Learning Support Programme

This department supports any child with learning difficulties.  All students are screened on entry using standardised literacy assessments to identify those who will be eligible to attend.  Our policy is to bring every child to their full literacy potential in order to assist their learning throughout the curriculum.  Early intervention is key to success in this area but support at any stage is beneficial.  Generally students are offered two periods a week on the timetable.  Teaching is conducted on a multi-sensory basis.  Phonic, visual and kinaesthetic skills are developed for both remedial purposes and compensatory strategies.  Primary, First and Second Forms work on an individualized literacy programme, as indicated by their assessment results.  Assessments are repeated termly to monitor progress.  Third, Fifth and Sixth Forms focus on curriculum support which aims to alleviate difficulties they may experience with accessing the texts and on a study skills programme to assist their preparations for Junior and Leaving Certificate Exams.  Students who are eligible for Reasonable Accommodations in their certificate exams are prepared in the use of assistive technology where appropriate.

We are very proud to say that all pupils who attend our department work to Leaving Cert level and The Leaving Certificate 2016 included 8 candidates with special accommodations ranging from typing, taping and needing a reader etc. The ensuing results were in line with previous years. Overall, all candidates who were supported got a collective result of above the National Average points of 345. 

The department liaises extensively with parents and outside agencies such as the State Examinations Commission, when applying for Reasonable Accommodations in certificate exams, educational psychologists, speech and language therapists, Enable Ireland and others.

Our Staff  

Mrs. Frances Heffernan works in the literacy area, she has been teaching for over 30 years, 25 of those in the area of special needs.  Frances has a postgraduate qualification in Specific Learning Difficulties from Edinburgh University, is a member of the Dyslexia Association of Ireland and has been assessed by the British Dyslexia Association as a fully authorised teacher (AMBDA)  

Ms. Suzanne McEneaney works in the literacy area.  She has the Diploma in Learning Support Education from Trinity College, Dublin and a MEd (Inclusive Education) from the Open University.

Mr. Eunan McDonald provides mathematics support at St. Columba’s College. He has a BSc (Hons) in Mathematical Sciences and PDE from Trinity College, Dublin and has been teaching since 2009.