English

Scoil Cholmcille, Kilmacrennan
Whole School Plan for
English

English

n Title:
Scoil Cholmcille Whole School Plan – English

n Introductory Statement and Rationale

(a) Introductory Statement
This English whole school plan was prepared by the staff of Scoil Cholmcille, Kilmacrennan and approved by the Board of Management approved. It will be reviewed periodically and the success criteria by which this policy will be judged include the following –
Teacher observation
Classroom assessment including evaluation of assignments
Standardised Tests will be averaged and compared with a pre-policy base-line
Parent/Pupil/ Community feedback
Inspector’s Report
Reports from Second level.

(b) Rationale
In Kilmacrennan NS, we are committed to the holistic development of all pupils. We see the development of their fluency in the English language as being central to this process. We believe that the ability of our pupils to communicate fluently, confidently and effectively will contribute greatly to the development of their self-esteem and their personal growth. We also believe that their academic progress depends to a large extent on their ability to communicate orally and through the written word. As a result we attach a high priority to giving pupils a good command of English.

n Vision and Aims

(a) Vision

(b) Aims
We endorse the aims of the English Language Curriculum as articulated on page ten of the Primary School English Curriculum handbook (Language).

n Curriculum Planning
1. Strands and Strand Units

Receptiveness to language – Oral language
Reading
Writing

Competence and confidence in using language – Oral language
Reading
Writing

Developing cognitive abilities through language – Oral language
Reading
Writing

Emotional and imaginative development through language – Oral language
Reading
Writing

2. Language Programme

Junior & Senior Infants

1. Strand: Receptiveness to language
Strand unit: Oral language: developing receptiveness to oral language
The child should be enabled to
· experience, recognise and observe simple commands
look, listen, watch
· listen to a story or description and respond to it
· hear, repeat and elaborate words, phrases and sentences modelled by the teacher
· use and interpret tone of voice expressing various emotions
· learn to adopt appropriate verbal and nonverbal behaviour to secure and maintain
the attention of a partner
establishing eye contact
using appropriate head movements, gestures and facial expressions
ensuring audibility and clarity
· mime and interpret gesture, movement and attitude conveying various emotions.

Strand unit: Reading: developing concepts of language and print
The child should be enabled to
· 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 based on stories read or told
telling and retelling a story in sequence
recalling and relating a simple story or event,
asking questions, role-playing
· play with language to develop an awareness of sounds
language games, phoneme and morpheme sound relationships, nursery rhymes, chants
singing games, action songs and poems
a wide variety of rhythms
attempts at writing words appropriate to a particular need such as the child’s own name
· develop a sense of rhythm and rhyme
songs, nursery rhymes, jingles, clapping and dancing to syllabic rhythms
· become familiar with a wide range of environmental print, beginning with print
in the classroom
· learn about the basic terminology and conventions of books
author and title, left-to-right orientation, top-to-bottom orientation, front-to-back
orientation
· read texts created by himself/herself and by other children in collaboration with the teacher
· learn to recognise and name the letters of the alphabet
· develop an awareness of some letter-sound relationships.
Strand unit : Writing: creating and fostering the impulse to write
The child should be enabled to
· experience and enjoy a print-rich environment
· receive help from the teacher, who will sometimes act as scribe to assist with accuracy and presentation
· write and draw frequently
scribbling, making attempts at writing, letters and symbols, captions, words and sentences
· write for different audiences
oneself, teacher, other children, family, visitors
· see personal writing displayed
on worksheets
as part of arts activities
on a writing shelf or in a writing corner
in class-made collections
· read personal writing aloud and hear it read.

2. Strand: Competence and confidence in using language
Strand unit: Oral language: developing competence and confidence in using oral language
The child should be enabled to
· talk about past and present experiences, and plan, predict and speculate about future and imaginary experiences
· choose appropriate words to name and describe things and events
· experiment with descriptive words to add elaborative detail
· combine simple sentences through the use of connecting words
· initiate and sustain a conversation on a particular topic
· use language to perform common social functions
introducing oneself and others
greeting others and saying goodbye
giving and receiving messages
expressing concern and appreciation.

Strand unit: Reading: developing reading skills and strategies
The child should be enabled to
· experience the reading process being modelled
· handle books and browse through them
· encounter early reading through collaborative reading of large-format books and language-experience material
· build up a sight vocabulary of common words from personal experience, from experience of environmental print, and from books read
· learn to isolate the beginning sound of a word or syllable
· learn to isolate beginning and final sounds in written words
· learn to isolate the part of a word or a syllable which allows it to rhyme with another word or syllable
· use knowledge of word order, illustration, context and initial letters to identify unknown words
· engage in shared reading activities
stories, poems, plays, picture books.

Strand unit: Writing: developing competence, confidence and the ability to write independently
The child should be enabled to
· learn to form and name individual letters using various materials
plasticine, sand, soft letters, magnetic letters, writing instruments
· write and draw
scribbles, shapes, signs, letters, numerals
· understand the left-right, top-bottom orientation of writing
· develop a satisfactory grip of writing implements
· copy words from signs in the environment
· copy letters and words informally as part of class activities
· write his/her name
· use labels to name familiar people and things
· write letters and words from memory
· become aware of lower-case and capital letters and the full stop
· develop the confidence to use approximate spelling
· begin to develop conventional spelling of simple words
· see the teacher model writing as an enjoyable experience
· choose subjects for drawing and writing
· choose the form of expression he/she finds appropriate
` scribbles, shapes, pictures, letters, words.

