This document outlines the position of St.Elizabeth Public School with regard to special education needs in all its programmes. It is intended for the school governing body, programme coordinators, teachers, parents and students. Its purpose is to structure and practise the special education needs at the school.

St.Elizabeth Public School in its mission statement has expressed its need to encompass “diverse learners”. ST.ELIZABETH PUBLIC SCHOOL therefore adopts the generic term “special education needs” for students, who because of gender, ethnic background, socio-economic status, differing ability levels, learning styles, and learning disabilities may have academic needs that require varied instructional strategies to help them learn.

The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, nationality, cognitive, social, emotional and physical development and seeks to accept all qualified students who apply.

Students are eligible for admission if they believe that the school can meet their specific needs. The school is not equipped or staffed to educate students with any gross and severe learning, physical, mental or emotional disabilities or problems. Such students will not be admitted to the school. Students with milder symptoms of these disabilities may be admitted on approval of the Resident Medical Officer and the Director of Counselling.

St.Elizabeth Public School is a different school of thought. We believe that the learning need of one child differs from that of another and this will be enabled at ST.ELIZABETH PUBLIC SCHOOL, provided the student does not have gross learning disabilities. The Academic Council will study the reports of students identified with SEN. This will be discussed with the parent and the concerned faculty and a decision arrived at whether to admit the child or not.

ST.ELIZABETH PUBLIC SCHOOL will accommodate the following special needs of students.

  • Attention sustaining difficulty
  • Lack of organization
  • Inconsistent effort
  • Problems with waiting, taking turns and following directions
  • Poor social skills
  • Academic strengths / weaknesses
  • Lack of confidence
  • Stammering and Stuttering (speech that is hard to understand)
  • Inappropriate behavior that frequently borders on attention seeking
  • Gifted and talented
  • Mild learning difficulties due to lack of exposure to the English language

Special Education Needs students may display difficulties or conditions that are a barrier to learning and therefore will need particular teaching strategies to address the special needs mentioned above for classroom management and effective education.


 For attention sustaining difficulty

  • Seating students near the teacher, to avoid distractions
  • negotiating an individual, physical or visual cue to bring students back to work
  • helping students to keep their workspace free from distraction

For lack of organization

  • helping students to plan their daily routine
  • encouraging the use of a diary/planner and for regular checks
  • encouraging and acknowledging punctuality
  • using a timer for activities

For inconsistent effort

  • adapting the task
  • providing clear step-by-step instructions
  • breaking the task into steps
  • setting frequent interim deadlines
  • considering negotiating extra time
  • allowing enough time to copy homework instructions
  • increasing the time spent on tasks over small intervals

For problems with waiting, taking turns and following direction

  • allowing frequent movement
  • giving practice waiting and taking turns
  • changing the type of activity regularly

Students with poor social skills

Using a system of behaviour modification based on rewards / daily evaluation systems / short measurable goals

Academic strengths / weaknesses

Interaction with peers by providing structured activities or games where specific roles are identified and encouraged.

  • lesson content and instructions are modified and simplified
  • students’ comprehension skills and writing abilities are considered
  • students are encouraged to focus on the real world
  • students are diverted from persistent questioning related to irrelevant fixations
  • guidelines are produced on paper to help with the control anduniformity of writing
  • allow extra time
  • use of technology is encouraged
  • structured sessions are ensured
  • work is broken down into smaller steps
  • frequent feedback is offered
  • redirection opportunities are given
  • non-verbal signals are used to bring students back on to the task lack of confidence
  • the strengths of students are highlighted
  • extra time is provided for classroom tasks or assignments
  • understanding is checked
  • one-to-one support is offered if needed
  • social contact with peers is encouraged and initiated
  • the need to “get on with life” is emphasized

Stammering and Stuttering (Speech that is hard to understand)

  • advance alert is given before questioning (“John … what is …”)
  • extra time is allowed for oral responses
  • the lesson or reading is previewed with students
  • reading is divided into smaller sections
  • reading aloud in front of the class is made optional
  • the use of visual spelling strategies is promoted
  • understanding of material and tasks is discreetly checked
  • the quality rather than the quantity of responses in oral tasks or exams is taken into consideration

Inappropriate behavior that is frequently attention-seeking

  • emotional/behavioural problems are noted and the classroom arrangement is carefully considered
  • a working relationship built on trust and mutual respect by both parties is established
  • order and discipline is ensured in class so that learning can take place
  • social and behavioural expectations are outlined and upheld
  • written contracts are drawn up with individual students, stating rules and expectations
  • lesson is abandoned if it is not working; fun activities used to enable students to refocus
  • tasks are modified to be made them achievable
  • frequent praise is given with a positive outlook
  • A relaxed, controlled voice and body language is used by teachers
  • a sense of responsibility to be fostered
  • special assessment accommodations for internal and externalassessment used

Gifted and talented:

  • open-ended inquiry-based tasks used
  • higher-order thinking and problem-solving activities provided
  • students encouraged to take on roles of responsibility
  • a mentor and time provided within the school to assist the students with a particular interest such as art or music
  • enrichment of units within the subject planned
  • prior knowledge tested and used as a starting point for students’ learning when introducing a new unit
  • use of information and communication technology for research and development of higher-order thinking tasks encouraged activities and work sessions negotiated
  • meetings of like-minded students, for example, debating club, chess club arranged and encouraged

