Special Educational Needs Department
The Special Education Needs (SEN) Department aims to facilitate and co-ordinate the provision of education to students who may have difficulty functioning and achieving within the constraints of traditional mainstream education. The department carefully considers the needs of the individual student and aims to provide support for this student in a holistic sense by assisting with all aspects of the individual’s learning and development through junior and senior cycles. The Department monitors the student throughout her time in the school and aims to work closely with all those who have a shared interest in the student’s educational and personal development, placing a particular emphasis and value on its relationship with the student’s primary educators, her parents. The SEN Department aims to work in collaboration with parents and external agencies in the preparation of individual students for adult and working life.
Exceptionally Able Students
In the interests of providing a balanced service to our students and to our community and in keeping with our commitment to the original tenets of the Education Act 1998, the school is dedicated to ensuring that Exceptionally Able Students have the opportunities for academic excellence that they require in full recognition of their Special Educational Needs. St. Brigid’s acknowledges the fact that the needs of the exceptionally able are no less significant than the needs of students at the opposite end of the spectrum. In 2011 our school participated in a programme to heighten awareness of our Exceptionally Able Students. As a result of this programme, we annually seek to identify any students in this category and the parents of the relevant students are invited to refer their daughters to CTY (Centre for Talented Youth). (See Appendix 1 for levels of giftedness).
Development of Inclusive Curriculum
Differentiation is now a prominent feature of the modern classroom and it enables teachers to cater for the broad spectrum of abilities which may exist within any one classroom. However, should the attendance of the student at normal class require the presence of an SNA, this will be facilitated by the school, if sanctioned by the Special Educational Needs Organiser.
As far as possible and in consultation with parents all students will participate in Junior Cycle certification through either Level 2 Learning Programmes or Level 3 subjects or a combination of both.
At senior level students will be prepared for one of the following Leaving Certificate Curricula:
· Established Leaving Certificate
· Leaving Certificate Applied
· Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme
For those students who have been diagnosed by an educational psychologist as having Special Educational Needs, or who are experiencing difficulty accessing the school curriculum, access to support will be determined based as outlined in the DES Allocation Model.
The school has in excess of 6 qualified Resource/Learning Support teachers who are available to students requiring support and to advise subject teachers in this area.
The school is committed to providing Learning Support and mainstream teachers with training so that they can work with students with Special Educational Needs.
Each year group is assigned an SEN co-ordinator. The SEN co-ordinator works with the students, their parents and mainstream teachers to ensure that the student is supported throughout their time in St. Brigid’s. The Co-ordinators will also liaise with outside agencies including the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS), the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), the visiting teacher service, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) and numerous others as the need arises. The SEN co-ordinator is the link person between the school and parents on all matters relating to SEN.
In September 2020 St. Brigid’s was delighted to open an ASD class. The class has capacity for 6 students. The students are supported by teachers and Special Needs Assistants (SNA) and access both mainstream classes and individual/group ASD classes depending on the student’s individual needs.
Useful Websites: National Council for Special Education https://ncse.ie/
Gifted Kids http://www.giftedkids.ie/
As I Am https://asiam.ie/
Dyslexia Association of Ireland https://www.dyslexia.ie/
National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/National-Educational-Psychological-Service-NEPS-/NEPS-Home-Page.html
National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/National-Educational-Psychological-Service-NEPS-/NEPS-H