Special Class Information

SPECIAL CLASS INFORMATION

Dripsey National School is a mixed Catholic Primary School in the parish of Inniscarra Co. Cork. The decision to provide specialised education for pupils with an Autism Spectrum Disorder was taken by the Board of Management of Dripsey National School in conjunction with the Principal and Staff in 2019.

September 2019 saw the opening of an Early Intervention Class for pre-school children which has since transitioned to becoming a Junior ASD Class for Primary School children.

In January 2021 Dripsey NS was approved to build a two classroom SEN base and a designated central activities space. O’ Keeffe O’ Connell  Architects have been appointed to oversee the build and this is scheduled for completion in 2023.

The pupil : teacher ratio in each class is 6:1 with two SNAs in each class also caring for the children’s needs. Your child will be supported collectively by the ASD class teachers, mainstream class teachers, learning support teachers and the special needs assistants.

This caring, inclusive school has a high level of commitment to children with an autistic spectrum disorder and associated social and communication difficulties.

Our aim:

• To offer an autism specific learning environment within a mainstream setting.

• To facilitate optimum inclusion as part of the whole school community with access to mainstream activities as appropriate to the individual pupil.

• To value the individuality of each pupil.

• Strive for each pupil to reach his/ her individual potential.

• To create an environment that offers clarity, predictability and calm.

• Form partnerships with parents and multi-disciplinary teams.

We are committed to:

• Providing an individualised curriculum shaped by the pupil’s individual interests, strengths and needs.

• Providing teaching in both the mainstream classroom, in groups and on a one to one basis shaped by the individual pupil’s needs, readiness and ability.

• Promoting maximum independence for pupils in an atmosphere of respect, challenge, encouragement and praise.

• Increasing expressive and receptive language.

• Working with other professionals including educational psychologists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, behavioural specialists, to promote the overall wellbeing of each pupil.

Individualised teaching:

We consider every pupil as an individual with individual strengths and individual needs. We base our teaching on a variety of approaches, choosing the most effective for each individual.

The variety of approaches we use include:

• TEACCH (A visual, structured teaching approach)

• PECS (Picture exchange communication)

• Lámh (Augmentative sign language)

• Social Stories (describes a situation, skill, or concept in terms of relevant social cues, perspectives, and common responses)

• ABA (a behavioural approach using task analysis and positive reinforcement)

• Sensory Integration (activities to promote healthy sensory processing)

• Mainstream Integration

Individualised curriculum:

Dripsey National School has high aspirations for its pupils and thus each pupil will have an individually tailored curriculum with learning targets outlined in their individual education plan.

• Pupils will work to develop their social, physical, behavioural, emotional, communicative and intellectual abilities as part of their individual curriculum and targets set in their Individual Education Plans.

• Pupils will work in parallel to the mainstream primary school curriculum at a level that best suits their social, communication and behavioural readiness and ability.

• Pupils will work on a one to one basis, individually, in groups or in the mainstream classroom at a level that best suits their ability, readiness, interest and motivation.