The Special Educational Area: The Snug
Howth Primary School, Scoil Mhuire, has an extensive department for the provision of one to one and small group teaching and assistance in the areas of Literacy, Numeracy, autism, enhanced learning, English as a second language, ADHD, physical disabilities, language development, gross and fine motor skills, dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia, among other needs. This area is affectionately known as ‘The Snug’.
The department has six full-time and two part-time teachers and five Special Needs Assistants, who work together as a team both in the Snug and also in the classroom where in-class support is provided to all classes.
We currently have 60 children who avail of Special Education Needs (SEN) teaching and assistance and 8 children who have access to the care of our 5 special needs assistants.
Our department is fully equipped with ipads, educational resources, maths games, a comprehensive library for the teaching of reading and mathematical and sensory equipment.
We are delighted that our new multi-sensory room, ‘Spraoi’, is complete! The equipment was provided with a generous donation from Scoil Mhuire Parents Association. The room has many wonderful elements including a bubble tube, a dark den, peanut balls, scooter boards, and many more sensory toys.
A Multi-Sensory Environment can open a whole new world for individuals with cognitive and physical impairments. Providing a stimulating environment can:
- Increase concentration and focus attention
- Develop or reactivate senses of hearing, sight, smell, touch, and taste
- Heighten awareness and improve alertness
- Improve coordination and motor development
- Promote cognitive development by increased brain function
- Lead participants to explore their environment
- Provide security
- Be an unrestrained atmosphere where participants feel able to enjoy themselves.
- Improve creativity
- Stimulate the sensory building blocks
- Develop of a sense of cause and effect
- Develop language – more vocalization
- Promote social interactions
- Promote mental and physical relaxation – Stress levels drop dramatically
- Result in more calmness and lower aggressive behaviours
- Increase opportunity for choice and self-determination
- Improve communication and sharing
Finally, participants are happier and have fun.