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St. Brendan's National School, Cartron Point, Sligo



The new Primary Language Curriculum was introduced to primary schools in 2016 and is now a fully operational curriculum from infants up to sixth class. The curriculum is designed to integrate language learning in English and Irish under three headings:

  • oral language
  • reading
  • writing

We are currently working on the Writing strand in both English and Irish as part of our school self-evaluation process. We have put an emphasis on learning to write in each of the genres:

  • narrative writing
  • recount writing
  • procedural writing
  • explanatory writing
  • persuasive writing
  • report writing

This year we are also extending the new Over the Moon English Programme to all classes in the school. The features of the Programme include:

  • Integrates the three strands – Reading, Writing and Oral Language
  • All genres covered
  • In-built comprehension skills and strategies
  • Integrates Aistear and Jolly Phonics
  • Seven-step approach to teaching a writing genre; taking the children on a journey from the spoken text to the written text
  • Oral language activities are based on the five components of effective oral language instruction
  • Uses Aistear and Irish language themes
  • No need for a separate Oral Language Programme

The reading books will be available on our Book Rental Scheme. The workbooks will appear on the Booklists and will need to be purchased by you.


New Spelling Programme Sept 2020

After a good deal of research and staff attendance at training seminars, we are introducing the Spellings For Me spelling programme throughout the school from September 2020. The programme has a workbook and an online activity component. The unique feature of the programme however, is that it is tailor-made for each child.

The workbook will be available through the school and every child will be shown how to access the online content. 

This is how the programme is described on their website.

Spellings for Me is an online and an offline programme. The online aspect is the child's profile, where they log in and take a series of tests. The offline aspect is the differentiated workbook. This is a valuable resource to accompany the online program. It provides a clear framework of activities for both teachers and students. Within this framework, are differentiated activities that support the child's learning of the errors they made online. Despite being a “spelling workbook”, it is still completely differentiated, as children print out their spellings from their individual online profile and paste them into the workbook.
The child works according to their ability, not their class or age.

No two children will have the same spellings, as no two children are the same!

Spellings for Me is written by primary school teachers, Emma Doherty & Patrick Grace.

"When writing the programme it was important that it was easy for teachers to facilitate. We are teachers ourselves and are fully aware of how busy Irish classrooms are. Spellings for Me provides a meaningful, differentiated programme for each individual child.

We lean on the creating individual spelling programmes for students. We are very excited for children to benefit from their tailor-made spelling experiences".


Reading is the most important skill that underpins learning across the curriculum. We aim to ensure that every child gets the best possible opportunities in St. Brendan's to learn to read and comprehend to the very best of their ability. 

Here are some of our programmes:

Literacy Lift Off- This programme is used to get every child from senior infants to second classes reading more fluently and more confidently. It involves class teachers, SEN teachers, SNAs and parents working closely together for a six-week period to support each child to make a significant step forward in reading age and confidence.

Graded Readers- We have a large stock of graded readers which are sent home nightly/weekly with our younger pupils. Children and parents can easily see the progress a child is making as they move through the grades.

High- Lo Readers- We have a large stock of high-interest books for pupils who may be struggling with word recognition, phonics and fluency. The schemes draw the interest of the pupils into an exciting series of stories that the pupil can read easily, adding to their confidence levels.

Novels- Every class in the school tackles one/two age-appropriate novels each year. The teachers read along with the pupils and fun activities encourage the pupil to engage more fully with the story plots and characters.

Primary Planet Magazines- The school purchases a monthly edition of the Primary Planet News Magazine for 5th/6th class each month. They are full of interesting and current world and Irish news items of high interest to this age group.

Building Bridges for Comprehension- the school invested fully in this scheme which aims to explicitly teach children the strategies they need to develop their comprehension skills. The strategies are:

• Prediction
• Visualizing
• Making connections
• Questioning
• Clarifying
• Declunking
• Inferring.
• Determining Importance
• Synthesis

For each strategy children learn a sign or action (called a comprehension processing motion or ‘CPM’) to indicate when they want to use that strategy during class reading.

World Book Day/School Book Fair: We mark World Book Day in March each year with in-school activities and suggestions sent to parents. We hold an annual Book Fair in Feb/March each year. This is always a happy and fun occasion in the school that is highly anticipated by the pupils. Pupils are given the opportunity to browse the bookshelves as if they were in a real book shop, read book samples and select what they would like to purchase at discounted prices. The school also benefits by gaining credit with the Book fair for each purchase parents make. As part of the event, we hold poster competitions; dress up as favourite book characters; write our own books; share peer book reviews and recommendations etc.

Class libraries: We purchase books and book collections on an on-going basis to ensure that our class libraries are well stocked. Many of our classes engage with DEAR time (Drop Everything And Read) regularly each week to encourage reading for enjoyment and relaxation.

Library Visits:Our school is located near Sligo Library and we avail of every opportunity to visit the library who regularly host reading events aimed at Primary Schools



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