Student Support Services

Student Support Services at BIS are broken into the areas of:

Learning Support

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.

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

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 Mother Tongue (MT) 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 Mother Tongue programme. The level of Mother Tongue literacy is the single most reliable predictor of the student’s English language acquisition and academic success. The maintenance and continued development of Mother Tongue affords students with extensive academic, professional and cultural opportunities otherwise lost if MT were to be neglected.


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

At any time, please feel free to contact Emily MacSwain, Head of Student Support Services for both Primary and Secondary Schools.