Resource/Learning Support/EAL (English as an Additional Language) Department
This Department forms part of the Students Support Services together with the Department of Guidance & Counselling and the Pastoral Care Services.
This Department has 3 strands;
Strand one deals with students with diagnosed Special Educational Needs, and this category can comprise pupils with a broad spectrum of learning difficulties. Generally speaking students with diagnosed Special Educational Needs are allocated Resource hours and receive tuition in a small group setting or in some cases on a one to one basis. Students with SEN will have an Individual Education Plan drawn up in consultation with parents, teachers and external professionals. They may operate on a reduced timetable depending on their needs. This department is currently working to develop programmes on Life Skills to facilitate the needs of specific students. St. Brigid’s welcomes students with Special Educational Needs.
The school will consult with the Special Education Support Service (SESS) and other agencies on best practice with regard to the provision of certification for those students who are unable to undertake the State Examinations.
Special Education Support Services
Dyslexia Association of Ireland
Irish Autism Action
- Learning Support
Learning Support is the second strand of this Department together with Resource and EAL. In the Learning Support section support is provided to students who may be experiencing serious difficulties in the core areas of English, Irish and Maths but who do not have a diagnosed learning difficulty or allocated hours. Support is allocated by the Department of Education on Skills and students may only be deemed eligible for this level of support by testing within the Resource/Learning Support Department.
- English as an Additional language
The third strand of this Department is the EAL section (English as an Additional Language). Tuition in EAL is provided to students whose native language is not English. This tuition takes place in a small or large group setting. The objective of EAL classes is to equip the students with the language they need to function within the Irish school system. This is done by covering aspects of English grammar, by focusing on subject specific language and by concentrating on the students’ literacy skills in general. Ample opportunities are provided for the development of the students reading ages through the use of a variety of activities such as Word Millionaire and School Book Clubs. Reading ages are tested on an annual basis.
In the interests of providing a balanced service to our students and to our community, St. Brigid’s is dedicated to ensuring that gifted students have the opportunities for academic excellence that they require in full recognition of their Special Educational Needs. The school recognises that the needs of the exceptionally able are no less significant than the needs of students at the other end of the spectrum. A programme for gifted students is currently being developed and will be rolled out in autumn 2011. This programme will be cross curricular and will hopefully touch on all aspects of school life. An in-service took place in March 2011 to introduce all members of teaching staff to this area. Further training will be undertaken over the coming months by a cross section of staff covering a wide range of subjects. Further updates on this programme will be displayed on the school website.
Special Needs Co-ordinator: Ms. Karen Downes
Resource/Learning Support/EAL Teacher: Ms. Karen Downes