Irish school values flexibility

Published

Holy Family School in Cootehill, Co. Cavan introduced Towards Independence in 2012. The staff quickly realised how flexible the modules were with lots of scope for personalisation.

Towards Independence is used throughout the school, with 15-18 year old students of varying abilities, including those with mild or moderate intellectual learning difficulties, additional physical disabilities and severe intellectual difficulties. Both staff and students appreciate the choice of modules, focus on progress and skills development, and certification.

In the Home Economics department, TI modules are used to develop and accredit skills in Meal Preparation and Planning, Everyday Living and Independent Living. The Recognising and Using Everyday Signs module has been used to complement the broader school curriculum, term themes and initiatives. The module increased students’ knowledge and understanding of signs they see and use on a daily basis, enhancing their teamwork skills and encouraging road safety (see photo).

Mary Clail, Home Economics teacher, said: “ASDAN recognises existing abilities and provides for a progression of skills in a structured framework. These programmes suit the ability range of our pupils, as the work can be undertaken with differentiated levels of support, allowing for maximum participation by each student at a level that suits their talents.”

Isobel Lord, Deputy Principal, commented: “Overall, the students are motivated knowing they are working towards a certificate. ASDAN has helped to improve the self-esteem of our students and has really developed their skills.”