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As an international community school, our mission is to provide an outstanding education to students in an inclusive and nurturing learning environment. We seek to inspire and empower students to fulfil their individual potential in a rapidly changing world.

As an inclusive school, we embrace diversity, difference and the uniqueness of every learner.

We recognise our collective responsibility to promote a nurturing environment in which all students have a sense of belonging, participation and equal access to every aspect of school life.

Within the resources of the school, students are supported to achieve their full potential through pathways that foster independence and resilience, instilling in every individual the confidence to succeed.

As such, we aim to:

  • Empower students to reach their full potential 
  • Develop resilience 
  • Support learning 
  • Foster respect for all 
  • Celebrate success 

We also aim for our students to feel supported in taking risks and be challenged to achieve their maximum potential by being in a safe, yet stimulating environment. By being part of an inclusive school, our students can share in opportunities and experiences but also develop an awareness of how to be a supportive and inclusive individual in society.

The Inclusion Department is staffed by seven specialist teachers and 16 educational assistants who assist staff, student and parents in providing for students with Individual Needs or require support in their development of communicative skills in English.

Special Education Needs

Children have Special Educational Needs (SEN) if they have a learning difficulty that calls for special educational provision to be made for them.  Children have a learning difficulty if they:

  • Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of their peers
  • Have a disability that prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age 

Children must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of home language is different from the language in which they are taught.

DBIS will do its best to ensure that the necessary provision is made for any student who has Individual Needs and those needs are made known to all who are likely to teach them.  DBIS will work to ensure the early identification of a student’s learning needs and to provide differentiation for them.  DBIS will ensure that all students, whether they have Individual needs or not, will be involved in the full life of the school.  Extra-Curricular Activities (ECAs) are open to all students as far as is reasonably practical.  Assemblies, play productions, clubs and school teams will be open to all students. 

DBIS strives to help all students realise their full potential and provides an inclusive education for students who have a wide range of abilities.  The school makes every effort to ensure provision for as wide a range of special educational needs as possible. In order to ensure we fully address the individual needs of children who require substantial support, the school aims to make it clear to prospective parents at as early a stage as possible the types of support it is able to provide, where it might not be able to meet some needs and where there are possibilities for needs not met through the school support programme to be addressed through additional support at the expense of the parents.

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

As an international school, DBIS welcomes students from a wide range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds, including students who require English as an Additional Language (EAL) support.  Our curriculum and approaches to learning across the school provide rich and contextualised opportunities for students to acquire the English language in authentic settings.  We do however recognise that students without any prior knowledge of English will require additional support to help them settle into their new lives at DBIS and in Hong Kong, both academically and socially.

Support for EAL students at DBIS takes an individual approach, with communication goals set for each student in the four language skill areas of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.  Our support programmes focus on fluency before accuracy and are at all times, fun and motivating opportunities for students to grow and gain confidence in using English.  We believe language acquisition is best supported through authentic learning opportunities that awaken children’s innate language learning talents and therefore prioritise oral communication before written in the initial stages.

In the Secondary School, we support students in developing the depth of academic language and structural awareness needed to excel in their work and ultimately for every student to reach their full potential in the IGCSE and GCSE examinations in Year 11.  We offer in class support for EAL students during English and Humanities lessons and run weekly drop-in sessions for students seeking additional help with their writing.

EAL students are assessed formatively using achievable, communicative goals drawn from UK national strategies on effective EAL support.  Targets are communicated to students and are worked towards in all subject areas across the curriculum with EAL, class and subject teachers taking a shared approach in supporting students’ early language acquisition.

Therapy Services

DBIS is able to offer parent-funded Occupational Therapy and Speech & Language Therapy services within school hours.  With the knowledge and consent of parents, the Inclusion Department can arrange an initial observation by therapists to be performed in a class-based setting without cost.  Feedback from this observation is then shared with parents and if necessary, further assessment consideration and support times will be scheduled.

FRIENDS Programme

FRIENDS is a prevention program that was devised in Australia to nurture Social and Emotional learning in students.  It aims to develop students’ resilience and understanding of their own and others’ feelings in social situations.  The FRIENDS programme is taught through experiential learning e.g. play-based activities, role-play, creative arts, games, music and movement.  By developing specific skills and strategies that the FRIENDS program offers, students will have the awareness and knowledge to more effectively deal with situations that provoke anxiety. The programme runs for 10 weeks and is taught to a small group in a withdrawal situation.   

Perceptual Motor Programme

The Perceptual Motor Programme was developed in Australia for children and aims to provide experiences in seeing, touching, hearing, making perceptual judgments and reactions through movement. Students perform specific skills e.g. hopping, skipping, running, dodging, kicking, passing, bouncing, climbing, bowling and striking through carefully sequenced activities and are provided with immediate and specific feedback.  The motor outcomes focused on are: balance, fitness, locomotion, hand-eye coordination and eye-tracking.  Students learn perception outcomes such as directionality, laterality, spatial awareness and body rhythm/image, which support their skills with language, problem solving and sequential memory (auditory). The programme is for Year 1 students and is delivered to the whole class.