At our meeting in Dublin in March 2018, we exchanged ideas about best practice in teaching reading.

Reading Programme in St. Marys B.N.S.

Junior and Senior Infants (age 5-6)

– The children are introduced to the Jolly Phonics Programme which helps them develop and acquire the individual letter sounds as well as some of the basic consonant blends.

- Phonological Awareness Training Programme (P.A.T.) Beginner level and level 1 by Jo Wilson. Through the onset of rhyme, the children develop their spelling abilities through the formation of medial vowel sounds and through the use of joining initial consonant blends/ digraphs with various other blends.

- Dolch list also used to develop high frequency sight words.

- Senior Infants - Jolly Phonics assessment administered at the beginning of the year and the M.I.S.T. (Middle Infant Screening Test) is also administered. Children who fall down on the M.I.S.T. test will then be instructed to partake in the Forward together programme through the instruction of the classroom teacher at home in order to provide further assistant.

Through the entire infant and upper junior department of the school (Junior Infants – 2nd Class), The Oxford Reading Tree programme is used. This allows the teacher to provide the children with a variety of reading materials covering the various genres. These books allow the children to practice their reading at home. The children remain at a particular level until they are capable enough to progress at the assessment of the classroom teacher. Progress is monitored year after year and the children therefore progress at a steady pace relevant to their own learning experience.

1st -2nd Class – PAT Programme level 1+2 administered to further develop spelling and pronunciation of words involving =various blends.

Through the use of the school library, children in the upper classes from 3rd to 6th enjoy the use of the school library which is operated by parents.

Children from 3rd to 6th Class – New Group Reading Test administered at the beginning of the school year (End of October). This identifies the children’s reading age in relation to his chronological age in order to provide a more detailed analysis of where the child’s level of reading comprehension is at in relation to his physical age.

To further supplement the development of the children’s reading comprehension, each class is equipped with S.R.A. boxes which come with an assessment test in order to identify each child’s starting level indicated by a colour. As the child progresses through the cards at his level, his comprehension develops and then can progress to the next stage at the discretion of the class teacher.

The school also enjoys a strong relationship with the local library in which a range of visits are arranged to visit authors from some of the more recent children series of books.

The children at the end of each year from 1st to 6th are given the Drumcondra standardised tests at the end of each year. These tests provide the teachers with a better understanding of each child’s level of comprehension in relation to their understanding of vocabulary and basic comprehension.

Another series which is used throughout the senior department of the school is 'Developing teaching comprehension strategies' by Prim Ed publishing. This book provides the teachers with a variety of strategies to teach the children in the various comprehension skills such as finding information, sequencing, inferencing etc. to enhance their comprehension capabilities. 

Reading strategies presentation how in Poland students are learnt reading skills.