Student Support Services at BIS are broken into the areas of:
One of the most commonly cited reasons parents choose BIS for their children is the high level of support for students’ well-being. Our experienced pastoral care team works closely with educators across the school to provide vital support for the academic, social, and emotional well-being of BIS students. We believe that the development of stable and strong relationships is essential to student growth, development and maturation.
Our Pastoral Leaders, who are specialists with expertise, passion and empathy, work under the leadership of the Pastoral Coordinator. Together they support the home room teachers, four of whom per grade are trained to serve as mentors. From teacher to mentor to pastoral leader, department head, and student support staff, the goal of every BIS adult is to foster the well-being and care of the student body. Our BIS Student Code of Conduct provides a critical roadmap for reinforcing positive behaviour and character in all communications. Another critical resource for our pastoral curriculum is the set of affective skills identified in the IB "Approaches To Learning". These include mindfulness, perseverance, emotional management, self motivation and resilience.
Also important to student development is our program for Physical, Social and Health Education (PSHE). Including topics such as sexual education and body image, digital safety, equity, and bullying, the programme aims to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes students need to keep themselves healthy, safe, and prepared for life and work. At BIS, we are committed to equipping students with a sound understanding of physical, emotional, and social development and the tools to sustain a healthy lifestyle.
The pastoral care we provide our students with at BIS is integral to daily life in the secondary school, and the regular non-academic contact time allows us to get to know each individual student really well. Our experienced team supports students, helping them develop the personal skills needed to manage the social, emotional and academic challenges they encounter as they navigate their way through their adolescent years and beyond.
- Claire Ashbee, Pastoral Coordinator of BIS
The Counselling Department at BIS provides a comprehensive support system for the entire community including students, parents, and staff. Utilising best practices as outlined by the International Model for School Counselling and the American School Counselling Association, our counsellors are trained in effective strategic student planning and counselling techniques that serve to nurture the growth of our students.
Professional school counsellors play as a vital role in maximising student achievement and supporting a safe learning environment. They work to safeguard the human rights of all school community members.
By partnering with all different members of the BIS community, our counsellors work to ensure that all students are academically and socially prepared to become healthy and productive members of the global community.
The Counselling Department at BIS aims to work in an accepting, non-judgmental, and confidential manner with an emphasis on solution-focused techniques.
Our counsellors address a broad range of student and family needs including, but not limited to, the following:
- assisting in the transition for students and families moving into or out of the area
- intervening with students in need of academic support;
- advising students on stress management and friendship/relationship issues;
- offering group programs and mediation as needed;
- resource/referral services;
- developing wellbeing lessons based on the developmental, cultural, and social needs of each grade level;
- providing family and teacher with ideas and feedback to best enhance a student’s growth; and
- crisis counselling
Promoting Academic Success
The Learning Support teachers at BIS are dedicated to creating a welcoming learning environment that promotes academic success and addresses obstacles to learning. The Learning Support teachers work together with teachers, families and external professionals in the BIS community to foster the healthy development of all BIS students.
The Learning Support teachers in the Primary and Secondary Schools provide learning support for students with mild learning differences to meet the students’ individual needs in accessing the curriculum. They provide support to both formally identified students and those struggling students who have been informally identified by a teacher. A variety of service delivery models may be used, including monitoring, in-class support and individual or small group instruction in a separate setting. Services may include re-teaching, remedial and compensatory instruction, skill development and content support. The Learning Support teachers collaborate with classroom teachers to make appropriate accommodations and modifications as detailed in the students’ Individualised Education Plans.
Our Learning Support philosophy and services ensure that obstacles to learning are minimised for students with mild learning differences.
The English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme is designed to equip each student with the social and academic language skills necessary to seamlessly enter the multicultural community and gain unhampered access to learning opportunities at BIS. In the process of additional language acquisition, EAL students transfer literacy and cognitive skills from their Home Language and thus contribute unique perspectives enriching the learning environment at our school.
Through a home language survey, English language skills assessment and review of recent academic records, the EAL department identifies the level of each student’s English proficiency and recommends appropriate placement in the language acquisition continuum to facilitate academic and affective growth.
EAL in the Secondary School
Students in Grades 6 - 8 just starting to learn English are placed in the Newcomer Centre where they engage in academic content-based English instruction in the areas of English, Humanities and Science.
Intermediate English Language Learners in Grades 6 - 10 join the MYP English Language Acquisition class. Here students develop academic language skills including text comprehension and literature appreciation, grammar and usage, sentence and paragraph composition, vocabulary development, oral fluency and focused listening. The units of study and assessment tasks in this course, explore from multiple perspectives the concepts of culture, creativity, communication and connections, and are designed to prepare students for the IB DP English B or transition to MYP English Language and Literature class.
EAL students entering BIS in Grade 11 are placed in English B to study in the IB Diploma or High School Diploma programme.
Every EAL student at BIS has the opportunity to continue learning his/her native language in the Home Language programme. The level of Home Language literacy is the single most reliable predictor of the student’s English language acquisition and academic success. The maintenance and continued development of Home Language affords students with extensive academic, professional and cultural opportunities otherwise lost if Home Language were to be neglected.