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Loreto Special Educational Needs Department

Loreto Secondary School appreciates that personal goals and diversity of ability is part of our Loreto ethos. Special education in the school is guided by these values.

In view of this ethos the Special Education Needs Department was formed in the school and has continued to adapt and grow with a view to enhancing the teaching environment for the students involved. With guidance from the Department of Education, our SEN Core Team facilitates the meaningful inclusion of students with SEN.

Loreto appreciates the transition from primary to secondary school, we undertake a step by step process for each student involved. The initial step includes an opportunity to meet a member of the SEN Core Team on open night. Where necessary, this can be followed by a planning meeting with the parents or guardians prior to the commencement of the academic school year. This meeting is designed to ensure a successful and happy transition into secondary school. Members of our SEN Core Team also liaise closely with the primary schools. Once in First Year, we provide an evolving programme particularly tailored to our SEN students.

On commencement of the academic year a Student Support Plan is prepared for each student based on their needs. The factors employed in the preparation of the Student Support Plan, include information gathered from professional reports, primary schools, parents and students.

The Student Support Plan is designed to support our SEN students when they part take in our mixed ability mainstream classes. The students are given the opportunity to access the curriculum using suitable support systems. The level of support can vary from classroom differentiation, which can include team teaching to small group tuition. The mainstream teachers work with the SEN team of resource teachers to ensure that all students are taught in an inclusive educational environment that meets their individual needs.

All our SEN students are provided with assistive technology to allow them to access the curriculum. Where applicable, applications are made by the school to the NCSE to acquire laptops which are used in class for note taking and recording key assignments. The laptops are also used to access relevant software to meet the needs of our SEN students.

The SEN team include the invaluable personnel of three Special Needs Assistants who look after students who have significant medical needs or who have a significant impairment of physical or sensory function.

Our SEN students are provided with shared special centres for school run exams and our SEN Core Team facilitates applications for Reasonable Accommodation for Certificate Examinations (RACE) for students who have permanent or long-term difficulties that they believe will significantly impair their performance in state examinations.

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