Special Education

The Special Education Team in Spa N.S. is very proud to organise provision for teaching and support of children with special educational needs. The term special educational needs is broad and includes children who have difficulty acquiring literacy and/or numeracy skills, children with difficulties with fine or gross motor skills, children who have English as an additional language (if that impacts on their progress) and children who have diagnosed disabilities.

Spa N.S. currently has 3 full time Special Education Teachers based in the school and two SETs who are based in other schools visiting us every day for a short while. The school has 4 Special Needs Assistants (SNAs). The allocation of both Special Education teachers and Special Needs Assistants is subject to review.

Core Principles of Spa N.S. S.E.N. Support

  • All resources provided will be used to facilitate the development of a truly inclusive school.
  • Supports will be based on identified needs and be informed by regular reviews of progress (in consultation with parents and pupils).
  • The class teacher has primary responsibility for the progress and care of all pupils in the classroom, including pupils with special educational needs.
  • Pupils with the greatest levels of need will have access to the greatest level of support.

 Types of Support

  • One to one teaching
  • Group withdrawal and/or in class support
  • Specific intervention programmes
Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day
Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day
It's all about balance!
It's all about balance!
Time out for a little mindfulness and meditation!
Time out for a little mindfulness and meditation!

Role of Parents/Guardians

When we identify a child as having additional needs, we expect the child’s parents/guardians to help us (both in school and at home) to explore all possibilities to help the child to achieve their potential.

Role of Children

The role of the child with SEN will be that of active participant in their own learning; the extent and nature of this will depend on their strengths and needs.

Role of External Bodies and Agencies

Our school liaises with all external professionals such as NEPS Psychologists, Special Education Needs Organisers (SENO), the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) Support Service, the HSE (Health Service Executive), Early Intervention Teams, School Age Teams, Tusla, Visiting Teachers for children with vision impairment and with hearing loss, and the Inspectorate.

Identifying Pupils with Additional Needs

We use the Continuum of Support Framework set out by the Department of Education to identify and support children with additional needs. A staged approach is used to ensure that our support and interventions are incremental. We move from class-based interventions to more intensive and individualised support. This work is informed by careful monitoring of progress.

STAGE 1 CLASSROOM SUPPORT: Classroom Support incorporates the simple, informal problem-solving approaches commonly used by class teachers to support emerging needs.

STAGE 2 SCHOOL SUPPORT: In some cases, interventions at classroom support level are not enough to fully meet the pupil’s special educational needs. If test results and teacher observation indicate this to be the case, School Support may, therefore, be required. The class teacher involves the Special Education Teacher Team (SET Team) in the problem-solving process at this point.

STAGE 3 SCHOOL SUPPORT PLUS: If a pupil’s special educational needs are severe and/or persistent, they are likely to need intensive support. If interventions at classroom support and school support levels are not enough to fully meet the child’s special education needs, a School Support Plus plan is required. School Support Plus will generally involve personnel outside the school team in the problem solving, assessment and intervention process.

NCSE Continuum of Support