This statement is compiled by the complete staff so as to achieve a cohesive approach to the planning, learning and assessment of the English programme and curriculum throughout the school.


The policy was originally drawn up in March 2004, and was ratified by the Board of Management at that time. It was subsequently reviewed in April 2008. It is envisaged that it will be reviewed again in Spring 2012.

This document will be available to all staff members, auxiliary staff, board of management and the inspectorate if required .If necessary it will be used in discussions with parents.



In St. Michael’s & St. Patrick’s  NS, we cherish all our pupils equally and recognise the uniqueness of each child. We work together so they may all reach their potential in all areas of the curriculum. We support our pupils and recognise they will bring varied abilities and personalities to our school community. We as teachers want to create a comfortable and conducive learning environment aiding pupils to achieve and perform to the best of their ability.


We as a staff will use a collaborative approach to the planning, teaching and assessment of English.


We believe in the integration of oral language, reading and writing.


We acknowledge the dual processes of language learning and learning through language.


We fully acknowledge the central place of oral language throughout the curriculum.


Our approach to the teaching of reading will be based on each child’s overall experience of language and will involve many strategies to assist rich and varied reading.


Discrete class reading time will be catered for, informally.


We as a staff will stress the process of writing as much as the product, encouraging each child to become an independent writer and self-corrector in a variety of genres across the curriculum.



(Reference: p.10 Curriculum Guidelines)


The aims of the English language curriculum are to

  • Promote positive attitudes and develop an appreciation of the value of language –spoken written and read.
  • To create foster and maintain the child’s interest in expression and communication
  • To develop the child’s ability to engage appropriately in listener-speaker relationships.
  • To develop confidence and competence in listening, speaking, reading and writing.
  • To develop cognitive abilities and the capacity to clarify thinking through oral language, writing and reading.
  • To enable the child to read and write independently.
  • To enhance emotional, imaginative and aesthetic development through oral, reading and writing experiences.


We endorse the broad objectives of the English language Curriculum (Reference: pages 11 and 12 English Curriculum) especially the following


That the children will

  • Gain pleasure and fulfillment from language activities
  • Develop the skill of listening actively
  • Learn to use language in a variety of social interactions
  • Expand their vocabulary and develop a command of grammar, syntax and punctuation
  • Become fluent in communicating ideas and feelings
  • Use language to manipulate images in problem solving
  • Explore and develop thoughts and ideas
  • Compose, relate and write their own stories and poems
  • Explore and play with language
  • Develop print awareness
  • Develop a range of reading skills and abilities that would include phonemic awareness, word identification strategies and a growing sight awareness
  • Develop an awareness of the richness and diversity of reading material available and read from a variety of texts of gradually increasing complexity
  • Choose their own reading material and engage in sustained silent reading
  • Write for different audiences and for different purposes
  • Learn to edit and refine writing, with a sense of appropriate presentation
  • To share writing and responses to reading with classmates and adults
  • To use computer technology in learning to write and for information retrieval
  • To enhance reading and writing development through the involvement of parents or guardians.
  • We recognise that as a small rural school we need to ensure our teaching continues to be relevant to both our local and also wider community.

The content for the teaching and learning of English in our school is presented in four strands at each of four levels.

Level 1     Junior and senior infants

Level 2     First and second classes

Level 3     Third and fourth classes

Level 4     Fifth and sixth classes


Strand 1    Receptiveness to Language

Strand 2    Competence and confidence in using language

Strand 3   Developing cognitive abilities through language

Strand 4    Emotional and imaginative development through language


Within each strand the detailed elements of content are presented under oral language, reading and writing for each of our four levels. As our school is a four teacher school, we are aware that teachers in the multi-class situation must plan for the implementation of the curriculum in a realistic way that is, in their professional opinion, workable and feasible for our current situation.



Receptiveness to language
  • Experience, recognise and observe simple commands.
  • Listen to a story or description and respond to it.
  • Hear, repeat and elaborate on words modeled by the teacher.
  • Use and interpret tones of voice.
  • Learn to adopt appropriate verbal and non-verbal behaviour to secure and maintain the attention of a partner.
  • Mime and interpret gesture, movement and attitude conveying various emotions.



