St. Francis Special School currently has 10 main classrooms, each with a class teacher. There are 24 SNAs working in the school at present, as well as 4 part time secondary teachers who assist in the delivery of music, art, home economics and P.E. There are specific classes for children with autism and severe/profound learning difficulties as well as mixed classes.
The 10 classes are:
This is Cora’s class. The children are very bus in Rowan class. The timetable changes each day and the children follow their visual schedules. The children always enjoy working on the interactive whiteboard. They are very musical and Cora always gets them singing and dancing.
Colin teaches this class. Colin’s favourite subjects to teach are communication/ language and art. The children use lámh and PECS as well as spoken language to communicate. The oak class is full of lovely artwork and the children benefit from Colin’s fun and calm approach. The TEACCH system is used in this class with independence encouraged and supported in every area.
Breda teaches this senior class. Breda has worked in SFSS for the past 8 years. She has worked in different classes and is now in her 3rd year with the seniors. This class is always on the go! They might be found doing yoga or out cycling the grounds. Breda’s favourite subjects to teach are art, science and geography. The chestnut class do lots of work on language, writing, reading and maths. They love P.E and they exercise everyday.
Kathleen has been teaching in SFSS for almost 35 years. She is the Vice Principal of SFSS and is the longest serving teacher in SFSS. She teaches the 2nd senior class. This class is always busy. They go on trips every week and love visiting the library and bunkers in Killorglin. Kathleen loves teaching SPHE and SESE (science, geography and history). Kathleen and her class are always doing lots of work and they help with jobs around the school. The ash class love practical work and they learn how to generalise their skills in different settings.
Olivia is the class teacher of Hawthorn. She has been teaching in SFSS for 2 years now. The children in Hawthorn are always out and about around the school. They love meeting everyone and do lots of jobs like the roll. The children love swimming, and hands on activities with sensory aspects.
Catriona has worked in SFSS for over 20 years. She has worked in lots of classrooms over the years. Her class are an active bunch! They are always on the go and have lots of fun while learning. Catriona loves using interactive computer technology in her lessons. The children use the whiteboard and iPads to enhance their learning experience. There is a big emphasis on movement and interaction in the Hazel class. They love their P.E sessions in particular.
Louise is the Alder class teacher. This is her second year teaching in SFSS, but she has been teaching for the past 4 years. Louise’s favourite class activities are art, gardening and music. Her class are always busy with hands on and sensory activities. Social interaction is very important, as well as visual and aural stimulation.
Mary teaches this busy class. She has been at SFSS since February 2007. She previously taught in Charleville Holy Family special school. The boys in Mary’s class are always on the go. They love making their breakfast in the kitchen and do lots of physical activity. The class do lots of fun activities with Mary. Mary uses the TEACCH system in her class. Each child has their own timetable and colour. Mary loves teaching music, art, communication and cookery. The cherry class do sensory integration activities every day. They enjoy being active and doing hands on work.
Maeve is the teacher of the Holly class. She has been at SFSS for over 10 years. Maeve previously taught in Charleville Holy Family special school. Maeve loves teaching music and cookery. The children enjoy active learning opportunities with independence being the goal. The children use the TEACCH system in their class. The class is very structured and the children love the organisation. Each child has their own timetable and colour. They are always busy making beautiful art and are often found making yummy treats in the kitchen. Typing and communication (with PECS and iPad) is very important.
Joyce is teaching in the Willow room. She has been teaching in SFSS for 3 years. She spent most of the previous 5 years teaching in Sneem N.S. The children in Joyce’s class use the TEACCH system. Each child has their own timetable and colour. Visual prompts are very important for the willow class. Joyce really loves art, science and nature. The children in Willow go on regular outdoor trips and do lots of experiments and projects. Joyce e-mails home a news video to the children every week, so that their families can see all the great work they do.