3. Strand: Developing cognitive abilities through language
Strand unit: Oral language: developing cognitive abilities through oral language
The child should be enabled to
· provide further information in response to the teacher’s prompting
· listen to a story or a narrative and ask questions about it
· focus on descriptive detail and begin to be explicit in relation to people, places, times,
processes, events, colour, shape, size, position
· discuss different possible solutions to simple problems
· ask questions in order to satisfy curiosity about the world
· show understanding of text.

Strand unit: Reading: developing interests, attitudes and the ability to think
The child should be enabled to
· re-read, retell and act out familiar stories, poems or parts of stories
· recall and talk about significant events and details in stories
· analyse and interpret characters, situations, events and sequences presented pictorially
· predict future incidents and outcomes in stories
· differentiate between text and pictures
· understand the function of text
become aware that text says something.

Strand unit: Writing: clarifying thought through writing
The child should be enabled to
· draw a picture and write about it
a name, a caption, a sentence
· draw and write about everyday experience or about something just learned
pictures and scribbles
· write naming words and add descriptive words
· rewrite sentences to make the message clearer.

4. Strand : Emotional and imaginative development through language
Strand unit: Oral language: developing emotional and imaginative life through oral language
The child should be enabled to
· reflect on and talk about a wide range of everyday experience and feelings
· create and tell stories
· listen to, learn and retell a rich variety of stories, rhymes and songs
· respond through discussion, mime and role-playing to stories, rhymes and songs
heard and learnt
· use language to create and sustain imaginary situations in play
· listen to, learn and recite rhymes, including nonsense rhymes
· listen to, learn and ask riddles
· create real and imaginary sound worlds
· recognise and re-create sounds in the immediate environment
· experiment with different voices in role-playing
a favourite story, a cartoon character.

Strand unit : Reading: responding to text
The child should be enabled to
· associate print with enjoyment through listening to stories and poems read aloud
· respond to characters, situations and story details, relating them to personal experience
· perceive reading as a shared, enjoyable experience
· record response to text through pictures and captions
· pursue and develop individual interests through engagement with books.

Strand unit: Writing: developing emotional and imaginative life through writing
The child should be enabled to
· draw and write about feelings
happiness, sadness, love, fear
· draw and write about things he/she likes and dislikes
· draw and write about sensory experiences
hot, cold, bright, dark, sweet
· draw and write stories
· hear a rich variety of stories, rhymes and songs and draw and write about them
· use mime and role-playing to create imaginary situations and then draw and write about them.

1st and 2nd class
Strand: Receptiveness to language
Strand unit
Oral language: developing receptiveness to oral language
The child should be enabled to
· experience challenging vocabulary and sentence structure from the teacher
· listen to stories, descriptions, instructions and directions and respond to them
· listen to sounds and respond to them
· become more adept in using appropriate verbal and non-verbal behaviour in order to secure and maintain the attention of the listener
eye contact, facial expression, audibility and clarity of enunciation, tone of voice
· use gesture and movement to extend the meaning of what he/she is saying
· express in mime various emotions and reactions, and interpret the emotions and
reactions of others.

Strand unit
Reading: developing strategies
The child should be enabled to
· continue to experience the reading process being modelled
· engage in shared reading activities
· visit the school library and the local library
· continue to build a sight vocabulary of common words from books read and from personal experience
· engage in activities designed to increase awareness of sounds
focusing on the sounds associated with letters and letter clusters , patterns of sounds in words
· learn about the sounds associated with the part of a word or syllable that allows it to rhyme with another word or syllable
d – ock t – able
s – ock c – able
cl – ock f – able
· learn about the sounds associated with the beginning of a word or syllable
· learn to connect the beginnings of words and syllables with their rhyming parts as an auditory and visual exercise
‘onset and rime’ : r – at c – at m – at
different onsets
single consonants r – at
consonant blends pl – an
digraphs ch – at
different rimes
vowel digraphs tr – ee
vowel-consonant
combinations h – and
· learn about common word endings, word families and roots of words
· use knowledge of letter-sound relationships (grapho / phonic cues), grammar and syntax (syntactic cues) and surrounding text (contextual cues) when attempting to identify unfamiliar words
· self-correct reading errors when what he/she reads does not make sense
· develop reading skills through engaging with reading material appropriate to his/her stage of development
· adapt his/her reading style for different purposes
browsing, simple scanning and skimming.

Strand unit
Writing: creating and fostering the impulse to write
The child should be enabled to
· experience a classroom environment that encourages writing
personal writing collections
class library
writing corner
displays of writing
· observe the teacher as he/she models writing stories
· seek help from the teacher in order to achieve accuracy and an appropriate standard presentation
· experience how a story structure is organised by reading and listening to fiction
· write regularly for different audiences
personal purposes
the teacher
other children
the family
· choose topics to write about
· explore different genres
a story
an invitation
a letter
· work with other children when writing
· have writing valued
hearing it praised
having it displayed
sharing it with others.

2. Strand: Competence and confidence in using language
Strand unit
Oral language: developing competence and confidence in using oral language
The child should be enabled to
· talk about and reflect on past and present experiences, and plan, predict, anticipate and speculate about future and imaginary experiences
· experiment with more elaborate vocabulary and sentence structure in order to extend and explore meaning
experimenting with descriptive words
combining simple sentences
elaborating simple sentences
· experiment with word order and examine its implications for meaning and clarity
· focus on the subject under discussion and sustain a conversation on it
· initiate discussions, respond to the initiatives of others, and have practice in taking turns
· engage in real and imaginary situations to perform different social functions
greeting others
receiving and giving compliments
using the telephone
making requests for information.

Strand unit
Reading: reading for pleasure and information
The child should be enabled to
· read from a range of children’s literature, choosing material for reading during silent reading periods
· engage in personal reading
· learn to find books in a classroom or school library
· read aloud to share a text with an audience
· find information and share it with others
· perform simple information retrieval tasks
using a table of contents
using a simple index.

