Member School Spotlight

School of the Nations

Tell us about your school?

At SON, we envision a learning environment where neurodiverse learners are not only accepted but celebrated for their unique perspectives and contributions. Our commitment to inclusion extends beyond mere accommodation; it is rooted in a deep belief in the inherent value of every individual. We strive to create a supportive and nurturing community where neurodiverse learners feel empowered to explore their interests, develop their talents, and achieve their goals. Through collaboration, advocacy, and a strengths-based approach, we aim to cultivate a culture of inclusion where all students can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

How does your community recognize and celebrate diversity?

At School of the Nations (SON), recognizing and celebrating diversity is integral to our community values and practices. Our vision for inclusion of neurodiverse learners guides us in creating an environment where every individual’s unique perspectives and contributions are not only accepted but celebrated. Here are some of the ways we recognize and celebrate diversity: Inclusive Curriculum: We integrate diverse perspectives and materials into our curriculum to ensure that all students see themselves reflected in their learning and appreciate the variety of human experiences and cultures. Celebration of Cultural Events: We host various cultural events, festivals, and heritage days where students and staff can share and celebrate their cultural backgrounds and traditions. These events foster mutual respect and understanding among our diverse community. Strengths-Based Approach: By focusing on the strengths and talents of each student, we celebrate their individual contributions to our community. This approach helps students feel valued and empowered to pursue their interests and goals. Collaborative Projects: Through group projects and collaborative activities, students learn to appreciate different viewpoints and work together towards common goals. This helps build a supportive and inclusive environment. Advocacy and Awareness Programs: We conduct workshops, seminars, and awareness campaigns that educate our community about the importance of diversity and inclusion. These programs aim to build empathy and understanding among students and staff. Supportive Environment: We strive to create a nurturing atmosphere where all students feel safe and respected. This includes providing resources and support for neurodiverse learners to help them succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. Recognition of Achievements: We regularly recognize and celebrate the achievements of our students in various fields, ensuring that everyone’s successes are acknowledged and valued.

How do you prepare teachers for inclusion and diversity in the classroom?

At School of the Nations (SON), we are deeply committed to preparing our teachers for inclusion and diversity in the classroom. Our approach is guided by our core beliefs in dignity, respect, equity, and access for all students. Here’s how we support our educators in fostering an inclusive and diverse learning environment: Constant Workshops and Training: 1.Ongoing Professional Development: We provide regular workshops and training sessions focused on best practices in inclusive education. These sessions cover a range of topics, including strategies for accommodating diverse learning needs, cultural competency, and fostering a supportive classroom environment. 2.Expert-Led Sessions: We invite experts in special education and diversity to lead training sessions, ensuring our teachers are informed by the latest research and effective practices. Collaboration and Benchmarks with Other Schools: 1.Bench marking Visits: Our teachers have opportunities to visit other schools renowned for their inclusive practices. These visits allow them to observe and learn from successful inclusion models, which they can then implement in their own classrooms. 2.Collaborative Networks: We encourage our teachers to participate in professional networks and communities of practice. This enables them to share experiences, challenges, and solutions with peers from different educational settings. Equity and Access: 1.Resource Allocation: We ensure that all teachers have access to the resources and support they need to provide equitable educational opportunities for all students. This includes access to specialized materials, assistive technologies, and support staff. 2.Tailored Support Plans: Teachers are trained to develop and implement individualized support plans that cater to the unique needs of each student, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Dignity and Respect: 1.Inclusive Curriculum Design: Our teachers are trained to design and deliver curriculum that respects and honors the diverse backgrounds and abilities of all students. This includes integrating multicultural perspectives and differentiating instruction to meet varied learning needs. 2.Fostering a Respectful Environment: We emphasize the importance of creating a classroom culture that values and respects all students. Teachers are equipped with strategies to build inclusive communities where every student feels valued and respected. Feedback and Reflection: 1.Regular Feedback: We encourage a culture of continuous improvement by providing teachers with regular feedback on their inclusive practices. This feedback is used to identify areas for growth and to celebrate successes. Reflective Practice: Teachers engage in reflective practices to assess the effectiveness of their inclusion strategies and to make necessary adjustments

How does your school structure support inclusion?

