GEMS Wellington Academy, Al Khail, is an inclusive school. We offer additional learning opportunities to meet the needs of our learners in an international setting, including support for English Language Learners, Student Counselling and Special Educational Needs Support. The GEMS vision for Inclusive Education is that we achieve excellence together by all students receiving the support they need to meaningfully belong to their school and wider community, feel valued for their contributions, engage purposefully in learning and experience academic, cultural, social and emotional success in a common learning environment. At GEMS Wellington Academy, Al Khail, we welcome children with a range of learning preferences, including students of determination (students with special education needs and disabilities), students who are gifted and talented and students who are English Language Learners. Our staff are committed to educating all students in a common learning environment with similar-aged peers. At GEMS Wellington Academy, Al Khail, diversity is made visible as a strength, respectful relationships are continually enhanced and all children fully participate in learning through adjustments and teaching strategies tailored to meet the diverse range of learners reflected in wider society.
Please share full details of any special educational needs, individual education plans (IEPs) and any Educational Psychologist, Pediatric, or other specialist reports (e.g., Speech and Language or Occupational Therapy) if completed. Sharing educational history with GEMS Wellington Academy, Al Khail, prior to a place being offered is essential so that staff can ensure an appropriate assessment of educational need, educational plan and resourcing is in place. Admission is not conditional on the submission of a medical diagnosis and we have effective transition processes in place for all children.
The Inclusion Team at GEMS Wellington Academy, Al Khail, is known as “The Bridge.” This represents the idea that the team builds links to all parts of our school community and enables all stakeholders to successfully collaborate. You will see Bridge logos in every part of the school, further evidence of the inclusive nature of our school community.
Students are not refused admission based only on their experience of a special education need or disability (SEND) and we give sibling priority for admission to students who experience SEND. Staff follow KHDA guidance and procedures for scenarios where, very rarely, it may not be in the best interests of the child to be placed in GEMS Wellington Academy, Al Khail. This information will be shared with the KHDA, following expected procedures.
All students of determination have access to the Bridge team which consists of the Head if Inclusion, three SENCOs, a further three specialist inclusion teachers, a Head of ELL and two further specialist ELL teachers. In addition to this there are two school counsellors who operate across all age groups.
To further support all students, the school employs classroom Teaching Assistants. From Foundation Stage One to Year Four, there is one teaching assistant per class. In Year Five and Six, there is one Teaching Assistant between two classes. These members of staff report directly to the classroom teacher and support students as necessary.
Those students who are assessed as having the highest level of Special Educational need , as defined by KHDA guidelines, are admitted as Level Three students, within the school capacity and following all appropriate information gathering and assessments. These students will be allocated a school based Learning Support Assistant who will work with the student on a one to one basis, as agreed in the Level Three contract. Parents play a full, collaborative role in this process. An Individual Educational Plan is put in place within six weeks of admission and this is reviewed on a termly basis with all stakeholders playing a full and active part in this process. All Level Three students will receive extra support from the Bridge team as necessary. The Learning Support Assistant fees are paid for by parents, in addition to the school fees. Level Two students will usually receive some extra support from the Bridge team in the form of in class support or small group withdrawal work. Level One students are supported by the classroom teacher with high quality differentiated resources. There are no extra charges for Level One or Level Two students.
The Bridge team are embedded in year groups across the Primary and Foundation Stage of the school. We support teaching in a wide variety of ways. These include leading professional development sessions for all staff on topics such as differentiation and Universal Design for Learning. The team also lead small group withdrawal sessions and support teachers in the classroom. We have now developed alternative pathways for small groups of students in two different key stages. In addition we work hard to build positive links with the external therapists who support our students. This has allowed us to facilitate a number of parental engagement talks on a wide range of topics.