Every child in Dubai must be able to access education that is high quality, inclusive and equitable. Every parent must know what to expect when they enroll their child in a private school in Dubai.
Advocating for Inclusive Education is a new guide to help parents better understand their legal rights and responsibilities when it comes to finding the right school for their child. It also includes insights on becoming more effective advocates for their children at school.
This guide is the first of its kind designed to enable parents to become better informed and more confident as they navigate the best way forward for their children of determination.
You can access this guide for your reference here: Download now
What is Inclusion?
As stipulated by the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Education - Special Education Department, page 14: The philosophy of inclusive education: “Inclusive education means that all students have the right to be educated to the extent possible with their age-appropriate peers who do not necessarily have disabilities in the general education setting of their neighborhood school with support provided. Inclusive education is not intended to limit the participation of students with special needs to regular education programs and services. Rather, inclusive education means that students with special needs have the opportunity to participate in educational programs and services in the least restrictive environment that is commensurate with their individual strengths and needs.”
At GEMS Metropole Al Waha, we believe in the rights of People of Determination to be integrated into public and private school, Federal Law No.(29), (2006). In addition, we provide the best possible provision for students of all abilities and value the individuality, talents and gifts of all our students. We plan our teaching and learning so that each student can aspire to the highest level of personal achievement. We believe recognition of all achievements made, no matter how insignificant they may seem to others, is a great motivator for students.
Vision of Inclusion
It is essential that we provide an environment in which students feel supported, cared for and where their individuality, talents and gifts are supported. We instill self confidence in accordance with the school’s ethos and give all students full access to all areas of learning through differentiating, adapting and modifying the curriculum. GEMS Metropole Al Waha teaches the National Curriculum of England and Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). However, to accommodate a personalised pathway we can incorporate elements from additional curriculums such as Pre Key-stage standards, Engagement model, Cherry Garden and Pscales.
Diversity is an asset and teachers will strive to ensure all students reach their full potential, irrespective of nationality, gender, religion, social class, culture, race, age or special educational need, for their self-fulfillment and their eventual development into active and responsible adults.
The school Inclusion Support Team offers individualised assessment opportunities to cater for students with additional needs. These assessments inform the development of Individualised Education Plans (IEPs) which are written in partnership with the student, parents/guardians, teachers, any external therapy agencies and Learning Support Assistants. We take great pride in our positive working partnerships with external therapy agencies to ensure we are providing opportunities for students to generalise skills in different environments.
IEP reviews are on a termly basis and are done so through the student lead conversations, parents observations, external therapy support, the class teachers support and through the Inclusion Support teachers 1:1 sessions, in-class support, online support and small group support.
The Inclusion support team consists of our School Principal, Inclusion Governor, parent representatives, the Inclusion support team which encompasses specialised educators for Special Educational Needs, Gifted and Talented coordinator, a student counsellor, English Language Learners teacher and a team of learning support assistants. We also work closely with a range of external therapy centres to support our students. As a school we feel it is vitally important to keep our team of educators up to date in current teaching practices and through our inhouse team and GEMS, continuous professional development opportunities are provided.
Students who are English Language Learners are welcomed to GEMS Metropole Al Waha and supported with their language development. We use a highly effective software, Flash Academy, which improves students’ English language skills with over 48 home language. All lessons are matched to the National Curriculum to ensure our students can progress quickly. Students will also receive intervention from our staff to ensure they learn the necessary skills to be successful in the classroom. English Learning Language support comes at a small additional cost of 350 AED per month. For more information on our English Language Learner Support, please see our ELL policy (download here).
Students who are gifted and/or talented require specialised support to ensure they reach their true potential. We seek to ensure all students are challenged in each lesson. Students will be invited to take part in competitions, enrichment activities and leadership opportunities to develop all aspects of their person.
Our students’ happiness and emotional wellbeing is essential for them to make progress in all aspects of their lives including that of transitioning between phases of education, enhancing our student’s life skills and preparing our students for life after school. Our school Counsellor, Pastoral team comprising of Heads of Key Stage the Health and Well-being team and our trained staff of Adolescent Mental Health First aid, Teen Mental Health First Aid team provide care systems for all our students, families and staff in Metropole.
The school has a highly inclusive vision and ethos. Students of determination are warmly welcomed. The inclusion champion and inclusion governor ensure that students of determination are included in all aspects of the school community, as far as possible.
Parents are highly valued partners in their children’s learning. They feel very well informed and have access to high quality guidance. The school provides regular, insightful updates to parents about their children’s progress, and includes them in all aspects of care and support.
The school is fully committed to our inclusive ethos and fully embrace the following statement, KHDA (2017) “Matters concerning admissions, participation and equity refers to the fact that students who experience SEND have the same right as all other students.”
For further information on how we provide support within GEMS Metropole Al Waha, please feel free to refer to our Inclusion Policy.
For any enquiries regarding inclusion in Metropole, please contact Ms. Siobhan Scanlan, [email protected]
The Law and Guidance Set in the UAE
Our school mission, vision and policy are based on the statutory requirements laid out by:
- Directives and guidelines for Inclusive education
- Implementing Inclusive Education: a guide for schools
- Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework
- Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework - Arabic
- School-Home provision – a collaborative approach to distance learning for students of determination
- Law No. (2) of 2014Concerning Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Emirate of Dubai
- Inclusive Education for People of Determination
- The Equality Act 2010 and schools