Ardcroney N.S. Policy on Special Needs Education ARDCRONEY NS POLICY ON SPECIAL NEEDS EDUCATION Updated March 2013 CONTENTS; 1. Aims for Special Needs Education 2. Roles and Responsibilities, Board of Management, Principal, Class teacher, SEN teacher, Special Needs Assistants. 3. Assessment List of compulsory and non-compulsory assessments 4. Identification and selection of pupils for supplementary teaching, Overview, Referral for psychological assessment, Providing for gifted children providing for children with emotional/behavioural and social problems, code of behaviour. 5. Process for enrolment of SEN children who have not previously attended the school 6. Organisation of supplementary teaching 7. Record-keeping/monitoring progress, IEP’s Communicating information from year to year, Access to records 8. Curriculum/school plans 9. Monitoring and reviewing of policy. 1. Aims for Special Needs Education The Principal aim of all supplementary teaching is to optimise the teaching and learning process in order to enable all pupils with special educational needs to experience success at school and to achieve adequate levels of proficiency in literacy and numeracy before leaving school. Ardcroney N.S. will aim: 1. To identify children experiencing difficulties and to put in place appropriate supplementary teaching for these children. 2. To adapt the curriculum where necessary to meet the needs of children experiencing learning difficulties. 3. To develop the self-esteem of each child. 4. To work closely with parents as partners in their child’s education 5. To enable the children attending supplementary teaching to participate as much as possible in the full curriculum for their class level. 6. To provide supplementary teaching and additional support and resources in English and / or Mathematics for those pupils identified as needing Learning Support. 2. ROLES AND RESPONSILILITIES The Board has responsibility to oversee the implementation of the school policy on Special Education Needs, to ensure that adequate classroom accommodation and teaching resources are provided for the support teachers, and to provide a secure facility for storage of records. Principal The Principal has overall responsibility for the development and implementation of the school policy on Special Educational Needs. This involves ensuring that the teachers of pupils selected for supplementary teaching, are enabled to fulfil their roles as outlined in the school plan. Class Teacher The class teacher has primary responsibility for the progress of all pupils in his/her classroom, including those selected for supplementary/resource teaching. A particular responsibility of the class teacher is to create a classroom environment in which learning difficulties can be prevented or at least alleviated. This is best achieved by grouping pupils for instruction, providing lower-achieving pupils with strategies for reading and problem solving , adapting learning materials for lower achieving pupils and liaising closely with their parents. Where a pupil is selected for supplementary teaching, it is essential that the class teacher should contribute to developing the learning targets in the pupil’s Individual Educational Programme and to the planning and implementation of activities to attain those targets. SEN Teachers The role of each SEN Teacher involves: (a) Devising and implementing Individual Educational Plans( IEP’s ) for those attending Supplementary teaching. IEP’s should be developed in collaboration with parent(s)/ Guardians, class teachers, Principal, pupils and other relevant professionals such as School psychologist, speech therapist etc. in order to identify the child’s strengths and Needs and specify long term goals, objectives, teaching methods, strategies, materials And monitoring procedures. (b) Monitoring and recording progress of pupils attending supplementary teaching. (c) Supporting/advising class teachers in regard to adapting the curriculum, teaching Strategies, suitable textbooks, assessment etc for pupils with SEN. (d) Reviewing and updating IEP’s on a bi-annual basis. Special Needs Assistants The Special Needs Assistants in Ardcroney are assigned to classes and also to specific children. Where and when possible the SNA’s may be asked to help the SEN teachers and class teachers with their work. SNA’s will normally support special needs students while attending SEN teachers but arrangements may also be made for them to carry out other class based duties assigned by the Principal. 3. ASSESSMENT The following assessment will take place annually in the school. Name of Test Area/s assessed Classes Time of Year Letter recognition and 1 Junior Infants Junior Infants Late sounds and number Screening Test May/early recognition and June understanding 2 M.I.S.T. 3 Early Dyslexia 4 Dyslexia Screening Test (DST – J) 5 MICRA-T 6 SIGMA – T Listening Skills, Sounds, written vocabulary, three phoneme words, sentence dication Helps to identify children at risk of dyslexia (ages 7yrs 5 months Helps to identify children at risk of dyslexia (ages 7 yrs 6 months to 11 years 5 months English reading and comprehension skills Mathematical attainment Administered by Class teacher Senior Infants May /June Class Teacher On a needs basis When needed SEN teacher (individual testing) On a needs basis When needed SEN teacher (individual testing) 1st – 6th May/June Class Teacher 1st – 6th May/June Class Teacher 4. IDENTIFICATION AND SELECTION OF PUPILS