Mild learning difficulties due to lack of exposure to the English language

  • Teachers aware of the ESL student in the class, and of the contribution someone from another culture can make to the group
  • involve the ESL learner with other students. Listening, observing or participating in group activities will promote language learning
  • use visual clues, e.g. pictures or diagrams, and concrete materials to support long teacher talk
  • ask ESL students questions to  check  their    Many  of these  students  are  reluctant  to  put  their  hands  up  to  answer a question. However, such students are encouraged to be active participants
  • repeat or rephrase, where necessary, at an individual level
  • make sure that instructions are clear
  • re-inforce oral instructions in writing
  • modify language. Pausing can be an effective way of slowing down the pace of delivery. Slang and idiomatic language are avoided
  • encourage students to respond and seek individual assistance, out of class time if necessary
  • present texts in manageable „chunks’
  • select and pre-teach key vocabulary
  • always provide a model as a guide to students’ writing
  • give the students plenty of opportunity to practise writing theparticular genre you require
  • clarify what is required in assignments
  • allow more time for tests as these students will not be able to work as quickly as those whose first language is English
  • when assessing written work, give some consideration for second language students. Areas of great difficulty for ESL students like verb tenses, prepositions and correct sentence structure are worked on so that these concepts will be reinforced
  • Orientation classes held for students for two months during the summer vacation to develop the English language skills of the students who do not meet the standards of ST.ELIZABETH PUBLIC SCHOOL. Regular coaching classes in the form of tuitions / special coaching / intensive coaching are held for students to develop the language skills and other special needs

Special Education Needs

At ST.ELIZABETH PUBLIC SCHOOL, special education needs were always part of the mainstream education. Processes of inclusion, differentiation and assessment led to the re-conceptualization of “special needs” and its ardent practice


Inclusion is an ongoing process that aims to increase access and engagement in learning for all students by identifying and removing barriers.This can only be successfully achieved in a culture of collaboration, mutual respect, support and problem solving. Inclusion is the learner profile in action, an outcome of dynamic learning communities. Inclusion is responding positively to each individual’s unique needs. Inclusion is less about marginalizing students because of their differences. It is an unending process of increasing learning and participation for all students. Differentiation is inclusion in practice.

Differentiation is based on good teaching practice. Differentiated instruction may be conceptualized as a teacher’s response to the diverse learning needs of a student. Differentiation is seen as the process of identifying, with each learner, the most effective strategies for achieving agreed goals. Differentiation calls for greater understanding in the way learners work, either alone or with others, based on their individual needs and goals. It requires the learner to take a more active and responsible role in the planning, carrying out and reviewing of what is learned.

Differentiation is implemented as an ongoing whole-school practice to:

  • transform teaching and learning
  • develop classroom relationships and expectations
  • differentiate assessment practices

All staff members use pedagogical approaches which support the special needs of language learners.

The faculty has undergone language oriented training from reputed institutions / organizations. This kind of training is a regular feature. The language needs of the students are therefore facilitated and supported to the best possible extent.


Assessment allows for self-reflection and peer review, which enhances and supports all learners in gaining independence and becoming advocates for their own learning.

Four principles of good teaching practice

  1. Affirming identity and building self-esteem

Affirming the identity of a learner encourages the qualities, attitudes and characteristics identified in the learner profile, promoting responsible citizenship and international-mindedness.

Affirming identity can be achieved by:

  • promoting a class and school environment that welcomes and embraces the diversity of learners
  • valuing and using the diversity of cultural perspectives to enhance learning
  • liaising with  parents  to  establish  understanding  of  how  best  to collaborate to achieve shared goals


  1. Valuing prior knowledge

When planning the range of new learning that can take place in any individual, previous learning experiences or prior knowing must be taken into consideration. Therefore, teachers will:

  • explicitly assess learners’ prior understanding
  • use their knowledge of learners’ prior understanding to differentiate tasks and activities that will build up the background knowledge necessary for new learning to occur
  • record information in learning profiles that will support planning for future differentiation and inform teaching practice
  • consider the time and the strategies necessary for activating and building up background knowledge when planning a unit of work or lesson
  1. Scaffolding

Scaffolding is a temporary strategy that enables learners to accomplish a task that would otherwise be impossible or much more difficult to accomplish. Scaffolding should foster learners’ increasing independence in taking  responsibility  for  developing  strategies  for their own learning, thus always extending the zone of proximal development (ZPD). Scaffolding is a dynamic practice in the learning process.

The use of graphic organizers to develop a piece of written research is an example of scaffolding. Other scaffolding strategies may provide a more concrete and less abstract context for understanding. Examples of these are:

  • visual aids
  • demonstrations
  • dramatization
  • small, structured collaborative groups
  • teacher language
  • use of mother tongue or best language to develop ideas and initial plans

Knowing the level of aptitude of a particular learner allows a number of small steps to be incorporated into the learning process so that they can work towards mastery while receiving constructive feedback on all attempts. Templates may be designed for particular tasks, with quite a large amount of detail provided in the first level that diminishes over time as the learner begins to grasp the requirements of the task. An example may be a template for writing up a science experiment, where key terms and phrases are given in a graphic organizer that can be used until they are internalized by the learner and the format can be completed without the scaffolding.

  1. Extended Learning

As learners progress through the years, they are required to read and write increasingly sophisticated texts in the content areas of the curriculum.

Teachers can help learners extend their learning  by  combining  high expectations with numerous  opportunities  for  learner- centred practice and interaction with cognitively rich materials and experiences. The use of assistive technology and software enables learners with language issues to access material that they can engage with metacognitively.


The curriculum documents in the various subjects of ST.ELIZABETH PUBLIC SCHOOL reflect the varied teaching styles/ differentiation adopted by the teachers. Regular professional development sessions at the beginning of every academic term are provided for all the teachers. These sessions are conducted by internationally-acclaimed educationists and subject specialists. The teachers of various curriculums attend regular face- to-face and online workshops.