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The inclusion of Students with Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Post-primary Schools: A Whole- school Approach

Summary

This is a three-and-a-half hour seminar for whole-staff (three hours contact). It examines the context, rationale, policy and legislation pertaining to the inclusion of students with special educational needs (SEN) and the implications for schools. Differentiation in the classroom as a methodology to enhance and facilitate inclusion and a step-by-step approach to differentiating a lesson is provided. The seminar concludes with a practical workshop in planning for differentiation in subject areas.

Key Aims

The key aims of the seminar are:

  • To introduce participants to important changes in terms of special and /inclusive education provision in Ireland
  • To outline the salient points of relevant legislation and how these developments help shape good practice
  • To raise awareness of the rationale and value of fully including students with SEN within mainstream post-primary schools as a necessary part of school culture and ethos
  • To introduce participants to the categories of SEN and possible implications for teaching and learninglearning and teaching.
  • To introduce participants to differentiation as an instructional technique to cater for diversity
  • To enable participants to engage in the practice of planning for inclusion in a particular subject area.
  • To provide participants with information on further reading, resources and materials to assist them in developing inclusion in post-primary schools.

Format of Event

The seminar normally takes place in school over a three-and-a-half hour period, including a break. It consists of three parts.

Part one (approx. 50 mins) sets the context in terms of special and inclusive education provision in Ireland and outlines the main points of policy and key legislation. The categories of SEN are introducted and some implications for learning and teaching outlined. The value of inclusion as part of the culture and ethos of the school and policy implications regarding further planning are considered. A break is normally taken after this part.

Part two (1 hr. and 45 min. Approx.) introduces participants to the concept of differentiation and what the methodology means in practice. The presenter outlines the differentiated process using an exemplar lesson.

In part three (25 min. approx.) staff is invited to work in subject departments and collaboratively plan to differentiate a syllabus topic utilising the principles, skills and instructional techniques outlined in the presentation. The presenter facilitates engagement in this planning session, clarifying any questions and issues that may arise within the groups.

Availability

To avail of this seminar: Request the seminar through the SESS Supports Scheme (In-school Support).