SSLD Classes in St. Mary's


We have two special classes in St. Mary's. These are Specific Speech and Language Disorder (SSLD) classes.

We have educated children with speech and language difficulties for almost thirty years, our first SSLD class was established in 1994 and the second in 2010.

Our teachers understand the challenges faced by children with expressive or receptive language difficulties and speech difficulties. We have experienced teachers, supported by two special needs assistants and a senior HSE speech therapist based in our school. HSE Speech Therapist Claire Burns works exclusively with the SSLD Classes.

Dear Colm
Just wanted to send you a quick email to say thanks so much for everything.  XXXXX really enjoyed the time he spent with you and he will miss everyone when he moves to his new school. 
The progress he has made is unbelievable.  There was a time when we weren't sure if we would ever hear the sound of XXXXX's voice because he had so little speech.  Now he is a little chatter box and we are all over the moon.  
The amount of help and support he was given during his two years was exceptional.  We as parents can not express how grateful we are to all of the staff who worked with XXXXX. He went to school happy everyday and settled in so well. 
We hope you enjoy the holidays and have a lovely break 😎

Kind regards 


 Parent Testimonial (unsolicited) received by email at year end



All who work in the SSLD special class setting are committed to providing a nurturing and supportive learning environment. Both classrooms are specifically organised to cater to the needs of pupils, with specialised learning materials and resources to support language acquisition, language development and communication skills.

Our teachers work closely with Claire and the SNAs to ensure that each pupil receives the individualised attention and support they need to reach their full potential. We believe that every pupil deserves the opportunity to thrive and succeed, regardless of their abilities or challenges.

Our speech and language classes are a safe and inclusive space where pupils can develop their communication skills, build their confidence, and reach their full potential.


St. Mary's SSLD Class Enrolment - Note for Parents - The Process 

Stage 1 

Children who are attending HSE speech and language therapists in the community may be recommended for enrolment to the SSLD classes in St. Mary's. It is a two year placement. Pupils follow the same curriculum as in mainstream classes. If a pupil was to enter St. Mary's in Junior Infants, they would complete Junior Infants and Senior Infants in St. Mary's and would return to their local school for First Class. 

Stage 2

If parents wish for their child to be considered for enrolment and if their speech therapist is of the opinion that the child would benefit from attendance in the class, a speech therapy and psychological report should be prepared. These reports will be submitted by the HSE to the annual SSLD Class intake meeting.

Stage 3

An intake meeting is held annually- normally in March or April. If your child meets Department of Education criteria, they may be accepted for the class. A number of factors determine enrolment in any given year, these include - places available, number of potential candidates for intake and severity of need (determined by a priority rating scale and assessment by multidisciplinary committee). More often than not our  class is oversubscribed. Qualifying children who are not allocated places in any given year, due to a lack of available places, will be placed on a waiting list for that year's enrolment only. They may be offered a place should a place be declined.

Stage 4 

Should your child be accepted for enrolment at our annual intake meeting, we will forward their enrolment application for a Special Class to the Special Education Needs Organiser (SENO). Ultimately all places are allocated at the discretion of the SENO, the school offers places pending SENO approval.

Stage 4 

You will be given an opportunity to visit our SSLD classes at an Open Day, normally held in May. You and your child can meet the principal, the teachers and Claire Burns.


We look forward to welcoming your child to our SSLD classes and we trust that they will benefit greatly from the expertise, knowledge and experience that we have garnered in this specialist field of education.