Special Needs

St Joseph’s Marist College has a Special Needs Unit (SNU) that caters for pupils with various intellectual and developmental disabilities. Our aim is to provide a vibrant learning environment that inspires pupils 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 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 educational and 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 beyond their schooling years.

The Setting

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

The Unit

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

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

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

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


The Classes

There are three classes which consist of  9 pupils per class. The classes cater for young pupils, between the ages of 6 and 20 years, who have intellectual or learning difficulties.

Foundation Class (6 – 10 years)Intermediate Class (11 – 15 years)Senior Class (16 – 21 years)

The Classes

There are three classes which consist of  9 pupils per class. The classes cater for young pupils, between the ages of 6 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 timetables are 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
  • sport, music, art, computers and library lessons
  • on-site Occupational Therapist and Education Support specialists
  • life and independent living Skills
  •  opportunities for vocational skills training at various companies for the older class.


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

 Senior School Chapel and assemblies

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

Our Blog

Individual Music Lessons

| SNU | No Comments
Individual music lessons are provided for learners that are keen to learn a new instrument.

Lessons continue

| SNU | No Comments
While keeping our distance, the staff is still able to assist and guide the learners through the daily task. https://snumarist.blogspot.com/

Safety First 😷

| SNU, Uncategorized | No Comments
Our learner's make us so proud, they really take their part in upholding safety protocols seriously. They adhere to social distancing- without being reminded- and wash their hands with care.…

Feeling grateful!

| SNU, Uncategorized | No Comments
 Everyday at school we are reminded of the beauty that surrounds us.

Inhale and exhale

| SNU, Uncategorized | No Comments
During our yoga sessions learners take time to focus on their breathing and pay attention to their own bodies. 

Endangered animals

| SNU, Uncategorized | No Comments
 Our younger boys and girls have been learning all about endangered animals.

Harmful substances

| SNU, Uncategorized | No Comments
 In class the learners discussed the dangers of smoking and then completed their poster.

Valedictory Service

| SNU, Uncategorized | One Comment
 Congratulations to Fikele who participated in the Valedictory formalities on Friday.It was lovely to have his gran join us for this celebration.