Rang Naomh Eoin, Severe and Profound Class Policy






St Joseph’s NS


Severe & Profound Class Policy

Severe and Profound Class Policy


St Joseph’s GNS



Rang NaomhEoin is a special class within St Joseph’s GNS for children who have

  • A diagnosis Severe and Profound Learning Disability. (SPGLD)
  • A recommendation for a placement in a Special class attached to a mainstream school.
  • Is within the ages of four years on September 1st in the year of enrolment and twelve years of age.


We believe in St Joseph’s GNS that each child is unique in ability, talent and has varying learning styles. In all our classes we strive to help all children reach his/her potential.

Our Special Class programme supports the qualities and capabilities of each child. It is designed for children between the ages of 4 and 12, our programme focuses on cognitive, socio-emotional, adaptive, behavioural, motor and communication skill development in a relationship-based environment.


We spend time observing the children and assessing their strengths and weaknesses. Then we use a range of methodologies and strategies to enhance the learning of the child

In our Severe and Profound General Learning Disability class (S.P.G.L.D) we Provide educational programmes for children with severe and profound learning difficulties that include their personal needs and physical management. We take into consideration their daily living skills and general mobility not as separate programmes but as an integral part of school life. Spending time observing and assessing the children’s strengths and weaknesses help us to develop programmes that concentrate on facilitating independence and establishing communication. We focus on meeting children’s needs and providing an inclusive setting for all children, generally encompassing the following areas of development of each child

  • Personal social and emotional development.
  • Communication and language.
  • Early Mathematical activities
  • Knowledge and understanding of the world of self-help/life
  • Physical development, gross motor, fine motor, hand eye coordination skills
  • Creative development and learning through play.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

In our S.P.G.L.D. class we aim to;

  • Listen to what parents have to contribute in relation to a child’s likes/dislikes and things their child might find frustrating or stressful.
  • Aim to minimize stress for each pupil.
  • Ensure the pupil understands the routines of the setting, supported by objects of reference if necessary.
  • Value any special interest a child may have and build their learning around these.
  • Work on social interaction and social play skills.
  • Encourage adult support to encourage child’s independence.
  • Match our daily practice to the needs of the child.


Communication, Language and Development

In our S.P.G.L.D.class we aim to;

  • Use minimal, clear language.
  • Use consistent language.
  • Use clear facial expressions and gestures in addition to real language.
  • Use additional tactile or visual clues, such as objects of reference or picture
  • Say child’s name before speaking to them to gain their attention
  • Set up situations that will encourage each child to communicate to the best of their ability i.e. offering a choice of two objects.
  • PECS – use Picture Exchange Communication System where and when appropriate.
  • Introduce stories and song in group work. Interactive books that offer an option to use represented objects, or push a button to obtain a sound


Early Mathematical Activities

In our S.P.G.L.D.class we aim to;

  • Provide a variety of experiences and opportunities for all students to develop their sensory awareness, their ability to reach out, explore and solve problems and in this way comprehend basic mathematical concepts
  • Encourage play with sand, water and three-dimensional objects. Play allows the student to explore the properties of objects and facilitates awareness of concepts such as cause and effect and object permanence.
  • Emphasize one to one correspondence when giving out items to children.
  • Emphasize number patterns in a fun way with rhymes and songs.
  • Enable each child to explore colours and shape.
  • Use the language of maths as appropriate
  • Plan activities that relate to the child’s own special interests.


Knowledge and understanding of the world.

In our S.P.G.L.D class we aim to;

  • Use objects of reference to help child understand the passing of time.
  • Focus on concrete ideas, supported by visual materials and real-life objects.
  • Encourage child to investigate new objects, materials and experiences, preparing child for new experiences and introducing them gradually.
  • Teach life skills at every opportunity.


Physical Development

In our S.P.G.L.D.class we aim to;

Work on the overall physical development of the child including;

  • Fine motor skills.
  • Gross Motor skills.
  • Life skills
  • Help children develop their body awareness and where their bodies are in space.
  • Seek and utilize advice and recommendations of other professionals (i.e. O.T.) with regard to all of the above.
  • Seek and utilize advice from other professionals on appropriate strategies to use with the children in formulating their I.E.P.s and share them with other caregivers if necessary.


Creative Development

In our S.P.G.L.D. class.we aim to;

  • Encourage children to experience different materials and textures through art and craft activities.
  • Celebrate festivals, special occasions with other school pupils.
  • Model imaginative plus role play and link this to child’s interest.
  • Show the child that objects can represent other things.
  • Enable pupils to participate in music lessons and explore elements of music as appropriate.
  • Encourage learning through play.


The S.P.G.L.D. class we provide a balanced curriculum at all times placing particular emphasis on social awareness, social interaction and play. Personal and social development permeates all areas of the curriculum.

Approaches and methodologies

In Rang NaomhEoinwe adopt an holistic approach to each pupil’s education. We use a wide range of methodologies to offer a well-rounded approach to teaching our pupils. Pupils range in age from 4-12 years old. Many activities are play-based due to the severe/profound nature of the learning disability. We apply a broad range of methodologies and techniques, including;

  • Behaviour Modification
  • Social Stories
  • Visual timetables
  • Highly structured activities
  • Detailed daily schedules for each pupil.


