School Improvement Plan

St. Joseph’s N.S.
Co. Meath

What is Literacy?

Literacy… the ability to read and write, to understand and critically appreciate various forms of communication including spoken language, printed text, broadcast media and digital media.

What is Numeracy?

Numeracy… the ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide, the ability to use mathematical understanding and skills to solve problems and meet day-to-day living in complex social settings.

To have this ability, one needs to be able to think and communicate quantitatively, to make sense of data, to have spatial awareness, to understand patterns and sequences and to recognise situations where mathematical reasoning can be applied to solve problems.


Our Aim:

We aim to develop the literacy and numeracy skills of all our pupils.


School Improvement Plan – Literacy, compiled Spring 2012 (see also SSE Report – a short analysis Feb. 2012)

Baseline Data

  • Standardised test results (DRT) show that . They are carried out with all pupils from 1st – 6th incl. MIST is carried out with Infant classes. Drumcondra Spelling Test is administered in The teachers use results to inform their teaching. Results are analysed by LS teacher and suggestions made thereafter.
  • Suggestion Box (introduced February 2012) has not been inundated with suggestions. Invitation to parents & pupils regularly to submit any suggestions/concerns.
  • Individual Pupil Portfolios introduced in November 2011, are being used in each classroom.
  • Teachers use a variety of approaches in the teaching of language.
  • A variety of writing genres are explored in each class.
  • ‘Special Copybook’ Junior & Senior Infants, Writing Challenge Copybook 1st-3rd class incl., ‘Le Chéile’ class magazine produced yearly by 4th-6th classes incl.
  • Open Night introduced in January 2012 to great success. Display of copybooks and individual pieces/accounts.
  • We produce a regular newsletter ‘Ó Scoil go Baile’ for each family which carries articles written by pupils.
  • We have a section on our school website www.dunsany.ns for the publication of pupils’ poems/accounts.
  • Supplementary Reading Slot allocated in each classroom each week.
  • We celebrate ‘World Book Day’ with a reading extravaganza and related wall frieze each year since 2010.
  • In Spring 2011, the whole school wrote a whole-school book ‘The Zoo’.
  • Each year, each child is profiled in writing on the school corridor. (Senior pupils mentor junior pupils and ‘write’ for them.)
  • We have a wide variety of graded schemes (Oxford, Storyworlds, Ginn360, etc…) and access to several class novels.
Summary of main areas requiring improvements

  • Tighten our whole school approach to reading – more cohesiveness from class to class.
  • Tighten our whole school approach to writing – functional & creative.
  • Tighten our whole school approach to assessment of literacy. (outside Standardised Tests which are administered faithfully by all teachers at required intervals.)
  • Develop a whole-school approach to the correction of copybooks/writing.
  • Incentivise our reluctant readers to read more.
  • Assess Standardised Test Results more closely, only with the objective of improving our teaching.
    • Include our parents more in our overall vision for literacy.
    • Improve pupils’ comprehension skills. (attainment of curriculum objectives)
  • All teachers to make better use of Individual Pupil Portfolios.
We introduced a lapcabby with 12 laptops for students’ use in autumn 2012. Writing profiles kept by all pupils from 1st class upwards.