  • Listen to, enjoy and respond to stories, nursery rhymes, poems and songs.
  • Become an active listener through the development of a range of listening activities
  • Play with language to develop an awareness of sound.
  • Develop a sense of rhythm and rhyme.
  • Become familiar with a wide range of environmental print, beginning with print in the classroom.


  • Learn the basic workings and conventions of books.
  • Read texts created by themselves and other children in collaboration with the teacher.
  • Learn to recognise and name letters of the alphabet.
  • Experience and enjoy a print rich environment.
  • Teacher will assist in developing accuracy and presentation of written material.
  • Write and draw frequently.
  • See personal writing displayed.
  • Write for different audiences.
Competence and confidence in using language
  • Talk about past and present experiences, plan and speculate about future and imaginary experiences.
  • Choose appropriate words to name and describe things and events.
  • Experiment with descriptive words and detail.
  • Combine simple sentences using connecting words.
  • Start and sustain a conversation on a particular topic.
  • Use language to perform common social functions.


  • Experience the reading process being modelled.
  • Handle and browse through books.
  • Encounter early reading through collaborative reading of large format books.
  • Build a sight vocabulary of common words.
  • Learn to isolate the beginning and end sounds of words.
  • Learn to isolate syllables, which rhyme.
  • Use contextual clues, illustrations, and initial letters to identify unknown words.
  • Engage in shared reading activities.
  • Show understanding of texts.
  • Understand the function of text.


  • Learn to form and name letters in various materials.
  • Write and draw.
  • Understand left-right and top-bottom orientation of writing.
  • Develop satisfactory grip of writing tool.
  • Copy words from posters/blackboard.
  • Write their name-christian only – Juniors, full name – Seniors
  • Write letters and words from memory.
  • Become aware of capital letters and full stops.
  • Develop approximate spelling.
  • Develop conventional spelling of simple words.
  • See teacher model writing as an enjoyable process.


Developing Cognitive Abilities



  • Provide further information to teacher’s prompting.
  • Listen to story and ask questions.
  • Focus on descriptive details.
  • Discuss possible different solutions to problems.
  • Ask questions to satisfy curiosity.


  • Re-read, retell and act out stories.
  • Recall and talk about significant events in stories.
  • Predict future incidents and events in stories.
  • Differentiate between text and pictures.
  • Draw a picture and write about it.
  • Draw and write about an everyday experience.
  • Write about something just learned.
  • Write naming words and descriptive words.
  • Rewrite sentences to make the message clear.

Emotional and imaginative development

  • Reflect and talk about everyday experiences.
  • Create and tell stories.
  • Listen to, learn and retell a rich variety of literature.
  • Respond through discussion, mime and role-play.
  • Create imaginary situations in play.
  • Listen and learn to recite rhymes, riddles and nonsense rhymes.
  • Recognise and recite sounds in the immediate environs.



  • Associate print with enjoyment through listening to stories and poems read aloud.
  • Responding to text, characters and situations and relating them to personal experiences.
  • Shared reading.
  • Develop individual interests through books.


  • Drawing about feelings.
  • Drawing about likes and dislikes.
  • Draw and write short stories.

Receptiveness to language

  • Experience challenging vocabulary and sentence structure from teacher
  • Listen to stories, instructions and directions and responding to them
  • Using verbal and non verbal communication to secure social interactions
  • Emphasise language through the use of gesture and movement
  • Modeling of teacher
  • Shared reading
  • Use of class library
  • Building sight vocabulary using environment and common words from readers
  • Increase awareness of sounds
  • Learn about syllables and rhyme
  • Learn about common word endings and word families
  • Use a variety of methods when attempting to decode unfamiliar words. Eg. Contextual, syntactic and phonic cues
  • Self –correct errors when reading not making sense
  • Develop reading skills by engaging in level appropriate reading material


  • Experience a classroom that encourages writing and display of work
  • Experience the structure of stories by listening and reading fiction
  • Explore different genres
  • Work with other children when writing
Competence and Confidence in using language


  • Plan, predict, speculate about past and present experiences
  • Experiment with more elaborate vocabulary and sentence structure
  • Extend and explore meaning
  • Focus on a subject and sustain a discussion on it
  • Respond to others and develop the practice of taking turns.



