School Patron And Ethos

Autism Ireland is the Patron of Stepping Stones Special School for Children with Autism and Complex Needs. Our ethos is based on the following principles:

  • Child Centred
  • Evidence Based Intervention
  • Individualised
  • Multi Denominational
  • Co-Educational
  • Parental Involvement
  • Professional Respect

A Schools ethos is best expressed, helped to develop and enriched as a result of the continuing interaction between as shared dialogue on the core values of the school (involving the patron, board of management, principal teacher, behaviour analyst, all staff, parents and students and the daily practices that endeavour to embody these values.

Ethos is established and sustained by those repeated practices and traditions, by the beliefs and attitudes promoted and by the goals aspired to by the school community.

Autism Ireland Special Schools are entrenched in Evidence Based Practice. The procedures and methodologies on which the teaching of our students is based have been empirically tested and proven extensively with diverse types of students– children, adolescents, and individuals of all ages. Practitioners are constantly updating teaching practices and procedures in line with novel research findings. It is the continuous measurement of the outcomes for each individual student that distinguishes teaching using evidence based methodologies over all other approaches. This also ensures the complete individualisation and child centered nature of all Autism Ireland Special Schools.

The following characteristics are sought within the general ethos experienced and promoted by the school community:

As a formal agent of education within the special education community, the school model provides an education for their students that develops independence, communication and literacy as much as is possible in the context of the difficulties that Autistic Spectrum Disorder poses.

The Schools will aim at promoting the full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil, including his/her relationship with other people and with the environment. The school considers that the pupil’s welfare and positive experience in the school environment to be crucial to his/her development.

Curricula are used to develop skills that are vital to the pupil’s life during their school years and beyond.

Classroom practice is continuously reviewed in the context of making sure that the pupil is developing according to the values imposed by the school and upheld by school personnel.

Given the nature of ASD, staff ensure that when learning is not occurring in key developmental and educational areas that areas of strength are developed to their maximum capacity and the environment is set up to assist that pupil’s independence.

The School promotes the use of teaching methodologies that have been or can be shown to be effective in reaching its aims for any or all of its students.

School Personnel aim to provide an objective and well rounded education for its pupils.

Measurement of teaching programmes is a primary feature in the delivery of education to each student in the classroom. Measurement is also a key feature in designing all plans that support the pupil’s development in the classroom or any other setting.

School Personnel aim at making the school a centre of excellence in which high professional standards are maintained and where pupils learn in a safe and happy environment.

A spirit of mutual respect between school personnel, the students and their parents is promoted within the school community.

The School will facilitate based on evidence of need the expertise of various educational and mental health professionals. Such professionals would uphold the ethos of the school.

The School will positively promote the school and its pupils in the wider community.