Special Needs Assisting Level 6

Healthcare & Childcare Education

  • Overview
  • Entry Requirements
  • Principal Areas of Study
  • Assessment & Award
  • Career/Academic Progression
  • Tutor Profile/Timetable

The Special Needs Assistant Level 6 Minor Award will equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence in the theory and practice underpinning the education and care of those who present with special educational needs to enable the learner to assist in the provision of this education and care.

The course will provide Learners with the knowledge, skill and competence, both theoretical and practical, to assist and care for those with special educational needs in an ECCE setting. 

The Benefits to Learners of this Valuable Qualification

  • Explore, through examination of theory and in practice, the skills and duties required to work as an effective Special Needs Assistant and to manage activities, in an educational setting, that are suited to the needs of the individual and are meaningful to that individual.
  • Gain an understanding of Special Needs Assisting terms such as integration, inclusion, independence, and responsibility in relation to the individual with special needs.
  • Demonstrate the skills to support the teacher in implementing the national curriculum for the individual with special needs and to assist the teacher in the implementation of Individual Education Plans. 
  • Understand various practices in managing challenging behaviour and the interventions which may be employed to assist individual with special educational needs.
  • Evaluate personal attitudes, values, beliefs and assumptions in relation to working with individuals with special needs.
  • Evaluate the provision of education for people with special educational needs with reference to current legislation.

SNA Level 6

The requirements for entry to the Special Needs Assisting Level 6 Minor Award are, Junior/Leaving Certificate standard or equivalent qualifications or FETAC/QQI Level 4 Certificate and/or relevant life and work experiences. 

Work Experience
The course is complemented and consolidated through practical work experience. Work experience is a mandatory module for this award; therefore, students should be aware that they will be required to carry out 20 hours work experience outside of scheduled class time in order to satisfy the requirements of the FETAC/QQI work experience module.

It is recommended that each learner should secure a work experience placement in their locality that does not conflict with class time or their own personal/work commitments prior to commencing the course to alleviate any pressure once the course has commenced.

The work experience required to complete this Special Needs Assisting course will count towards the Work Experience Module (four working weeks) required for the full FETAC/QQI Childcare Certificate.

Garda Vetting
Dorset College is registered with the Garda vetting Unit and is now in a position to offer students a Garda vetting service. There may be a delay in processing applications with the Garda Vetting Unit – we advise you to complete the form on registration.

Principal Areas of Study
The course will provide Learners with the knowledge, skill and competence, both theoretical and practical, to assist and care for those with special educational needs in an ECCE setting.

Educational Provision for Special Needs in Ireland
Good Practice
The Role of the Special Needs Assistant
Legislation, Guidelines and Structures
Special Education- the Curriculum and Interventions
Personal and Professional Development

At the end of the course learners will be able to:

  • Evaluate the provision of education for people with special educational needs with reference to current legislation
  • Assess the various educational options available in Ireland for people with special educational needs
  •  Examine relevant theories, skills and processes relevant to curriculum implementation
  • Explore the differences between integration and inclusion
  • Organise learning opportunities in order to promote independence and responsibility
  • Evaluate the importance of the multidisciplinary team in devising Individual Education Plans
  • Analyse skills that can be used to aid the teacher in the administration of the national curriculum
  • Assess interventions and behavior management techniques that may be used in the learning environment
  • Manage meaningful activities that are suited to peoples needs and connect with their experiences and interests in the learning environment


AssessmentQQI Quality and Qualifications Ireland
The assessment process includes a combination of module appropriate assessment procedures which will facilitate the assessment of learning outcomes of this course. These methods will include continuous  assessment processes such as:

Assessment Format: Project 50%  /  Skills Demonstration 50%

A project is usually carried out over an extended period of time. Projects may involve research, require investigation of a topic, issue or problem or may involve process such as a design task, a performance or practical activity or production of an artefact or event.

Skills Demonstration
A skills demonstration is used to assess a wide range of practical based learning outcomes including practical skills and knowledge. A skills demonstration will require the learner to complete a task or series of tasks that demonstrate a range of skills.