  • Read from a range of literature
  • Engage in silent and personal reading time
  • Read aloud and share text with an audience
  • Find information and share with others
  • Put books in alphabetical order by title



  • Writing tasks to be based on oral language activities
  • Drafting to improve writing
  • Understanding that punctuation makes the meaning clearer.
  • Spell words in a recognisable way or make an appropriate guess
  • Spell correctly a range of familiar, important and regularly occurring words
  • Choose topics for writing themselves
  • Decide whether or not to re-draft themselves
  • Confer with teacher on the quality of presentation
  • Write notes and messages to different audiences


Developing cognitive abilities through language



  • Give descriptions and answer questions about it
  • Listen to others give accounts and ask appropriate questions
  • Become increasingly explicit in what is described and narrated, -more detailed
  • Engage in real and imaginary situations using language (drama)
  • Ask questions that will satisfy his/her curiosity and wonder



  • Individual reading of fiction and non-fiction
  • Active approach to texts by posing his/her own questions
  • Develop comprehension strategies
  • Perform alphabetical tasks
  • Predict future events and outcomes of a book read aloud
  • Discuss books being read



  • Write in a variety of genres
  • Write about something learned
  • Write the significant details of an event or activity
  • Write an explanation
  • Reread work, confer with teacher, rewrite if needed
  • Write simple sentence and add words to extend its meaning.
  • Write answers to questions asked by the teacher.


Emotional and imaginative development through language



  • Describe everyday feelings and events
  • Express feelings in order to clarify them and explain them to others
  • Tell stories in their own words
  • Recite appropriate rhymes and poems
  • Clap the rhythms of poems and rhymes
  • Use play and improvisational drama



  • Continue to listen to all kinds of texts being read aloud
  • Engage in spare moment reading and browsing
  • Engage with a variety of texts
  • Listen to a story in installments
  • Respond to characters and events in a story
  • Explore different attitudes by imagining what it would be like to be certain characters
  • Engage frequently in informal discussion with teacher and others about the book being read


  • Write about experiences
  • Express feelings in writing
  • Listen to the experiences of others and express reactions to them in writing.
  •  Draw and write about sensory experience
  • Draw and write stories and poems
  • Express in writing the likes and dislikes about events and characters in texts

Receptiveness to language


  • Experience the teacher’s use of challenging vocabulary and sentence structure.
  • Listen to, retell and tape a narrative or a description.
  • Give and follow instruction on how to perform a particular task or process.
  • Become increasingly aware of the importance of gesture, facial expression tone of voice, audibility and clarity of enunciation in communicating with others.
  • Use mime to convey ideas, reactions, emotions, desires and attitudes.
  • Discuss the use and effect of music, sound effects and non- verbal clues in audiotapes, videotapes and film clips.


  • Use more than one strategy when reading unfamiliar text.
  • Identify unfamiliar words by reference to word parts, prefixes and suffixes.
  • Continue to self-correct reading errors.
  • Become an increasingly independent reader.
  • Understand the relationship between text and illustration.



  • Experience a classroom environment that encourages writing.
  • Observe the teacher modeling different writing genres.
  • Use personal reading as a stimulus to writing.
  • Write stories that explore a variety of genres.
  • Re-read his/her writing for pleasure.
  • Choose the audience for which to write.
  • Choose both the subject and form of his/her writing
Competence and confidence in using language



  • Give and take turns in speaking and experience a classroom environment in which tolerance for the views of others is fostered.
  • Initiate conversations and respond to the initiatives of others in talking about experiences and activities.
  • Present ideas that are relevant to the subject in a logical sequence.
  • Summarise and prioritise ideas.
  • Discuss the meanings and origins of words, phrases and expressions with the teacher.
  • Become aware of new words and new connotations of words through his/her reading and writing experience.
  • Play synonym and antonym games.