Strand unit
Writing: developing competence, confidence and the ability to write independently
The child should be enabled to
· experience an abundance of oral language activity when preparing a writing task
· realise that first attempts at writing are not necessarily the finished product and learn to undertake second drafts in order to improve writing
· understand that the conventions of punctuation help to make meaning clearer in writing
full stops, capital letters
· spell words in a recognisable way based on an awareness of the most common spelling strings and patterns
simple words with short vowel rimes: dog, mill, rock
simple words with regular patterns: street, came, float
two-syllable words with regular patterns: robber, happen
words with common prefixes and suffixes: display, wonderful
· use approximate spelling as an interim measure in mastering the conventions of spelling
· spell correctly a range of familiar, important and regularly occurring words, and use a variety of sources as aids to spelling
words displayed in class
words compiled in personal dictionaries
words learned in reading
· choose topics for writing after conferring with the teacher
· have regular opportunities to write for himself/herself or for others
· decide whether or not to re-draft a piece of writing
· confer with the teacher and others on the quality of presentation
· write notes and messages to different audiences
teacher
friends
parents.

3. Strand: Developing cognitive abilities through language
Strand unit
Oral language: developing cognitive abilities through oral language
The child should be enabled to
· give a description, recount a narrative or describe a process, and answer questions about it
· listen to other children describe experiences and ask questions about their reactions to them
· become increasingly explicit in relation to people, places, times, processes and events by adding elaborative detail to what he/she describes and narrates
· listen to a story or narrative and ask questions about it
· engage in real and imaginary situations involving language use
explain, persuade, enquire, report, agree, dissent, discuss a point of view, justify opinions
provide solutions to problems
· ask questions that will satisfy his/her curiosity and wonder
who? where? what? when? why? how? what if?

Strand unit
Reading: developing interests, attitudes and the ability to think
The child should be enabled to
· pursue individual interests through independent reading of fiction and non-fiction
· adopt an active approach to a text by posing his/her own questions
· give recommendations to and receive recommendations from the wider community of readers on the choice of reading material
parent, teacher, librarian, other children
· develop comprehension strategies
recalling details and events
assimilating facts
retelling stories
· perform alphabetical order tasks
· predict future events and outcomes in a book that is being read aloud
· express a more formal response by giving a considered personal opinion of a book in oral or in written form
· use information technology to increase motivation to read and to enhance reading development.

Strand unit
Writing: clarifying thought through writing
The child should be enabled to
· write in a variety of genres
stories, diaries, poetry, charts, lists, captions, cards, invitations, simple letters
· write a version of a story told by the teacher
· write about something that has been learned
· write the significant details about an event or an activity
a game I played
my birthday
· write an explanation for something
· re-read work, confer with the teacher or others about it, and then rewrite it
· write a simple sentence and add words to it to extend its meaning
· listen to a story and write down questions to ask about it
· write answers to questions asked by the teacher.

4. Strand: Emotional and imaginative development through language
Strand unit
Oral language: developing emotional and imaginative life through oral language
The child should be enabled to
· describe everyday experiences and events
· express feelings in order to clarify them and explain them to others
· tell stories in his/her own words and answer questions about them
· listen to, read, learn and recite a varied and appropriate repertoire of rhymes and poems
· re-create stories and poems in improvisational drama
· use play and improvisational drama to sustain imaginary situations
· listen to and say nonsense words and unusual words
· listen to, learn and tell riddles and jokes
· clap the rhythms of poems and rhymes
· listen to, read, learn and recite more sophisticated nonsense verse and rhymes
· recognise and re-create sounds in the environment
· create real and imaginary sound worlds
· use imaginative play to create humorous characters and situations.

Strand unit
Reading: responding to text
The child should be enabled to
· continue to listen to and enjoy stories and poems being read aloud
· engage in spare-moment reading and browsing by having ready access to reading material
· engage with a wide variety of text
picture books, poetry, stories, informational material
· experience enhanced levels of self-esteem through success in reading
· listen to entire stories read aloud in instalments
· respond to characters and events in a story
talk and discussion, writing, drama, visual arts
· explore different attitudes and feelings by imagining what it would be like to be certain characters
· engage frequently in informal discussion of books with teacher and others.

Strand unit
Writing: developing emotional and imaginative life through writing
The child should be enabled to
· express feelings in writing
happiness
sadness
excitement
pride
anticipation
· write about experiences
enjoyable
funny
annoying
frightening
· listen to the experiences of others and express reactions to them in writing
· draw and write about sensory experience
sight
hearing
taste
touch
smell
· write about feelings experienced in drama activities
· draw and write stories and poems
· express in writing likes and dislikes about events and characters in stories and poems
· listen to music and write about it

3rd & 4th Class
Strand Oral Language
Strand units

1. Receptiveness to language
In developing receptiveness to oral language

experience the teacher’s use of challenging vocabulary and sentence structure

listen to, retell and tape a narrative or a description, taking turns giving the account

give and follow instructions 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 audio tapes, video tapes and film clips.

2. COMPETENCE AND CONFIDENCE IN USING LANGUAGE

In developing competence and confidence in using oral language THE CHILD SHOULD BE ENABLED TO

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

become familiar with the functions of words without necessarily using technical grammatical terms
noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, preposition

practise the common social functions in the everyday context of class and school and through improvisational drama
introducing others to the class group or another pupil; expressing appreciation; expressing approval and disapproval; engaging in simple commercial transactions; expressing concern; asking questions to elicit views and feelings; expressing support; giving directions

make lists of local expressions and words

use improvisational drama to re-create well-known characters

hear, discuss and react to local storytellers.

