Creagh National School (Roll Number 17198S)
A New Model to Support Pupils with Special Educational Needs
From September 2017, there will be a new model in place to support pupils with special educational needs in all mainstream primary schools as per the guidelines issued by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and the National Council for Special Educational Needs (NCSE). While the full details of this model may be downloaded from www.education.ie (DES website), I hope that the following document will be of use to you as a reference guide to this new model.
What is the goal of this new model?
The goal of this new model is to allocate and deploy additional teaching resources for students with special educational needs in a fair and more equitable way.
Who decides on how teaching supports are allocated?
Schools are responsible for deciding how additional teaching supports are deployed in a way that facilitates the development of inclusive schools and caters for all students who require additional supports. The deployment of resources is based on pupils’ identified needs and is informed by regular reviews of their progress, in consultation with their parents and external professional bodies where applicable.
How are students identified for additional support?
The professional judgment of teachers based on school assessments (class work, homework, general class interaction); standardised test results and other forms of assessment; input from parents as well as information from professional reports (where available) inform all decisions in relation to identifying pupils for additional supports.
Who are the students that will receive additional support?
The individual needs of all students are catered for through differentiation in the classroom. Students with significant difficulties in the areas of Academic Competence, Social, Emotional and Behavioural Competence, Physical and Sensory Competence will receive additional support. Those with the greatest level of need, particularly pupils with Complex Needs, will receive the greatest level of support.
What type of support will pupils receive?
Differentiation has always been a key factor in an effective learning environment. The class teacher has responsibility for all pupils. Strategies used in the classroom to cater for the needs of all students and the wide variety of learning styles include tiered assignments, the use of technology, varied questioning and flexible grouping. Differentiation strategies promote inclusive learning and apply to all curricular areas.
Small Group Teaching (inside or outside the classroom)
One to one teaching
While some pupils will require ongoing support, others may require support in a specific area for a shorter period of time. Progress will be monitored carefully and the level and type of support will be adjusted accordingly.
What if my child has already been in receipt of support under the old model?
All pupils identified as having additional needs will continue to receive the appropriate level of support. No child will be disadvantaged by this new model.
The New Student Support File
Teachers plan carefully and they track and review the progress of all pupils.
In the case of pupils with additional needs, Individual Education Plans (IEP) and Individual Profile and Learning Programme (IPLP) will continue to be used in our school but will be incorporated into a template recommended by this new model called the Student Support File. The class teacher, support teacher, parents, pupil, external support services (where applicable) will all be involved in this process. Ongoing, meaningful engagement between the school, parents and external support services is essential in supporting all pupils, particularly pupils with additional needs.
Interventions in our school
We already have many excellent, well-established practices and evidence based programmes in place, which support this new model and they will continue in our school. For example:
• Early Intervention Initiatives: Intensive Literacy, Reading Recovery, Ready Set Go Maths, Mata sa Rang (Infants/First/Second Classes)
• Integrated Approach to Reading (Infants to Sixth)
• Building Bridges Comprehension Programme (Infants to Sixth)
• Aistear Programme (Infant Class Programme to promote early language development).
• Fun Friends and Friends for Life Programmes to promote and develop pupils’ resilience and wellbeing (First/Fourth/Sixth Classes)
• Use of Technology, including specific programmes for some students such as Touch Typing, Read Write Gold, Spelling Programmes
• Team TSI: A new literacy programme for senior classes (5th/6th Classes) to develop additional and more independent comprehension strategies. (Due to be introduced from late September)
• Social Skills Programmes (Infants-Sixth)
• Daily activities to develop fine and gross motor skills informed by programmes supplied by Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists (Infants-Sixth).
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me and I will be happy to meet with you to discuss further. Support teachers will be in contact with parents this week.
I look forward to working with you throughout the new school year.
Stephanie Keating, Principal.
September 18th 2017