  • Have access to a plentiful supply of books both in the classroom and in the school library.
  • Use library facilities outside school.
  • Select personal reading material and develop personal taste in reading for pleasure and information.
  • Experience different types of text.
  • Engage with a wide variety of poetry and verse on a regular basis.
  • Develop basic information retrieval skills.
  • Use simple dictionaries effectively.



  • Write regularly, and gradually extend the period over which a writing effort is sustained.
  • Engage with the writing of one piece over a period.
  • Experience varied and consistent oral language activity as a preparation for writing.
  • Learn to use questions as a mechanism for expanding and developing a story.
  • Give sequence to ides and events in stories.
  • Develop an appreciation of how the intended audience should influence the nature of a piece of writing.
  • Develop an awareness of the difference between written language and oral language.
  • Learn to revise and re-draft writing.
  • Learn to use a wider range of punctuation marks with greater accuracy as part of the revision and edition process.
  • Learn to write with increasing grammatical accuracy through the process of revision and editing.
  • Use a range of aids and strategies, including the use of approximate spelling, to improve his/her command of spelling.
  • Write in a legible joined script with confidence and fluency.
  • Develop his/her ability to write using information technology.
  • Decide, after conferring with the teacher and others, who the audience for a piece of writing should be.


Developing cognitive abilities through language



  • Discuss issues that directly affect his/her life.
  • Discuss a story being read and predict future events and likely outcomes in it.
  • Discuss different possible solutions to problems.
  • Discuss what he/she knows of a particular topic or process as a basis for encountering new concepts.
  • Discuss causes and effects in relation to processes and events and predict possible outcomes.
  • Listen to a presentation and discuss and decide which are the most important questions to ask
  • Learn how to use the basic key questions
  • Make presentations to the class about his/her own particular interests.
  • Justify personal likes and dislikes.
  • Argue a point of view and try to persuade others to support it.



  • Extend participation in listening and silent reading activities.
  • Read short books in one sitting to experience success in reading.
  • Explore new interests and perspectives through reading.
  • Read books independently.
  • Seek recommendations for books to read and recommend books to others.
  • Continue to use information technology to increase motivation to read and to enhance reading.
  • Know the structure and terminology of books.
  • Develop skills in locating and handling books through using well-stocked school and classroom libraries.
  • Continue to develop a range of comprehension strategies to deal with narrative, expository and representational reading material.
  • Use knowledge of printing conventions as an aid to expression and comprehension.
  • Keep a record of his/her reading in various forms.



  • Write in a variety of genres with greater sophistication.
  • Read a story and write it in his/her own words.
  • Write about ideas encountered in other areas of the curriculum.
  • Write down directions on how to perform a particular process.
  • Write a list of questions about a particular topic and prioritise them.
  • Write a sentence and elaborate on it by adding one or more ideas to it.


Emotional and imaginative development through language.

  • Discuss favourite moments, important events and exciting characters in a story, play or poem.
  • Express reactions to events and characters in stories.
  • Discuss reactions to poems.
  • Experience and enjoy playful aspects of language.



  • Extend and develop his/her response to increasingly challenging reading material.
  • Engage in talk about books.
  • Talk about choice of books and the reasons for choices.
  • Recognise and discuss differences in reading tastes.




Fifth and sixth class will build on all the elements of content in the previous levels and also develop the new skills stated below.

Receptiveness to language

  • Interpret mood, attitude, emotions and atmosphere in advertisements, paintings and photographs.
  • Listen to taped radio broadcasts, and discuss what has been learned
  • Be continually aware of the importance of gesture, facial expression, audibility, and clarity of speech in communicating with others


  • Achieve proficiency in word identification by refining the different word identification skills. Phonics, context, syllables, root words, prefix and suffix.
  • Engage in an ever-increasing range of text. (Narrative and expository)
  • Become confident, independent readers
  • Given time in class for sustained, silent reading.  (D.E.A.R. time)  Drop Everything And Read.


