Down Syndrome

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print


Children are most successful in their learning when teachers and others hold high expectations and provide quality instruction and learning opportunities tailored to their individual strengths and needs. Developed in collaboration with Down Syndrome Ireland, this course is designed to equip schools and educators to provide the highest quality of education to students with Down syndrome.

About the course

The most common cause of a learning disability, Down syndrome is a genetic condition, which results from an extra chromosome. While each child is unique, children with Down syndrome usually develop more slowly than their peers, but not all areas of development are affected equally and they also have areas of relative strength. Being aware of the strengths and needs of pupils with Down syndrome enables teachers to devise appropriate instructional programmes and supports, which promote engagement, progress and success in learning. This increases the motivation, enjoyment and achievement of pupils.

The main focus of this course is to build the capacity of teachers and schools to provide appropriate educational experiences, which are tailored to the individual needs and abilities of students with Down syndrome in inclusive contexts. There is a strong emphasis on practical evidence-based approaches, which are directly applicable in the classroom and across the whole-school context.

Who is this course aimed at?

This course is designed for teachers, SNAs and other professionals. It may also be helpful for parents who want more detailed information about the development and education of children and young people with Down syndrome.

Approved by the Department of Education

This course is approved by the Department of Education.

Three EPV days will be allowed for primary school teachers who take the course during the summer term. Please note this provision applies only to the summer term as per Department guidelines.

This course has four terms each year, Spring, May/June, Summer & Autumn.

Designed for educators in settings across the age range, this course provides the latest research, detailed information and practical skills and strategies essential to delivering effective education and support to children and young people with Down syndrome. It will equip you with an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the specific developmental and educational implications of Down syndrome and will build your capacity to adapt instruction and implement evidence-based approaches at an individual and whole-school level. You will also acquire a working knowledge of teaching strategies designed to develop literacy, speech, language and communication skills, numeracy and memory skills, social skills and motor skills. In addition, you will be encouraged to develop and implement best practice approaches and policies at the level of the classroom and in your own school in relation to supporting students with Down syndrome.

The focus of the course is to provide educators with proven educational approaches and teaching strategies, which are designed to maximise progress for children with Down syndrome. The course will also provide an overview and background to emerging values and themes in the education of children and young people with Down syndrome. The topics include inclusion and best practice approaches, the specific learning needs of students with Down syndrome, the differentiated curriculum, supporting students with differing levels of learning disability, promoting choice and autonomy, helping students build life skills, working with parents as partners, developing individual education plans for students with Down syndrome and planning for transitions.


  • Develop a wealth of detailed knowledge on the education of children with Down syndrome.
  • Build your capacity to adapt instruction with an emphasis on visual supports and concrete materials.
  • Learn to develop Individualised Education Plans (IEPs) for your students with down syndrome.
  • Learn to apply practical strategies for developing literacy, language and communication skills.
  • Discover the latest evidence-based approaches for enhancing memory, social skills and motor skills.
  • Implement best-practice policies in classroom and whole-school contexts to support students with Down syndrome.
  • Enjoy rich opportunities for collaboration with our online network of learners and tutors.
  • Save printable course materials and resources for future reference.

Interactive Learning Assignments accompany each module. Each student is also required to complete a Reflective Assignment as well as a CPD record.

On completion, you will receive a Certificate of Continuing Professional Development and a Learning Log of your work, which can be included in your CPD portfolio.

All our tutors specialise in the area of learning disabilities and will provide you with one-to-one guidance as you complete your studies online.

Technical support is provided by our dedicated team of qualified learning technologists, who are available to assist you by telephone or email.



4 July - 26 August 2022


18th August 2022

Summer Term
4th July to 26th August 2022

20 hours of self paced study any time during the term

Certificate of CPD ** Summer term fully approved for EPV days for Primary Teachers**