal profile. We are a registered school for ASDAN, a provider of alternative programmes of learning. ISP has a limited cohort within our school and access to this programme is carefully assessed by the Director of Student Support Services and Head of School. There is an additional school fee for this programme.
English as an Additional Language (EAL) – for students who have arrived at GEMS with little or no English so they are equipped with the skills to communicate, socialise and access the curriculum with ease. Students are identified during the Admissions process and are then subsequently assessed by the EAL team using the WIDA language assessment. Four key components are assessed, speaking, listening, reading and writing.
Students are offered small group English language acquisition classes to support immersion. Students’ progress is monitored closely by the EAL Team, class teacher and the Director of Student Support Services. Each student has an Individual Learning Plan with objectives and goals, which are reviewed on a termly basis. Students’ progress is tracked using assessment and observations from class.
Exit from the programme is determined by the EAL Teacher using the WIDA scoring and class observations as a guide.
Collaboration is KEY
In all three-core inclusion programmes we work collaboratively with our community to ensure we can provide the very best educational and social opportunities for our students. Individual Education Plans are made for students and parent review meetings are set three times per year with parents, teachers and the inclusion team to review progress and targets set by the team.
In addition to the inclusion team we work very closely with local therapists and specialists both in house and externally. We are able to offer access to Educational Psychology Services, Speech and Language Therapy Support (English and French), Occupational Therapy Support, Psychomotricity, Behavioural Therapy and other specialist services in the region.
From the start, we have had a Director of Student Wellbeing leading a team of caring professionals that includes a full-time in-house Nurse, Wellbeing Counsellors and a Specific Learning Needs Coordinator.