Giving Sunbirds Their Wings: Student Support Systems at ISSP
Providing students with a safe and engaging learning environment will always be the main priority at International School Saigon Pearl. However, we also know that in order to support whole-child development a variety of other provisions must be made.
Research continues to show that in order for students to excel academically, a balanced programme of learning, extra-curricular activity and physical activity is just the beginning. When it comes to providing a safe and nurturing learning environment for young learners, many things must be taken into account. With more and more information highlighting causes of stress and anxiety at school, even in early years and elementary students, it is clear that additional support structures are needed.
Add to this the growing demands from colleges, universities and employers, the primary role of a school is no longer to simply educate. At International School Saigon Pearl, it is believed that it is the responsibility of a school to facilitate all round development of its students. Here we explain just some of the methods we have developed to support our students and our school community.
At ISSP, we understand that parenting in the 21st century comes with a new set of challenges for parents and children to face. By developing a series of ISSP Academy workshops , ISSP Staff and Faculty invite you to join them and discover how parents and children can work together to overcome these new challenges.
The ISSP Academy workshops are intended to assist parents in developing knowledge and gaining confidence when it comes to parenting and educating in the 21st Century. Whether you are looking for advice about how to manage your child’s use of technology, or if you want to know how to deal with a medical emergency at home, ISSP faculty and staff are on hand to provide support for parents and students alike.
Whilst ‘counselling’ can still be quite a loaded word for many people, it really should not be. Particularly in an early years and elementary educational environment. The European Education and Youth Policy Analysis unit suggests it may be more helpful to think of early years counselling as ‘identifying a student’s developmental and educational needs, and addressing the needs that are identified.’
In many schools, the responsibility for identifying a student’s needs may be placed solely upon the teacher. However, at International School Saigon Pearl we have a dedicated school counsellor, who works alongside teachers to ensure our student’s welfare and well-being.
We understand that experience of Early Years and Elementary education are fundamental to the social and emotional development of our students. Our School Counsellor is therefore tasked with working with key members of staff to provide appropriate resources for students so that each child feels safe and supported as they strive to achieve their academic potential.
Students at ISSP will regularly spend time in classroom counselling lessons, talking about common issues like friendships and bullying with our School Counsellor. However, our support services also provide students with individual attention when needed, or group support if a common issue is identified. With constant planning and communicating between teachers and support staff, our aim is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for our students.
Not only do extra-curricular activities and enrichment activities provide students with essential ‘relaxation time’ after studying, but they also play an important role in helping children to develop their own personality and self-confidence. These two key components are essential for becoming a well-rounded individual and as such are something that are prioritised at International School Saigon Pearl.
The difference between extra-curricular activities and enrichment activities is a small, but important one. Enrichment activities allow students an opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom to a less formal, ‘out of class’ situation. This provides them with more freedom to explore their own interests whilst continuing to apply academic principles and develop a more thorough understanding of what they have learnt.
In contrast, extra- curricular activities allow students a chance to develop essential non-academic skills such as team working, communication and self-awareness, all of which are also essential to their individual development.
By understanding this slight difference, we can understand why both types of After School Activity (ASA) play an important role in a child’s early years development. That’s why at ISSP, a thorough programme of Extra-Curricular and Enrichment Activities, is available for students to take part in.
Each semester, over 60 After School Activities (ASAs) are provided so that our students have ample opportunity to explore their own interests and develop essential soft skills in a safe and nurturing environment.
Removing Language Barriers at ISSP
In the multicultural and multilingual setting of an international school, it can be challenging for students to feel understood, let alone included. Students who have a different first language to their classmates may feel frustrated or isolated when they first arrive. The importance of high quality language instruction is, therefore, an essential part of ensuring the well being of an international school’s students.
As English is the language of instruction at International School Saigon Pearl, many students who enrol here are not speaking their first language when they are at school. As a result, we are fully aware of the challenges and anxieties that many students face in an international environment. To support students as they progress with learning a second, or perhaps third language, a robust yet considerate English as an Additional Language (EAL) assessment and teaching programme has been developed at ISSP. The goal of the programme is to ensure that children who require additional EAL support not only improve their English skills but are still able to take an active part in all aspects of school life as they do so.
ISSP’s EAL department supports language learners in the most inclusive way possible. By using the WIDA Model of assessment, our EAL department’s approach guarantees consistency and continuous monitoring of each language learner’s progress.
Our staff also consider the Six Stages of Second-Language Acquisition to determine if a student is in need of any additional support, and what that support will be
Support for all at ISSP
By providing more than an exceptional educational experience, International School Saigon Pearl aims to equip our students with more than just academic qualifications. Of course, we hope that each child fully achieves their academic potential but we hope even more that they find fulfilment in all areas of their lives. Individual differences and uniqueness should be celebrated, and it is our responsibility to provide skilled and sensitive teaching and support so that each child that passes through the doors of ISSP can follow their own path to success and contentment.
If you would like to visit ISSP and explore our world class campus and facilities please click here to book a tour. Alternatively, if you would like more information about admissions please register your details here and a member of our admissions team will contact you shortly.