In Scoil Mhuire, learning supports are provided for pupils by our team of mainstream Class Teachers, Special Education Teachers and Special Needs Assistants. The provision of learning supports is coordinated by the Special Education Needs Coordinator and the Principal. While most learning supports are provided to pupils with identified academic, social and emotional needs, we are also committed to providing learning supports to meet the needs of our more able learners.
In our school, we aim to give every pupil the opportunity to experience success in learning and to achieve their potential. To accomplish this, we draw on the Continuum of Support framework. This framework, which is detailed below, allows us to identify pupils’ educational needs which may include academic, social, and emotional needs, as well as needs associated with physical, sensory, language and communication difficulties. Pupils with the greatest level of need will have access to the greatest level of support. Scoil Mhuire uses a range of assessment tools to identify pupils who require extra support and a variety of programmes to address these needs. The identification of educational needs is central to us setting suitable learning challenges for each pupil concerned.
Support can include extra help from a special education teacher during certain subjects such as literacy and numeracy. Support may also involve a pupil receiving extra targeted support in a small group or on an individual basis with a special education teacher for a period of time. Parents/guardians and staff work together to devise an appropriate plan of support for the pupils who require it. These stakeholders also work together to implement the plan and review its effectiveness. Depending on the pupil’s level of need, they may require more intense support over a longer period of time.
There are three levels of support available for pupils who experience challenges in any of the areas mentioned above:
|Classroom Support||The Special Education Teacher (SET) is timetabled to go into the mainstream classroom for Literacy and Numeracy lessons. Along with the Class Teacher, the SET supports all pupils, focusing in particular on the learning needs of pupils who have been identified as needing extra help.|
|School Support||If the needs of the pupil cannot be met through in-class support and the pupil needs a higher level of intervention, the pupil may be withdrawn from their mainstream classroom to work on a specific learning programme with the SET on a one-to-one basis or in a small group. This support is usually for a specific block of time. Once the pupil has finished the particular intervention, they will continue to be supported in their mainstream classroom.|
|School Support Plus||Pupils who require support at School Support Plus level are pupils who have been diagnosed with a Special Educational Need, who are involved with outside agencies or pupils whose needs cannot be met at Classroom Support or School Support level. These pupils require targeted, intensive support from the SET over a longer period of time.|
Further information on how learning supports for pupils are organised and delivered can be found in our Special Educational Needs Policy in the Policies Section of our website.
Scoil Mhuire has a significant number of teachers who have completed the intensive Reading Recovery training, with a minimum of two Special Education Teachers providing Reading Recovery programmes for pupils during any school year.
Reading Recovery is a short-term literacy programme designed for pupils in Senior Infants and 1st Class who are struggling with their reading and writing. It is a thoroughly researched and evidence-based early literacy intervention. Pupils are assessed before they start the programme and again at the end of the programme. Pupils are taught individually by a specially trained teacher for 30 minutes daily for twelve to twenty weeks. Each lesson is individually designed for each pupil. The goal is for the pupils to become effective readers and writers, able to work within the average band of their class at age-appropriate levels of literacy. Scoil Mhuire pupils have experienced great long-term success having participated in Reading Recovery
Like Reading Recovery, Scoil Mhuire has a significant number of teachers who have completed professional development in Maths Recovery, and Maths Recovery practices are used throughout our school on a daily basis.
Maths Recovery is an intensive programme which aims to improve pupils’ number knowledge, understanding and the strategies they use to work out maths problems. Maths Recovery is usually aimed at 1st Class pupils. The programme can be undertaken on an individual basis, in a small group or at whole class level. It is suitable not only for those pupils who are experiencing difficulties in Maths, but also for average and more able pupils.
Maths Recovery instruction focuses initially on developing:
- A facility with number words and number word sequences
- The ability to recognise, identify and write numerals
- Emerging strategies for adding and subtracting
- Emerging knowledge of hundreds, tens and ones
- Emerging methods of notation in arithmetic and
- Early multiplication and division.
Our pupils enjoy participating in Maths Recovery and experience high levels of achievement and success.