Working together for a sustainable future
In St Patrick’s National School, we value the individuality of all our children. We are committed to giving each of them every opportunity to achieve the highest standards within an inclusive, positive setting, offering a broad and balanced curriculum and with high expectations for all the children, where the achievements, attitudes and wellbeing of all our pupils matter. Please view our SEN policy here
The Special Education Team
In addition to our Special Education Teachers (SET), our team also includes five Special Needs Assistants (SNAs). We are all experienced and committed to providing the best support we can to pupils with special educational needs. This support will be based on identified needs and be informed by regular reviews of progress (in consultation with parents and pupils) as outlined in the Continuum of Support Guidelines (https://www.sess.ie/special-education-teacher-allocation/primary/continuum-support-primary ).
We believe that the best outcomes are achieved when all parties work collaboratively. We place a high importance on “Early Intervention” and the SET teachers who work with the Junior classes spend much of their time co-teaching with the class teacher. The children become very familiar with the SET teacher and it becomes normal practice that a pupil receive additional support as they need it.
Areas targeted for support include Social skills/Emotional Behavioural, Numeracy, Literacy and Motor skills. Social Skills in particular, are best practised within a group and as every child can benefit, this support is often provided within rotating groups.
Gross Motor support is provided as a withdrawal group and follows the Fundamental Movement Programme (https://www.scoilnet.ie/pdst/physlit/). Pupils who need a movement break from the classroom, may also be included in this group along with others who benefit from structured team activities.
Additional support in Numeracy and Literacy, outside of the Early Intervention model, is provided from 1st Class. Depending on the particular need within a class, this is typically delivered through a combination of in-class support with the Class Teacher and through a withdrawal group. Once again, the SET teacher who is assigned to a class becomes a familiar face to the class so that availing of extra support is seen as normal. SET teachers plan closely with the Class Teacher and both teachers consult together with parents in drawing up the Student Support Plan. Senior pupils are encouraged to be proactive in their own learning and in recognising when they may need additional support.
The SNAs bring considerable experience to their roles and play an indispensable part in the Special Education Team. They collaborate closely with the teachers and parents of the children they support, both those to whom SNA access has been granted by the SENO and those whom school management has identified as requiring such support (https://www.sess.ie/sites/default/files/DES%20Circular_0030_2014.pdf).
This support enables the children they work with to integrate into and be valued members of our school community.
St Patrick’s NS enjoys substantial support from our parent body, through the PTA. This year we are excited to begin using a small Sensory Room that has been funded by the PTA. We envisage this space providing a safe, calming respite from a busy school environment. This resource will add to the amenity that our garden and outdoor classroom currently provide.