  • Experience interesting and relevant writing challenges
  • Write for an increasingly varied audience
  • Experience a level of success in writing that will be an incentive to continue writing
  • Writing samples of all varieties and genres to be displayed more in class


Competence and confidence using Language

  • Acquire the ability to give detailed instructions
  • Converse freely and confidently
  • Take turns
  • Listen to other points of view
  • Discuss slang, jargon and clichés
  • Know names and function of the parts of speech
  • Understand compound and complex sentences
  • Discuss cause and effect
  • Explore the possibilities of language and sentence structure in expressing increasingly complex thoughts


  • Engage with books in a whole class setting
  • Read to satisfy personal interests
  • Avail and participate in choosing books from the mobile library service.
  • Write regularly on chosen topic
  •  Write for sustained length of time.
  •  Write one piece over a period
  •  Engage in oral language activity before writing
  • Use of peer conferencing
  • Cooperative writing
  • Use of dictionaries in correction
  • Writing without re-drafting in a certain time constraint
  • Choose appropriate forms of language and presentation suitable for your chosen audience
  • Observe the conventions of spelling, grammar, paragraphs and punctuation.
  • Write fluently in other areas of the curriculum.

Developing cognitive abilities through language

  • Discuss issues of concern
  • Discuss ideas and concepts encountered across the curriculum
  • Use of basic key questions as a means of extending knowledge.
  • Justifying opinions and arguments
  • Use of formal debates
  • Respond to arguments put forward by teacher
  • Discuss the value, truth or relevance of popular ideas.


  • Listen to and respond to and learn a range of poetry
  • Have access to a wide range of reading material
  • Continue to record personal reading
  • Use comprehension skills such as analysing, confirming, evaluating problem-solving and predicting
  • Develop skills of scanning, skimming, note taking and summarising
  • Use information retrieval strategies across the curriculum
  • Develop the skill of inference
  • Distinguish between fact and opinion and bias and objectivity in text and in the media.


  • Write in a wide variety of genres
  • Write for a particular purpose and audience
  • Refine and analyse new ideas through writing
  • Use notes to summarise
  • Write an account from notes taken
  • Argue a case in writing
  • Argue a case in writing that he/she disagrees with
  • Explore the use of more compound and complex sentences in expressing thought

Emotional and imaginative development through language

  • Discuss reaction to local, national and world events
  • Discuss concerns of other children
  • Discuss ideas, concepts and images present in literature
  • Express individual responses to literature…. different interpretations
  • Discuss films and television
  • Experience the playful aspects of language


  • Browse through, handle, discuss, recommend and select books for individual reading
  • Develop individuality as a reader by experiencing success and the enhancement of self esteem through reading
  • Read aloud from personal choice of texts to entertain and inform an audience.
  • Listen to books or extracts from books or poetry read aloud or presented on tape.


  • Analyse in writing his/her reactions to personal experiences.
  • Expressing/ writing reactions to the experience of others
  • Write stories and poems
  • Write personal reactions to ideas, emotions and images encountered in literature
  • Analyse different interpretations of poems in writing.
  • Write short plays, read and dramatise




  1. The Jolly Phonics Scheme is the scheme we have implemented in our school.


  1. The readers we are using are based on The Oxford Reading Tree. The children will be matched to their appropriate reading level and a record of books read will be kept so the continuity will continue  from Junior Room to Senior Room


  • Junior Infants

Readers  – Chosen from Storyworld scheme. Reading concepts taught using books from Reading Zone scheme.

Workbooks – Pre Reading workbook, Reading Zone, Sounds in Action phonics book for Junior Infants

Phonics – Jolly Phonics


  1. Just Write A


  • Senior Infants

Readers  – Chosen from Storyworld scheme. Reading concepts taught using books from Reading Zone scheme.

Workbooks – Treasury, Sounds in Action for Senior Infants.

Phonics – PAT, Phonological Awareness Training



  • First class

Readers  – Finn’s Dream, The Four Friends, Two Little Frogs, combined reading and Activity book

Workbooks – Finn’s Dream Activity book, The Four Friends Activity book

Phonics –Phonics Phirst, A Synthetic Approach to Phonics.


