School of the Holy Spirit is a special school for students aged 4 to 18 years. It caters mostly for students who have a diagnosis of ASD and/or Emotional Behavioural Difficulties who have an IQ of Borderline Average or above. Students are accepted into the school on the basis of a psychological report, a recommendation which fulfils the school’s criteria for enrolment, and when there is a place available for them at their age level.
There are currently 84 students on the roll. There are 55 staff, including 20 teachers (Principal and Deputy Principal administering), 32 SNAs and 4 ancillary staff (caretaker and 2 secretaries).
Each class has 6 students, a teacher and 2 or 3 SNAs. There are seven primary classrooms. Classes 1 and 2 follow the Aistear Programme. Classes 3 to 7 follow the National Curriculum, (except for Irish).
There are seven secondary classes working on PLU, JCSP and LCA programmes. Running in parallel to this they work on the School Leavers Programme to prepare them for their next educational or occupational setting on leaving the school. Community links are established and fostered to maximise educational potential and to create opportunities for future placements, study or jobs.
All students have an Individual Education Plan which is written by the class teacher in November of each year in collaboration with students, parents, other professionals and colleagues. It is reviewed and updated in May of the following year.
In general, every opportunity is taken by teachers to engage in initiatives and projects which will support students’ learning and enhance their lives in the areas of music, art, drama, physical and mental wellbeing and general life skills. To this end, outside facilitators may attend the school or students may access programmes off campus.
Professionals are facilitated to attend the school to work with individuals, groups of students or to support teachers in their work. Teachers are eager to work with such professionals to support students through assessments and the delivery of specific programmes for example Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy and Play Therapy.