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Communication & Language


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In addition to the spoken word, pupils and staff use a range of augmentative and alternative communication strategies, including objects-of-reference (OoR), photographs, pictures, object schedules, visual schedules, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System), gesture, Lámh (signing - www.lamh.org), tablets, and voice-output communication devices such as BigMack, Step-by-Step, GoTalk devices etc. Our school has adopted a "Communication Bill of Rights" as part of the school's Language & Communication Policy.

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Home-School Communication

A parent’s/guardian/s primary link with the school is the class teacher. Parents and guardians are asked to contact the teacher in the first instance if there are any queries or concerns.

  • Parents, Guardians and key-workers (for those in residential care) enquiries are welcome. To ensure the work of teaching and learning are not disrupted, Parents/Guardians must make a prior appointment to meet a Teacher or the Principal, at mutually convenient time.
  • Records are kept of meetings.
  • To ensure that all pupils are adequately supervised at all times, Class Teachers may not be able to take/return phone calls during the school day but will return any calls as soon as possible. Any phone messages left by parents with the School Secretary will be passed to the teacher as soon as possible. All information is treated in the strictest confidence.
  • Every day, teacher write a short note home, in English, in each pupil’s Home-School Communication notebook, outlining what the pupil child did during the day and if there are any issues Parents/Guardians should know about or sometimes just requesting information! This notebook should be a two-way communication between home and school and we would encourage Parents/Guardians to write in it every day too, so the teacher is aware of anything that may affect a students day (e.g. lack of sleep, new baby, loose tooth etc). All kinds of news is helpful for the child’s communication and language: a new interest, or a film seen in the cinema, a family celebration etc. Some teachers use a “smiley face” chart in lieu of a notebook.
  • We appreciate that although English is the language of the school, some parents may not have English as a first language. We would encourage them to seek support from family or neighbours or online translation facilities to support home-school communication.
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St. Michael's House
Special National School,
Ballymun road,

01 884 0326

Member of NABMSE
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