  • Second Class

Readers – The Grumpy Teaspoon, The Green Genie – combined reading and Activity book

Workbooks The Grumpy Teaspoon Activity Book


  • Third Class/Fourth Class

Readers –        Bright Sparks

Blue Skies

Blue Skies, Matter of Fact


Workbooks –                 Treasury C

Treasury D

Exercise your English 3, + 4



Writing –    Reasons to Write, 3, + 4


  • Fifth Class/Sixth Class

Readers      Starways Reading Scheme, Hello Universe, and Starry Links

Starways Matter of Fact books.

Assorted articles from newspapers, magazines, supplementary workbooks, eg, Onwards & Upwards, Away with Words, Treasury of English


Workbooks         No fixed workbook, but Assorted articles from newspapers, magazines,supplementary workbooks, eg, Onwards & Upwards, Away with Words, Treasury of English


English is continually assessed throughout the school using a combination of

  • Teacher observations
  • Teacher designed tasks
  • Monitoring of work projects
  • Monitoring of pupil copies and workbooks
  • Diagnostic tests /Standardised tests (Refer to Assessment Policy)

Diagnostic testing is particularly emphasised towards the end of the senior infant year. In the interest of early intervention the infant teachers along with the learning support teacher liaise closely, and, using a combination of assessment practices, compile profiles of certain children. Parental involvement is also used and welcomed.


  • Standardised testing  (Refer to Assessment Policy)


Tests are corrected by the class teachers and the results are used to facilitate planning and identifying the needs of the individual pupil and to illustrate to parents if necessary their child’s current performance levels. (For detail refer to school’s Assessment Policy)


Children with different needs

     Children with learning disabilities (Refer to school’s Learning-Support Policy)

  • Among the specific difficulties that children with special needs, learning difficulties and speech and language difficulties encounter are auditory, memory, communication, comprehension and sound recognition.
  • Teachers support and ensure the participation of these children in language activities by adapting their lesson plans to cater for the child’s ability.
  • All children are enabled to make an important contribution regardless of academic achievement.
  • The specific responsibilities of class, learning-support, and resource teachers are to aid in enabling the child to reach his/her potential.
  • There is a collaborative approach in devising Individual Profile and Learning Programmes (IPLPs) for pupils who have been selected for supplementary teaching. (Refer to Learning Support/Resource Policy)


 Equality of participation and access

  • There are gender issues that need to be considered in relation to the teaching of English.
  • Equal opportunities given to boys and girls to participate in discussions, presentations.
  • Equal opportunities given to boys and girls to participate in reading activities.
  • Each teacher will be aware of gender equality when researching books for classroom planning.
  • Teachers will need to be aware of gender differences in reading, and will use the classroom library to address this.
  • Equal opportunities are given to boys and girls to participate in writing activities.
  • Boys and girls have equal access to, and opportunities to use ICT.
  • If the school is made aware of families with literacy problems, the class teacher will observe, support and intervene where necessary.



 (Refer to time allocation in the curriculum, Primary School Curriculum Introduction pp. 67 – 70)

Time allocated by the Department of Education & Science:

  • Junior & Senior Infants: 3 hours per week
  • 1st class – 6th class:          4 hours per week

Discrete Oral language

Discrete oral language is timetabled as follows:

  • Junior Infants-2nd class:     10-15 minutes a day.
  • 3rd class – 6th class:             two half hour lessons per week


During this time specific oral language skills are taught and practised

  • Listening
  • Vocabulary development
  • Questioning
  • Memorising
  • Social skills – greetings


  • Chatterbox
  • Starways Cards
  • Circle time
  • The magic emerald …Oral language cards and tape Chatterbox
  • The pupils themselves


(Refer to school’s Homework Policy)

  • English homework reflects the active learning approach as described in the curriculum.
  • Homework assignments are set between oral, reading and writing activities.
  • Special consideration is given to pupils who are experiencing learning difficulties.
  • There is co-ordination between the class teacher and the learning-support/resource teacher in setting homework assignments.