Grading: Pass 50% - 64%  /  Merit 65% - 79%  /  Distinction 80% - 100%.  
A Credit Value of 15 Applies to this Course.

FETAC/QQI: Special Needs Assisting Level 6 Minor award - 6N1957
Awarded by: (QQI) Quality & Qualifications Ireland

The purpose of the Special Needs Assisting Award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence in the practices and principles underpinning the role of a Special Needs Assistant and to enable the learner to work effectively under direction in a special needs assisting capacity.

Successful graduates of the Special Needs Assisting course will have acquired the foundation knowledge, skills and aptitudes required to work safely and effectively, as special needs assistants under direction.

JOB Roles include
Special Needs Assistant in National Primary Schools
The Special Needs Assistant works under the direction of the teacher. They provide support for the pupil, the teacher, the curriculum and the school.
Special Needs School
Supporting Professionals in the care of Adults or Children with Special Needs
Member of Staff in: Crèche, Day Care Centre, Pre-school

On successful completion of this Special Needs Assisting course, the participant will have achieved one of eight modules which lead to a Major Award in Early Childhood Care & Education Level 5 or 6

Progression to other Level 5 and 6 Awards include:
Early Childhood Care & Education level 5 Major Award
Early Childhood Care & Education level 6 Major Award (ECCE with Montessori)
Early Childhood Care & Education level 6 Major Award (Supervision)

Child Psychology Level 6 Minor Award
Special Needs

Beverley Mole began her career in Early Childhood as a Pre-primary (3-6yrs) teacher at the Oranjemund Diamond Mine in Namibia having graduated from the Nursery School Training College in Johannesburg South Africa with a National Teachers’ Diploma (Pre-Primary Education). Her teaching experience in Namibia and later, Cape Town was diverse and multi-cultural and it was this experience that highlighted the absolute necessity of early childhood education and where her passion for the education was truly ignited.

Beverley carried on studying throughout her career obtaining a Higher Diploma in Education in Pre-Primary Education from the College of Education of South Africa and later an Honours Bachelor of Education Specialising in Early Childhood Development from Unisa, Pretoria, South Africa. She graduated as an Assessor and Moderator from the Assessment College of South Africa (Pty) Ltd and Africa Competency Development respectively and did a course in Accessing the Language of learning and Teaching using the SIOP model – a model which assists second language learning.

Beverley has been a Lecturer and Tutor in Early Childhood for more than 25 years, taking up posts at the University of Technology and various Colleges in Cape Town. Beverley has been a Lecturer at Dorset College since November 2011, lecturing /tutoring in Level 5 and 6 Early Childhood Care and Education and Level 5 and 6 Special Needs Assisting Courses. She lives by the motto, “if you fail to plan you plan to fail” and it is with this in mind that she motivates the students to work hard to secure the future of our children and their programmes.

Timetable: Special Needs Assisting FETAC Level 6

Day 2018 Date Time
Tuesday & Thursday 30/10 & 01/11/2018 18.30 - 21.30
Tuesday & Thursday 06/11 & 08/11/2018 18.30 - 21.30
Tuesday & Thursday 13/11 & 15/11/2018 18.30 - 21.30
Tuesday & Thursday 20/11 & 22/11/2018 18.30 - 21.30
Tuesday & Thursday 27/11 & 29/11/2018 18.30 - 21.30
Tuesday & Thursday 04/12 & 06/12/2018 18.30 - 21.30
Tuesday & Thursday 11/12 & 13/12/2018 18.30 - 21.30
Saturday TBC  

This timetable may be subject to change.


Course Details

Special Needs Assisting Level 6 [Part-Time]

Start Dates: Tuesday, Thursday from 10/30/18 to 12/13/18

Code 6N1957-218
Duration 7 weeks + 1Sat
Price €650.00
Non EU Cost €650.00
Comments Exam Fees: €40.00. A Special rate applies if booking Level 5 & 6 together €895.00

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