Learning Support, Learning Resource and Special Educational Needs

Scariff Community College is committed to the creation of an inclusive, supportive learning environment for all pupils, increasing their participation in, and reducing their exclusion from the curricula, cultures and communities of local mainstream educational institutions.

Aims of Learning Support and Special Educational Needs

To foster and develop an all inclusive learning environment in which all pupils, no matter what their difficulty, are enabled to experience success and to achieve their full potential within our school community.This service is designed so that all pupils are enabled to:

  • participate fully in the school community
  • develop to their full potential
  • acquire the basic personal skills, social skills, literary skills and numeracy skills needed for life
  • develop in a supportive environment in which they can enhance their individual talents
  • experience success 
  • develop a positive self image and self esteem

Special Educational Needs

The broad aims of education for pupils with special educational needs reflect those relevant to all students and include

  • enabling the student to live a full life and to realise his or her potential as a unique individual through access to an appropriate broad and balanced curriculum
  • enabling the student to function as independently as possible in society through the provision of such educational supports as are necessary to realise that potential
  • enabling the student to continue learning in adult life.

Learning Support

The function of this support is to ensure that all pupils struggling with basic literacy and numeracy are identified and provided with the supports they require to confidently meet the challenges of the curriculum available to them. The provision of this support is limited by the time allocation made available by the Dept of Education and Science and the resources available within the school.

Priority will be given to pupils who have fallen three years or more behind their chronological age level in the areas of literacy or numeracy, as identified on standardised tests. Priority will also be given to those identified by a psychological report as having a specific learning difficulty but who, for resource allocation purposes, fall outside the definition used by the Department of Education and Science.( Circular 08/02)

Current Situation

At present Scariff community college has one full time ex-quota Learning Support Teacher and a well equipped Learning Support Room. We are also in receipt of additional Special Educational Needs Resource hours to support pupils identified as having Special Educational Needs as defined by the Department of Education and Science Circular 08/02. 

Selection of Pupils

The selection process begins with consultation with parents and primary school personnel. The educational psychologist and other support professionals may also be consulted. Parental consent is obtained prior to such consultations. This information is compiled subsequent to the application process being completed. This process is pivotal for the identification of pupils who may qualify for the assistance of the Learning Support Teacher, a Resource Teacher or a Special Needs Assistant (SNA). 

Learning Support

  • Pupils in need of Learning Support are identified using standard entrance tests and from standardised screening tests administered early in the first term. Subsequently diagnostic testing is carried out on a smaller group of potential learning support candidates. Priority candidates, already defined, for intervention are identified.
  • Pupils may receive Learning Support if referred by the classroom teacher in the event of noticeable difficulties arising in the areas of literacy and numeracy 

Referrals for Learning Support are also made by parents at any time. The pupils referred are assessed and interventions may be put in place.

Special Educational Needs

  • Applications will be made to the Department of Education and Science for additional resources  for pupils who have been appropriately assessed and whom meet the relevant criteria for Special Educational Needs as defined by  Circular 08/02.
  • If a pupil has not been identified as having a special educational need until after enrolment, the permission of parents will be sought to have the pupil assessed by the appropriate professionals.(Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist) The pupil will receive the help of the learning support teacher until such an assessment is carried out and appropriate resources are sanctioned.