Learning Support Centre


Pictured is student Michelle McGrath, being congratulated by Pincipal Mr Oliver Mooney and her Form Teacher Mr Patrick McAvoy.

Michelle was selected as student of the year in her Occupational Studies course as she received the highest set of marks over the duration of the two year course.

Michelle will leave St Paul’s this year to follow a career in hairdressing and we wish her the best of luck.

Well Done Michelle.



Departmental Staff


Head of Department: Mr Paddy McAvoy

  • Mr Ciaran O’Hare
  • Ms Vernetta Hillen_

The Learning Support Centre delivers the National Curriculum to students with moderate learning difficulties and who hold a statement of Special Educational Needs. Students share the resources, physical and human, that the school has to offer and integrated with their peers in mainstream, both socially and academically.

There is a holistic approach to the education of each child which offers opportunities to achieve full potential in a caring, secure environment. Students are entered for public examinations when appropriate. Close links are maintained with other schools in the SELB area and students regularly participate in ‘inter-schools’ competitions.

There is a comprehensive ‘Leavers Programme’ incorporating vocational skills sampling in collaboration with Southern Regional College and employment based work experience. Close links have been established with prospective employers and ‘Training for Employment’ agencies.


Aims of Department


As Learning Support Centre teachers, our aims are:

  • To ensure there is a positive, supportive atmosphere within the classroom.
  • To use ICT when appropriate.
  • Work should be differentiated to motivate all pupils.
  • To support the pupils learning at all times.
  • To be aware of identification, monitoring, review and evaluations to be carried out in relation to pupils with special needs at all stages described in the code of practice.
  • To complete Individual Education Plans for pupils and work towards meeting these specified targets.

Recognizing that there is a continuum of needs and a continuum of provision, which may be made in a variety of forms, the LSC aims to provide:

  1. Access to a broad and balanced, relevant and differentiated curriculum.
  2. Use of all appropriate resources offered by the school (Inclusion).
  3. The pupils with the same respect and dignity as their peer group.
  4. to support mainstream colleagues when the need arises.
  5. to foster a Christian attitude to life.
  6. to give each pupil a sense of belonging that will encourage positive attitudes in their environment.
  7. to ensure that pupils have as full an access to the National Curriculum as is possible.
  8. to take cognizance of advice given by the designated Educational Psychologist and Medical Officer when devising the differentiated content of the curriculum for each pupil.
  9. to encourage each pupil to recognize their own self-worth and so enhance and develop self-confidence and self-esteem.
  10. to develop social interaction and communication skills.
  11. to develop emotional maturity and respect for others.
  12. to develop independence in preparation for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult and working life.
  13. to recognize and accept individual limitations and have realistic goals when making choices.
  14. to have an efficient system of record keeping and assessment.

Methods used in order to achieve the aims outlined/strategies implemented

  • Modify materials eg: layout, font, and readability of text.
  • Use of student planner to encourage communication and response from parents.
  • Assist students to organise materials and equipment for lessons.
  • Change seating arrangements in class eg: asking a pupil to sit near you or the interactive whiteboard.
  • Use of ICT – word processor/spell master.
  • Present work and targets in small units to achieve success.
  • Increase use of reward system – respond to pupils with praise and encouragement.
  • Using suitable methods/materials to help pupils with literacy/numeracy difficulties eg: multi-sensory approach.
  • Small group work with direct teaching in basic skills.
  • Provide special help with spelling eg: personal dictionaries, word banks, spelling programmes.
  • Use text and worksheets of appropriate readability levels.
  • Extension material to be available.
  • Use classroom assistants in an effective and efficient manner.
  • Ensure classroom assistants.

Methods used by Department to Evaluate Process

  • Review of targets set in IEP.
  • Regular Departmental discussion on effective strategies used to deliver the curriculum to all Special Needs pupils.
  • Dissemination of Good Practice by Head of Department.

Policy for Teaching Pupils with Special Educational Needs

General Statement:

As stated in the ‘Educational Reform Act’ and the 1998 SEN Code of Practice all children regardless of circumstances should receive an inclusive education.

“At the heart of the process is the individual/child who is entitled to the same opportunity to receive a broad, balance differentiated curriculum regardless of race, gender, disability or geographical location.”

It is recognized that most children will have at some point in heir lives, some form of special educational need. As teachers it is our responsibility to to recognize that need and address it. The pupils will have access to a broad and balanced curriculum designed to meet individual needs. Within any class group children work at different levels and may be at different developmental stages. Therefore most activities must suit the needs of the individual and hence be differentiated accordingly.