Development Plan



Ceara School Development Plan



The curriculum at Ceara is designed to ensure that:


  • Pupils attain their fullest possible potentials - educational, social, physical and emotional – within a learning environment that is friendly and child centered;
  • The learning experiences provided are of the very highest standards;
  • The maximizing and celebration of pupil achievements, in all areas, are seen as key objectives;
  • All staff, teaching and non teaching, are actively encouraged to obtain additional relevant experiences/qualifications;
  • Revised Curriculum training is seen as a priority area;
  • Parents/guardians view the school as an extension of their family;
  • Our Foundation Stage provision will continue to develop and expand;
  • Pupils in our leavers class will depart Ceara equipped as fully as possible to take their place in society;
  • The fostering of respect for each other and the community will be promoted;
  • The curriculum will foster tolerance and understanding as well as accepting difference and diversity;
  • Parental views are accorded the maximum importance;
  • Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) are updated at least each term with parents/guardians and support agencies being given the opportunity to contribute to the IEP;
  • Challenging targets, that are regularly reviewed and assessed, are set for children and the progression towards such targets is monitored regularly;
  • Challenging targets are set for the pupils, and the progression towards such targets is closely monitored;
  • Children are equipped, as far as their abilities allow, with the necessary ICT skills to allow them to maximize their potential;
  • The school has a strong European dimension across all aspects of the curriculum;
  • An inclusive dimension is included in as many school activities as possible to allow pupils from our PMLD/EBD classes to interact with other children;
  • Links with the local community are dynamic; and
  • Links with all professionals (and parents) – social services, educational, health and others supporting the school - are both positive and proactive.


In order to further develop the above ‘Mission Points’ the following action steps have been formulated for the school year 2014 – 2015.  Staff, teaching and non-teaching, have been consulted on all aspects of this development plan; this allows teaching staff to have a SDP link to their PRSD targets.  Parents were consulted in relation to our ‘Mission Statement’.


This document fulfills part of the requirements of DE Circular 2005/19


Short Term Plans


  • Plans have been initiated to continue the assimilation of developments within the Revised Ireland Curriculum, SELB Circulars, Social Services Guidance and DE Circulars, into existing curricular policy documents and classroom practices.  This assimilation process, as in past years, will continue with particular emphasis upon all aspects of Revised Curriculum training; Entitlement Framework provision/training; Pre School Provision; Numeracy; Literacy; CAEIG; Employability, ICT and Creativity across all Key Stages


  • Our Curricular Revision Programme will continue with revisions of:


Child Protection                                                                         (Term One)

Learning for Life and Work  [ Post Primary]  Play [ Primary]      (Term Two)

Assessment for Learning                                                             (Term Three)


  • Teaching schemes of work, individual educational plans and recording/assessment documentation will be reviewed by the Principal each term.


  • Assessment tools will be reviewed by the SMT with a view to establishing a ‘bank’ of agreed assessment materials for class use across the ‘specific school’ – including Q Skills.


  • There will be a monthly meeting with all teaching staff; Heads of School/SMT meetings will take place weekly.  The principal will also meet with Primary and Post Primary school teaching staff as separate groups each month.  Classroom assistants will have a meeting each term.


  • To support emotional wellbeing of all pupils the services of the ‘School Emotional Support Worker’ will be utilized as will social services support.


  • Continue to build a framework of acceptable behaviour through consistant standard and role models.


  • All school policies will be reviewed in light of curricular changes, DE guidance and EASR regulations during 2014/2015


  • Work with therapy colleagues will be embedded as closely as possible with teaching schemes and IEPs.


  • To further develop our ‘Environment Curriculum – Greener School’ i.e. our vegetable gardens, our outdoor environment and our recycling programmes.  There is still too much waste in school – this needs to be reduced.


  • Staff will be given the opportunity to attend in-service training courses, subject to the needs of the school, in order to contribute to their professional development.  Classroom assistants studying for their BA in Education will be supported as far as possible.  Teaching staff will be encouraged to enrol for the PQH (NI).  A record of all in-service courses attended/further studies undertake will be maintained.