At The School of the Nations (SON), our structure is designed to robustly support inclusion through our dedicated Special Education Department, which is divided into two specialized sections: the Impact Center and Learning Support. Here’s how these sections contribute to an inclusive educational environment: Impact Center: Tailored Curriculum: The Impact Center is focused on providing a customized curriculum for students with learning challenges. This approach ensures that students with diverse learning profiles receive the specific support they need to excel academically and beyond. Effective Strategies and Programs: Our team implements a variety of effective strategies and programs designed to meet the unique needs of each student. By doing so, we ensure that all students have the tools and resources necessary to succeed. Learning Support: Curriculum Modifications: Learning Support offers comprehensive or partial modifications of the Cambridge curriculum to accommodate students with varying learning requirements. This flexibility allows us to tailor educational experiences to individual needs, ensuring that all students can access the curriculum in a way that works best for them. Collaborative Approach: We emphasize collaboration among students, teachers, and families to develop personalized learning plans. These plans address individual strengths and challenges, creating a supportive and inclusive environment where every student can thrive. Overall Support Structure: Specialized Teaching Methodologies: Our Special Education Department employs specialized teaching methodologies to cater to the diverse needs of our students. These methodologies are designed to foster an environment where all students feel supported in their learning journey. Dedicated Team: Our dedicated team of professionals provides ongoing support to ensure that every student feels empowered to reach their full potential. This includes academic, social, and emotional support, contributing to the overall growth and development of our students. Inclusive Culture: At SON, we strive to cultivate a culture of inclusivity and diversity. Our commitment to creating a nurturing environment means that all students, regardless of their learning needs, are valued and included in our school community. By structuring our Special Education Department in this way, The School of the Nations ensures that all students receive the support they need to thrive in an inclusive and empowering educational environment.

What are you most proud of on your journey towards being more inclusive?

At the School of the Nations (SON), we are incredibly proud of our ongoing journey toward becoming more inclusive. Here are some of the key achievements that highlight our commitment: Supporting Students with Diverse Needs:We are dedicated to supporting students with a wide range of learning needs. Our efforts to accommodate all students who seek a chance to learn at our school demonstrate our belief that everyone deserves access to quality education. Thorough Assessments and Personalized Adjustments:Upon thorough assessments and review of their documents, we make individualized adjustments to our environment, facilities, and teaching methods to fit the unique needs of each learner. This personalized approach ensures that every student receives the support they need to thrive. Inclusive Learning Environment:By continually adjusting our resources and strategies, we create an inclusive learning environment where all students can succeed. This commitment to flexibility and responsiveness to individual needs is a cornerstone of our inclusive philosophy. Positive Outcomes and Growth:We have witnessed significant progress in many of our learners, which is reflected in their academic achievements and personal development. The positive feedback from happy parents, who have seen their children flourish, is a testament to the effectiveness of our inclusive practices. Community Recommendations and Department Growth: The success stories and satisfaction of our students and their families have led many parents to recommend our school to others. As a result, our special education department continues to grow, allowing us to support even more students in their educational journeys. Our dedication to inclusivity is not just about providing access; it's about ensuring that each student feels valued, supported, and empowered to reach their full potential. We are proud of the progress we have made and are committed to continuing this journey, making a positive difference in the lives of our students and their families.

We are thrilled to congratulate Harare International School on the remarkable achievement of having six of their staff members successfully complete the SENIA Level One Educator certification in 2024.

Member School Spotlight

UAI International School of Tokyo

Who is UIA?

