Special School

St. Catherine’s Special National School is located in five centres: Kilmullen Lane, Newcastle,   St. Catherine’s EDC, Newcastle,   Barnacoyle House, Killoughter, Ashford, Avalon in Bray and Woodmount in Arklow.

The school provides primary and post-primary education for clients who have a moderate, severe or profound learning disability.  Special pre-school classes for children with a diagnosis of ASD are also sanctioned.


Through a varied curriculum, the school strives to enable each client to realize his/her potential and to develop the skills which will enable them to lead full and independent lives. The curriculum offered to clients, responds to a comprehensive multi disciplinary assessment of need and is influenced by the draft curriculum guidelines for mild, moderate, severe and profound general learning disability.

Subjects which are taught include:

  • Language and Communication
  • Numercy
  • Literacy
  • Physical Education (including swimming and horse-riding)
  • Art
  • Music
  • Computer Skills
  • Cookery and Household Skills
  • Social, Personal and Health Education
  • Drama
  • Science
  • History
  • Geography

The school also has the support of a multi-disciplinary team on an integrated basis. Multi-disciplinary support incluSpeech and Language Therapists

  • ABA therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Nurses

One of the classrooms in EDC Building

Facilities within the school include:

  • Large P.E. Halls
  • Domestic Science Room
  • Speech and Language Rooms
  • Shared Areas
  • Playgrounds
  • Basketball Court
  • Football pitch
  • Water Therapy Pool
  • Soft Play Room
  • Computer Room

Classes for Autism

These classes for students with Autism and other complex needs deliver client centered programmes to each student.

Barnacoyle House

The School is committed to giving each client a completely individualised programme of instruction based on his/her own unique and assessed needs. It will offer empirically evidenced best practice instruction based on the application of the principles of behaviour to every aspect of schooling and will incorporate the latest findings in research and development of effective educational practices.

One of the Playgrounds in Barnacoyle House


The basis for all clients education is that each client is an individual with unique talents to be developed and also various obstacles to overcome. All instruction is individualised and tailored to the clients unique and current needs.


The objective of all instruction is for each client to maximise control over their environment and realise social integration through the teaching of generative learning repertoires, allowing the client to become independent learners and to lead independent and social lives in their respective communities.


Classes for children with autism are in the following locations:  Barnacoyle House, Killmullen lane, Newcastle, Killoughter, Ashford, Avalon in Bray and Woodmount in Arklow.