3. DEVELOPING COGNITIVE ABILITIES THROUGH LANGUAGE

In developing cognitive abilities through oral language THE CHILD SHOULD BE ENABLED TO

discuss issues that directly affect his/her life
in school; outside school; in other areas of the curriculum

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
why? how? where? when? what? what if?
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
explore historical events through improvisational drama
explore reactions to ideas through improvisational drama.

4. EMOTIONAL AND IMAGINATIVE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH LANGUAGE

In developing emotional and imaginative life through oral language THE CHILD SHOULD BE ENABLED TO
describe everyday experiences to the class or group and discuss them
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
create and tell stories to the class or group, and retell them after questioning, comparing the versions
express feelings and attitudes through improvisational drama
create and sustain imaginary contexts through improvisational drama
react to poems through improvisational drama
dramatise stories
experience and enjoy playful aspects of language
asking riddles and telling jokes; experimenting with funny-sounding words; playing word association games; reading and listening to examples of humorous literature; composing rhymes and verses; appreciating how words interact–how a word can trigger a humorous reaction.

Reading

Strand units

1. Recepptiveness to language

In developing reading strategies
use more than one strategy when reading unfamiliar text
grapho/phonic, syntactic, contextual
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
refine his/her listening skills through hearing the teacher read aloud.

2. COMPETENCE AND CONFIDENCE IN USING LANGUAGE

In reading for pleasure and information THE CHILD SHOULD BE ENABLED TO

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
using table of contents, chapter headings and index
interpreting diagrammatic information
scanning and skimming
use simple dictionaries effectively
find words
find the meaning of words
check spelling
find the pronunciation of words.

3. DEVELOPING COGNITIVE ABILITIES THROUGH LANGUAGE

In developing interests, attitudes, information retrieval skills and the ability to think through reading THE CHILD SHOULD BE ENABLED TO

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
poetry, non-fiction, newspaper articles
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 development
know the structure and terminology of books
cover, spine, illustration, dedication, table of contents, introduction, page, chapter
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 assimilation (what did I learn?), deduction (what can I conclude?), inference (what may I conclude?), analysis (what are the details and how do they come together?), prediction (what might happen next?), evaluation (what do I think of this?), summarising (how can I give a brief account of the main points?)
use a knowledge of printing conventions as an aid to expression and comprehension
bold type, punctuation marks, capital letters
keep a record of his/her reading in various forms
keeping a list of books read, keeping written comments on books in a folder.

4. EMOTIONAL AND IMAGINATIVE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH LANGUAGE

In responding to text THE CHILD SHOULD BE ENABLED TO
extend and develop his/her response to increasingly challenging reading material
discussion, poetry, writing, drama, visual arts, movement, dance
engage in talk about books
setting, plot, character, motive, favourite authors
talk about choice of books and the reasons for choices
recognise and discuss differences in reading tastes
share responses with other children and with adults to cultivate a community of readers
experience a shared response to fiction through the use of a class novel
read aloud with expression.

Writing

S T R A N D U N I T S

1. R E C E P T I V E N E S S T O L A N G U A G E

In creating and fostering the impulse to write THE CHILD SHOULD BE ENABLED TO

experience a classroom environment that encourages writing
class library; writing corner; displays of writing; anthologies of his/her and others’ writing; captioned; drawings; posters
observe the teacher modelling different writing genres
writing about a personal experience; writing a letter; writing a description
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
receive and give positive responses to writing
see his/her writing valued
constructive comment; having it displayed; having it included in class anthologies; reading it aloud.

2. COMPETENCE AND CONFIDENCE IN USING LANGUAGE

In developing competence, confidence and the ability to write independently THE CHILD SHOULD BE ENABLED TO

write regularly, and gradually extend the period over which a writing effort is sustained
engage with the writing of one piece over a period
a week, a number of weeks, a term
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
who? where? when? why? what? how? what if?
give sequence to ideas and events in stories
develop an appreciation of how the intended audience should influence the nature of a piece of writing
a birthday invitation; a letter seeking information for a project
develop an awareness of the difference between written language and oral language
learn to revise and re-draft writing
reading it over; conferring and discussing with the teacher; conferring and discussing with others in the class
learn to use a wider range of punctuation marks with greater accuracy as part of the revision and editing 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
dictionaries, word lists, word searches, spelling checkers, anagrams, regular word patterns
write in a legible joined script with confidence and fluency
develop his/her abilitytowrite using informationtechnology
word-processing
regularly select his/her own topics for writing
choose to write for himself/herself only
decide, after conferring with the teacher and others, who the audience for a piece of writing should be
decide the quality of presentation in relation to the purpose and audience of a piece of writing
co-operate in writing a record of class activities
a single topic; a theme; a timetable

3. DEVELOPING COGNITIVE ABILITIES THROUGH LANGUAGE

In clarifying thought through writing THE CHILD SHOULD BE ENABLED TO

write in a variety of genres with greater sophistication
stories; diaries; records of what has been learned; reports; letters; notices; menus; lists
read a story and write it in his/her own words
read a narrative or expository piece and summarise it
write about an idea to explain it to someone else
write about why he/she finds an idea attractive
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
expand and clarify his/her thoughts on a particular idea or topic through drafting and re-drafting.

4. EMOTIONAL AND IMAGINATIVE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH LANGUAGE

In developing emotional and imaginative life through writing THE CHILD SHOULD BE ENABLED TO
express his/her reactions to particular experiences in writing
write about experiences and feelings in diary form
write about feelings experienced in improvisational drama
create stories and poems
write extended stories in book form
write about favourite moments, characters and events in stories
express in writing his/her reactions to poems
express in writing his/her reactions to personal reading
use his/her own artwork and that of others as a stimulus to writing.

5th & 6th class
Oral Language

S T R A N D U N I T S

1. R E C E P T I V E N E S S T O L A N G U A G E

In developing receptiveness to oral language the children will be enabled to
experience from the teacher a growing elaboration and sophistication in the use of vocabulary and sentence structure
listen to expressions, reactions, opinions and interpretations and retell or summarise them
listen to radio broadcasts and discuss what has been learned
follow detailed instructions or directions from others in order to test their accuracy
take part in games in which unseen objects are identified from descriptions given by other pupils
be continually aware of the importance of gesture, facial expression, audibility and clarity of enunciation in communicating with others
use mime to convey ideas, reactions, emotions, desires and attitudes
interpret mood, attitude, emotion and atmosphere in video extracts, advertisements, paintings and photographs
listen to or watch sound tapes, videos and films and discuss how sound effects enhance the content
listen to authors reading and discussing their own work.

2. COMPETENCE AND CONFIDENCE IN USING LANGUAGE

In developing competence and confidence in using oral language THE CHILDREN WILL BE ENABLED TO

acquire the ability to give detailed instructions and directions
converse freely and confidently on a range of topics
give and take turns in an environment where tolerance for the views of others is fostered
practise and use improvisational drama to acquire a facility in performing more elaborate social functions
welcoming visitors; showing them the work of the class; making formal introductions; proposing a vote of thanks; expressing sympathy; making a complaint
discuss the positive and negative effects of jargon, slang and cliché, and express examples of them in his/her own language
understand the functions and know the names of the parts of speech
noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, conjunction,
preposition, article, interjection
learn about and name the basic properties of nouns and verbs
common, proper, gender, case tense, voice, person, number
become familiar with compound and complex sentences, and know and understand the terms ‘phrase’ and ‘clause’
explore the possibilities of language and sentence structure in expressing increasingly complex thoughts
discuss the meaning, effect and diversity of local words and expressions
hear accents and dialects other than his/her own on tape and on video and discuss them
use improvisational drama to learn how local idiom, accent and dialect can influence the effect of language in particular situations.

3. DEVELOPING COGNITIVE ABILITIES THROUGH LANGUAGE

In developing cognitive abilities through oral language THE CHILDREN WILL BE ENABLED TO

discuss issues of major concern
discuss ideas and concepts encountered in other areas of the curriculum
use a discussion of the familiar as the basis of a more formal or objective grasp of a topic or concept
use the basic key questions and checking questions as a means of extending knowledge
listen to a presentation on a particular topic, decide through discussion which are the most appropriate questions to ask, and then prioritise them
argue points of view from the perspective of agreement and disagreement through informal discussion and in the context of formal debates
justify and defend particular opinions or attitudes and try to persuade others to support a particular point of view
respond to arguments presented by the teacher
discuss the value, truth or relevance of popular ideas, causes and proverbs
explore and express conflicts of opinion through improvisational drama
explore historical contexts through improvisational drama.

4. EMOTIONAL AND IMAGINATIVE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH LANGUAGE

In developing emotional and imaginative life through oral language THE CHILDREN WILL BE ENABLED TO

discuss with others his/her reactions to everyday experiences and to local, national and world events
discuss the concerns of other children
discuss ideas, concepts and images encountered in literature
discuss personal reading and writing
express individual responses to poems and literature and discuss different interpretations
discuss plays, films and television programmes
experience and enjoy playful aspects of language
experimenting with sequences of words; discussing the
origins and effects of unusual words; hearing and
reading aloud humorous literature; telling riddles and
jokes; playing word association games.

Reading

S T R A N D U N I T S

1. R E C E P T I V E N E S S T O L A N G U A G E

In developing reading strategies THE CHILDREN WILL BE ENABLED TO

achieve proficiency in word identification by refining the different word identification skills
grapho/phonic, syntactic and contextual
improve his/her ability to recognise and understand words by using root words, prefixes, suffixes, syllabication
engage with an increasing range of narrative, expository and representational text
become self-reliant, confident, independent readers, having time in class for sustained, silent reading

2. COMPETENCE AND CONFIDENCE IN USING LANGUAGE

In reading for pleasure and information THE CHILDREN WILL BE ENABLED TO

read widely as an independent reader from a more challenging range of reading material, including stories, poems, myths, legends, novels and non-fiction texts appropriate to his/her age and reading ability
engage with books in group or in whole-class settings
learn about the structure and appreciate the function of the component parts of a newspaper
editorial, news, feature, review, sport, obituary, crossword, advertisement, schedule of radio and television programmes
participate in organised visits to the public library and avail of the mobile library service
read to satisfy personal interests.

3. DEVELOPING COGNITIVE ABILITIES THROUGH LANGUAGE

In developing interests, attitudes, information retrieval skills and the ability to think through reading THE CHILDREN WILL BE ENABLED TO

listen to, read, learn, recite and respond to a challenging range of poetry
have access to a wide range of reading material in the classroom and/or school library
magazines, newspapers, fiction and non-fiction books, books written by other pupils, collections of material related to hobbies and interests, reference material, poetry anthologies
continue to keep a record of personal reading in various forms
use comprehension skills such as analysing, confirming, evaluating, synthesising and correlating to aid deduction, problem- solving and prediction
develop study skills such as skimming, scanning, note-taking and summarizing
retrieve and interpret information presented in a variety of ways
flowchart, table, diagram, list, web, survey, question, read, recall and review
support arguments and opinions with evidence from the text
read and interpret different kinds of functional text
forms, menus, timetables, recipes
explore appropriate non-fiction texts for various purposes
furthering a personal interest; pursuing a topic raised in class; completing a project
use information retrieval strategies in cross-curricular settings
distinguish between fact and opinion, and bias and objectivity, in text and in the media
use the school, classroom and public libraries to develop greater insight into book location, classification and organization
find information relevant to his/her purpose in nonfiction texts, graphs and pictorial and diagrammatic data, and through the use of information technology
graphical and electronic media.

4. EMOTIONAL AND IMAGINATIVE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH LANGUAGE

In responding to text THE CHILDREN WILL BE ENABLED TO

hear the teacher model a response to poems, fiction, plays and parts of plays
respond to poetry and fiction through discussion, writing, drama, the visual arts and dance
relate personal experience to the ideas and emotions conveyed in the text
appreciate issues in fiction
the development of character; sense of time and place
examine similarities and differences in various types of text
continue to share response to an ever increasing variety of texts with the wider community of readers
browse through, handle, discuss, recommend and select books for independent reading
develop individuality as a reader by experiencing success and the enhancement of self-esteem through reading
read aloud from a personal choice of texts to entertain and inform an audience
listen to books or extracts from books and poetry read aloud or presented on tape, radio or television.

Writing

S T R A N D U N I T S

1. R E C E P T I V E N E S S T O L A N G U A G E

In creating and fostering the impulse to write THE CHILDREN WILL BE ENABLED TO

experience a classroom environment that encourages writing
class library; writing corner; displays of writing for visitors; anthologies of his/her writing; anthologies of the writing of others; books written by him/her and others; captioned charts, pictures and posters
observe the teacher model a wide variety of writing genres
narrative; expository; letters; poems; project work; fiction
express and communicate reactions to reading experiences
experience interesting and relevant writing challenges
write for an increasingly varied audience
receive and give constructive responses to writing
see his/her writing valued
class anthologies; displays of personal writing; printed examples of writing; writing exhibitions
experience a level of success in writing that will be an incentive to continue writing.

2. COMPETENCE AND CONFIDENCE IN USING LANGUAGE

In developing competence, confidence and the ability to write independently THE CHILDREN WILL BE ENABLED TO

write regularly on chosen topics
write for a sustained length of time
engage in the writing of one piece over a period
a week, a number of weeks, a term
experience varied and consistent oral language activity as part of the pre-writing process
observe the teacher improving writing
drafting, revising, editing
write independently through a process of drafting, revising, editing and publishing
write, without re-drafting, on a given or chosen topic within certain time constraints
observe the conventions of grammar, punctuation and spelling in his/her writing
use dictionaries and thesauruses to extend and develop vocabulary and spelling
explore the possibilities of syntax and sentence structure in reading and writing
choose a register of language appropriate to subject and audience
writing to a friend; writing for a display; writing to seek information
choose a form and quality of presentation appropriate to the audience
help others with editing their writing
take part in co-operative writing activities,
projects, writing and publishing a class newspaper,
writing and publishing compilations of stories and poetry
write fluently and relevantly in other areas of the curriculum
develop a legible, fluent, personal style of handwriting
develop skills in the use of information technology.

3. DEVELOPING COGNITIVE ABILITIES THROUGH LANGUAGE

In clarifying thought through writing THE CHILDREN WILL BE ENABLED TO

write in a variety of genres
narrative prose; poetry; instructions; diaries; learning logs; reports; letters; summaries; forms; recipes
examine the characteristics that differentiate written and oral language
write for a particular purpose and with a particular audience in mind
reflect on and analyse ideas through writing
refine ideas and their expression through drafting and re-drafting
express and communicate new learning
relate new ideas to previous learning
use notes to summarise reading material and write an account from the notes
sketch an ordered summary of ideas and draft a writing assignment based on it
argue the case in writing for a particular point of view
argue the case in writing for a point of view with which he/she disagrees
explore the use of compound and complex sentences in expressing thought

4. EMOTIONAL AND IMAGINATIVE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH LANGUAGE

In developing emotional and imaginative life through writing THE CHILDREN WILL BE ENABLED TO

analyse in writing his/her reactions to personal experiences
express in writing reactions to the experiences of others
write stories and poems write longer stories or a series of related stories in book form
keep a personal diary
express a personal reaction to ideas, emotions and images encountered in literature
express and analyse his/her reactions to poems
analyse different interpretations of poems in writing
write about the relationship between poems and personal experience
write short plays based on activity in improvisational drama
express in writing reactions to music, artwork, films, television programmes and videos.

3. Assessment and Record Keeping
The School has set up and will continue to use effective system of monitoring, recording and reporting children’s progress using formal and informal tests and standardised attainment tests as appropriate. Teacher observation and teacher designed tasks and tests are the most significant elements of our approach to assessment. The following Standardised Tests will be used. MICRA T is administered using A and B forms. Drumcondra Reading Test is being phased in as of May/June 2012 in First Class. All testing is conducted in May/June. The results will be examined by the Principal, the Inspector, the class teachers and to parents (in the form of a general report). Parents are given STEN Scores at the end of the year. Each class teacher assesses oral language informally and formally with target groups(Drumcondra Oral Language Profiles). Reading is assessed by using a combination of teacher observation and standardised testing (Drumcondra Primary Reading Test, MICRA T, and Middle Infant Screening Test). Standardised assessment is administered as required to children attending the Learning Support Teacher. Informal assessment by the class teacher is conducted on an ongoing basis. Test results are used to establish the needs of individual children and to inform future planning. Samples of children’s written work are collated to keep a record of their performance in different areas over the school year. Results of formal assessments are collated over the period of each child’s attendance in our school.

Recording and Reporting (as set out in assessment policy)
The results of Standardised Tests will be entered on the form provided as well as each child’s individual profile. The individual profiles will be passed on to each new class teacher as the child moves
A tracking system has been organised to follow pupil’s progress throughout primary school years. A copy of results is given to each teacher. Attention is given to those pupils not performing to intellectual ability (NRIT). If pupils have dropped by 15 Sten score points below what they achieved the previous year, due attention will be given to their needs.

4. Children with Different Needs
Children with learning difficulties and special educational needs are helped to achieve their potential in the core skills of oral language, reading and writing. Assessment is ongoing and the Learning Support Teacher and/or Resource Teacher in consultation with the Class Teacher, the Pupil, the Parents and the Special Needs Assistant draft and implement an Individual Education Plan (IEP). Specific short-term targets are agreed between all concerned e.g. in relation to reading, homework, handwriting etc. Regular consultation also takes place with external professionals such as the Speech Therapist, Occupational Therapist and the Educational Psychologist. The class teacher maintains first line responsibility for the welfare of the child. Suitable resources are provided to meet the learning needs of individual children.
Children experiencing difficulty in the classroom are diagnostically assessed and their strengths and weaknesses are established. The importance of early intervention is recognised and extra tuition is provided by the learning support teacher as soon as it is evident that the child is struggling. The progress of those attending remedial classes is reviewed regularly thus ensuring that those who would benefit most receive support. Early intervention programmes are initiated from Junior Infants-1st class. A policy for selection and targeting is based on the BPVS Scale. Gifted children’s needs are recognised as part of individual teacher planning.

5. Equality of Participation and Access
Girls and Boys are expected to achieve equally in all aspects of English. We are committed to the provision of equal opportunities to all our pupils in the implementation of our English programme. Equal opportunities are provided to all pupils to participate in discussions, debates, reading and writing activities. The use of language and textbooks deemed to be sexist shall always be avoided. Attention is afforded to developmental differences and early intervention and remedial action is taken when necessary. We encourage gender awareness by promoting consideration of the roles associated with men and women in literature, the media, advertising etc. As well as a consideration of the language, conflicts and contradictions associated with such roles.

n Organisational Planning
6. Timetable
A weekly minimum of four hours are allocated for English in the Infant Classes and five hours from first to sixth Classes. Extra discretionary curricular time is allocated to English as appropriate. A significant emphasis is placed on the provision of discrete time for oral language in the Junior to Senior Classes.

The predominant mode of working in English is – Whole class teaching with group work and individual tuition where appropriate.

7. Homework
Homework is used to support English tasks such as: Phonological awareness, Spelling, Reading Exercises, and Writing Assignments. (See –School Homework Policy )

8. Library
Class Libraries
All classes are supplied with appropriate class books in a wide range of genres. We have a widely stocked school library, which the children are encouraged to visit and select books.

Shared Reading
Shared Reading has 4-6 week blocks per term/half-term. Senior Infants commence Shared Reading in the third term. Shared reading for 1st class will commence after the Easter Break. A video, and a letter for parents is available, and the school hosts regular meetings with parents on Shared Reading.
Series currently in use include Oxford Reading Tree, Literacy Links, Story world, DK Learning Media, and some samples from Ginn Reading
Children are tested using Schonell Word Reading Test before shared reading commences and re-tested after completion of Shared Reading. Parents are invited in to the school to view analysis of progress made.

Class Novels
Class novels will be used from Rang 3 to Rang 6. There are several sets of novels currently available in the school, and a full list of these is available in the Resource Centre, as well as from the Special Duties teacher with responsibility for library. When selecting a class novel, the following issues will be considered
Suitability for reading level/age of pupils
Suitability of content/subject
Teacher’s own interest in a particular novel
Interests of a particular class

The following class novels are recommended for the following class levels

. If teachers wish to use a novel other than those on their own class bands, they are asked to source a new title rather than using a novel from a different band.

The Special Duties teacher with responsibility for Library will assist any teacher wishing to select a new novel.

Use of Dictionaries
Dictionaries will be used from Third Class up. Formal time will be devoted to teaching the children how to use a dictionary correctly. For this purpose, a child friendly dictionary will be selected, and all pupils will be encouraged to obtain the same publication. The dictionary selected for use is Fallons Children’s Oxford Dictionary, Irish Edition.

Rang 5 and Rang 6 will also have some class copies of a more sophisticated dictionary and an appropriate thesaurus, and pupils will be encouraged to use these.

9. Resources and ICT
In our school we have the following resources to facilitate the implementation of our plan.
Textbooks/Workbooks/Schemes
Commercially produced schemes of work are used in English to provide a framework which is further supported by a variety of other material and activities.
The principal schemes in use in the school are:
Starways – Language Programme
Ancillary materials from language scheme which include resource books, posters, worksheets, flashcards, tapes and CD Roms.
Chatterbox Oral Language Programme
Jolly phonics is in the school. It is currently being used by Learning Support Teacher and By Infant Teachers ( School year 2006-2007 )
Sound Linkage – Phonological Awareness Programme
Class Novels for 3rd. To 6th classes.
Classroom libraries including a set of Big Books.
Prim-Ed. Copy Masters etc.
Drama/dressing box.
Selection of toys, phones etc.
T.V. and video/DVD.
Digital Camera
Tape Recorders
Computer and Printer in each classroom
Computer room consisting of eight computers and a printer.
Teachers’ personal resources.
Non-classroom based resources are stored in the photocopying room.
See also ‘class book lists’
Interactive Whiteboards in all classrooms.
Foles Online-Story Hub

Other Resources available
Text Books
Pre-reading Activities
Class Libraries
Public Library
Pictures/Charts/Posters/Paintings/Photographs/Audio/videotapes/DVD’s/Computers/Computer programmes/Brochures/Novels/Fiction and nonfiction books/Dictionaries/Thesauri/Wordbanks/Wordlists/Jigsaws and Jollyphonics material/Workbooks/Worksheets/Oxford Reading Tree Programme/Storyworlds/Wordgames/Visiting authors

