Special Education Needs

Nurture in Shinrone NS

Our school is one of only fifty schools in the country with a dedicated Nurture Room. Our school is intent on embedding a nurturing culture, enhancing teaching and learning, promoting healthy outcomes for children and young people, all by focusing on emotional needs and development as well as academic learning in a whole-school environment.

Five members of staff (SEN team) have received training in Nurture Groups, Theory and Practice. We are very aware of the myriad of research showing how, having one significant adult who cares in a child's life, can improve that child's overall wellbeing and therefore, educational outcomes. Staff have noticed the difference a positive relationship makes, to educational outcomes. All members of staff have seen how:

  • Pupils benefit – from the approach that supports them in their specific needs while delivering teaching and learning in a way that all can access.

  • Parents benefit – from being involved and welcomed in the school, in seeing the improvement in the children’s learning, behaviour, confidence and attendance. A better outcome for their children both in and out of the school and classroom.

  • Teachers themselves have attested to how they have benefit – from a renewed focus on their pupils and a culture change where every voice counts. A more balanced measure of outcomes for individual pupils ensues.

  • Overall, our school has benefitted – from showing our commitment to developing an ethos and culture that is inclusive and supports everyone in and associated with the school.

Therapeutic Play

We are one of only a handful of schools with members of staff (SEN team) trained in using play therapeutically to support children in special circumstances, for instance, bereavement, divorce or children whose learning is impeded by emotional difficulties. There is a myriad of research on how therapeutic play can be utilised to help get children ready to profit from the learning experiences offered in primary schools.

Scaffolded play results in clinical improvements in children's language, social understanding, cognitive development and peer interactions thus accelerating their readiness to learn. In this regard, we are satisfied that the therapeutic play interventions which we conduct with a small number of children at present are helping us meet their needs by facilitating communication, fostering emotional wellness, enhancing social relationships and increasing personal strengths.

Focus on Wellbeing

Our school has adopted a whole-school approach to wellbeing. Our actions to improve the wellbeing of all include a whole-school focus on one of our core Restorative Practice values each month (Fairness, Respect, Inclusion, Empathy, Nurturance, Dignity, Safety); Circle-Time in each class first thing each Monday morning to build trust, positive relationships and connection in each classroom, Reflective Wellbeing Journals to be filled in by each child after our Wellbeing Assemblies; the setting up of a Student Council to improve student voice and ensuring that there is Communication Box in each class.

Reading Recovery

We are fortunate to have three staff members trained in Reading Recovery. This invaluable training in how to observe children closely in order to fine tune teaching for struggling readers, has changed the lives of many of our pupils over the years for whom other methodologies weren't working.

DEIS Curricular Initiatives

The staff of Shinrone National School have been implementing DEIS curricular initiatives such as 'Literacy Lift Off', Mata sa Rang, Language for Fun, Guided Reading, Ready Set Go Maths, etc for many years. Through these programmes, our pupils experience focussed and intensive learning in their zone of proximal development.