DCSN’s curriculum is the product of teaching experience, methodical observation of children’s educational needs and a thorough consultation by each section’s teachers, therapists and other special educators working at the center. The overall aim is to encourage each student to become an independent learner, well-equipped with the skills necessary to integrate into daily life outside of DCSN.
‘Life Skills’ are a primary focus and integrated into all learning programs and activities. Academic, Primary, Pre-Vocational and Multi-Sensory departments have a specific program that is tailored to meet each student’s needs.
‘Rehabilitation’ through Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Physiotherapy plays a vital role in the success of the curriculum and is essential in helping students overcome mental, physical, social/emotional and behavioral challenges.
Additionally, the curriculum covers other fundamental domains that are central to educating students at DCSN, including: literacy and numeracy, science and themed activities, arts and humanities, work placements, leisure activities, multi-sensory, PE/swimming and computer/IT. Both social and emotional maturity is endorsed as part of the learning experience at the center.
The role of the Primary section is to ensure the broad-based development of students. This means ensuring that all pupils are able to develop their cognitive, social, emotional, language, and physical skills to the best of their abilities. A play orientated approach promotes an array of developing skills such as pre-academic skills, socialization, and daily living activities.
There is a specific focus on sensory, communication, and cognition with daily living skills to ensure Primary timetables maximize student potential and growing independence.
The Center’s therapists provide expert input into the primary programs. These include speech and occupational therapy and physiotherapy. They work alongside Primary teachers in order to deliver holistic, multidisciplinary, and dynamic sessions to promote individual and group-based learning.
The academic section is primarily a curriculum based program with a focus on learning in all academic subjects such as math, science and humanities. In addition, other developmental skill areas such as social integration and promoting independence are the focus of this section.
Academic students follow a full and comprehensive timetable created by DCSN’s qualified teachers who use a wide range of learning techniques to enhance the teaching and learning within the classroom.
As students follow an academic pathway an ASDAN themed program is introduced in which the teachers provide flexible, engaging programs and qualifications that help the students develop skills for learning, work and life.
Dubai Center for Special Needs is the only special needs Center in Dubai to offer and run ASDAN courses for students. Since the implementation of the accredited qualification course several of the students have completed and passed bronze status and are moving towards the Silver certification.
Opportunities for in-house and external placements are continuously offered to older students in order to encourage and develop skills which are centered on giving all learners the opportunity and tools to discover, develop and make full use of their potential to become independent members of their community
The pre-vocational section focus is to facilitate the students to access the wider world of work and the responsibilities that this entails. Students in the pre-vocational section are offered the opportunity to work in various different companies in the community and these opportunities help the students to develop their skills in many areas such as cookery, crafts, and office-based placements.
Alongside functional academics, social integration, and developing their independence, students are able to improve their skills by participating in internal placements such as cookery, looming, and project-based programs.
In this section, students focus on independent living and vocational skills, with special emphasis on communication and social skills.
Students will learn, maintain, and develop skills within their daily lives to promote autonomy and independence.
Other key areas are functional academics such as math skills which include understanding the time and counting money, language skills such as recognizing symbols and reading signs commonly displayed within their environment and everyday living.
In-house placements are designed to develop a student’s sense of responsibility by creating awareness of work ethics. It also facilitates different learning channels such as organizational skills, computer skills, and exposing students to new challenges.
Multi Sensory Section
Designed with the needs of children with severe physical and cognitive challenges in mind, the program is primarily management-based. Offering structured interventions to stimulate visual, auditory and tactile senses, the syllabus maintains and improves gross and fine motor skills. Through the repetition of exercises the goal is to increase the student’s participation in self-help skills.
Sensory skills provide feedback from the senses to the brain so that a child can interact with his or her environment successfully. These skills involve seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting, balancing and body awareness. A student hearing a friend call their name, feeling cold water in a pool, smelling fresh cut grass, swinging on a swing (balance) and walking without looking at their feet (body awareness) are examples of sensory skills at work on a daily basis.
Building their sensory skills, students benefit from specially designed instruction that caters to their need for stimulation. The focus is the same as for students in other sections, which is to become as independent as possible.
Dubai Center prides itself on offering students different opportunities to express their creativity and imagination, which is apparent in the variety of enrichment programs given to all students.
It is widely known that Art therapy can help to promote creativity and unlock talent and increase self-esteem and confidence.
The department consists of Art therapy classes, Home Economics and Woodwork, all of which provide students the opportunity to access a wide range of practical, interesting, and diverse sessions.
Topics include mosaics, pottery, arts and crafts, sculpture, and collage. Students take great pride when their work is displayed on the Center’s walls.
Many of our students have produced such skilled and intricate artwork that they have been able to showcase their talents in our many events held throughout the year.
The Music Department develops and encourages students’ interest in understanding and appreciating different genres of music.
The music department illustrates basic musical concepts for students through activities such as, playing musical instruments, vocal coaching, and experiencing different musical styles.
Some students are also given the opportunity to participate in the Center’s choir and orchestra, performing regularly in assemblies, external events, and the annual concert.
The Physical Education department provides a comprehensive physical education and fitness program to ensure the participation of all students which is appropriate to the abilities and potential of each student.
Students are exposed to a wide range of sporting activities such as basketball, football, and tennis. The department also offers individually tailored weight loss programs that are in keeping with the Center’s healthy living philosophy.
Swimming sessions are given to all consenting students and activities range from confidence in the water, learning basic strokes to competing in races.
All students participate and enjoy the Annual Sports day in which full participation from students and parents is encouraged.
We consider the Arabic Language to be one of the most important components of the Center’s syllabus. Students are expected and encouraged to use and engage with the language whenever it is appropriate. We strongly believe that the extent to which the student utilizes the language has a significant impact on his development within the various aspects of the Center’s program whether educational, religious, social, or health-related.
Our Center is quite distinguished from other Centers in that, it provides a multi-dimensional approach to education. The approach starts with an overarching educational goal, then moves to more detailed behavioral objectives in the form of cognitive, emotional, and motor skills. These goals are achievable by creating a conducive learning atmosphere and integrating various meaningful activities such as games, themes, and simplified educational projects, which are then put into practice via the day-to-day experiences from practical life.
With the continuous guidance of teachers and the students’ experience the curriculum covers all aspects of the student’s growth and development on the spiritual, religious, linguistic, mental, physical, motor, social, psychological, and health levels.