The development of personal and social skills is central to the curriculum and is integrated into all areas of school life, both formally and informally. This is reflected in a conscious effort by school staff to extend the curricular experiences of the pupils within and beyond the school. Students are engaged in active learning and use the school and local environment to enhance their learning experiences.

Core Principles
St Mary’s special School is catagorised as a national school by the Department of Education & Science for children and young people with a moderate to profound general learning diasabilities.

Our curriculum has been designed to give our students the best educational experience which is relevant to their needs. Curriculum development is extremely important and is constantly being revised and updated to reflect the needs of students and educational advances in special education. Parents, pupils, Board of Management and staff have worked together, and continue to do so, sharing ideas and expertise to keep our curriculum relevant and effective. Additional programmes such as FETAC and Asdan are offered to students in the areas of Home Economics, Computers and Woodwork.

General Aims & Objectives
The overall aim of the school is to assist our students gain the necessary skills and knowledge to lead as independent a life as possible within the community.
The aims of the curriculum in St. Mary’s Special School are:
• To provide students with the necessary skills, abilities and experiences to enable him/her achieve the highest possible attainments and achievements, bearing in mind the nature, extend and effects of his/her learning disability as well as his/her talents, interests and needs.
• To promote and assist students to adapt socially
• To encourage students achieve their optimum level of personal independence in their community, their work and leisure time.
• To assist and help students become aware of both their talents and limitations, to accept them and be able to relate them to life after school – at work, at home and in the community.

 

Curriculum Areas

The curriculum is organised under these headings in both primary and post-primary areas. They are as follows:

Physical Education
• Motor Skills
• Games
• Leisure Activities
• Athletics
• Swimming
• Football
• Horse Riding
• Dance & Fine Movement
• Woodwork
Language Development
• Communication Skills- Lamh, Pecs, Receptive language, Expressive Language
• Development of Literacy Skills – reading, writing
Maths
• Numeracy
• Measurement
• Money
• Time
• Shape & Space
• Data
• Problem Solving
Social, Environmental & Scientific Education (SESE)
• Science – Living Things, Energy & Forces, Materials and Environmental Awareness & Care
• Geography
• History
Social, Personal & Health Education (SPHE)
• SPHE including Stay Safe
• Prevocational Development
Creative Arts
• Visual Arts
• Drama
• Music
• Dance
• Woodwork
Religion Education
St. Mary’s is of catholic ethos and delivers the Alive O programme in class.
Individual Education Plans
Parents and pupils are encouraged to become involved in the development of individual plans of work for students. These generally look at the areas of Maths, Language and personal development. Learning goals are set, reviewed and updated throughout the year and progress recorded in pupil’s personal files.