Delivered through blended learning with supporting weekend workshops, you can work full-time and study the Special Needs Assisting Level 5 and Level 6 courses. These qualifications give you the opportunity to qualify and work as a special needs assistant. By booking both courses together you can progress straight to the level 6 course upon completion of the level 5 and avail of a discount, making your study more affordable.
Start Date16th July 2022
QualificationQQI Level 5 QQI Level 6
Course Duration5 months
Are you interested in becoming a Special Needs Assistant? This course is suited to anyone who has an interest in Special Needs Education, whether to pursue it as a career or use the knowledge for personal or family reasons. Portobello Institute’s QQI Level 5 Minor Award and QQI Level 6 Minor Award in Special Needs Assisting are qualifications that will allow you to work as a special needs assistant in schools, hospitals and care homes. During this 20 week course you will acquire not only knowledge but empathy and understanding crucial to your future role as support to persons needing assistance in their learning. This course is delivered with 4 webinars held on a Saturday & the remainder delivered online, allowing you to fit learning around your busy working and family life. You will be required to complete 20 hours of work experience enabling you to get practical experience to compliment your studies after Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted. These factors, together with the one to one tutorial support, offer you a course that is accessible, affordable and achievable.
Why should I study this course?
The field of Special Needs Education is one of enormous variety and ever-changing needs. Portobello Institute wish to respond to the true needs within the sector by offering a course that will equip our students not only with knowledge but with empathy and understanding crucial to their future role as support to persons needing assistance in their learning. Our research in the field has found that Special Needs Assistants require practical skills and knowledge in a wide range of behaviours and abilities. Thus, we try to encapsulate the lifelong experience of persons with Special Needs within our courses, in Level 5 and in greater detail at Level 6.
Portobello Institute’s QQI level 5 and 6 Minor Awards in Special Needs Assisting gives you the opportunity to learn from a range of experts all of whom are passionate about the field of special needs education. They bring their insight, depth of experience and passion for teaching to this course. During this course, you will learn to support and understand the process by which a child with learning, physical or behavioural needs learns. This qualification will allow you to work alongside a child with special needs in a school as well as care settings.
The Special Needs Assistant Level 6 course is ideal for Learners who wish to:
- Possess a comprehensive understanding of national and local models, multi-disciplinary teams, health and safety issues and educational provisions for children and young people with special needs.
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the relevant concepts, theories and principles underpinning curriculum implementation.
- Create learning opportunities by devising and implementing Individual Education Plans (IEP’s) and individual behavior Plans (IBP’s) and introduce exercises that teach the child to look after themselves and their property which ultimately encourages independence, respect, self-esteem and responsibility.
- Assess the roles and responsibilities and skill sets required by the SNA to assist the teacher in implementing the National curriculum.
Who will recognise my qualification?
Upon completing this course, you will hold the following qualifications;
QQI Level 5 Minor Award in Special Needs Assisting
QQI Level 6 Minor Award in Special Needs Assisting
Qualifications Frameworks in Ireland and the UK
The Irish and UK qualifications authorities have collaborated on initiatives that promote the transparency, recognition and mobility of qualifications between our respective jurisdictions. The qualifications authorities in the UK and Ireland have agreed the qualifications frameworks in operation, Brexit will not impact this agreement.
What will I study during this Special Needs Assistant – Level 5 & Level 6 Booking Package – Starts July ’22 course?
During the Level 5 course, you will learn about development and learning in children with special needs and about the role of an SNA. You will learn about child development and behaviour theories and how a range of activities can promote physical, social, emotional and intellectual development in children with learning, physical and behavioural disabilities. You will develop the capacity to work and communicate effectively with parents, families, colleagues and other professionals to safeguard, support and promote children’s learning, development and well-being.
During this programme you will cover the following topics:
The Role of the Special Needs Assistant
Equal Opportunities Child Development (Overview)
Theories of Learning and Behaviour
Physical and Intellectual Disabilities
Communications and Language Disabilities
The level 6 course provides you with a greater depth of knowledge on the role of an SNA. You will learn about development and learning in children with special needs and about the role of an SNA. You will learn about child development and behaviour theories and how a range of activities can promote physical, social, emotional and intellectual development in children with learning, physical and behavioural disabilities. You will learn how to implement Individual Education Plans (IEP’s) and individual behaviour Plans (IBP’s) and introduce exercises that teach the child to look after themselves and their property which ultimately encourages independence, respect, self-esteem and responsibility. You will develop the capacity to work and communicate effectively with parents, families, colleagues and other professionals to safeguard, support and promote children’s learning, development and well-being.
During this programme you will cover the following topics:
Understanding Education, Health and Safety, Teach methodologies, Educational Philosophy and Practice.