  • Each classroom, learning support room and resource room has its own library.
  • There is a wide range of books available from the class library. There is a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. A range of abilities is catered for at all levels.
  • Juniors – big books, books with graded levels of difficulty, books covering a wide range of interests, audio books, poetry books, supplementary readers,
  • Seniors – books covering a wide interest level, fiction, factual, reference, poetry, books suitable for different reading ages, books written by children
  • The class libraries cater for a range of abilities.
  • There is a reading corner for younger children in the class library.
  • Provision is made to provide suitable reading materials for the learning-support/resource teacher.

Library Organisation

  • Children help with the organisation of the library.
  • Books are catalogued according to level of difficulty, category of interest.
  • The stock of books is regularly updated. Teachers restock their classroom libraries as funds become available.
  • The Setanta book club is organized by the Deputy Principal, Miss Dolan. This allows for teachers to buy additional class books from the credit earned.
  • Children borrow one book at a time and are encouraged to take a new book when the current one is read.
  • Children change books on a regular basis as they finish reading their current book.
  • Children encouraged to do book reviews.


(Refer to Teacher Guidelines pp. 91 – 92).

  • The software is stored in the appropriate classrooms and is easily accessible.
  • School personnel constantly research new software and purchase if funds are available.
  • Children with special needs are given appropriate access to PC’s to aid writing and editing of work.
  • Children use the Internet and encyclopedias on CD’s to research their class work.
  • Children can research famous authors, poets and scientists using the Internet under supervision.
  • ICT is used to publish and display children’s writing.
  • Teachers encourage interaction and dialogue during use of computers.
  • An Internet Acceptable Use Policy has been put together in the school to ensure safe Internet usage.
  • Teachers familiarise themselves with material on websites prior to use by the children.


Staff development

  • Teachers will have access to current research, reference books, resource materials, and websites dealing with language learning.
  • Teachers will be encouraged to attend any courses deemed relevant to the implementation and support of the English curriculum and to share expertise acquired at these courses.
  • Teachers will be encouraged to share knowledge and skills they may have with other staff.
  • They will be given an opportunity to share at staff meetings, and as, and where, necessary.
  • If necessary time will be allocated at staff meetings to discuss literacy issues, language development and specific language disorders.
  • Teachers can avail of internal and/or external expertise to inform and up skill the school community on these issues.


Parental involvement

  • Parents will be made aware of the central importance of oral language in the learning process at parent teacher meetings and through this policy which is available to all parents, on request, in the school,
  • Parents will be made aware of the importance of involving children in purposeful language activity through parent teacher meetings and informally, as, and where necessary.
  • The school can lend parents resources, which would be useful for oral language development, g. library books, tapes, games.
  • Parents can support their child’s reading in the following ways: paired reading, shared reading, story reading, reading environmental print, homework – hearing reading and talking about reading, involvement with the school library, local library.
  • The school can support parents in accessing suitable reading materials by making them aware of available resources.
  • Parents can assist in the development of their child’s writing through supporting the classroom teacher. This information can be shared at parent teacher meetings and informally as and where necessary.
  • Information can be shared with parents at induction meetings for new pupils, discussion at parent teacher meetings and informally as and where necessary.


Success criteria

  • We envisage that this plan will be a guideline to all teaching staff in the implementation of the English language programme. We hope that through its implementation it will make a difference to the teaching and learning of the English language in our school. Our success criteria will be based on knowing:
  • That the plan has been implemented through teachers’ preparation based on the plan and by the procedures outlined in the plan being consistently followed.
  • That the plan has achieved its aims through feedback from individual teachers / parents / pupils / second level schools, community and also from Inspector’s suggestions  / reports.
  • That the plan has enhanced pupil learning through:
  • Children having a positive attitude and appreciation of the value of language-spoken, read and written
  • Children having an interest in expression and communication
  • Children having an ability to engage appropriately in listener-speaker relationships
  • Children having confidence and competence in listening, speaking, reading and writing
  • Children engaging with a variety of genre in reading and writing
  • A process approach evident in writing
  • Comprehension and higher order thinking skills developed through oral language, reading and writing
  • Children’s emotional, imaginative and aesthetic development enhanced through oral, reading and writing experiences.