Special needs and ESL

The School recognises that some students may require special help in order to achieve success and while it is accepted that it may not be possible to have an ideal programme for every student, every effort will be made to be as inclusive as possible. The principal objective of the special educational needs (SEN) programme is to provide each student with the support necessary for him or her to achieve maximum success in mainstream classes. The SEN programme is therefore available to those students who, with limited specialist support, are able to participate successfully in mainstream classes.

In particular ISM aims to provide special educational assistance to students with mild to moderate learning difficulties and academically very able students. In view of the size of the School, the facilities available, and the limited professional support available in the local area ISM may be unable to serve the educational needs of students with severe mental, physical or emotional handicaps. It is recognised that for many families, an alternative education may not be available or feasible for students whose needs exceed those with mild or moderate learning difficulties or who have severe mental, physical or emotional handicaps. In such cases, the School may only consider admission if the School is able to provide additional personnel and/or resources to ensure that the student will benefit from the education available; the costs of such additional personnel or resources may be recovered directly from the parents of the student(s) concerned.

The type of special support offered to students in the SEN programme may vary at different levels of the School and may include in-class support, withdrawal from class, or assistance outside regular tuition hours.

Admission to the School will only be given to students for whom we are able to provide an appropriate educational programme.

It is the responsibility of the SEN teacher, working with the Head of Campus, Head of Primary and Head of Secondary, to establish procedures and criteria for determining a student’s need for support and for assessing students receiving SEN help.

Click here to read the school’s full SEN policy


The school believes that language is at the core of human experience. The school recognises that students from non-English speaking backgrounds enter our school with proficiency in their mother tongue, valuable life experiences, and varying degrees of formal schooling but without full proficiency of the English Language in its written and oral forms. The school’s mission is to assist these students to acquire or to improve their written and oral communicative skills in English. The aim is to enable new students to become independent and confident listeners, speakers, readers, and writers in the English language, to become full participants in the academic programmes of the school, and to integrate quickly in all school activities.

A new student entering our school may need an intensive course in English. Others who have been at the school for a while may also need their understanding and use of the English language improved, especially as academic work becomes more advanced.

In both the primary and secondary schools there are specialist ‘English as a Second Language’ (ESL) teachers available. Initially a student may spend some lesson time working in a small group with the ESL teacher. As the student makes progress he/she will gradually leave the ESL unit and rejoin regular classes, although the ESL teacher will continue to support and advise both the student and his/her teachers in order to ensure that he/she is achieving as much success as possible.