About Our School

St Raphael’s Special School was recognised by the Department of Education in 1963. The main school building dates from 1972 with additional temporary accommodation added over the intervening years. The school is part of St John of God services. St Raphael’s Special School caters for pupils with moderate, severe and profound general learning difficulties aged 5-18 years. Many of our pupils present with additional needs including autism, sensory difficulties, physical and medical needs. The school seeks to provide an educational environment that enables each pupil to live, learn and grow to their utmost potential and to be become valued and active members of their community.

The School Building

  • Sixteen classrooms (eight prefabricated).
  • General purpose area, cookery area and sensory areas.
  • Two intimate and personal care areas.
  • Movement Break room.
  • School nurses’ station.
  • Outdoor playground and garden.
  • Staffrooms.
  • Principal’s office.
  • Deputy principal’s office.
  • Secretary’s office.
  • Multi-zone.
  • Outside classroom (beside playground).
  • Four individual learning spaces.
  • Outside areas for individual classes.

Staff

  • 1 Principal
  • 1 Admin deputy principal
  • 16 Class teachers
  • 45.5 Special Needs Assistants Posts
  • 1 Secretary
  • 2 Nurses
  • 1 Caretaker
  • 2 Cleaning operatives
  • 29 Bus escorts

Daily Timetable

  • School day starts at 9:10 am.
  • Breaks and lunch time and length for pupils will vary with individual needs taken into consideration.
  • Finishing time 2:50 pm.

Students in Training

Students – those taking Child Care, SNA and Special Education Courses or Teacher Education Training are taken on placement at the discretion of the Principal. Transition year students come for work experience at the discretion of the Principal.

The school expects those on placement to abide by all existing school policies and rules and to be guided at all times by the advice of the Principal and school staff. They should also acquaint themselves as soon as possible with the details of the fire and emergency arrangement in place in the school. This information is prominently displayed around the building.

Transport

The Department of Education in conjunction with the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) and Bus Éireann provides transport for pupils to and from the school.

Catering for Pupils

School lunches for pupils are supplied by Twist Food Services on a daily basis.

School Outings

It is the policy of St Raphael’s School to use school outings as a means of promoting and encouraging the social integration of the pupils in the school. By providing a range of outings that will engage pupils, staff in St Raphael’s school hope to offer the pupils an opportunity to develop their social and life skills in a community setting.

Staff will take care to provide outings that are sensitive to our pupils’ needs and abilities. Outings range from walks around the grounds and the local area to day trips further afield by minibus or public transport.

Tuck Shop

The aim of the weekly tuck shop is to promote independence and the development of social skills. Individual classes visit the tuck shop once a week. The opportunity for pupils to participate in the tuck shop helps to promote independence, responsibility, social skills and numeracy.

Communication

St Raphael’s Special School recognises the importance of good communication between school and home. Parents are strongly encouraged to write a brief note in their child’s school diary on a daily basis. Parents should also have access to the Aladdin application. This application is used for important notifications from the school in addition to providing pupil reports such as Individualised Education Plans, End of Year reports, and Safeguarding Strategies.

Parents should also have access to the Seesaw application. Each class provides a newsletter termly, this is made available through Seesaw.

Each teacher has a school email which can also be used by parents to communicate with their child’s class teacher.

A school newsletter is sent to parents on a regular basis providing parents with information on school events, celebrations etc. As well as important information, parents can access school policies and general information on the school website.

The school also has a Facebook page “Stars of St Raphael’s Special School” where parents can access and view posts about school events and celebrations.