Supporting All Learners

All Students Have the Same Needs When It Comes to Learningsupporting

Learning supports are not for students with special needs, because all students have the same needs when it comes to learning:

  • A positive, predictable, caring, safe and accessible learning environment
  • People who believe in their ability to learn and succeed
  • The chance to engage in purposeful work that matters to them.

When a student is not learning, something in their learning environment is letting them down.

Creating Rich Learning Environments

That’s why RVS takes responsibility for all of its students, focusing on their strengths rather than on their limitations.

Our Learning Support Team helps teachers create rich learning environments that work for all students, from those with learning challenges, to those who need more challenge, and everyone in between.

The work begins with teachers creating class profiles—often in collaboration with students—to answer such questions as “Who are we? What do we need? What do we care about? What do we want to achieve?”

Armed with a good understanding of who they are as a learning community, teachers, with students, design flexible learning experiences that meet the three requirements of accessible learning, known as Universal Design for Learning (UDL):

  • Multiple means of representation, giving learners various entry points into the learning and a variety of tools to acquire knowledge
  • Multiple means of expression to show what they’ve learned
  • Multiple means of engagement to align learning with a student’s existing knowledge, interests and passions.

This makes today’s classrooms look far different than those of years gone by. While learning about water, for example, some students may research the topic online, through books, discussions with community experts, audio and visual demonstrations, or direct observation and sensory experience of water falling, freezing, thawing and flowing.

Their investigations may vary as well. A learner interested in the eco-system of a nearby stream may look into the effect on local wildlife when the stream dries up, while a student interested in chemistry may look at how their municipality ensures a safe water supply.

Students may demonstrate what they’ve learned through drawing, poetry, drama, book reports, video presentations, PowerPoint or oral presentations or a guided hike, sharing their learning, so they learn from each other.

In this way, RVS ensures every student belongs, every student learns, and every student succeeds.

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