Clonaslee College



"We are all different. There is no such thing as a standard or run-of-the-mill human being. But we all share the same human spirit. What is important is that we have the ability to create…However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at”.

Quote from Stephen Hawking at the opening of the 2012 Paralympics

Date: Wednesday, 16th March 2022
Minister Josepha Madigan opens new sensory room, ‘Narnia’ at Clonaslee College
Clonaslee College is a school set in the scenic foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in Co. Laois. The
school itself was cleverly designed to create a state of serenity for the 210 students currently enrolled.
Under the patronage of Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board (LOETB), Clonaslee College is
co-educational and multi-denominational, committed to the ETB School Core Values of Excellence in
Education, Care, Equality, Community and Respect.

As with other areas in Ireland, the tentacles of Covid reached into this small community, disrupting
education and making the last two years challenging for all aspects of student and local life. Now, in a
post-pandemic environment, the school is once again back to face-to-face tuition for their students.

Recognising the negative impact of Covid-19 on students through social lockdowns and school
closures, the staff of Clonaslee Community College have created a space where students can be
offered a quiet, distraction-free zone. A new sensory room, named Narnia by the students, has been
developed within the school. The room contains a state-of-the-art sensory pod, a sensorial space with
seating, a cave area to relax in with hexagonal tables to work at, all built within a bespoke woodland
theme surrounding. The pod provides a safe and calming environment, featuring colour changing
sensory ceiling, Vibromatt vibration sensory mattress, and a multimedia system through which music
and sounds can be created and programmed to meet each student’s individual need.

The new sensory room is an inclusive room that can be utilised by all members of the student body,
from those that have individual and special needs, through to students completing the state
examinations this year and require some relaxing downtime to alleviate anxiety and stress.

Minister Josepha Madigan, TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Special Education and
Inclusion, visited the school, met with the students and staff, and formally opened the new sensorial
room on Friday, 11th March. The Minister also celebrated the exciting news of the recent Department
of Education & Science approval for the building of two new ASD classes, an Art room and a Graphics
room for Clonaslee College.


Daniel Baker 5th year student giving a speech during Minister Madigan's visit.

March 2022

Clonaslee College is an inclusive community aimed at the holistic development of each individual student. The Special Education Needs (SEN) Team is committed to providing an education for its students in a caring and supportive environment. In order to achieve this goal, some of our students may require supplementary teaching, additional resource,classroom support and/or provision of specialist equipment.

The SEN department aims to embody the following:

  • To provide an inclusive learning environment where all are encouraged to achieve their potential
  • To enable each student to develop social and personal skills, thus enhancing self-esteem
  • To encourage students with special needs to participate in the full range of school activities
  • To offer an education which develops a variety of skills for example practical, artistic and sporting
  • To allow special needs students access to the curriculum and encourage students to sit Junior/Leaving Cert examinationsreplaceimage2.PNG


  • School wise


The transfer of information from primary level to post-primary level is vital to the successful support of students with SEN. Special needs requirements are first addressed on Open Night for incoming first years. It is essential for parents/guardians to make available any relevant information/documentation regarding their child’s SEN when filling out the enrolment form.

Following enrolment, parents of incoming first years are invited to meet the SEN Department to discuss their son/daughter’s needs.

The SEN Team will:

  • Visit or contact the feeder primary schools to collect up-to-date information.
  • Liaise with primary school and parents of students with very specific needs who would benefit from more than one visit to the school.
  • Meet with the parent(s)/guardian(s) of students with SEN.
  • Establish communication with the primary school teachers & SEN teacher.
  • Apply for SNA support/assistive technology for students for relevant students.
  • Analyse the Education Passports received from primary schools

School Exams

Teachers are notified about students with SEN and advised about appropriate provisions for them in tests and school exams, as well as in class. Students with visual, hearing or physical difficulties may be supported by the SEN Team who may act as a reader or scribe for them, both in class and for exams, as appropriate.

Students with physical or learning difficulties who have been assigned a laptop are encouraged to use them for school tests and exams where possible and appropriate. A separate centre may be provided for this purpose, particularly during main school exams.

State Exams: Reasonable Accommodations in the Certificate Exams (RACE)

A range of provisions may be available for students with SEN sitting the State Junior and Leaving Certificate exams, depending on the extent of their difficulties. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Reader
  • Reading Assistance
  • Scribe
  • Spelling and Grammar Waiver (English/Irish/Language subjects only)
  • Use of Word Processor (laptop) or Tape Recorder
  • Separate Centre
  • Rest breaks
  • Additional Time
  • Enlarged or Modified Exam Papers (Visual/Physical Difficulties)
  • Helper in Practical Exams
  • Modified Oral/Aural

Accommodations are granted by The State Examinations Commission.

More information is available on the State Exams Commission website:

Irish Exemption

Irish Exemption: as per Circular 0052/2019

Please visit for the granting of an exemption from the study of Irish.

System Integration & Support- Whole School Approach


May 27
House exams - Summer
May 31
Summer holidays
Jun 05
State exams start 2024
Clonaslee College,
Co. Laois,

057 864 8044

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