The educational needs of children with physical disabilities are often different to those of other children. To achieve their full potential, they may need an educational environment in which their individual physical needs are understood and catered for, and in which they can receive individual attention in small classes.
This facility is provided for children with physical disabilities from the ages of 3 to 18 years at two schools in Dublin, at Clontarf and Clondalkin. The children attending the school in Clontarf come from North City and County Dublin. Scoil Mochua, located in Clondalkin caters for children and young people from West Dublin, Kildare and West Wicklow and came under the patronage of the CRC in 1995.
Although operated under Department of Education & Skills rules and managed under the patronage of the CRC, each school has developed its own ethos and provides a range of facilities appropriate to the needs of the communities it serves. The schools aim is to help pupils to achieve their maximum potential – physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially and spiritually – in an atmosphere of trust, challenge and acceptance.
The curriculum for each pupil is designed to help them become as independent as possible and to develop their personality and skills so that they can live life to the full. Teaching is conducted in small class groups by committed teachers who have appropriate skills, experience and training. For pupils of primary school age, the curriculum reflects the range of subjects taught in primary schools, with content and teaching methods carefully adapted to meet pupil’s needs. A ‘life skills’ programme, which aims to develop self-esteem, confidence and independence, is provided for post-primary pupils.
During the school day, therapy services, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and nursing are provided by members of an integrated interdisciplinary team.
Parents play by far the most significant role in the development of their children and, recognizing this, the team approach at both schools fully encompasses parents. Close collaboration between staff and parents is always encouraged and facilitated as much as possible.
The school at Clontarf provides a full range of services, including free transport to and from school, meals and medical services. There is also teaching to Junior Cycle level in certain subjects for some pupils. With a view to encouraging the development of independence, as well as providing enjoyment, swimming and horse riding are provided. There are also close links with local secondary schools.
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