Recommendations for children staying in St. Oliver Plunkett N.S.

Recommendations for the parents of children who are returning to us next year

  • We cannot stress the importance of attendance.  The success of the programme depends on children being here every day.
  • The children will progress well and be happier in school if all homework is done and if all work is signed as required by the teacher.
  • Every child in the school is obliged to swim on Fridays.  It is part of the school curriculum.  If your child cannot swim for medical reasons, they will require a doctor’s certificate stating the reasons why.
  • Children with these difficulties get very tired because they work hard.  They need loads of sleep, exercise and fresh air.
  • It is important that they realise that even though they have difficulties that there are ways around them and they should not limit their future plans or dreams in any way.
  • The more the children are exposed to books the better it will be for them.  Visits to the library, bookshops and book fairs should be encouraged and seen as an exciting time.
  • It would be great if you can read to your child as much as possible and also good if they can see you reading.
  • Your child should be encouraged to chat to you as much as possible.  Children here will sometimes have difficulty understanding or using language.
  • Don’t forget to listen to your child during these chats!
  • Any games that practice memory skills will be great for your child.
  • Go on trips to places of interest with your child.  Encourage conversation around these trips.  Encourage recording of these outings, maybe through taking photographs and drawing pictures.  This way your child will see that information is not only recorded by the written word.
  • If your child is getting extra tuition outside the school, or over the summer, please ensue that the tutor either knows the Wilson Programme or is supporting the child in what they are learning here.
  • Encourage your child to write stories just for the fun of it.  Don’t correct their stories for spelling and grammar but chat to them about the characters and story only.
  • Enrich your child’s vocabulary at every available opportunity.  Play word games, ask them to explain things to you, discuss current affairs and chose books with a rich vocabulary for paired reading.
  • Have an organised, quiet area for homework.  Gradually reduce supervision until your child is working independently.  Remember, though, that there will always be areas of homework that will require your input.
  • When doing homework, start with the “middle” i.e. the piece of homework that is not too easy or too difficult.
  • There are some excellent apps for children with SLD. This is constantly changing so it is worth keeping an eye on your app store.
  • Remember to keep up with the books that your child’s peers are enjoying.  Your child may not be able to read them but if you choose them to read to your child they will be able to discuss them in school and will feel included.
  • Play board games with your child and encourage discussion around what you are all doing.
  • Start working on the school your child will be going to, when they leave here, as soon as possible. You will need to factor in time to have a lot of discussion with the school about your child.
  • We won’t know your child’s teacher until September. This is because we put a lot of work into organising the classes and it can change right up to the last minute.

Recommendations for children leaving St. Oliver Plunkett N.S.

Recommendations for children who are reintegrating into mainstream after a placement in St Oliver Plunkett NS (a school for children with a Specific Learning Difficulty)

  • An exemption from the study of Irish may be available for this student.  It is worth remembering that an exemption is not an exclusion and the child may choose to study Irish at any point in the future.
  • It should not be assumed that this child will not be able to study a foreign language.
  • We recommend that all staff working with this student are informed of his/her difficulties.
  • It will be important to remember that this student’s written work may not be an accurate reflection of his/her ability
  • This child may benefit from a simple summary of the class content.  This is especially important if there is a lot of information in the lesson.
  • It may be helpful to this child if his/her written work is marked on content as opposed to spelling or grammar.
  • It may be helpful for this child to submit information in bullet points.
  • This child could be allowed to record his/her homework using a Dictaphone or voice recognition software.
  • This child may have difficulty expressing him/herself orally.
  • This child may take longer to process oral instructions and/or find complex instructions difficult to follow.
  • This child may need to be required to do less writing as part of their homework.  It will be a balancing act to decide how much is enough and may take time to establish.
  • Visual aids like mind mapping, visual timetables and colour coding may help this child.
  • This child may be entitled to a school grant for technology to help him/her access the curriculum.
  • He/she may have difficulty with organisation and may require extra support in this area.
  • He/she may need longer than the rest of the class to copy from the whiteboard and to complete assignments.
  • We suggest that this child is not asked to read aloud in class until he/she is comfortable with same.
  • We recommend that he/she are not excluded from any subjects that he/she is interested in.
  • He/she may be very tired because of the extra effort involved in completing work.
  • This child may benefit from a reduction in external distractions while working.
  • It will be important that, while staff have an understanding of the child’s difficulties and that these difficulties are not used by the child as an excuse not to attempt or complete work.
  • This child may be a very strong visual or auditory learner.
  • There are specific apps available for children with SLD which may help.
  • Two IEPs have been written for this child for each year of their placement here.  These are available from the school on request.

School Trips

It is school policy to bring the entire school on trips at least twice a year.schoolbus2

In past years these have been to ice-skating, the pictures, exhibitions, Airfield City Farm and Croke Park.

These venues are subject to change. Classes may also take individual school trips during the year.

We have reduced the number, and cost, of such trips in the past few years.