Student Support Team
The Student Support Team (SST) is a multi-disciplinary group composed of the Counselor, the Learning Support teachers, Educational Psychologist and the ELL Teachers; the Headteacher, Speech and Language therapist, Nurse and other staff members are involved as necessary. The team assists students who may need additional learning support or enrichment. The team meets weekly to assist with intake screenings for new students and to identify students with special needs, collaborating with teachers, parents, administrators and other educators to discuss, design and implement specific interventions based upon the student’s needs and make referrals to outside specialists if necessary.
Close consultation with teachers and parents regarding the developmental needs of the student are paramount before a decision is made for a student to receive support from a member of the SST.
Our primary contact for all areas of pastoral care are the class teachers/home room tutors. However, as in all areas of education, having someone on the team with specialist knowledge and being able to offer dedicated support is essential. To that end, our counselling service supports the class teachers/home room tutors and promote the emotional, social and academic growth of Key Stage 1, 2 and 3 students at SFBS. We believe in being proactive to ensure that every child learns in a safe, healthy and supportive environment.
Counselling support is provided in a variety of way: Implementing behaviour modification programs, using conflict mediation, providing crisis intervention, and offering individual or small group counselling for support or skill building. The Counsellor has scheduled lessons on PSHE (Personal Social and Health Education) in Key Stage 3 and supports the class teachers in their PSHE programmes in Key Stages 1 and 2.
At SFS the language of instruction is English. However, as in any international school, students come to us with a range of different educational experiences and home languages. As many of these ‘other language’ students don’t have a school in Seoul offering education in their language, we have developed a strong ELL (English Language Learner) programme to enable them to attend SFS and to continue their education while they and their families are posted to Seoul.
Reception Year students for whom English is an additional language are immersed in English within the regular classroom because of the dynamic, language-rich environment of this programme. Reception provides exactly the types of experiences that are needed for children to learn language in a natural way. The classroom teachers are knowledgeable in the use of instructional strategies that support language learning. The ELL teachers monitor the students’ progress and provides additional support when necessary.
Before starting school, an ELL teacher assesses the listening, speaking, reading and writing skills of students in Reception to Year 9 for whom English is an additional language. Beginning students who have very limited skills in English work with the ELL teachers regularly. Students with intermediate skills in English receive support at their individual levels as needed, either in the ESL classrooms or in the regular classroom.
ELL students in Years 1 to 9 receive small-group support from the ELL teachers mainly during the Foreign-Language periods (other lesson times may be used depending on the student’s schedule). Supportive instructional strategies foster language learning in a warm and caring environment. ELL classes are student-centred and designed to meet the specific learning needs of the students. Students learn English by learning about the topics being taught in their regular classrooms, which helps them to succeed with the grade-level material.
A multi-criteria approach is used to determine if students are ready to exit from the ELL programme. Both the class/subject teachers and ELL teachers carefully observe the students and record evidence of success in the four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Exit from the ELL programme is recommended, in consultation with the parents, when students are able to participate fully in the differentiated classroom programme. Exited students continue to be monitored for their progress in English and may receive EAL support when needed.
Students who need extra support with any part of their academic experience may work with our Learning Support teachers. The Learning Support teachers work in consultation with classroom and special area teachers to tailor the school programme and learning environment according to students’ needs. They may also work with students alone or in small groups in or out of the classroom.
The LS teachers are responsible for collaborating with classroom teachers to ensure bespoke programmes are implemented, when needed, and to help differentiate instruction for students receiving Learning Support. LS teachers maintain data to monitor student progress and to guide teacher instruction. LS teachers serve as resources for classroom teachers and parents providing insights related to disabilities and the impact of those disabilities in the classroom.
The LS teachers are responsible for collaborating with classroom teachers to ensure accommodations are implemented, when needed, and to help differentiate instruction for students receiving Learning Support. LS teachers maintain data to monitor student progress and to guide teacher instruction. LS teachers serve as resources for classroom teachers and parents providing insights related to disabilities and the impact of those disabilities in the classroom.
In collaboration with the classroom teachers and other specialist teachers, the Speech & Language Therapist (SLP) works individually with students or with small groups to support students with language development and communication difficulties.
Because it is so specialised and only a few students require this support, the therapist, although based at SFS, offers this service on a private arrangement basis between the parents and the therapist.
Seoul Foreign School has its own full-time Educational Psychologist on staff to provide incidental psychological support as needed to students. This short-term service to students referred by our Student Support Coordinator, is offered at no cost to parents. However, it is not the purpose, nor intent of that service to provide on-going psychological care for students. Students initially seen by the school psychologist who require long-term services or services other than those offered by the SFS educational psychologist must obtain such services at the parent’s own discretion and expense. Please note that it is not the responsibility, policy nor practice of Seoul Foreign School to pay for psychological expenses of services rendered to students by non-SFS mental health professionals.
At any given point throughout the school year, students may work independently or in small groups on various enrichment projects that complement their year-group curriculum and allow them to discover and build upon their own unique strengths and interests.