Cairdeas are our two Special Classes for Deaf children. We are very proud of our commitment to Special Education in our school.

General Introduction

The Unit for the Deaf, now Cairdeas, was originally established in 1985.

The aims of Cairdeas:

To educate severe/profoundly deaf children and children who have received cochlear implants as close to their homes as possible.

To allow these children to integrate with their hearing peers, where appropriate, in order to prepare them for a hearing world.


Pupil/Teacher ratio 7:1
Currently two permanent teachers employed.

Special Needs Assistants who accompany children in mainstream and assist in Cairdeas.

Ancillary Staff

Cairdeas also has access to the following:

Visiting Teacher of the Deaf
Speech and Language Therapist (H.S.E.)
Cochlear Implant Team, Beaumont Hospital.


Children are integrated into the mainstream classes where possible. In some cases this may be partially e.g. for non- academic subjects such as PE, Art and Music. Other children integrate for most of the school day.
The success of integration is dependant on the close co-operation and collaboration of the whole school staff: principal, mainstream teachers, special class teachers and SNAs.


Children are assessed annually (December) using Micra-T tests for literacy and Sigma-T tests for numeracy.

Children who have received cochlear implants are assessed annually in Beaumont Hospital and reports furnished to the school.

Speech and language therapists and psychologists carry out assessments as required.

The “Reynell Development Language Scales” are used to assess language in the junior classes and the ACE (Assessment of Comprehension and expression) set is used to assess language in Senior Classes.

Listening is assessed using the “Manchester Junior Word Tests” and the BKB Standard Sentence Tests.


Children either wear hearing aids or have cochlear implants.

All classrooms are fitted with a soundfield system and have a pass around microphone.

Children generally use FM radio-aids when integrating with mainstream classes.

Children use computers (software and internet) to aid learning.

All classrooms including the Unit have an Interactive Whiteboard installed.


Children use whatever means of communication that is appropriate to their needs e.g. sign language, gesture, speech, writing. However since the advent of the cochlear implant the children are encouraged
to develop speech where possible.

Should you wish to discuss enrolling you child into one of our Special Classes please contact the school.


Throughout the school we aim to provide deaf friendly teaching which has a positive effect on all the pupils of our school.

Take a look at this publication to see some of the ways we try to achieve this.

Deaf Friendly Teaching