The very nature of school often tempts us to focus primarily on student performance and grades. Teachers fear for students who are falling behind, parents fear their children might miss future opportunities, and children might feel shame if they realize they are not doing as well as their peers. Ultimately, we all must recognize that we are created in the image of God and our worth goes well beyond how we might perform in school or at our jobs.
In the Student Services department, we take student growth seriously and we want to support our students by providing services that focus on skill areas that might not traditionally be taught in the classroom. While all educators have a part to play in students’ skill development, the hope is that Student Services can help fill in the gaps where they might arise. In alignment with the SPH Expected Outcomes, we are called to help our students become flourishing learners who are equipped to fulfill their role as God’s image bearers.
Notably, current educational research has highlighted a growing pattern among college graduates often entering the workplace without the necessary soft skills to perform their job requirements. Interestingly, many of these same skills are behind lower performance in the classroom, which has inspired many educational experts to focus on skill development more purposefully during the formative years of primary and secondary school. Within an IB school context, these skills are most clearly articulated via the Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills framework, which provides valuable insights and opportunities related to cognitive, metacognitive, and affective development.
Our Student Services staff who specialize in these target areas also provide additional English language support and individualized career guidance. Whether you are a student or a parent, we invite you to connect with our staff at any time. The following is a quick summary of our support team:
- Year Level Lead Teachers
While providing daily oversight of their designated year level, they also help by providing foundational support in the ATL skill area of self-management.
- Learning Support Staff
Using a tiered system to ensure universal monitoring and support, the focus is placed on a range of ATL skill areas including self-management, affective skills, and reflection.
- Career Counselors
Focusing primarily on Grades 11-12, personalized career guidance and support is given to each family in preparation for student life beyond SPH.
- English as an Additional Language (EAL) Teachers
Provided in Junior School through Grade 8 in Senior School, additional English support is available to supplement language learning that occurs in the regular classroom.
- Personal Counselor
Provided on an as-needed basis, support is provided primarily in the ATL skill areas of social and reflection skills.