  • The use of ICT as assistive technologies across all abilities, is seen as a key objective specifically within our PMLD classes.


  • We will continue to develop our work on ‘the outdoor classroom’.


  • School permission documents will be revised in light of the introduction of the SIMMS management system into school.


  • The ‘Staff Handbook’ will be revised in light of curricular changes, DE guidance and SELB regulations.


  • Support children to take risk and to meet challenges via creating spaces for Child Initiated Learning – providing freedom to investigate.


  • The Parents and Friends support group will be encouraged through the meetings held in school and documentation distribution.


  • As ‘Nutritional Standards for Schools’ is embedded in school practices, staff will be further encouraged to actively promote a healthy eating dimension for all children.


  • The ‘extended schools’ programme will be reestablished during 2014/2015.


  • A ‘Vocational Education Centre’ will be established.


  • Individual Educational Plans will be cross-referenced with ‘Statements’ with the latter being computer recorded.  The school is registered with the Data Protection Agency.


  • School financial management protocols, including cash handling, and internal audit protocols will be continually reviewed and updated in light of advice obtained.


  • The continued links with the Silverwood ASD Centre and the Middletown Assessment Centre are seen as priority areas in relation to the management of children with ASD and behavioral issues in school.


  • Intimate Care Procedures will be reviewed annually as will membership of the ‘intimate care advisory committee’.


  • The C2K system will be further developed in terms of staff training and software implementation.


  • The monthly parent newssheet, now in its 21st  year will be reviewed in terms of content and distribution.


  • A review of Child Protection protocols and documentation will be ongoing.  The designated teachers for child protection will receive appropriate training in child protection developments.


  • Work on maintaining the ‘Investors in People Award’ will permeate all aspects of school work/management.


  • Ceara will actively support work experience placements for pupils from local schools.


  • Teacher responsibilities will be reviewed in the light of staff changes and curricular changes.



Medium Term Plans


  • Further development of our policy on recycling and limiting waste.


  • Existing links with staff from local Social Services, Careers Office and voluntary bodies will be extended and further developed.


  • Revision of the Early Years Project in the light of projected numbers for 2014/2015


  • School will continue with the Comenius Project.


  • Further inclusion of children who have PMLD with non-PMLD classes.


  • School financial management protocols will be audited in Term One.


  • The ‘Staff Advice Booklet’ given to substitute teachers will be reviewed in the light of experiences.


  • School will continue to be involved with the Commenius Project and thus incorporated into our citizenship curricular provision.  A multicultural day will be organized during May 2014


  • Development of ABA provision, via staff training, to supplement TEACCH, across the Junior School will be given priority as funds become available.


  • The school will fully support the Beginning Teacher programme and the CPD programme for all teaching staff.


  • Further development of the School’s Policy on recycling and limiting waste.


  • Internet, Lap Top CPUs and ICT usage continue to be seen as priority areas within the school curriculum for both staff and pupils.


  • Already existing links with staff from local Social Services and voluntary bodies will be further developed and enhanced.


  • Already existing links with staff from the local Training and Employment Agency will be further developed with a view to extending the ‘Work Experience’ scheme.


  • Continued proactive approach to local press and TV to raise school profile.


  • The remit of the school ‘Social Committee’ will be reviewed both in terms of composition and in terms of mandate.


  • The annual summer scheme will be supported.


  • The annual school residential to the SHARE Centre in Fermanagh will be supported.


Longer Term Plans


  • School will continue to press for adequate funding of special educational ventures from DENI and recognition that special education is a phase in itself, not a periphery ‘add on’.  Within this aim it is acknowledged that funding from the SELB for Special School provision and initiatives has been generous to date.


  • Due to ever increasing pupil numbers, the SELB will be encouraged to develop additional classroom provision at Ceara through a ‘new build’ programme.


Dr. P. G. Cunningham