FOR SUPPLEMENTARY TEACHING Priority for receiving supplementary teaching (or resource hours ) will be given to: Children who have recommended for resource hours by the school psychologist Juniors to 6th class children whose teachers and or parents have significant concerns about their academic progress. An infant level to those who have scored poorly on the Junior and Senior Infant Screening tests. Remaining places in resource classes will be allocated following discussion between class teacher, SEN teachers, Principal and parents, If a teacher/parent feels that a child is not progressing as well as he/she could , and would benefit from supplementary teaching, the class teacher should first plan and implement a differentiated programme of work for this child. If assessments should show that this is not helping enough, the child may be allocated a place in supplementary teaching. Referral for Psychological Assessment by educational Psychologist If a teacher has serious concerns about a pupil’s academic ability or achievement , a suitable intervention such as supplementary teaching should be put in place in consultation with the SEN teacher for a designated period of time. The pupils progress should be monitored and recorded and if the intervention fails to positively affect the child’s progress, the class teacher may wish to refer the pupil for a psychological assessment. The pupil’s parents should then be contacted and invited to attend a meeting with the class teacher where the referral form is completed and the process explained to the parents. The referral will be sent to the psychologist. On this day the psychologist will usually request to meet the class teacher, relevant SEN teachers and the child’s parents. The school will then receive a psychologist report for that child. The report will be kept on file with all other Special Needs reports. A copy of the report should be given to and read by those teachers working with the pupil. The psychologist’s recommendations should be taken into account when developing the IEP for that pupil and when considering suitable teaching methodologies and approaches. Following the assessment, the class teacher should offer to meet the child’s parents in order to answer any questions or concerns they may have about the child’s psychological report or IEP Providing for Gifted Children When devising annual timetables, a one-hour block per week with a designated SEN teacher will be allocated to children who display an exceptionally high level of intelligences/achievements (resource s permitting). This SEN teacher will engage the group in lessons and activities which will cater for and challenge each child’ s ability. Providing for children with emotional/behavioural/social problems Ardcroney N.S. recognises that some children experience problems of a social, behavioural or emotional nature. Planning for SEN will take in to account teacher’s and parent’s concerns, along with recommendations from psychologists regarding children’s social and emotional needs. If deemed necessary, such children may be withdrawn from class by SEN teachers to participate in one-to-one or group ‘social’ lessons. These lessons will be designed to help the child develop social skills. During these lessons the SEN teacher may need to work on enhancing the child’s self-esteem or developing communication skills, friendship skills and co-operation skills such as turn taking. The SEN teacher, during these lessons, may wish/need too use a variety of methodologies such as Circle time, co-operative games , art and craft activities, cooking/baking, project work, computer activities, or environmental work. Children may be referred for an Educational Psychological Assessment. Code of Behaviour The code of behaviour is in place for every child in Ardcroney N.S. It is however recognised that certain behavioural problems are a result of specific conditions (E.g. ADD, ADHD). Where serious behavioural, problems arise, every effort will be made to accommodate the child’s needs also to uphold the code of behaviour of the school. In the case of ongoing misbehaviour, management of such behaviour may take the form of a behavioural contract. This contract will be worked out in collaboration with parents. Class teacher/SEN teacher, Principal and child. This contract may be for varying periods – a week/month etc. and will be developed based on the individual needs of the child. Where ongoing/serious misbehaviour arises which causes the child to be a danger to him/herself or other children from learning or where the use of a behaviour contract has failed,, further sanctions from the school’s ‘Code of Behaviour’ shall be implemented. 5. PROCESS FOR ENROLMENT OF SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN WHO HAVE NOT PREVIOUSLY ATTENED THE SCHOOL The following points shall be considered before enrolment: Parents to list the needs of child and requirements of school School and classroom organisations must be suitable to cater for child’s needs Additional resources may be required Parent of child with special needs to meet class teacher and SEN teacher. School will request copies of the child’s medical/psychological reports or an assessment. Enrolment of the child may be deferred until these are obtained and the necessary resources are obtained. Parents will be required to consent to and comply with the School Code of Behaviour. 