At SSIS, we recognize each student is a unique individual, coming to us with varying aspirations, abilities, interests, and needs. We also recognize that options for expatriate students with special learning needs is limited in Suzhou. In keeping with our mission of providing an excellent expatriate education, we work to provide learning support for students with learning diversities, and those who may require additional support to participate in our school programs and activities.
Our Learning Support team is made up of specially trained teachers that have the background to assist students in their learning needs. Our team provides individualized and differentiated support to both the student and our homeroom teachers. Learning Support can take many forms and may include classroom accommodations, program modifications, in-class support and small group or individualized programming.
There is limited access to specialized support services in Suzhou and at our school. We may not be able to meet the needs of every student, especially if they require a higher level of support. It is recommended that parents of students with special educational needs contact the Admissions Office before they decide to move to Suzhou so that we may work with you to determine if we are able to support your child.
Pastoral expertise and emotional support at SSIS is provided by our school counselling team. The team is always ready to support students or families if the need exists. For many of our students a move to a new country, the thought of making new friends or the pressure to perform in a highly competitive environment may be a bit overwhelming. Working collaboratively with students, our team of counsellors build strong relationships and confidential bonds with students, encouraging them to explore their feelings, actions and relationships within the community. Students may self-refer or be referred by parents, staff or other students.
Counselling for our Early Years and Elementary students takes place in our cheerful and well-equipped Messy Play Room. Children are encouraged to utilize a variety of mediums including painting, drawing, sand play and clay modelling to better express themselves and their feelings. This play-based philosophy allows our students to feel comfortable and at ease in their environment.
Counselling for our Secondary students takes place in our counseling center. This is a safe zone in our school where students are free to express their thoughts, talk through their actions and work through emotions. Our counselors are also on call to support students in times of stress, anxiety, and other mental health concerns.
Apart from student emotional support our counseling team plays an active role in the development of the SSIS wellbeing program and curriculum. Our counsellors regularly host parent and student workshops, coffee mornings themed around emotional well-being and other supportive community events.