We are slowly awakening to the reality of the complexities of developing as human beings and the burning need to make holistic education the norm on which to then build upon. Until it becomes universally accepted that certain ways of learning simply aren’t globally correct, but that some kids simply accommodate the imposed arbitrary rules more easily than others, here are the schools in Hong Kong that recognize that both the kids who struggle and the kids who excel benefit from a differentiated classroom and are therefore doing their best to create inclusive environments for kiddos with learning difficulties.
The Harbour School has a high teacher-to-student ratio that allows them to track the development of students individually and provide them with materials at their own level. Those who have a significantly harder time coping and require an Individualized Education Program are taken care of by their Learning Enhancement specialists who provide in- and out-of-class Learning Support services in Numeracy, Literacy or Social Support. Students can also use technology as assistive devices or instructional tools!
The Harbour School, www.ths.edu.hk
HKA puts a strong focus on inquiry-based education and firmly believes that all students benefit from an environment that includes students who need additional support. Besides a professional Learner Support team and in-school occupational and speech therapy, all teachers at the school continuously develop their skills to support these students’ integration into the mainstream classroom, a process that takes into account the individual student’s requirements and the individual classroom’s dynamics.
Hong Kong Academy, www.hkacademy.edu.hk/learner-support
This dual-language Montessori school puts no limits on who gets to develop their unique selves. The Montessori approach is inherently inclusive due to its natural, motivated, sensory-based learning method that all kids thrive in. It’s especially beneficial to those whose talents are hindered in rigid settings that deem them worse learners than their peers, while Montessori lets them learn at their own pace—there is no standard other than the best version of their true selves—and develop their own interests, leading them to a lifetime of wanting and knowing how to contribute to society in their own individual ways.
International Montessori School, www.ims.edu.hk
DBIS’s inclusive environment teaches their students how to be a supportive and inclusive member of society, along with allowing them to exchange ideas and share experiences with those with slightly different abilities. The school strives to provide for kiddos with as wide a range of Individual Needs as possible and keep all extra-curricular activities open to them if possible. Occupational and Speech & Language Therapy Services are also available within school hours if someone needs to take extra care of their mind and communication.
Discovery Bay International School, www.dbis.edu.hk/inclusion
ICKHK fights for equal opportunities for students with pronounced learning needs with the help of a nurturing environment, a dedicated Learning Support staff, on-site Speech & Language and Occupational Therapy, as well as Individual Learning Plans that help them students reach their potential. The school has experience with learners with speech and language difficulties, as well as dyslexia and those on the autism spectrum.
International College Hong Kong, www.ichk.edu.hk/home/learning/student-support
AIS has two school psychologist (and many plushies) to support students with their emotional and social issues, as well as a Learning Enrichment Centre consisting of the Head of Learning Strategies, Literacy Intervention Specialist, LEC teachers and Assistant. This team is there to enrich the learning experience for all, including those that are gifted, in need of learning support, or both. There’s also a speech pathologist on site ready to join the team in their efforts to provide everyone with equal opportunities for mastering their world-class education.
Australian International School, www.aishk.edu.hk/support-programs
Kellett caters to a limited number of special educational needs students by providing them with a different curriculum in a mainstream setting. The school is open, encourages, and even requires (when indeed required) additional classroom support, advice and services of external providers, which are funded by parents. Kellett has Optimal Learning group lessons that let targeted groups of kiddos explore a range of learning tools and work on a particular area of need.
Kellett British International School, www.kellettschool.com/preparatory/learning-support-clone