6. ORGANISATION OF SUPPLEMENTARY TEACHING Following analysis of learning needs and difficulties, children are grouped in learning support groups. Supplementary teaching will then be provided in English and/or Maths and/or social skills. The teaching provided is supplementary, it is not designed to replace classroom work. In general, children will be withdrawn from their class in timetabled groups. These timetables shall be prepared in consultation with class teachers to avoid Children missing any particular curricular area each day. Timetabling At the end of each school year, the SEN teachers, after consultation with the class teachers, will meet to plan the priority list for SEN teaching for the following school year. At this time, timetables will be devised. At the beginning of September, these timetables will allow for groups and one-to-one lessons for an in-class support. Timetabling should make allowances for any children with punctuality and/or attendance issues. SEN liaising with class teachers Each SEN teacher in collaboration with the relevant class teachers will devise a programme of support teaching (an IEP) to cater for the needs of special needs pupils. Formally: SEN and class teachers will aim to formally meet: In October: To plan IEP’s. to discuss the needs o f each pupil. In February: To review progress of children attending supplementary teaching and to revise IEP’s. In mid-June: To review progress of children and to identify/select groups for new school year. Informally: SEN and class teachers will also discuss planning and children’s progress on an informal basis, for example: -During planning time on Friday afternoons. -Before Parent/Teacher meetings -At other times when necessary. Liaising with parents: When a pupil is selected for supplementary teaching, a letter will be sent to the pupil’s parents. Supplementary teaching should only commence when parental consent has been given. The SEN teacher should then arrange an initial meeting with that parent and aim to keep in regular contact with the parent throughout the year. Before meeting with parents, SEN teachers should consult class teachers so that they are fully informed about the child’s previous progress or issues arising. In general SEN teachers will meet with parents in October and February as this is the time when new IEP’s will be devised each year. Parents are also welcome to make an appointment to see the SEN teacher at other times during the school year. Likewise the SEN teacher may wish to ask a parent to come in at various times to discuss progress or issues arising. Continuing/discounting supplementary teaching Children selected for supplementary teaching will attend for a minimum period of at least a term. Supplementary teaching will then be withdrawn or continued as appropriate, and parents will be informed and consulted on any change. 7. RECORD-KEEPING/MONITORING PROGRESS The SEN teacher, in consultation with the class teacher and parent(s) will draft an individual educations profile (IEP) for each child. The IEP will contain: Recommendations by psychologist/speech and Language therapist (if applicable) Test results (diagnostic and screening) Informal assessment before/after supplementary teaching Learning strengths and attainments Priority learning needs/yearly goals for the pupil Short term goals/objectives Continuing progress record A review date Storing IEP’s The IEP’s will be kept by the relevant SEN teacher during the year he/she is teaching the child. A copy will be given to the class teacher also. The IEP’s will be accompanied by a list of all children who attended supplementary teaching during the school year. Storing Special Needs Assessments (incl. psychological reports) At present when a child has been assessed by the educational psychologist , the speech and language therapist, a copy of all reports and information relating to that assessment is placed in a file under the child’s name and stored in the Resource room. All reports, relevant forms and letters pertaining to that child will be kept in that file until the child is 21. Communicating information from year to year Each child’s folder is a vital source of information for a new class teacher. The folder contains all previous standardised tests results for that child as well as copies of summer reports and other information relating to each child. Each class teacher should ensure that this folder is kept up to date on an ongoing basis. Access to records The following people will have access to records on SEN children which are kept on file 1. Principal 2. Class Teacher 3. Parents if requested 4. Parents if requested 5. DES officials – inspector’s 8. CURRICULUM/SCHOOL PLANS The curriculum/school plans for each subject will be modified where necessary to suit the needs of the SEN pupil. These modifications may be regarding: Arranging classrooms & resources Learning Programmes: - Methodologies - Differentiated classroom curriculum - Homework (see below) - Assessment - Record Keeping The class teacher and the SEN teachers will work in collaboration to make any necessary changes which will benefit the SEN pupil. Homework The class teachers and the SEN teachers shall work in collaboration when assigning homw work to children who receive supplementary teaching. This is to ensure that there is not excess or insufficient amount of homework given. 9. MONITORING AND REVIEWING OF POLICY This policy was reviewed and updated over the school year 2012 – 2013 by the teaching staff. This policy will be reviewed on a needs basis.