Al Ain Academy is committed to ensuring that each student with additional needs is appropriately provided for and fully included in the life of our learning community. We strive to ensure that each child has the opportunity to fulfill their potential. The department, in its design and implementation, complements the school’s ethos and aims, its teaching and learning policy and its vision for Care, Guidance and Support. All students are entitled to a broad, balanced, relevant and differentiated curriculum recognising that all students have individual educational needs which should be taken into account. Most of the support is based in the classroom through quality first teaching. However, some students will receive specialist 1:1 or small group support if this is felt to be appropriate to meet their needs. Others will be encouraged to avail themselves of the many opportunities offered e.g. representing the school at the Montessori Model United Nations or participating in Emirates wide competitions.
Our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) - Mrs Ashford, works closely with our Head of English as an Additional Language – Mrs Cooper, and our team of Classroom Assistants to ensure that the provision and progress of all of all our students is carefully monitored to ensure success for all. Furthermore, Mr Wray – our Able, Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator, works closely with Learning Support to ensure that the needs of those students who are deemed to be particularly able, gifted or talented are met e.g. via Master classes or differentiated programmes of study, or through visiting specific places of interest or exhibitions.
Interventions, where necessary, are planned for and implemented in close liaison with the class teacher(s). Parents and carers of children who require additional support will be contacted by either Mrs Ashford, Mrs Cooper or Mr Wray. Additionally, please feel free to contact Mrs Ashford, Mrs Cooperor Mr Wrayshould you require any further information regarding the work of Learning Support at Al Ain International School.
Tutor Groups at Al Ain Academy
What is a Tutoring System?
When a student joins Al Ain Academy they become part of our learning family and will join a Tutor Group – a small unit comprising of between ten and sixteen students. Each Tutor Group has a Tutor who is specialised in supporting students both academically and socially and who is trained to help monitor student progress and attainment.
The Tutor will meet with their Tutor Group daily and serves as a liaison point for parents with the teachers. The Tutor knows the students well and will understand how the student is performing in class but also how they are faring emotionally and socially; they will work with teachers, parents and careers to ensure that the student makes the best possible progress. The role of the tutor is essential since they are the expected first point of contact for any parent or other member of staff. Tutor time prepares students for the day ahead and the week coming up. This time is also another opportunity for students to demonstrate their skills of leadership as many students are given roles of responsibility within the group and sometimes the school where they meet a younger student and act as a mentor to them. Furthermore, Tutors will ensure that any issues are dealt with quickly and fairly.
What is a Tutor Group?
Each Tutor Group is made of students from a single Year group. Tutor Groups are designed to have a balance of backgrounds and this encourages students to develop as individuals and understand the needs of others. At secondary level at Al Ain International School we operate a Tutor Group system that is similar to the American Home Group and similar to a primary school classroom teacher in that they provide care for the students and have a greater and wider understanding of what each individual is doing and how they are achieving. The distinct difference between primary and secondary is that secondary students are taught by a variety of teachers who are specialists in their subjects. The Tutor acts as a liaison between the many teachers and the parent; they can contact the teachers and receive regular updates on progress and attitude to learning and they will work with individual students to make targets and action plans to help every student succeed.
Does the Tutor System link to the House System?
In Key Stage 3 each Tutor Group will have a mixture of House members within them. The House System combined with the Tutor Group system helps to develop a healthy sense of competition which drives success.
What do students study during the time with their tutor?
The week is different for every Year group as some will be focusing on options or exams, while some students will be considering friendships and how to get along in the workplace. Sunday is an opportunity to speak with the tutor and check their uniform, Planner and equipment for the week. The rest of the week will entail a mixture of activities from collecting any House Points or acknowledging Postcards, to Assemblies or an opportunity to reflect on a particular focus such as United Nations Day. Tutor Groups are involved in planning for and delivering Assemblies either to their Year group or the whole School. Other activities during tutor time include Tutor based competitions and, once a week, Tutors will deliver a PHSE lesson.
What can Tutor Groups achieve at Al Ain Academy?
Tutor Groups work together every term to ensure they are the best. They are working to be awarded the Tutor Group of the Term for their Key Stage. The Tutor Group of the Term is an award for the tutor group that has made the most progress. They should be doing well in lessons, they should be participating well in the wider school life of Al Ain International School, they should have outstanding attendance and punctuality as a group, and most importantly they should work as a team to ensure they are all succeeding. At the end of the academic year, one Tutor Group will be selected to enjoy a special treat!
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