Holy Child Community School

SEN Supports

SEN Supports in HCCS

Model of Special Education Teaching Support

Special Education Teaching Support in Holy Child Community School is organised in line with the NEPS 'A Continuum of Support for Post-Primary Schools' (DES, 2007). According to this model support is organised at three different levels:

Level 1 – Support for all

Level 2 – Support for some

Level 3 – School Support Plus Support for a few


The Department has set out the Continuum of Support framework to assist schools in identifying and responding to students' needs. This framework recognises that special educational needs occur along a continuum, ranging from mild to severe, and from transient to long term, and that students require different levels of support depending on their identified educational needs. Using this framework helps to ensure that interventions are incremental, moving from class based interventions to more intensive and individualised support, and that they are informed by careful monitoring of progress.

The model of support employed in HCCS draws extensively from the NEPS continuum of support, Positive Behavioural Interventions and Supports,- PBIS (Sugai & Horner, 2002), Response to Intervention- RtI (Fuchs & Fuchs, 2006) and the Comprehensive, Integrated, Three-Tiered Model of Prevention – CI3T (Lane, Kalberg & Menzies, 2009) frameworks. The integration of these frameworks offers opportunities to address the behavioural needs as well as the social, emotional and academic needs of students effectively, with interventions at different levels of intensity and support. This model is in development stage in HCCS with much of the focus this year given to teachers attending CPD and trialling evidence based programmes namely

  • Catch Up Literacy
  • Rapid Plus Literacy intervention
  • Numeracy Ninjas
  • Izak 9 numeracy
  • Friends for Life
  • The Alert Programme
  • The Why Try Programme
  • Working Things Out
  • Parents Plus

Level 1 Support for All Students

This is a whole-school level of support available to every student. Intervention at the whole school level is intended to be proactive. It aims to support and promote positive student behaviour and learning for all. An integral part of this level of support is effective whole school screening for learning and behavioural needs, so that there is early identification of 'at risk' students. Supports at this level in Holy Child Community School include involvement in Junior Certificate Schools Programme (JCSP) for all students.

Whole School Literacy Support

  • Access for all first year students to
  • Literacy promoting reading & writing
  • Numeracy practical mathematical operations
  • Transition and Transfer programmes
  • Social and emotional programmes, to develop coping skills
  • Drop Everything & Read,
  • Literacy promotion events such as Word of the Week, and Book Clubs
  • Paired reading programmes
  • Pre and post screening of reading comprehension skills for all first year students at start and end of First Year

Whole School Numeracy Supports

  • Access for all first year students to ‘Numeracy Ninjas’ maths programme - promoting practical mathematical operations
  • Pre and post screening of numeracy skills for all first year students at start and end of First Year
  • Numeracy Promotions such as the Maths Club and Paired Maths

Whole School Curricular Support and Interventions

Differentiated teaching techniques and learning activities include school wide promotion of Assessment for Learning (AfL) and active teaching methodologies Co-Operative teaching in-class support allocated to classes to support all students in that subject where necessary. Assessment and monitoring of student progress at Christmas and Summer exams Communication and collaboration with teaching staff regarding concerns about students' behaviour and learning. Collection and analysis of school wide screening data and transfer information, attendance and behavioural records by SEN co-ordinator. Academic support at homework club in the Library

Whole School Social, Emotional and Behavioural Support

  • Access for all first year students to the Belonging Plus Transition and Transfer programme
  • Team Organisation – support for students in the locker rooms to help with organisational skills
  • Friends for Life- an emotional resilience and promotion of wellbeing programme. This is a targeted intervention offered to some first year pupils.
  • The Alert Programme - emotional regulation skills based programme offered to all first year pupils
  • Lunchtime Clubs
  • School wide system of promoting and reinforcing positive behaviour, e.g Green sheets, reward cards, 3 star challenge.
  • School Awards Day - promotion of academic achievement and participation of all students in the school.
  • School Chaplain support programme for students who may require 1-1 counselling
  • Student Support Team - meeting twice a week to discuss the support needs of students – The In/Out list
  • School Completion Programme (SCP)

Level 2 School Support for Some

Support at this level is targeted at those students (around 10%-20% of the school population) who do not respond to the whole-school strategies sufficiently and who need more support. A range of approaches and interventions may be used, some of which may be short-term, while others may be longer term. These may include:

  • A process of consultation with parents
  • Group and/or individual plans and interventions
  • Setting subject goals
  • Accommodations to support learning and social interaction

Support at this level may include

Level 2 Literacy Interventions

  • Vocabulary Enrichment Programme
  • Rapid Plus
  • CSI intervention
  • Co-teaching

Level 2 Numeracy Interventions

  • Numeracy ninjas
  • iZak 9
  • co-teaching

Level 2 Curriculum Supports

  • Homework Club for all students
  • Additional support at Irish or Modern Language class times for students with Irish Exemptions
  • Collaboration and communication with teaching staff about the learning needs of students.
  • Students may be involved in an attendance monitoring programme.

Social, Emotional and Behavioural Support and Interventions

  • Transfer to Second Level support programme organised by School Completion Programme.
  • First Year Induction Programme – Belonging Plus
  • Access to small group Emotional and Behavioural/ Social Skills support programme.
  • Access to organised lunch time activities.
  • Liaising with student's parents to discuss progress or organise an educational assessment or CAMHS referral if necessary
  • Participation in ALERT programme
  • Friends for Life
  • Working Things Out

Level 3 - School Support Plus Support for a few

These students typically about 2%-5% of the school population have significant difficulties and may require intensive, individualised interventions. Interventions at this stage are likely to include:

  • Student Support Plan
  • Involvement of additional professional input such as psychologists, speech and language therapists, etc.
  • Specialist interventions
  • SNA Support
  • Liaising with specialist team e.g. Visiting Teacher for Visually Impaired, Speech Therapists, Social Workers, or CAMHS teams.
  • Work with Behaviour for Learning teacher on an Behaviour Support Plan
  • Student may work with SEN teacher on a one to one and a group basis
  • Individualised planning
  • Reduced curriculum
  • One to one work with member of the School Completion Programme team.
  • Access to JCT Level Two Learning Programme

The Behaviour for Learning (BFL) programme teacher

The BfL programme has a systematic and transparent referral systems . Specific entry and exit criteria have been established and adhered to. A Student Behaviour Plan must be drawn up for each student selected for BfL support. Students identified for BfL support will present with a combination of entry criteria. These might include:

  • Low attainment and falling motivation in relation to ability across subjects.
  • Poor concentration and attention difficulties in approximately 80% of subjects.
  • Behaviour affecting learning of individual students and class group.
  • Difficult relationships with adults/peers.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Social skills deficits.
  • Risk of suspension or expulsion

The BfL teacher works with identified students, individually or in small groups on Behaviour for Learning Programmes that are designed to meet their social, emotional, wellbeing and behavioural and academic needs, so they can achieve and succeed in school. An individual Student Behaviour Plan and targets are developed for each student in receipt of this support. Rather than responding after young people present with chronic behaviours (‘a wait to fail’ intervention model), a school’s ‘Behaviour for Learning Programme’ also includes preventive strategies and early intervention approaches for all students.

Pearse Street, Sallynoggin, Co. Dublin.
01 285 5334
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