Every effort is made at St. Dymphna’s to provide pupils with as broad and balanced a curriculum as possible based on their individual needs and abilities and on the availability of resources. The school aims not only to develop the pupil’s academic knowledge but also to help them become valued members of the wider community. Parents are invited to contribute to their child’s Education Plan each year. This Education Plan sets out the pupil’s main social and/or academic targets for the year.
The acquisition of literacy skills is central to effective learning in every area of the curriculum and to the pupil’s social and community life outside school. We aim to develop in our students the ability to communicate effectively in speech and writing and to listen with understanding.
Numeracy is a key life skill. Through our work at school in numeracy we aim to help pupils gain the knowledge and understanding to use confidently the skills needed to work within our world today.
Maths skills are taught in small groups or on an individual basis and a range of practical experiences, texts and workbooks are used.
(Refer to schools Numeracy Policy which was updated in 2016.)
The SPHE programme provides learning opportunities and experiences that enable pupils to develop knowledge, skills and understanding necessary for personal and social responsibility. We aim to enhance pupil’s self esteem and help them to learn to make informed decisions. (Refer to school SPHE policy)
Many of the art and craft activities undertaken by the pupils give a broad range of experiences which provide opportunities to explore create and design. These experiences include painting, drawing, printing, collage and working with textiles. (Refer to schools visual arts policy)
SESE is presented under three subject headings: History, Geography and Science.
History enables pupils to develop the knowledge and understanding of people, events and developments in the past at local, national and international level.
Geography enables pupils to make sense of their surroundings and the wider world by learning about the national and human elements of local and wider environments.
Through Science pupils learn to make observations and comparisons on which they can build a more general understanding of the world around them. Pupils are provided with a range of first hand experiences to explore and investigate. (Refer to Schools SESE policy which was updated this year.)
Physical Education for all pupils is recognised as being very important in the school.
All pupils have the opportunity to go swimming each Monday and PE lessons are timetabled with post primary pupils having a specialist teacher for PE each Wednesday.
Participation in team games is encouraged and basketball, football and volleyball are some of the games organised for pupils at break/social skills time.
Music contributes to the personal, social, mental and physical development of pupils. It is a unique form of communication and a means by which feelings and interests are organised and expressed.
Pupils also have the opportunity to listen to music of their choice at lunchtimes and to sing a range of songs at assembly, masses and other celebrations
Drama is particularly relevant to pupils with special needs. It can contribute to pupil’s language development and allow pupils to explore the motivations and the relationships that exist between people in a real, imagined or historical context. The pupils are encouraged to make decisions and to take responsibility for those decisions within the safe context of drama.
Pupils also have the opportunity each year to take part in the Christmas play. Some pupils enjoy the experience of “going on stage” while others enjoy involving themselves in designing props, or general back- stage work.
Whenever possible visiting theatre groups are invited to the school to perform.