Our school celebrates each person’s unique individuality, fostering an inquisitive spirit and embracing multicultural perspectives to ignite a passion for learning. Through amazing experiences in our community, we cultivate global awareness and a positive mindset, ensuring every student feels valued, supported, and empowered to reach their academic potential. (UIA MIssion Statement) UIA is situated in the heart of Tokyo and is a Cambridge Pathways school oering education from K1 to Grade 12.

How does your community recognize and celebrate diversity?

Our demographics as a school of 31 different student nationalities and 17 different staff nationalities, make it natural to celebrate multiple cultures. . As you can see from the school’s Mission Statement we intentionally celebrate ‘each person's unique individuality’. These words came from the whole school community as part of the development of our new mission statement in 2023.. This year UIA has also identified the need to ‘Foster multicultural perspectives to develop a global understanding for learning’ as part of our strategic plan. A Cultural Connections Committee will be specifically supporting the development and recognition of diversity in our school.

How do you prepare teachers for inclusion and diversity in the classroom?

The school incorporates professional development as a means to support teachers. Last year all staff undertook Accidental Counsellor training over the course of twelve months. During our in school conference ‘Inspired’ staff present sessions on diversity and differentiation to their peers as an example. The school also utilises expert consultancy. Presentations are given to the staff so they can understand how to support by the schools consultant Social and Emotional Counsellor and consultant Speech Pathologist. UIA offers ESL support from Grade 1 to Grade 9. In the Primary years it is a pullout model with the ESL support teacher using a dedicated ESL room. In Secondary the ESL support teacher collaborates with the subject teachers on the content and pushes into the respective classrooms.

How would you explain the importance of inclusion to other schools?

UIA believes that the school needs to reflect the impact of inclusion in society. To that extent we believe that all students need the opportunity to grow. As a school we cannot always accommodate students but we definitely start every conversation with ‘Why shouldn’t we take this student?’ as opposed to why should we...

What are you most proud of on your journey towards being more inclusive?

In the space of two years, UIA has formalised its approach to inclusion through its initial Learning Support Guidelines. This has resulted in better identification of learning needs and consistent support for students and resulted in the employing a counsellor and speech pathologist. The school has a clearer referral process to identify students who require support. Much of this happened at the same time as we joined SENIA.

What has surprised you about moving towards inclusive practices?

The biggest surprise is always the acceptance, flexibility and enthusiasm of our students to work with students who have learning needs. The same holds true for UIA staff. In summary, UIA is at the beginning of our inclusivity and diversity journey. Being a SENIA member school has been an important element for us, in the resources and support we have been able to access. Thank you SENIA.

On today’s podcast, host Lori Boll speaks with Maya Chupkov, host of The Proud Stutter podcast. Maya is a stuttering advocate and community organizer.

Please find the May 2024 Newsletter HERE

This academic year saw Chinese International School (Hong Kong) celebrate its first Neurodiversity Week! While we have certainly seen an increase of awareness around neurodiversity on our newsfeeds, the important thing for us was to make it contextual and relevant for our school’s unique context and mission.

It is with great pleasure that we announce Kate as the recipient of the 2024 SENIA World Changer Award for her tireless efforts to promote inclusion for children in Cambodia.

For over a decade, Kate has been a passionate advocate for ensuring all children, regardless of their abilities, can access the support and resources they need to thrive. Her work with grassroots Khmer organizations has been instrumental in developing best practices and training countless local staff to compassionately teach and assist children with complex needs.

Kate’s dedication deepened when she joined SENIA Cambodia in 2019, and since then she has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the organization’s vital mission moving forward – even through the immense challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her consistent voice and unwavering commitment have had a profound impact, not only on SENIA’s work, but on the larger inclusion landscape across Cambodia.

Through her advocacy, training programs, and collaborative efforts, Kate has made an immeasurable difference in the lives of countless vulnerable children. Her selfless service and unwavering commitment to inclusion serve as an inspiration to us all.

Please join us in congratulating Kate on this well-deserved recognition of her exceptional contributions.

Here is a link to Kate’s services: