The English curriculum is designed to offer children a language experience which integrates oral language, reading and writing. The English Curriculum notes that language is crucial in the learning process. Children learn about language, and they also learn through language.
Oral language is of particular importance throughout the curriculum, as it is central to the development of the child’s general language ability. Talk and discussion are encouraged in every curriculum area. Through oral language activity children
- develop their ability to communicate and use language socially
- develop cognitive skills
- develop reading and writing skills
- enrich their language experience and imaginative powers.
The approach to reading presented in the English Curriculum is based on this integrated language experience. From the earliest years children should experience a print-rich environment in which they have ready access to books. As their reading abilities develop, children
- read for pleasure and information
- learn to locate and use books for a variety of purposes
- develop the higher order comprehension skills
- learn to read for both functional and social purposes.
The ability to write clearly and expressively is developed through the process of writing. Children
- have opportunities to write for a variety of purposes, for different audiences and in a range of genres
- develop the ability to self-correct their own writing, through a consistent experience of drafting, editing and redrafting
- develop a command of the conventions of grammar, spelling and punctuation, and progressively become independent writers.
By using a range of assessment tools, the teacher can monitor the children’s progress in language development at every stage in order to identify difficulties as early as possible, and provide appropriate support.
In Scoil Phádraig we have a systematic process of monitoring our students’ literacy development.
Under the direction of Pauline Clarke Scoil Phádraig set up a programme called Reading Recovery.
Reading Recovery is an early literacy intervention programme designed to raise literacy standards in an education system. It provides intensive, individual help for any children, who, after a year of schooling, have not made accelerated progress in reading and writing. Reading Recovery is not solely concerned with improving children’s reading and writing skills. The term ‘Recovery’ implies a clear objective to help children acquire efficient patterns of learning which enable them, by the end of their supplementary programme, to work at the average level of their classmates and to continue to progress satisfactorily.
In Scoil Phádraig the Reading Recovery programme identifies those children who would benefit from specialised one-to-one assistance from Ms. Clarke who is trained in Reading Recovery procedures. The teaching is individually designed and individually delivered. It involves reading and writing in a daily one-to-one lesson for a period of between 15 and 20 weeks. The specially designed series of lessons, individually planned and delivered, provide intensive help for the child. At the end of the time period, most children will be reading and writing at a level which is above average for their class.
The Reading Recovery programme is proving very successful in Scoil Phádraig.