The Heritage School stands for the spirit of inclusion, acceptance and valuing of human differences. Here, students with special or different needs are not conditional members of their classes; they have a sense of belonging to the school community. The differentiation of instruction is practiced in a general classroom setting to enable learning of all children. Since the ability levels of all children vary on a continuum in a regular classroom, the school makes it mandatory for all teachers to develop skills that will effectively reach all students (with or without disability) on the continuum. The schools’ team of professionals includes special educators, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and counsellors.
The school screens all children; every year children with different needs are identified and offered alternative interventions. The goal is to screen and identify children with learning needs as early as possible and to provide them appropriate interventions from the elementary school onwards. The philosophy of the school is to integrate children in general education classroom as far as possible so that students can access the curriculum and content of general education and develop positive peer friendships as these experiences provide a richer foundation for learning.
At Heritage, a range of placement options is available for children with special needs. Children with autism, learning disability, ADHD, cognitive delays (ranging from mild to moderate), visually impaired, developmentally delayed, hearing impaired, cerebral palsy, etc., are very much a part of the Heritage learning community. In some classrooms, the children are accompanied by special educators but students with milder forms of disabilities are fully integrated without any support from a special educator in the classroom.
All children who are identified as special enter an Individualized Educational Programme (IEP). The special and general education teachers collaborate to plan and to modify instruction and assessments to resolve day-to-day problems and share successes. Many students receive instruction at an appropriate social or academic level within the general education classroom. Others whose needs are more special are placed in an integrated programme where the curriculum is modified as per their needs. The goal for all students is to clear national standardised board exams. However, some, based on their needs, may take modified versions or alternative assessments.
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