ICT is used in school to enhance language teaching and learning in the following ways:
Reading on-screen instructions,
Read and Listen Stories
Superspell
Word Shark can be used to teach phonological awareness
Children can learn punctuation, grammar and spellings by correcting text from ‘Proofreading and Editing (Prim Ed )
World Book, Encarta, The Kids Encyclopaedia and the Internet are used as reference sources
Microsoft Word is used in children’s drafting, editing and redrafting of stories poems and project work.
Desk top publishing packages such as MS Publisher are used to improve the standard of presentation of children’s work.
E-mail is employed to foster communication.
Internet Resources for book related activities
www.enchantedlearning.com
www.fireandwater.com
www.pcsp.ie
www.scoilnet.ie
10. Individual Teachers’ Planning and Reporting
Teachers will use this Whole School Plan to inform long term and short term programmes of work.
Teachers will report on work completed on a Monthly Report template the Cúntas Miosúil, these will inform future classroom planning and review of this plan.

11. Staff Development
Teachers are made aware of any opportunities for further professional development through participation in courses available in Education Centres or other venues. Skills and expertise within the school are shared and developed through inputs at staff meetings.

12. Parental & community Involvement
We encourage and welcome the involvement of parents in their children’s education. Such partnership is exemplified at our initial meeting for parents of the incoming Junior Infants with an explanatory booklet in which the importance of speaking, listening and reading to the young child is outlined. The success of this plan will be measured using the following criteria:

(i) Implementation of Dept of Ed and Sc revisions in the English curriculum will be evident in the teachers’ work.

(ii) Continuity of content and methodology will be evident in teachers’ preparation and monthly reports.

(iii) On-going assessment, formal and informal, will show that pupils are developing language across all strands in the English curriculum.

There are annual Parent/Teacher meetings in which parents can discuss their children’s progress but informal Parent/Teacher meetings can be organised at the request of Parents or Teacher. Written communication occurs via the children’s homework diary. Parents are also involved in the organisation and implementation of other partnership schemes such as our Paired Reading Programmes, Book Fairs,

n Success Criteria
The success of this plan will be measured using the following criteria:

(i) Implementation of revisions in the English curriculum will be evident in the teachers’ work.

(ii) Continuity of content and methodology will be evident in teachers’ preparation and monthly reports.

(iii) On-going assessment, formal and informal, will show that pupils are acquiring an understanding of English concepts and a proficiency in skills appropriate to their age and ability.

n Implementation

(a) Roles and Responsibilities
Each class teacher is responsible for the implementation of the English Plan in their classroom. However the school seeks to develop all aspects of language. Classes are interlinked for programmes such as Paired Reading, Speech and Drama Activities, Poetry and Story- telling, Debates etc.
Sile Galway is the English Language Project Coordinator and is responsible for organising, reviewing and updating the English Plan. The staff assists her in this role.

n Review
(a) Roles and Responsibilities

The revised English Plan was implemented during the school year up to June 2009. During the school year, the teaching staff decided to keep a personal account on the challenges encountered during the year and to comment on successes/failures, difficulties encountered, areas needing particular attention and make decisions which would improve the plan to meet the needs of our children in Scoil Cholmcille. The following points were made –

Oral Language
Some of the children of Scoil Cholmcille and other local schools speak in a vernacular which can consists of simple vocabulary and sentence structure. It also has a very limited use of adjectives and adverbs – e.g. The word ‘while’/ ’wild’ is used to describe almost every situation and event (‘while hot’, ‘while sick’, ‘the football match was while’ –with positive and negative connotations. The children sometimes write in the vernacular as well. Furthermore the children often find it difficult to express themselves when given a challenging oral activity such as – interpreting events or even justifying personal likes and dislikes. As a result we shall endeavour to address this difficulty by focusing on the objectives of our oral language programme and aim to ensure that our children become competent and confident in using language.

Phonological Awareness Training
The phonological awareness programme has been introduced in Junior Infant, Senior Infant, First and Second Classes. Teachers report that it is working very well and agree that the Jolly Phonics programme is a very popular and effective means of introducing letters and sounds to the younger children.

Shared Reading
Shared Reading Programmes appear to be working well and also serve to foster good links with parents.

Hand –writing
The cursive hand-writing scheme has been introduced in the junior section of the school. The staff are currently producing material such as wall charts, writing activities etc. which are in keeping with the style of lettering which we have selected.

(b) Timeframe
The policy will be introduced with immediate effect and is due was reviewed in June 2012.

n Ratification and Communication
The plan has been ratified by the schools Board of Management and available for all involved with the education and welfare of the pupils of Scoil Cholmcille, Kilmacrennan upon request.

Signed , Chairperson. Date

  • School Holidays

    • Halloween Break 2017
      Closing on Fri 27th Oct; re-opening on Mon 6th Nov
    • Christmas Holidays
      School closes on Fri 22nd Dec 2017 and will re-open on Mon 8th Jan 2018.
    • Feb Mid-term 2018
      Closed on Thurs 15th & Fri 16th Feb 2018
    • Easter Holidays 2018
      Closing for Easter Holidays on Fri 23 March & re-opening on Mon 9 April 2018.
    • May Bank Holiday 2018.
      The school is closed on Mon 7th May 2018.
    • June Bank Holiday 2018.
      The school is closed on Mon 4th June 2018.
    • Provisional Summer Closure 2018
      Provisional date for Summer Holidays is Fri 22nd June 2018.

      Please note that the above dates are subject to change.

      In the event of unforeseen closures, the Board of Management may use the first three days of the Easter Holidays to catch up on missed school days.