Psychoeducational Team Practices
Our School’s psychologists provide counseling to parents,
students and teachers. Parents can make an appointment with the
psychologist to discuss issues related to their relationship with their
children, whether related to school life or family life. These meetings
are for short-term interventions rather than long-term, as the school is
primarily an educational rather than a therapeutic setting.
Students can also seek counseling with a psychologist or be referred to one by their teachers or parents. These meetings, when initiated by the students themselves, are often spontaneous. Our psychologists strive to make children feel comfortable so that they can discuss whatever concerns them, always bearing in mind the importance of their educational and social life.
Teachers across the board have been alloted one teaching hour in their timetable during which they can visit one of the School’s psychologists. However, the psychologists’ regular, daily presence in classrooms, at meetings, during breaks, in the dining hall, and at other, cultural or sporting events means that they are in constant communication with teachers and available for their requests.
In collaboration with the Parents’ Association, or as an independent initiative, the Psychoeducational Department organizes lectures on issues that concern the school community (i.e. school bullying, leisure time, transitioning to Junior High School, etc.). During the nationwide school closures in response to COVID-19, our Psychoeducational Department held webinars in order to support parents and provide a platform for parents to exchange ideas on how to cope with the extraordinary circumstances.
During the second trimester, the Psychoeducational Department holds meetings with all the children who have gained a place into primary grade 1 through the admissions lottery for the upcoming school year, as well as with their parents.
School readiness is based on the belief that early identification of weaknesses that a child may have can lead to interventions that will facilitate his/her adaptation and response to the social, emotional and behavioral demands of 1st grade.
Mediation is a program to educate children in social skills needed to resolve disputes. Under the supervision of psychologists, sixth grade students who are trained in the program help other students to resolve their differences. The Mediation team is part of the School Clubs program, and operates throughout the academic year. Prospective student mediators are taught by psychologist the principles of Mediation and are trained in discussion and dialogue techniques so that they can mediate in their peer’s disputes. With the help of psychologist, each year the team trains new, prospective mediators.
5. Learning difficulties
According to recent research, 20% - 25% of the total student population has learning difficulties (Spanidakis, 2009). It is, therefore, reasonable that the term “learning difficulties” gives rise for concern to teachers, parents and students alike. Given the frequency of encountering learning difficulties, the School seeks effective methods to support students with learning difficulties.
Observation of Elementary School classes is conducted across the board on a weekly basis. The objective of these observations is to study students’ behavior and functioning within the classroom. Through collaboration with teachers, a climate of trust is cultivated in order to create short-term goals that are continuously adjusted to meet the emerging, educational needs of students.
Meetings with teachers
The Psychoeducational Department meets with teachers on a weekly basis to discuss and inform them about the nature and type of student difficulties, focusing on the socio-emotional development and academic capabilities of each student. The purpose of these meetings is to strengthen cooperation between teachers and to ensure the adequacy and well-being of students, while reinforcing areas that need further support.
Additionally, these meetings are used to plan activities that focus on values, strengthening social skills, as well as developing students’ motivation, self-esteem and emotional resilience. The continuous updates provided to teachers, targeted actions, and reflection on everyday issues ensure s common course of intervention and treatment through the implementation of effective techniques.
A learning or emotional assessment is drawn up at the request of the teacher or parent after written consent from the parent is given. Learning assessments include reading, writing, verbal expression and comprehension activities, as well as mathematical operations and problem solving. At the same time, the child’s behavior and the way in which he/she works are observed and recorded. Emotional assessment is based on projective techniques, family relationships, and informal dialogue.
result in proposals for more systematic investigation by public or other
entities, as well as suggestions for support and intervention.
6. Personalized programs
Within the framework of supporting students with learning difficulties, the School’s Special Educator, Psychologist and respective Class Advisor collaborate to prepare personalized programs. Each student’s personalized program is determined by his/her educational needs as identified by public bodies, as well as by the systematic in-class observations conducted by his/her teacher and school psychologist. Personalized programs determine and guide the differentiated learning approach used, allowing each student to evolve to his/her maximum potential.
Following an assessment by either the School or a public body, students with learning difficulties can be supported in school by a Psychologist-Special Educator. The program, which is conducted in small groups, usually meets twice per week and is aimed at students of all grades.
Remedial Teaching predominantly implements socio-emotional learning programs whose main objective is to strengthen the student’s emotional resilience so that he/she is able to navigate School tasks and challenges, as well as other more general situations.
Students in the Remedial Teaching program participate in a series of activities related to:
- positive self-image and management of emotions (self-awareness)
- acceptance of diversity
- social awareness, relationship skills and conflict resolution
- responsible decision-making and goal setting
- anxiety management
- critical thinking
Speech Therapy Intervention
The School’s Speech Therapist, in collaboration with
psychologists and 1st and 2nd grade teachers (for the most part), develop
activities that focus on:
- identification of speech and language difficulties
- phonological and linguistic awareness, in a broad sense
- topics for the whole class that relate to language/mathematics and other subjects – (what is a word, what is a sentence, coherence and meaning, enriching sentence structure [compound-complex sentences], emergent writing…)
- small group or individual work in the classroom, which targets student weaknesses