Literacy: Identifying the conditions for learning language and how to implement these according to learning programmes.
Mathematics: Learning skills to support the teaching of mathematics and to devise strategies to assess mathematical ability.
Observations: Methods and techniques for assessing, planning and evaluating.
Who will I learn from?
Personal Academic Tutor
Each student is assigned a personal academic tutor to support you throughout your learning journey. They are available to offer you telephone and email support at any time. You can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance at a time convenient to you.
Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion. Emailing your tutor at any stage during your programme to ask a query or submit a draft of your assessment supports you to achieve your personal best throughout your studies with Portobello.
This level of one to one support is a particular benefit to choosing Portobello as your Institute of choice to complete your studies.
How will I learn?
Blended Learning takes the schedule of a traditional face to face learning programme and re-structures it to reduce the contact tuition time by introducing more online learning together with one to one tutor support. This mode of delivery includes optional webinar sessions. The reduction in classroom attendance allows you to work full-time and balance the requirements of this programme with home and work.
Other delivery modes available
Portobello Institute’s SNA course is delivered with 4 webinars held on a Saturday & the remainder delivered online.
What is a Webinar?
A webinar, in the context of online learning, is a lecturer delivering a presentation or class online to a group of students. We use specifically designed e-learning software so you can participate in the class just as if you were present in the same room. You can ask a question to the lecturer at any stage during the class. The software is designed with “break-out rooms” where you can discuss a topic or complete a group exercise with a smaller group from your class. You will need a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone that has internet connection, an audio facility so you can hear and speak during the class and a camera so your lecturer and fellow class participants can see you. The webinar is a secure online environment and only those permitted entry by the lecturer can gain access to the “classroom”. Webinars are recorded during each session and should you miss a session, you can catch up with the recorded session at a later date. You will only be able to access webinars of the group you are assigned to.
Portobello Institute recognises that every student learns in a different way and for each and every student to excel, they need support and extra guidance at different stages throughout their learning journey. You can email your tutor at any stage during the module to ask a simple query or submit a draft of your assessment. Our programme management team are always available to offer you telephone and email support and if you need to, you can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance.
Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion. This level of one to one support is a particular benefit to choosing this mode of study. Portobello Institute has invested in a team of programme managers and tutors who are experienced in the travel industry as well as qualified and knowledgeable educators. They are available to assist you at every stage of this programme.
Real Life Learning Opportunities
How will I be assessed?
A variety of assessment methods are used to support students with different learning styles. These vary from written reports to practical case studies to examinations. We encourage you to reflect on your knowledge gain with a number of assignments designed to explore your learning journey. All of these assessment methods are seeking to support you to combine theory with scenario-based learning and how to practically implement these methods into your everyday practice.
What is the role of an SNA?
Special needs assistants play an important role in supporting those with learning, physical or behavioural difficulties. The role of an SNA in the classroom involves assisting the teacher to support students with special educational needs who may also have significant care needs. Through education, knowledge and understanding an SNA can ensure that a child with special needs experiences a positive learning experience developing their confidence and independence.
Speak to an expert
Choosing a course that will lead you to your career of choice is a significant decision. Understanding the delivery modes, supports available, career opportunities and further study options are all key considerations when making your choice. Our course adviser team are experts in the courses Portobello offers, the employment prospects and possible progression routes to other programmes – they will guide you through the detail and support you with any queries you may have.
It is important you make the right choice for you and choose the Institute and course that will best suit your needs.
I’m George. I am very passionate about fitness, aesthetics and looking after the body and mind. I love helping people and having this job allows me to guide people in the right direction so they can follow the career they want.
How long are you working in Portobello?
What do you enjoy about working in Portobello?
Getting to work with like minded people that push to give students and potential students a better education and helping them progress in their professional careers.
What inspires you about working in education?
Being able to help someone improve and progress to a career they are passionate about.
Have you a story that you recall that touched you/made you laugh/made you cry?
A student that did not get the leaving cert points to get into Physiotherapy, so he thought there were no other options for him. He found our BSc Sports Therapy course and when I interviewed him he was a very intelligent young man and he was very passionate about following his dream job to be a Physiotherapist. When I gave him the news that he was accepted to study here he almost cried and it was lovely to see and to be able to help him follow his dreams.
How do you feel when you have helped a student reach a decision on their course choice?
One of the best feelings for me is helping a student choose the right course. Most students are unsure which career they want. Being able to explain to them what exactly the roles involve and helping them make the right choice is amazing. Some people will work in a job for 10 years before they realise it is not their dream, Being able to talk to students at an early stage and helping them get a job in the role they want is very rewardin
How do I apply?
Entry to this course is by direct application to the college.