In this way we promote a holistic approach to teaching and learning, at all times aiming to:

  • Observe and assess child’s progress,
  • Use appropriate visual support materials to support the child’s learning,
  • Manage noise levels to minimise distress
  • Consider possible distractions and address these as necessary,
  • Ensure the child is given personal space where needed, but never unaccompanied in any location or room.
  • Create clearly defined areas to help the child know what happens where,
  • Try to keep the structures and routines of the day the same, while at the same time sensitively introducing new activities as appropriate,
  • Take necessary action to minimise frustration,
  • Create an emotionally secure environment that helps the child to be comfortable, confident, secure and welcome,
  • Work in partnership with parents and other professionals involved in the child’s learning,
  • Plan a smooth transition that allows each pupil to move onwards with minimal upset.


In Rang NaomhEoin we aim to:

  • Help children develop through play, identify areas of interest to the child and use this as a way of engaging with them,
  • Take the child’s interest as a starting point for planning activities that will interest them,
  • Develop activity-based learning,
  • Encourage active learning through play at every opportunity,
  • Enable pupils to learn life skills through play and place a major emphasis on creating learning experiences based on real life objects to develop pupils’ life skills (spoons etc.)
  • Through play children explore and develop learning experiences which helps them make sense of the world. It also helps them understand the need for rules and find new ways of doing things.


Linkage and integration

 Rang NaomhEoin is an integral part of St Joseph’s GNS, which enables the additional support needs of each pupil to be met through a continuum of integrated experiences. Every opportunity is taken to encourage the integration of pupils with all other children in our school.

  • SPGLD pupils may attend school gatherings and celebrations (assemblies, award ceremonies, Christmas plays, sports days, etc.), when appropriate.
  • SPGLD pupils may participate in activities of their mainstream class when appropriate.

Assessment and record keeping

In our SPGLD we observe and assess children regularly as part of our day-to-day practice. Assessment may be of a formal or informal nature, depending on its function. We use our observations and assessments to identify children’s interests, identify next steps in learning, and plan motivating experiences for each child. This process involves systematic observation and assessment of all areas of the child’s development and planning to meet their individual needs with regards to each pupil;

  • Personal, social and emotional development,
  • Communication and language,
  • Problem-solving, reasoning and numeracy,
  • Knowledge and understanding of the child,
  • Physical development,
  • Creative development.





Assessment of learning

Each pupil’s progress may be assessed by:

  • Observation (of pupil by teacher and other professionals in classroom, playground or other setting).
  • Teacher designed tasks,
  • Checklists (recording pupils’ rate of success on various tasks),
  • Daily schedules (each daily schedule outlines the tasks- step by step and pupil’s response),


In Rang NaomhEoinwe keep detailed records of each pupil’s progress in the form of:

  • Daily Schedule; (clearly defined tasks outlined in short, simple steps, the objective for that task and pupil’s response)
  • Behaviour Records; A daily behaviour record sheet is completed by the pupil’s Special Needs Assistant for that day if we feel the child’s behaviour needs monitoring. If a pupil exhibits a recurring, problematic behaviour, a Behaviour Analysis process may begin. The problematic behaviour is then tracked and recorded and intervention may begin. Positive behaviour is rewarded instantaneously and appropriately. Isolation is never used as an intervention to tackle problematic behaviour or any behaviour. ( See supervision policy.)
  • Home School communication; The Communication Diary is an essential means of communication, whereby parents and teacher exchange vital information on a daily basis. It is a diary system which operates between home and school in which the class teacher will relay information regarding the child’s day. It is expected that parents will return The Communication Diary the following day with reciprocal comments regarding the child.  


Equality of participation and access

All children have equal access to their education in Rang NaomhEoin


A detailed timetable of daily activities is displayed clearly in our Rang NaomhEoinObjects of reference may also be used if necessary.



The use of concrete materials and educational recourses form a large part of our teaching techniques by using a wide range of resources; including:

  • Teacher designed tasks and resources,
  • Educational games/ toys, matching, sorting games,
  • Jigsaws,
  • Sorting
  • Bean bags
  • Lego
  • Trampoline
  • Building blocks
  • Imaginative toys: cars, animals, zoo, sea creatures,
  • Puppets, cuddly toys
  • Bubbles
  • Playdough,
  • Shaving foam
  • Water and Sand
  • Musical instruments
  • Paints, Art and Craft materials,
  • E. Equipment (balls, ropes, bats, bean bags etc.)
  • Walkers
  • Standers
  • Resources as recommended by other professionals- theraputty etc.
  • Cooking will form part of the weekly timetable.


Pupils are exposed to I.T. throughout their learning experiences in the Rang NaomhEoin. Software, DVDs or websites are used to enhance teaching and learning and promote Social Skills- good waiting, taking turns, making choices, sitting for required periods of time etc

Sensory Room;

We have access to our Multi-Sensory Room which may be used by the pupils at appropriate times. Children are never left alone in the Multi-Sensory Room.


