At Nanjing International School, we believe that opportunities should exist for all our learners to grow and achieve success. All students have the right to realize their full potential. This belief embodies our school’s mission and helps drive our ongoing strategy. NIS is proud to be an inclusive learning community and is committed to honouring inclusion through our approach to teaching and education.
But how do we define inclusion, why is it so important to us, and how is it fostered at NIS?
“When families come to our school, whether it is from another country or right here in Nanjing, they want to come to a place where all their children feel welcome regardless of their academic profile, their physical situation, or their attitude towards school and learning by having an open approach towards them,” said Mr. Laurie McLellan, our School Director. “We can help them to do what we want everyone to do, which is to achieve personal excellence.”
Inclusion in schools celebrates the talents and diversity of its students and acknowledges every learner should be empowered and successful in their learning.
Learning Support Teacher Mr. Rick Fischl believes that inclusion should underpin every school’s approach to learning. This is especially the case in a diverse learning community such as NIS. Mr. Fischl is steadfast in his belief that all students, regardless of background, must have the opportunity to be successful. Furthermore, he asserts that our school’s commitment to inclusion enriches the learning of all students at the school by encouraging them to recognize that each individual is unique and that when interacting with others, an open-minded approach and compassion are central to creating not just a better, more supportive school, but a better world.
“NIS promotes inclusion by offering students a variety of ways to share their knowledge with their teachers through effective differentiation,” said Mr. Fischl. “This also means that students are appropriately supported. With effective support mechanisms in place, students are emboldened to push each other while understanding that each individual has different needs.”
In his 8 years at NIS, Mr. Fischl has had the great privilege of witnessing first-hand how the school’s commitment to inclusion fosters significant growth in the students he works with. “I’m always amazed by the growth in our students and seeing them meet the challenges they face. Supporting them through these challenges and seeing them grow and progress as learners is truly gratifying.”
The benefits of an inclusive school environment go far beyond the classroom walls. “The fact NIS is an inclusive learning community prepares all students for life outside of school because the world isn’t a selective place,” said Mr. McLellan. “It’s just full of different people with different profiles, and having an inclusive school is a better preparation for life.”