St.Patrick's N.S. Curtlestown

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Learning Support


Assessment and Learning Support

Assessment plays an important part in all children's learning. Teachers gather information on what and how a child is learning and this is used to inform the next steps in planning for his/her needs. Observation, talking and listening to a child, project work and weekly testing may be used to assess a child's learning. Yearly standardised assessment are administered in English reading and Mathematics. This helps us gauge how your child is fairing compared with other children of his /her age in the country. We also use it as part of our process for identifying children who may need some extra support in their learning.

We have one full time Special Education Teacher and one part time S.E.T. teacher. Blocks of support (normally of 10 weeks approx) are offered in English and Maths to support children who may be having difficulty in a specific area of their learning. This could be in phonics, handwriting, comprehension, mathematical operations, problem solving or tables.
When a child is referred for learning support, the Learning Support teacher may use diagnostic testing to pinpoint the specific area of difficulty where he/she is not making progress.
Progress is reviewed when the block is completed and this support may be continued or suspended. If a child is offered some support, the learning support teacher will meet with the child's parents /guardians and discuss the programme and how best they can support the work at home.

Communication and home support is very important for the success of these programmes.

In addition to the regular learning support, we also run an early intervention programme to catch any pupils that may be at risk of developing difficulties in literacy. The Middle Infants Screening Profile is administered to all pupils in Senior Infants and a Follow up programme is put in place where necessary. Our aim is to ensure that all pupils have the basic reading skills, word recognition and an appropriate knowledge of phonics to become independent readers, before they leave the junior part of the school.

There are times that a child may still fail to make progress and in these cases advice and consultation is sought from the National Educational Psychologist Service. Pupils may then be referred for an educational psychological assessment or language assessment in order to identify the exact nature of the difficulty and devise a suitable programme of learning that will enable him/her to reach their full potential.

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