Category Archives: Blog

Teaching News, Tips and Ideas for the Primary School Teacher in Ireland

Preparation for Teaching and Learning – Guidance for All Primary and Special Schools

What are the new guidelines on planning for primary school teachers? It’s a question that I am sometimes asked, but not as much as you would imagine. This is because it went under the radar for many during Covid-19 and school closures, but the Department released new guidelines in relation to the above in April 2021. The following is a brief summary of that main things that you need to know. The full document, as well as FAQs and webinars can be found on the NCCA website.

How to Set Up an ASD Class

I taught in an Autism class attached to a mainstream school for the 2021/2022 school year. Prior to this I had extensive experience working with autistic students as a mainstream class teacher, resource teacher and later a SET teacher, and as the SENCo in my school which has extremely high levels of pupils with SEN. The experience of an ASD class teacher was enjoyable, and yet very challenging. Below I will document how I set up my room and some of the different resources/ approaches I found most useful and that I would recommend for working with autistic pupils.

Social and Emotional Skills Programmes

I have taught for 10 years in a school which has a very high number of children with social and emotional skills difficulties. Explicit teaching of social skills and self-regulation skills is crucial for these children as they generally do not just “pick up” these skills through observation and interactions with others. The following are some of the best programmes that I have used over the years as a mainstream class teacher, support teacher, and autism class teacher.

Term One in an Autism Class

In September 2021 I started in an autism class for the first time. While I have a lot of experience in working with autistic children as a SET, class teacher, July Provision tutor, and SENCO, it was my first year as an autism class teacher.
I thought given my experience that it would be an easy transition, so I was quite surprised at how overwhelming the first 8 weeks have been and how it has taken me so long to find my feet. In many ways, it was reminiscent of my first year of teaching when I just felt like I would never get on top of things.

How do I write a teaching plan? For Irish Primary School Teachers

Primary school teachers in Ireland must prepare for their teaching with written plans. These plans can be handwritten or typed. Most teachers prefer typed plans as they are faster to complete and can be edited each year if they have the same class level again.
How to write a teaching plan will depend on whether you are a student teacher, newly qualified teacher, mainstream teacher, SET teacher or and ASD class teacher! Below you will find some information on the types of plans required in different teaching rolls and how to complete them.

The Best Resources for Teaching Gaeilge (That I Have Used!)

I coordinated Gaeilge as part of my Post of Responsibly for a number of years. Part of the role was to create a wish list of resources for teaching Gaeilge and to purchase these for the school. It gave me the opportunity to discover some of the fantastic resources that are out there for the teaching of the Irish language and I’d like to share some of these below.

Summary of Updated Guidance on Supporting Children with SEN – January 2021

Late on Friday evening, with remote teaching due to start on Monday, the Department of Education sent updated Guidance on the provision of supports for pupils with SEN to schools. The full 16 page document can be accessed here, however with most school staff now under immense pressure to get organised for a return to […]

Tips on how to get an Assistant Principal Job in an Irish Primary School

Whether you have an Assistant Principal post interview coming up, or you are just thinking that you might take on an AP post at some point in your career, this article will point you in the right direction on the documents you should know about, and the things you should do so that you are as prepared as possible for what an AP post entails.

How to Write a Support Plan: Classroom, School or School Support+

I am a SET teacher and SENCO in a large urban primary school which has extremely high levels of children with EAL and SEN. I have taught in support for a number years, both before and after the new allocation model for SET was introduced. I have written hundreds of support plans for children with a wide variety of SEN and of various levels of severity. In this post, I will share guidance on how to prepare a classroom/ school/ school support+ plan.