Free Lunch Scheme
At St. Benedict’s and St. Mary’s every pupil is entitled to an individually packed lunch free of charge. In September each pupil receives a menu in which they can select snack and lunch items from an extensive list. In addition to personal lunches all pupils can avail of fruit and milk daily.
Every year all pupils from Senior Infants to Sixth Class are assessed using recognised diagnostic tests for mathematics and literacy. Those who are deemed to need additional support are offered expert tutoring in small groups.
We are very pleased to have the opportunity at St. Benedict’s and St. Mary’s to provide one-one tutoring using Reading Recovery strategies for selected pupils who are struggling to read.
Reading Recovery is an early intervention programme designed to help children who may be struggling to keep up with their class. It is targeted at six year olds and provides intensive individual help in their reading and writing. The child attends half an hour one-one lessons daily with a trained Reading Recovery tutor for 12 – 20 weeks. The goal is to return the very lowest achieving children to the average levels for their age as independent readers and writers in a relatively short time. Once the child has been through the Reading Recovery Programme, in most cases, he/she will need no more support outside the classroom, e.g. learning support. This offers a fantastic opportunity to our children to catch-up quickly instead of spending years attending learning support.
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We are using Reading Recovery methods to teach senior infants, first class and second class pupils during small group station teaching sessions. We call this “Power Hour”.
We are delighted to announce that we are now using the Maths Recovery programme in our school. We offer one-to-one tutoring to first class pupils that are struggling to develop their mathematical skills. We also use maths recovery methods to teach all of the first class pupils, in small groups, during station teaching sessions. We call this “Maths Blast”. Watch a short video about Maths Blast in our school here
Maths recovery is a mathematical intervention that has been rolled out to disadvantaged schools in Ireland as part of the D.E.I.S. inititive. It aims to provide a comprehensive range of assessment tools and instructional activities relating to number to these schools. The programme can be used for one-to-one or group instruction. While it is primarily aimed at first class children it is envisaged that the methods would extend to all classes. The objective of maths recovery is that children generate their own mathematical thinking, at their own pace, with the guidance of the teacher who offers them appropriate tasks and opportunities for discussion.
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First Steps is a literacy resource for teachers and learners. It is based on sound theory and research and provides continuity across the whole school in achieving the literacy goals and objectives which the school has planned for the children. First Steps supports all children in making progress in language and literacy development (oral language, reading and writing). As children progress they move through phases of development. In First Steps this is called the Developmental Continuum. Children move from the ‘Role Play’ phase to the’ Experimental’ phase and then into the ‘Early Writing’ phase. First Steps uses this continuum to analyse and assess a child’s development.Teaching strategies are then employed to support the child in moving into the next phase. First Steps links assessment to teaching and offers practical support for teachers in implementing the curriculum. First and foremost it provides a child-centred approach to the teaching of reading,writing, speaking and listening. The focus is on the children who are active and interactive learners.
Ready, Set, Go! – Maths
“Ready, Set, Go – Maths” is a guide to teaching maths to Junior and Senior Infant pupils. A wide variety of practical activities and games are used to help young children develop their confidence in the early years of learning maths skills.
“Many mainstream classrooms in primary schools have become increasingly diverse in terms of the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of children attending. For a growing number of children the language of instruction may not be the language which the child uses in the home environment. This has led to a need to consider and meet the learning needs of these children.” At St. Benedict’s and St Mary’s school pupils who have learned english as a second language are provided with special english language classes.
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