Planning for Irish exemptions.

This is a document used at a staff meeting (primary) to agree on a form, class teachers will use to record differentiation and interventions used in Irish ‘over time’.

Below is the form that resulted from this ‘brainstorming’. This form can be included in the documentation that accompanies an application for an Irish exemption.

Though most schools will differentiate and intervene in similar ways there may be variations from school to school so an opportunity at a staff meeting, to talk about what might be included in this form would be useful.

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Planning for Irish exemptions

As part of the new procedures for applying for an Irish exemption, we are to include a ‘paper trail’ indicating that

Class and SEN teacher have provided

documentary evidence that the student presents with significant learning difficulties that are persistent despite having had access to a differentiated approach to language and literacy learning in both Irish and English over time are held by the school

i.e. Student Support Plans detailing

‘regular reviews of learning needs as part of an ongoing cycle of assessment,


evidence-informed intervention and review,

including test scores (word reading, reading comprehension, spelling, other scores of language/literacy) at key points of review.’

The student’s Student Support File (also called the Continuum of Support) will already have details of this in English – but not in Irish.

In order to put together a tick box list of differentiation/interventions/targets could we brainstorm in groups (at our class levels: Infants, 1st&2nd,3&4th, 5&6th ) answers to the following questions? LS teachers could work with the group they work most with.

  1. What accommodations do we put in place for a child who is struggling in Irish?

(a) differentiation


Teaching style

Modifying Task

Modifying Pace

Following student’s interest

Level of Support


Response required from student.


(b) interventions



(c)targets i.e. what are our objectives with a child who finds Irish hard? What can we expect?



(d) Do we test? If so how?


This is a form that was devised at a staff meeting (Primary) that records differentiation and interventions in Irish ‘over time’ as evidence of this is required when an application for an Irish exemption is received. We will begin using this in January, and will refine it as we use it. So it is very much still in draft form.



With regard to an application for an IRISH EXEMPTION (to be added to STUDENT’S SUPPORT FILE)

Name of pupil   Class


Accommodations in place for student:

1. Differentiation – What has been tried? Print ‘Yes’ where applicable
a) Level

Teacher teaches to the middle & differentiates up & down.

Different textbook used

Same book but different expectations





b) Teaching style

Extra instruction

Over teaching


Teacher models answers

Teacher scaffolds oral responses







c) Modifying Task

Tasks simplified

Focus on oral Irish

Repetition & practice,

Less output (written) expected

Teacher models written response

Assistance given with cloze exercises





d) Modifying Pace

Expectation of less written output

Revision & repetition




e) Following student’s interests

e.g. mé féin

Irish music & songs, activities & games




f) Level of Support

Teacher one to one

Pair/group work

Peer support/coaching





g) Resources

‘Bua na Cainte’

‘Abair Liom’ (lots of useful lists at back of book)

Fónaic na Gaeilge

Online resources





h) Response required from student

Lower order questions in written work

Lower order questions answered orally

2. Interventions

Focus on Oral Irish

Lower level text book used

Same book but different expectations

Peer tutoring

3. Targets What are our objectives with this student who finds Irish hard?

That he/she have an appreciation of the Irish language and culture and that they enjoy Irish.

That he/she continues to have opportunities to practice oral Irish, sing Irish songs, play games and activities in Irish.






4. Assessment

Teacher observation

In class feedback

Photocopy examples of written work/evidence in textbook or copybook.



If practical, please scan a photocopy of  the earliest example of the student’s written work in Irish from this year and a recent one and add this to this student’s file.

5. Additional information: 

e.g. X is experiencing significant difficulty in English as his test results show. Despite differentiation in Irish and intervention, he is also struggling in Irish. This is affecting his confidence. I feel he would benefit from an Irish exemption so that he could use the time to concentrate on English. I am happy that he will participate in Oral Irish and activities in Irish as I feel this is of benefit to him.



Signed: Class Teacher                                                                                      Date:


Content that may be useful for Teacher Planning (1st/2nd Class approximately)

About to fly away. By Thomas Tolkien
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Thomas Tolkien via Compfight

This blog was originally set up as a class blog for 2nd class,

here in Ireland, so a lot of the content reflects that.

I have since moved to Learning Support and so

the content can relate to classes Senior Infants to 6th.


I see that, at the moment many of the visitors to this blog

seem to be teachers preparing for school in September,

so here are some links to content that may be useful.


You can use the print facility at the bottom of any post

by clicking the printer icon. There is an option there which

you may find useful which remove images from these posts

before printing.


The Arts.

Plans for Art – 1st /2nd Class

A Menu of Art Activities


Plans for Music – 1st/2nd Class

A Menu of Music Activities


First Communion Preparation

Tips for Teachers teaching a First Communion Class for the 1st time

Preparing for 1st Holy Communion – Practical Tips: Part One

Preparing for 1st Holy Communion – Practical Tips: Part Two

Preparing for 1st Holy Communion – Practical Tips: Part Three



Cnuasach dánta : about forty poems as Gaeilge

with photographs to explain their meaning.

Cnuasach de Sheanfhocail Éagsúla:

approximately twenty proverbs as Gaeilge.



A short piece on number in Maths.

Some thoughts on learning Tables.



Here is how I taught Reading and Spelling



Finally this is the Homework Policy that I used.

Occasionally parents ask for more homework

and these are the suggestions I make.





Art: A useful chart: tracking techniques & media used.

To ensure these techniques/media are all covered,

I record as each is used on a chart like this

pinned up on the classroom wall:

Technique/Media Theme Date
 Finger painting    
 Blow painting    
 Splatter painting    
 Paint & crayon overlay    
 Paint & crayon resist    
 Paint batik designs    
 Using charcoal    
 Metallic crayons    
 Colouring pencils    
 Crayon rubbings    
 Construction; 2D    
 Paper sculpture    
 Using found objects    
 Practice with plasticene/playdough      
 Making pinch and coil pots    
 Fold Over printing    
 Relief prints    
 Mask outs    
 Digital Art