St Joseph's Convent Primary School Newry | Special Needs Information

Special Education Needs Information

The term “Special Educational Need” is defined as “a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made”. “Learning difficulty” means that the child has “significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of his/her age and/or has a disability which either prevents or hinders him from making use of educational facilities generally provided for children of his age in ordinary schools”. (SEN Code of Practice Paragraph 1.4)

What is Special Educational Needs?

Approximately one in five children will have special educational needs (SEN) at some time during their school career.

This means they may need extra support with Literacy and/or Numeracy, Processing information, Expressing themselves, Sensory perception, Physical mobility, Managing their behaviour and Social interaction.

These difficulties cause barriers to the child’s learning. In consultation with parents the school will assess a child to identify his/her strengths, needs and the extra help he/she may require.

A child may be at one of five stages on the SEN Code of Practice, according to the need:

1SEN Code of Practice - Stage 1
In consultation with parents and the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), teachers take initial action.  They identify and register a child’s special educational needs.
2SEN Code of Practice - Stage 2
The class teacher, under the direction of the SENCO, collects and records information and provides for the child’s special educational needs through differentiated work in class.
3SEN Code of Practice - Stage 3
Teachers and the SENCO are supported by specialists from outside the school.
4SEN Code of Practice - Stage 4
The Board considers the need for a statutory assessment and, if appropriate, makes a multi-disciplinary assessment.
5SEN Code of Practice - Stage 5
The Board considers the need for a statement of special educational needs. If appropriate, it makes a statement and arranges, monitors and reviews provision.

What is offered to your child?

The school offers the following according to your child’s special educational needs:

  • High Quality Teaching
  • A curriculum tailored to match needs
  • Enhanced access to ICT or specialist equipment
  • In-class support from teaching assistants
  • Support programmes in literacy and numeracy
  • One to one support  or small group work
  • Strong pastoral care support
  • Pupil counselling
  • Access to a range of outside agencies e.g speech therapists, O.Ts, Autism Team, Educational Psychologists, etc.
  • Homework support in early years
  • Extra help from other services
  • After Schools Clubs
  • A Learning Support Class
  • An Autism Specific Class

Outcomes for Pupils

The extra help the school offers will enable the child to reach their full potential, achieve their personal best, make progress, feel valued and included but most of all enjoy school.

We seek to ensure positive relationships among all stakeholders and to safeguard the self-esteem and self confidence of every child. We aim to promote inclusive practices and to ensure that those children with special educational needs are integrated into the life of the school.

We encourage pupil involvement in their own learning, and responsibility for their own actions. We give every pupil the opportunity to experience and celebrate success.

An Individual Education Plan (IEP)

An IEP is written for each child on the SEN Register. Parents are invited to review their child’s IEP each term.

What to do if you have any concerns

If a parent has a concern regarding provision, in the first instance they are encouraged to work in partnership with the school to try and resolve the issue.Parents of SEN pupils are advised annually of the Education Authority Information and Advice Service (SAIS) and the Dispute Avoidance & Resolution Service (DARS).

View Complaints Policy Email DARS


Partnership with Parents

The school works in partnership with parents to meet the child’s needs. Parents are partners in decisions about their child’s education and are kept informed about their child’s needs and progress. Check out our useful links for Pupils & Parents page below.


For the purpose of Child Protection, it is not possible to save images from our website, thank you for your understanding.