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Literacy in St. Mary's

Literacy and Numeracy Strategy

St Mary’s College

In 2011 the Department of Education and Skills launched the National Strategy for Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life.
The DES stated aims for the post-primary sector are:
• To ensure that all schools set realistic targets for the improvement of literacy and numeracy
• The extension of national assessment of literacy and numeracy
• To increase awareness of the importance of literacy and numeracy and include assessments of students’ ability to read digital material
• Increase the percentage of students taking higher-level mathematics to 60% at Junior Certificate, and 30% at Leaving Certificate by 2020.

Whole School Evaluation and Subject Inspection Reports Observations on Literacy and Numeracy in St Mary’s College

The following is a representation of observations and recommendations on literacy and numeracy.

• As part of the assessment process it is recommended that the subject department work towards implementing a system to develop student portfolios or learning.
• Laboratories well organized… clearly labelled presses allowing ease of access during practical work.
• The laboratories have been enhanced with modern science charts.
• All classrooms visited had displays of maps and posters, grammar points, samples of students’ work on the walls. This is to be commended as a print-rich environment can support a visual learning style and is an attractive and effective means of increasing linguistic and cultural awareness.
• Good use of the ‘target language’.
• Good access to a well-resourced library, first years timetabled for the library for one period a week is highly commended as this fosters the reading habit among students and allows them read for pleasure.
• It is recommended that subject-specific posters, which can be used in the teaching of the subject, be displayed in classrooms.
• The use by some students of terminology appropriate to the topic was commendable.
• The school’s ICT infrastructure has undergone sustained development in recent times allowing for increased access to computers.
• A number of useful charts and information notices have been placed on the walls.
• The inclusion of student-prepared material would serve as further encouragement to students.
• The display of posters, charts and student project work from different year groups supported co-operative learning as students could learn from each other’s work.
• The student workbooks and copybooks examined also showed the systematic approach to the acquisition of grammar adopted by the teacher.
• The copybooks contained many examples of systematic practice of structures and corrections of errors identified.
• The use of visual stimuli to reinforce learning was also in evidence.
• A strategy where subject-specific vocabulary and concepts are highlighted should now be designed and implemented.
• It is recommended that strategies for facilitating students to remember what is discussed are developed such as recording the main points, or strengthen recall of these.
• It should be noted that a habitual focus on enabling students to learn, remember and utilise verbal content is necessary.
• It is recommended that a strategy where vocabulary and concepts are highlighted in all classes is designed and implemented.
• In relation to numeracy, measurement, scale, proportion, weights and volumes are all part of procedures for designing and making artefacts and are integral to practical and technical activities.

Literacy 2013 - 2014

At the beginning of the year all first year students were given a Keyword Journal
First, Second and Transition Years have been encouraged to have a book in the bag
Transition Year students have weekly reading time in conjunction with rehearsals for the musical and have pages in their school journal for book reviews which are monitored by their English teachers
The Literacy strategy team are devising ‘Word of the Week’ to highlight meanings of words commonly used on exam papers, taken from the JCSP resource Making Sense of Exam Keywords.
Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) will happen from 16th December to the 20th of December. This gives the school communityan opportunity to read for 15 minutes at designated times during the week.
Second Year Students will organise a ‘Bring a Book, Take a Book’ from January 2014.
The St Mary’s College Annual Spelling Bee competition will take place in April 2014


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