An overview of Additional or Special Educational Needs in St. Joseph’s Patrician College
St. Joseph’s Patrician College recognises that each student is unique with different talents and needs. Our focus is to support all student to reach their potential in an inclusive environment without prejudice and within which individual difference is celebrated. We promote and facilitate a whole school approach and so create a community of learning. We offer an inclusive curriculum, which is relevant, realistic, and co-operative, and we do so in active partnership with pupils, parents' staff, and all stakeholders.
To ensure the same quality of educational experience for all students, irrespective of ability or need, some students need to avail of Additional Educational Support in order to access our broad and balanced curriculum commensurate with their talents and abilities. The aim of Additional Educational Needs support is to help students meet their physical, intellectual, and emotional needs through our student focused support programmes to encourages students and enable them to monitor their own learning and become as independent a learner as possible.
We have a dedicated staff who work as and with specialised Special Educational Teachers to ensure that all our students with an Additional Educational Need have access to a broad, balanced, and relevant curriculum. The SEN team support students also through the deployment of skilled and dedicated Special Needs Assistants in the school (SNA). We acknowledge students’ strengths as well as their complexities. For those students who have Additional Educational Needs we endeavour to ensure that their needs are met. St. Joseph’s College provides AEN support via high quality teaching and learning and empower students to take responsibility for their own learning, thereby enabling them to experience success at school and beyond. We identify specific supports for the individual student and the SEN team determines the level of support required under the Continuum of Support structures. A smooth transition from Primary to Post-Primary is of utmost importance followed on by regular support and review through Student Support Plans. When recommended the Bish will apply for assistive technology. We also test and apply for Reasonable Accommodations in the State Examinations. In Leaving Cert year applications for DARE/HEAR for College are also applied for. Here are further specifics on all those areas outlined.
• If the student already has a Professional report, we try to meet the recommendations of the report as best we can and regularly include observations from teachers and class tests using our school software.
• All students undertake ability and attainment testing in numeracy and literacy in Year 1 and all students are retested in Year 2/3. We follow up with more specific testing takes place for those students presenting with challenging results. These include Cognitive Ability Testing; GL Dyslexia Screening Testing; Dyscalculia Screening Testing; NGRT (New Group Reading Test) Literacy and Reading Ability test.
• When concerns are raised by outside Agencies, we will follow up on them i.e., the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS); Child and Adult Mental Health Service (CAMHS); Occupational Therapists; Speech and Language Therapists etc.
• Term and annual review for SEN students through their Student Support Plans.
• Referrals from Primary Feeder Schools
• The SEN team support HSE referrals to Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapists and refer directly to the National Educational Psychological Service.
Transition from Primary schools is facilitated through
• An Induction Evening
• Induction Brochures and Welcome Packs distributed to parents and pupils
• AEN students are facilitated by the SEN team from transition to leaving the school
• SNAs may visit schools to work with students in preparation for transition. Students who require an SNA will have a Care Plan in place.
• The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) may visit Primary Schools or facilitate visits to the school with Teachers/Parents from Primary with the student.
• In-class support through Team-Teaching and Support Teaching
• Small group classes
• Individual (1:1) support
• Literacy & Numeracy Intervention
• Handwriting development intervention & ICT Skills development
• Friendship and social skills development programmes
• After School Subject Tuition, homework support, study skills programmes etc.
The SEN Team meet and review and forward plan each month. Then SEN team comprises of the Principal, Deputy Principal(s), SENCO, ASD Centre Head and Specialised AET teachers. Year Heads and Mainstream Teachers become aware in real time of the changing needs of students through the school software programme and direct contact from the SENCO on behalf of the SEN team.
STATE EXAMINATION SUPPORTS
The schools will also test and apply for Reasonable Accommodations in the State Examinations (Junior and Leaving Certificate) for students who meet the criteria for a Spelling and Grammar Waiver; Reading Assistance; Separate Centre; Scribe; Use of Assistive Technology (Laptop) etc. This is applied for in October of their Junior Certificate year and again in October Leaving Certificate year. The school will also apply for Assistive Technology Grants to the NCSE for students who meet the criteria on receipt of Occupational Therapy or Educational Psychology Reports. The Bish works closely also with the National Council for Special Education (NCSE); Enable Ireland; the Visiting Teacher for the Blind/visually impaired service; Visiting Teacher for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing service.
Our Special Classes at St Joseph’s Patrician College
We have provision for two classrooms specifically for students on the Autistic Spectrum. Each classroom has a maximum capacity of 6 students. The ASD Centre is there to cater for students with Autism within the school’s catchment area (See Admissions Policy).
Enrolment to the ASD Centre for any student must meet with the approval of the SENO in collaboration with the school authorities who in turns provides teaching allocation and resources to the Centre.
Parents/ Guardians are advised to meet with school management regarding the ASD Centre a year in advance of applying and to consult with the SENO regarding the most suitable educational environment for their child.