The Board of St Nicholas Special School in Ballina is set to host a networking lunch on Friday 16 November at Mount Falcon Estate with funds being raised towards the replacement of their current school bus.
A number of guest speakers will address the lunch including Harry Hughes, CEO of Portwest, former World Champion and Olympic Silver Medallist Sonia O’Sullivan and former Mayo GAA Manager Stephen Rochford.
St Nicholas’ Special School provides education for pupils from 4 to 18 years of age, with moderate, severe/profound learning difficulties and/or disabilities. We have a special class for pupils with autism. “As a Department of Education school our teachers work most diligently to plan a differentiated educational programme for each of our pupils, according to their individual needs.
“Our team of special need assistants provide a high level of support to our pupils. There is a dedicated team of professionals from the HSE who support our pupils, these include; nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech and language therapists. Some of our pupils are also supported by respite services,” according to Clare Vesey-Brennan, Principal/Secretary.
“Our school is fortunate to have a school bus, and this resource is essential to support our pupils’ experience within the local and wider community, providing them with a holistic and socially focused education which under pins our schools’ ethos.
“Our pupils, past and present, have benefited greatly from having access to a fully adapted means of transport. The luxury of having our own school bus brings much needed flexibility particularly regarding departure times from our school, for the purposes of class/school trips. There are occasions when our pupils experience difficulties making transitions from the school building to our school bus. Fortunately we can give each pupil the time and space they require to make transitions as we do not rely on schedules from bus companies.
“The school bus was first registered 14 years ago. Unfortunately additional funds are now required to address mechanical and physical issues which arise with vehicles of this age as such the Board of Management has identified the clear need for replacement of our school bus,” she added.