St. Anne’s School Special Needs Education:

St. Anne’s School is a special school established in 1973 and caters for pupils from Co. Clare with special educational needs within the range of mild general learning disability, from 4- 18 years of age

  At St. Anne’s our school motto is……  ‘To be all you can be.’

It is our aim to provide a caring, happy and secure atmosphere where the intellectual, spiritual, physical, moral and cultural needs of our pupils are identified and addressed.

We strive to provide a holistic educational experience for our pupils, to develop all areas including social and personal growth, academic progress and a sense of belonging, both within the school community and the wider community.

The development of self esteem in our pupils is important, and we celebrate their achievements, individual talents and abilities throughout the school year. While St Anne’s is a school with a catholic ethos with Bishop Fintan Monahan as patron, it also has due recognition of other religions.


Current Educational Provision at St. Anne’s School

We offer small classes of between 6 and 11 pupils, and some pupils have extra support from Special Needs Assistants when required. Each pupil has an Individual Education Plan based on priority learning needs, developed in collaboration with parents and professionals at the start of the year. This is reviewed throughout the year, and progress and targets are discussed on a regular basis.

We currently have sixteen classes:

No. of Primary Classes – 4

No. of Secondary Classes – 6

No. of Early Intervention Classes for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ages 3-5 yrs) – 1

No. of Special classes for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder – 5


Primary Education

Pupils in our Primary classes and Special Classes for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder work at their own pace, and learning activities may consist of one to one teaching, independent work, small group work or whole class activities and circle times. We follow the National Primary Curriculum, and devise our academic programmes tailored to our pupils ability within the guidelines for pupils with mild learning disability. All subject areas are covered, and we incorporate many fun and exciting practical activities such as dance, swimming, art and music projects, school trips and tours.


Second Level Education

Secondary school pupils at St. Anne’s School follow a timetable which enables them to experience subject teaching similar to their mainstream peers, with small class sizes and special needs assistant support where required. We teach the Junior Cycle NCCA Level Two Learning Programme for pupils with Mild Learning Disability, which is based on five priority learning units (PLUs) (Communicating and Literacy, Numeracy, Personal Care, Living in a Community, Preparing for Work).  We concentrate on the key academic areas, well-being and life skills that are so important to our pupils’ success.

Other subject areas covered are English, Maths, Art, Woodwork and Home Economics which some of our pupils currently complete to Junior Certificate Level 3.

A small number of our pupils progress to the Leaving Certificate Applied programme. Other pupils complete a school leaver’s transitional programme based on the five Level 2 PLUs, where they can work on their life skills to provide them with a sound basis for independent living.

Post 18, many of our pupils progress on to a variety of adult services for young people with disabilities, where they currently follow a four year programme to further develop skills and strengths.


In addition to our academic, life skills and extra curricular activities, many of our pupils access Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Physiotherapy, Psychology and Psychiatry services. School staff work in collaboration with the Clare Children’s services, Clare Crusaders, NEPS and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services to support any programmes and approaches recommended for our pupils. Currently due to Covid-19 the opportunity for face to face intervention and collaboration is limited.

Throughout the staff there is a commitment to special education, and teachers and SNAs are supported by the Board of Management to access continuous professional development. 

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