Veritas launches programme for children with special educational needs

21 May, 2024 | News, World

Veritas has been effectively communicating the Christian message through its various catechetical programmes, books and parish resources for many years.  With the launch of the adapted edition of the existing Grow in Love Religious Education programme for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN), Veritas has taken an important step towards fostering inclusion of children with varying levels of intellectual ability in Catholic Religious Education in Ireland.

Speaking about the launch of the new resources, Susan Morgan, Manager of Religious Education at Veritas said, “We are delighted to introduce the Grow in Love programme adapted for children with Special Educational Needs, which embodies our commitment to providing inclusive educational opportunities for all children.  By adapting our curriculum to meet the diverse needs of students with Special Educational Needs, we aim to ensure that every child can participate fully in Religious Education and so grow in their unique faith journey.”

Áine McNally and Róisín Russell (pictured), two teachers who work with children with special educational needs, have adapted the existing Second Class/Primary Four programme, which includes preparation for two sacraments: First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion.  These resources were piloted in sixty schools across the island of Ireland.  The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

The programme has been adapted for children with three levels of learning need: Book A (for children with mild learning needs); Book B (for children with moderate learning needs); and Book C (for children with severe learning needs).  This will ensure that every child can actively participate in Religious Education alongside their peers throughout the school year.

In addition to the adapted Pupil’s Book, each child will receive a Social Story Book and an Activity Book. The Social Story Book contains a social story for First Reconciliation and one for First Holy Communion.  These stories will help the children to become familiar with the steps involved in the celebration of the sacraments.  Engaging in the Activity Book will further enhance the students’ understanding of and participation in the sacraments.  Teacher Notes on the materials, Super Symbols and Additional Resources will also be made available on the Grow in Love website.

By offering adapted materials and resources, the programme will enable teachers to create inclusive classrooms, promoting acceptance, understanding and mutual support among all students.  The inclusion of an At Home section in every lesson of the Pupil’s Book means that parents/guardians can provide additional support and encouragement for their children at home.



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