Best Start: Inclusive Schools Project, Ireland Print E-mail

Description of EGP

The Best Start: Inclusive Schools project has evolved out of schools visits that the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) – Sport development team have been conducting around the country since 2007. It was recognised early on that no resources were available to offer teachers in the way of training courses or material which would facilitate the full inclusion of children with physical disabilities into Physical Education classes. In addition following research into the resources provided at primary teacher training colleges and specialist physical education teacher training universities, again a lack of resources was evident.

As such IWA – Sport set about researching the Primary Physical Education (PPE) syllabus and the Junior Certificate Physical Education (JCPE) to identify areas of potential exclusion and identifying ways of overcoming them, while still supporting the aims of the syllabus and allowing teachers to deliver an effective class for all participants. The resource pack concentrates on the PPE as these resource materials have the potential to have the greatest impact in the shortest period. The PPE is divided into five strands, Athletics, Aquatics, Games, Gymnastics & Outdoor & Adventure activities, which in turn dived into 22 core areas, e.g.: Games is divided into Ball handling, Kicking, Carrying, Striking, Games & Appreciation, which in turn have 76 Sub-Core areas, e.g.: Ball Handling is divided into Rolling, Throwing & Catching. Across the syllabus there is potential to draw on other NGB’s resources, as there are direct links to 36 other mainstream NGB’s within the syllabus. Involving these NGB’s as much as possible will have the dual advantage of using their resources and exposing them to our philosophy of inclusive practices. Following on from the launch and rollout of the IWA –Sport Inclusive Schools Resource Pack the following approach will be taken to the delivery of the project over the oncoming academic year:

  • Inclusive Schools visits ongoing;
  • Inclusive Physical Education In-Service training;
  • Inclusive Physical Education Teacher Education;
  • European Inclusive Physical Education Training.
    The full resource pack is readily available on line at

Relevance of EGP to EUSAPA project

This EGP is an excellent example from Ireland where disability sport organisation IWA developed and launched in 2007 project, in which helps PE teachers to acquire basic competencies needed to successfully teach students with physical disabilities. Many sport organisations are aware of fact that children with SEN must be exposed to sport in physical education in order to develop fundamental movement competencies upon which, sport specific skills can be build.

EUSAPA competencies presented in this EGP

  1. Ability to collaborate with Non- Governmental and governmental organisations (e.g., in children rights)
  2. Ability to engage in continuing professional development activities (e.g. reading professional publications; attending conferences (workshops, seminars) to learn about new trends in APE
  3. Ability to use appropriate instructional strategies (e.g., physical/verbal cues, prompts, feedback, reinforcement)
  4. Ability to adapt the following: the rules of games, physical setting, equipment
  5. Ability to use task analysis for desirable skill

Example of good practice was described by Niamh Daffy for Institute of Technology, Tralee, Ireland.