Special Needs

St Joseph’s Marist College has a Special Needs Unit(SNU) that caters for learners with various intellectual and developmental disabilities. Our aim is to provide a vibrant learning environment that inspires learners towards independence and integration into society. We are committed to recognizing the value of every individual as being unique and believe they have the capacity to learn and to develop to their full potential.

Our vision is of a special needs facility, which is supportively and flexibly intergrated into the life of St Joseph’s Marist College


To strive to meet the holistic vocational skills training needs of children who have intellectual or developmental disabilities within the embracing environment of St Joseph’s Marist College.

  • To provide the opportunity for each individual to grow and develop to his/her fullest potential and be prepared for as independent an adult life as possible.

The Setting

A Catholic, co-educational independent school. Playschool to Matric on the same campus. Providing a safe, caring and nurturing environment.

The Unit
Learners learn to work independently, follow directions and use appropriate social skills with a sense of responsibility, respect and a strong work ethic.

Learners develop their self-esteem, confidence and a sense of achievement as they master each new skill. In this structured, individualised, nurturing environment, learnes experience school as positive and fulfilling.

Teamwork, co-operation, commitment to the learners and a sense of humour all characterise the working atmosphere in the Special Needs Unit.

The unit attempts to provide learners with a smooth transition into the working world, forming links with sheltered and supported employment.

The Classes

There are two classes which consist of 9 learners per class. The classes cater for young learners, between the ages of 10 and 20 years, who have intellectual or learning difficulties.


The curriculum is adapted, hands on, and designed to address the specific needs of each learner. The academic and life skills timetable is designed to facilitate and support development and improve the abilities and independence of each learner.

Our programme promotes communicative, behavioural, academic, motor, social and emotional development. It offers:

  • adapted and flexible learning
  • skills based programmes- promoting independence
  • functional English and Maths
  • Life and Independent Living Skills
  • opportunities for vocational skills training at various companies, non grade specific


Our learners are given the opportunity to integrate into the following:

 Senior School Chapel and assemblies

  • Break times
  • Whole School events
  • Extra-Mural activities offered by both the Junior and Senior School
  • Mainstream classes, depending on various factors