Health and safety




All medicine will be stored in a secure cabinet out of reach of the children. All Staff in Rang NaomhEoin will be trained on the administration of this medicine. All administrations of medicine will be documented and reported verbally to parent on the collection of the child. If the child is being transported by bus or taxi then it will be reported in the communication diary and by phone from the school office.


Protective Gloves.

Disposable gloves are provided for Staff to use when toileting the children of Rang NaomhEoin. Gloves must be worn during toileting, bathing etc. Gloves should be removed and disposed of correctly before re-entering the classroom. Hands must be washed.


Medical hygiene.

Refer to Health and Safety Statement.

The care needs of the child are looked after by our S.N.As.

It is expected that a pupil will not come to school if they have an illness. If a teacher feels a pupil is unfit for school s/he may discuss the situation with the Principal with a view to phoning parents / guardians to inform them of this.

Individual teachers’ planning and reporting

The teacher is required and needs to plan work for all children in his/her care. The teacher will be central to drawing up IEPs with the help of other professionals which will lie at the heart of the long-term plans. The teacher will also draw up individual or group schedules on a weekly or daily basis which will form his/her short-term planning

Parental involvement

The Communication Diary

Links between Rang NaomhEoinand home are vital to ensure a consolidated approach.

  • The Communication Diary serves as a first line of communication between home and school. It should be completed daily to enable the exchange of vital information regarding each pupil between home and school.
  • Individual Education Plan Meetings are held each term. Other Parent Teacher Meetings may be organised, as necessary. Multi-Disciplinary meetings will take place when necessary.


Procedures and Practices:

Enrolment Procedure

Parents wishing to enrol children in the Rang Naomh Eoin must meet the following criteria:

  1. A psychological report stating that the minimum level of intellectual or cognitive functioning is in the Severe to Profound range of Intellectual Disability.
  2. A recommendation for a placement in an SPGLD Class attached to a mainstream school rather than a Special School placement.
  3. Prior approval from a SENO for the application must be sought by parents.


Once these documents have been forwarded to the School Principal, parents will be asked to make an application to enrol the child in the school. The Board of Management will then consider the application and notify the parents accordingly.

A child can take up a place in this class on/after his/her 4th birthday. The upper age limit for inclusion in the Rang Naomh Eoin is 13.


Placement Review

Should the child’s placement in Rang NaomhEoin become untenable to such a degree that the class becomes unmanageable and unsafe for the other students.  Parents will be advised as to the child’s future schooling with the following options considered.

  • Special Class attached to mainstream school
    • Special school
    • Home tuition

The Rang NaomhEoin operates a maximum class size of six pupils. One teacher and a minimum of two SNAs will work in the Class.
Should the number of applicants exceed the number of places a waiting list will be put in place.


  • Transitioning of pupils requires careful planning. Effective transitioning also requires adequate resources. Not all pupils will be suited to this process. However, some pupils may benefit from a transitioning experience.
  • Due to the complex nature of the learning disability each pupil may or may not be suitable for transitioning


We endeavour to complete an IEP for each pupil in the Rang NaomhEoin during the first term of the school year. We aim to review it during term two and build on it in term three. Each pupil’s IEP is drawn up based on information and recommendations from teachers, principal, parents, other agencies, and professionals (ie.Psychologists, Speech and Language therapists, occupational therapists, social workers), as appropriate. To ensure a consistent approach to the child’s development, it is our aim to hold a planning meeting regarding each pupil’s IEP which may include parents and/or other professionals involved with the child, as required.

Each IEP should provide appropriate learning experiences that the child is able to engage with, which builds upon each child’s current level of development and address each pupil’s particular area of need.

The IEP will indicate targets and objectives, to be aimed for and a review date to facilitate evaluation of the IEP.

The Role of Outside Agencies

The role of outside agencies is to help support the class teacher in implementing an appropriate educational/social programme for each individual child.

Occupational Therapist

Supports teacher in implementing an appropriate programme to develop and encourage fine motor skills individual to the child also encompassing the following areas of development

  • Feeding
  • Sensory issues
  • Self-care needs



Supports teacher in implementing an appropriate programme to develop and encourage gross motor skills

  • Balancing
  • Co-Ordination
  • Movement


Speech Therapist

Supports teacher in implementing an appropriate programme to develop and encourage speech and communication individual to the child. 

Behavioural Therapist

Supports teacher in drawing up an individual behavioural programme for children who are engaging in behaviours which impact on their participation in the school day.


Responsibility for the placement of a child in a particular class. Psychologists should be available to reassess our children with S.E.N. every second year.

Success criteria of Policy

  • It is the class teacher’s role to implement this policy
  • This policy will be reviewed in 2020


This policy has been formulated by all Staff of St Joseph’s GNS Skibbereen. It has been reviewed by the Board of Management.

This policy was reviewed and updated at the Board Meeting of Monday 30th November 2020and was ratified by them.


Signed : ______________________

Mr Seán Norris Chairperson


Date: _______________________