The Special Educational Needs (SEN) Department has been set up to support students who have been diagnosed with a learning or physical need that falls within the Department of Education & Science (DES) guidelines.
Currently, support from the DES falls under the guidelines for students who receive additional teaching support (ATS) hours (also known as resource hours) for designated learning or physical needs. Applications for additional teaching support are applied for on an individual basis through the Special Educational Needs Organiser (SENO) assigned to the College by National Council for Special Education. These applications are made annually to the SENO.
Students are provided with support based upon their individualised needs. This support involves liaison with the student themselves, their form tutor and other members of staff. Parents play an integral part in this support system.
Provision may also be made for students who require specific support for a limited period, depending upon the availability of staffing resources within the SEN department, and the College staff.
Each year the SEN department applies for reasonable accommodations for State examinations i in May of Fifth Year for Leaving Certificate students, and in November of Third Year for Junior Certificate students. Parents may be requested to update professional reports for students with learning or physical needs to assist in this application process.
Staffing 2015 – 2016
Programme of support:
Students with SEN are met at the beginning of each term, and, depending upon their needs & staffing resources available, an individual timetable is set up for them on a one-to-one or small group basis. Programmes of support cater for a wide range of student’s individualised needs such as: study habits & schedules, preparation for exams, reviewing work covered in mainstream classes, additional comprehension of material and emotional support.
Support is generally provided on a regular basis when a student is exempt from a particular subject or option. Intermittent meetings are arranged for students who are not exempt from a subject. Staff within the SEN department work closely with form tutors and the students with SEN in their care.
Information is sought from students’ mainstream teachers in order to work on particular areas of difficulty. The support programme is reviewed in the second term and further targets may be set.Students with allocated additional teaching support hours are given priority in terms of support that is provided, followed by students who are taking State examinations.
The SEN department will be assisted by a number of mainstream subject staff this year to support students who are having particular literacy or numeracy issues or, fall within Resource allocations. These teachers will be working with students in a 1 to 1 or small group situation. Members of the College staff also volunteer to provide assistance for individual students and to act as supervisors for separate centres for both in-house and state examinations.