ABACAS Kilbarrack is an evidence-based school for autistic children and young adults. Our school has 54 students and caters for pupils between the ages of 4 and 18. ABACAS also runs an Early Intervention Programme which caters for 6 students aged 3-5 years. Each student has an individualised educational programme designed to meet their needs as identified through formal educational assessment.
The school is divided into a Junior and Senior programme. The school has 9 classrooms which includes the 'Busy Bees' Early Intervention classroom. Students are assigned to a classroom according to their age and the requirements of their individualised programme.
Our mission is to create opportunities through education, in an environment that is caring, supportive and joyful, improving the lives of our students and the lives of their families.
To this end we value:
Student centred education that celebrates each child’s uniqueness.
Early intervention and assessment.
Individualised, evidence-based education.
Partnership with families and participation in society.
Teaching and Learning at ABACAS
There are four defining features to our school’s approach to teaching and learning. These are the standards that we have adopted to provide a learning environment that strives to continually improve our student’s outcomes across all areas of development; be that academic, social, emotional or functional living skills.
Planning - Individual planning based on quality educational assessments conducted bi-annually
Specialised - Research-based teaching approaches that are evidence-based for the population.
Learner led - Ongoing monitoring of student progress. Frequent and direct measures of student learning that inform modifications in teaching approaches.
Technical – instruction presented with attention to detail, precision, structure, clarity and repeated opportunities.
These teaching and learning features are embedded into our everyday practice and they ensure that the children in our school are receiving the quality education they deserve.
Meet Our Staff
We have a truly unique team who are committed to empowering students to reach their full potential. We provide regular in-house training to all our staff and are constantly striving to improve the lives of their students. We have a high staff to student ratio which enables us to provide individualised programmes tailored to the students' needs. Our small classroom sizes are also the ideal setting for encouraging group interaction in a supportive, intimate environment. ABACAS prides itself on the level of collaboration that occurs between every staff member on our team. The supportive culture and teamwork present in the school is a huge source of pride to our whole school community.
Today at ABACAS twelve of our staff are fully qualified behaviour analysts, representing 25% of the total staff. Additionally, a large number of our staff are enrolled on or have completed masters level courses in Applied Behaviour Analysis. As part of the requirements to sit the associated board certified exams these staff must engage in regular professional supervision. They attend individual supervision with our school Behaviour Analyst twice per month and a monthly group supervision is also offered, covering various relevant topics. This level of support for our staff ensures we can continue to attract highly qualified and dedicated people to work in our school.
Internship and Work Experience Opportunities
For the past 10 years ABACAS has developed strong links with multiple universities and offered quality professional internships to college students from several courses. Each year we are thrilled to host college students from Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, National University of Ireland Galway, Technical University Dublin and Queens University Belfast. Our interns are studying Psychology, Early Childhood Education, Applied Behaviour Analysis, Autism studies and more. By opening our doors to college students we have enriched our school community with their expertise and commitment.
Board of Management
Made up of teacher, parent and community representatives, the main function of the BOM is to manage the school for the benefit of the students and to provide an appropriate education for each student at the school. The board is accountable to the Department of Education and Skills. The school principal is responsible for the day-to-day management of the school and is accountable to the board. The Board carry out their duties with the best interests of the school at heart. The board have regular meetings throughout the year where they develop and review plans for the school.
The composition of the Board of Management for Abacas Kilbarrack is:
BOM Secretary/Principal – Laura Kelly
Chairperson – John Dennehy
Parent Representative – Deirdre Jambou
Parent Representative – Neil McMahon
Community Representative – Michael Keane
Community Representative – Brian Doyle
Teacher Representative – Ursula Cassidy
Patron Representative – Fr. Finbar Neylan
If you need to contact a member of the Board of Management, please do so through the Chairperson at firstname.lastname@example.org.