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Strandhill National School, Sligo


Currently the school has the services of three full time and one part time Learning support/Resource Teachers.  Children in receipt of extra support are chosen on the basis of teacher observation, parental concerns and standardised screening tests. Diagnostic tests are used to determine the precise nature of children’s difficulties and strengths. Children can then be accorded the appropriate help.

Various models of support are employed including in-class support, withdrawal of small groups, individual sessions and paired/buddy reading.

The success of the Learning Support process hinges on the full collaboration of the Learning Support/Resource team, the child, the class teacher, the parents and the Special Needs Assistant (where relevant). Outside agencies such as speech and language therapists, psychologists and occupational therapists are liaised with fully in the best interest of the child concerned.

Our aims are to identify any difficulties as early as possible in a child’s school life, to provide support designed to address the difficulties as early as possible and for as long as needed. Following this a child is monitored to ensure they are coping well without the support. In many cases the support is very short term, in some cases it is more.

Team Teaching

Team-Teaching is one of the models of teaching used in Scoil Asicus to support our students. It is used mainly for literacy and maths and currently operates in all classes in various formats. In some situations two teachers (class-teacher and a Learning-support teacher) work within the class-room, usually station teaching is employed where each child works with a teacher as part of a small group alternated with a period of independent work. Children benefit from the closer contact with the teacher in the small group and also from the practice of working independently within guidelines.

Our new large Learning Support room means that in some cases a class is divided, one group working in the LS room while the other remains in the classroom to work with the class-teacher. In some cases these groups are alternated weekly.

In all models of Team-Teaching both teachers work very closely together, meticulous planning is integral to its success. A combination of withdrawal for Learning Support and Team Teaching is employed where it is best suited to a child. The model employed with each class is designed to meet the needs of that particular class.