The Primary School Curriculum (1999) outlines the contents of children’s learning—the what and how of children’s learning—for children’s first eight years in school, from junior infants to sixth class.
The curriculum aims to:
develop each child’s potential to the full
encourage a love of learning
help children develop skills they will use all their lives.
The curriculum is presented in seven areas, some of which are further subdivided into subjects. These are:
Language: Gaeilge and English
Social, environmental and scientific education (SESE): history, geography and science
Arts education: visual arts, music and drama
Social, personal and health education (SPHE)
Religious or ethical education is the responsibility of the different school patron bodies.
Assessment in primary school is about building a picture over time of a child’s learning progress across the curriculum. The teacher uses different ways to gather evidence about how and what the child learns on an ongoing basis. This information is used to celebrate the child’s current learning, and to help make decisions about next steps for future learning.
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School Self Evaluation
In 2011, the school started a process of continuous self- evaluation resulting in school improvement plans targeting a real change in teaching methodologies and a whole school approach to the teaching of all subjects.
A large capital investment was made in a number of initiatives which has significantly enhanced the performance of our pupils. The aim of these programmes is to focus on helping each child to achieve their full potential.
Aistear the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework celebrates early childhood as a time of being, and of enjoying and learning from experiences as they unfold.
The Irish word for a journey, Aistear represents the beginning or perhaps the further advancement of an exciting journey for many. The Aistear framework highlights the critical importance of children enjoying and benefiting from early childhood, and its potential adventures and discoveries. It also illustrates the breadth and depth of children’s learning when given rich and varied experiences in their formative years. Banogue NS relishes the important role which it plays in nurturing and extending this learning and development.
Literacy lift off is also known as “Power-Hour” or “Guided Reading”. It is an intensive programme of reading and writing which gives pupils lots of opportunity to read books at their own level of competency. It gradually lifts the complexity of what they can they can do in both reading and writing by equipping them the necessary skills.
This enables all children to make progress based on their specific reading ability.
Therefore, it is beneficial to all children, from those who are experiencing difficulty to those who are highly competent. The programme has been proven to significantly boost each participant’s literacy skills.
This programme is accessible to all students from the age of 4. Each pupil undertakes a Star Literacy Diagnostic Test which gives each pupil an individual reading age.
Each individual child is then matched with the correct reading ability books which are suitable for them. After reading a book the child undergoes a computer-generated quiz which comprises of three sections;
This activity results in the generation of a TOPS report (Teacher opportunity to praise the student). Each pupils’ progress is then closely monitored.
As with the Literacy Lift Off the essential benefit of this programme is that the children are all reading at a level that is just right for them and their progress is closely monitored.
Building Bridges of Understanding
Building Bridges of Understanding is a whole school approach to the teaching of comprehension. Drawing on current research regarding effective comprehension instruction its primary focus is the teaching of comprehension, with the ultimate aim of enabling children to become self-regulated strategic readers.
Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar
Jolly Phonics is a fun and child centered approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics. With actions for each of the 42 letter sounds, the multi-sensory method is very motivating for children and teachers, who can see their students achieve.
Jolly Grammar is the next stage, after a first year with Jolly Phonics.
The materials provide guidance and resources to help
teach grammar to children; it is active and multi-
sensory, with emphasis on consolidating the children’s knowledge from Jolly Phonics and helping them develop an understanding of how grammar works.
By teaching key essential grammar rules, it helps children bring diversity to their writing and improve their spelling in a structured way.
Mathletics is the next generation in online Math learning platform, helping students enjoy maths and improve their results. Mathletics covers junior infants to sixth classes and has been specially adapted to the Irish curriculum covering all the strands of the Irish curriculum. This is done along with a focus on problem solving and basic math’s tables. Mathletics is a powerful learning resource for mathematics It provides children with targeted, adaptive practice alongside reporting.
RDS SCIENCE Fair
The third annual RDS Primary Science Fair Limerick recently took place with over 3,000 primary school children taking part. As part of the Fair, which is supported by SFI (Science Foundation of Ireland) each class undertakes an investigation using STEM skills and exhibits it at the Fair. Schools are invited to participate based on the strength of their proposed science project. The school has been honoured to be asked to participate in 2017 and in 2018.
Discover Primary Science and Maths (DPSM) is the national programme, run by Science Foundation Ireland, to foster interest in science, technology engineering and maths amongst children in primary schools. Since 2010 the programme has been run in conjunction with the European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) Ireland which uses space to inspire and engage young people in science and technology in the world around them. Schools that engage in activities in these areas are invited to apply for an excellence award.
Banogue National School has been awarded three Science and Maths Excellence Awards. Each year a log of evidence outlining all work completed, trips undertaken and displays of work in school has to be submitted to the Science Foundation of Ireland.
The work completed has to be undertaken across a number of strand areas of the curriculum and by all classes in the school. It is with great pride that we hold these awards. We intend to apply for the award again in future years so we can look forward to more field trips and visits from scientists/engineers etc.
It was also with great pride that the school received its 3rd Green Flag in May 2017. Members of the Green Schools Committee accompanied Green Schools co-ordinator Ann O’Sullivan to a ceremony in Cork to collect our third Green Flag. This flag is given in recognition of work done in the school to promote energy saving, recycling and care for the environment.
The school band was invited to perform at the ceremony.
Blue Star Programme
A recent initiative in the school is the implementation of the Blue Star programme. The idea of the programme is simple: to foster better understanding and knowledge of the European Union and how it affects the lives of Irish Citizens among Irish primary pupils through classroom projects and activities.
Pupils are challenged to get creative and think about Europe by carrying out projects in relation to four key elements: the history, geography, culture and creativity and Institutions of the E.U.
An extensive range of P.E. activities are available in the school. Children are taught five different P.E. strands every year – Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics, Games and Outdoor Adventure Activities.
Both our indoor and outdoor facilities are exceptional for a small rural school. It ensures that children can experience all elements of the P.E. curriculum at a very high level.
Here at Banogue NS, we also use a classroom based programme called Go Noodle. It is an exciting programme of physical exercise designed to channel kids’ energy and stimulate learning. It is internet based and the children follow various guides on the interactive white board. Children find the programme visually stimulating.
Without leaving the classroom, students participate in a variety of purposeful movement designed to get the wiggles out and refocus the classroom — all in five minutes or less. Go Noodles Integrates movement with core subjects. The designers of Go Noodles worked with core subject experts to create highly replay able movement activities that develop memory and fluency in math, spelling, and vocabulary. This helps students perform better.