Resource & Learning Support

Resource and Learning Support

The Learning Support Department aims to provide an effective and comprehensive support service that will enable students with special educational needs to access the curriculum and achieve their full potential.

The Role of the Learning Support Department

The Learning Support team provides assistance to these pupils, through early identification, specialist tuition and close liaison with parents, subject teachers and outside professionals.

The Learning Support Team consists of:
  • Caitriona Smith - SEN Co-Ordinator (SENCO)
  • Joe Duffy
  • Claire Hudson
  • Niamh McCarthy
  • Mairead Melia
  • Caroline Wallace
Special Needs Assistants:
  • Orla Keogh
  • onya Cowman
  • Caroline McBride
  • Martina Griffin
  • Gillian Kilkenny
  • Niamh Byrne

Who is eligible for supports?

Students who are supported by the Learning Support Department include individuals who have been identified by a psychologist or health care professional as having a Specific Learning Difficulty (e.g. Dyslexia), Developmental Co-Ordination Disorder (Dyspraxia), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD /ADHD), Speech and Language Difficulties, mild General Learning Difficulties or those whose learning has been affected by a Physical Difficulty.

Other students who are struggling with the demands of the curriculum may also be eligible for short term interventions. All enrolment applications at Coláiste Chill Mhantáin are treated according to our Admissions Policy but we must be made aware in advance if a child has a Special Education Need so that our SEN Department can determine if we can adequately meet your child's needs.

How are support classes organised?

In Coláiste Chill Mhantáin, pupils with a range of learning difficulties are integrated into regular mixed ability classes and are either withdrawn for extra tuition or provided with in-class support by our Learning Support team. If the student has an Irish exemption, extra classes are usually offered at this time. Pupils who take a full range of subjects are generally seen on a rotational basis.

Resource teachers and Learning Support teachers take students individually or in small groups to develop skills in literacy, numeracy and to offer subject-specific support; to develop social skills, organisational skills and/or study skills. A small number of students may also be eligible for support from a Special Needs Assistant. The level of support depends upon the level of need.

How do I apply for supports?

If a student in primary school has been receiving assistance from a resource teacher, a learning support teacher or a special needs assistant, it is important that the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) in Coláiste Chill Mhantáin is notified, so that there will be continuity of support when the student progresses on to secondary school.

In order to make provision for pupils with special educational needs, it is essential that relevant reports and documentation are forwarded to the SENCO with the application form or on/before the Open Evening. All applications for a place at Coláiste Chill Mhantáin are treated according to our Admissions Policy but we must be made aware in advance if a child has a Special Education Need so that our SEN Department can determine if we can adequately meet your child's needs. The deadline for applying for resource teaching hours or SNA support is usually early March in the year of entry.

The SENCO is happy to discuss the needs of individual students and is available by appointment through the office.

How are students with learning difficulties identified?

All students complete Entrance Assessment Tests which screen for basic skills in literacy and numeracy competency. These results, together with information obtained from parents/guardians, feeder primary schools and/or mainstream teachers can assist in identifying students with special educational needs. Other screening or diagnostic tests may be carried out where appropriate. An educational psychological assessment or referral on to another outside professional may be recommended.

Once the relevant information has been collated and the pupil’s strengths and needs identified, a learning support programme and timetable is put in place for each student.

Regular reviews of the student’s progress are maintained and parents/guardians are kept informed. The duration of this support is determined by each student’s progress.

What is ‘Reasonable Accommodation’ in State Examinations?

The Department of Education and Skills may grant ‘Reasonable Accommodation’ or special arrangements in state examinations to students with special educational needs.

Each application is assessed on an individual basis. The SENCO is responsible for the submission of these applications to the Exam Commission on behalf of parents/guardians.

A recent educational psychological assessment is not necessary for Junior Certificate applications, however, Leaving Certificate applications require supporting documentation from relevant professionals.

Special arrangements can include:
  1. Use of a separate centre
  2. Use of computer
  3. Use of tape recorder or scribe
  4. A spelling/grammar/ punctuation waiver in language subjects
  5. Provision of a reader

Note: If a student avails of some of these accommodations, this will be indicated on the examination certificate. An asterisk will appear next to the subject and a supplementary report will accompany it.

To prepare students for reasonable accommodation in state examinations, the Learning Support Department offers students in their care the opportunity to practise their accommodation in some subjects in school examinations.

What is DARE?

The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a college / university admission scheme, which offers places in college at reduced points to students with disabilities. The scheme recognises that these students have had to overcome more obstacles than most in order to get to 3rd level.

Sixth year students with disabilities may apply for DARE once they have their CAO number (usually in January in the year of entry to 3rd level). The Guidance and Learning Support Department assists them in this application process. Updated assessments may be necessary in order to be eligible. Further information and guidelines regarding the application process is available on the DARE web-site.

In Conclusion:

The Learning Support Department is committed to providing an effective learning support provision which will promote, enhance and further develop the acquired skills and confidence of students with learning difficulties. We strive towards the full inclusion of pupils with disabilities in every aspect of life in Coláiste Chill Mhantáin.

Links to some useful Websites
Aug 26
Frist Year Induction Evening ( Parents & Students)
Aug 27
First Year induction & Classes
Aug 28
Second & Fifth Year students only
Aug 29
First, Third & Sixth Year only
Coláiste Chill Mhantáin,
Co. Wicklow,
A67 TV21

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