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Learning and Language Support | Castleknock Community College

“The Learning & Language Support Department is committed to providing a comprehensive and effective learning support service for students.  This will enable students with special educational needs to access the curriculum and achieve their full potential.”

Castleknock Community College uses the resources provided by the DDLETB and the Department of Education & Skills to make reasonable provision and accommodation for students with a range of learning difficulties.  The students are free to participate in the life of the College in as far as is reasonably practicable.  Students with special educational needs are integrated into regular classes and withdrawn for extra tuition from our Learning Support team.

In making provision for students with special educational needs, the required information should be included with any application to the College.

Has the student had access to any of the following?

  1. Special Needs Assistant
  2. Small classes
  3. Help, for specific needs, from a resource teacher
  4. Assistance with behaviour modification
  5. Psychological Assessment (It will be necessary to furnish the relevant documentation and reports to the College.  All information will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.)
  6. Any additional resources, for example Assistive Technology
  7. Help in areas including visual impairment, hearing impairment, general learning disability or emotional disturbance
  8. Any resource in relation to travel or mobility
  9. Any additional classes in English as an Additional Language

The College will endeavour to support all students in its care to reach their full potential.  Proficient English language acquisition is of vital importance.  The College will offer students with language difficulties an opportunity to be tested.  Following testing, an appropriate programme will be put in place to improve language skills, oral, written, reading and comprehension.

Final confirmation of a place may in exceptional cases, be given when the Department of Education & Skills / DDLETB confirm that the necessary resources are in place.  It may take some time for the Department of Education & Skills to process such applications.  Parents and guardians are must inform the College as early as possible and discuss their particular situation well in advance of making application.

“As soon as possible, but not later than 21 days, after a parent has provided the relevant information, the Board of Management shall make a decision in respect of the application concerned and inform parents in writing thereof”. Education Welfare Act (Section 19, (3))

The Role of the Learning & Language Department

The role of the Learning & Language Department is to provide a proficient and responsive Learning & Language Support Service, which keeps up-to-date with changes in curriculum, syllabi, teaching and support methods.  Within an appropriate framework of support, we assist students to function as independent, autonomous learners with a clear commitment to the principles of equal opportunity for all.

All students complete Entrance Assessments which screen for basic skills in literacy and numeracy competency.  This information, coupled with the informal information obtained from the feeder primary school and parents/guardians assists in identifying students with special educational needs.  Parents/ Guardians should forward any relevant information on their child’s learning that may assist the Department.  Other screening tests may be carried out where appropriate.

From information gathered from the initial assessments, a negotiated learning/language support timetable is put in place for each student.  Regular reviews of students’ progress are maintained and parents/guardians are informed of this.  The duration of this provision will be determined by the student’s progress.

Special Arrangement when sitting State Examinations

The Department of Education & Skills may grant special arrangements to students with learning difficulties.  Each application is assessed on an individual basis.  The Learning Support Department is responsible for the submission of these applications to the Department on behalf of parents/guardians.  A recent psycho-educational assessment is not necessary for Junior Certificate, though if one exists it can be forwarded to support the application.  Leaving Certificate applications require a report.

Special arrangements can include:

  1. To have question papers read to the candidate and their answers read back to them
  2. Use of a scribe.
  3. Candidates may be permitted to record their answers on tape recorder or word processor.
  4. Candidates qualify for an exemption from spellings and grammatical components in language subjects.

If a student avails of one of the aforementioned provisions in the course of a language subject, then this will be indicated on the examination certificate.  An asterisk will appear next to the subject and a supplementary report will accompany this.

To prepare students for reasonable accommodation in state examinations, the Learning Support Department offer students in their care the opportunity to practice their accommodation in one or two subjects in house examinations.

The Learning Support Department’s positive commitment to facilitating an effective learning support system will provide an environment, which will promote, enhance and further develop the acquired skills of students with learning difficulties.