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An Introduction to Literacy:


What is Literacy?

“Literacy includes the capacity to read, understand and critically appreciate various forms of communication including spoken language, printed text, broadcast media and digital media.” (DES 2011)


What are the main points?

  1. Ireland’s literacy levels have dropped to worrying levels. Source: PISA Report 2010 

  2. Literacy is a whole-school issue. Every teacher and subject must work on it together. 

  3. Literacy is linked to subject planning, cross-curricular links and self and peer evaluation.

  4. Improvements in literacy benefit every subject and the whole school.

  5. The National Literacy Strategy is a nine-year strategy. We are embarking on stage 1.


What strategies have we highlighted to target over 2012-2014?

  1. Integrated Planning: All subject departments will include literacy in their meeting agendas

     Subject department plans will be updated in light of literacy initiatives


  1. Creation of a book rich culture, ethos and environment: Personal reading Profiles with 1st years: September/October; National Poetry Day (2nd Thursday in January); World Book Day (April), DEAR, Newspapers and Magazines, Literacy Noticeboard

  2. Summarising strategy: The goal of summarisation is to capture the essence of the text clearly and concisely. The ability to summarise has significant benefits for comprehending and ultimately retaining and recalling information. Teaching students to effectively summarise helps them learn to synthesise information, a higher-order thinking skill which includes analysing information and identifying key concepts.

  3. Keyword strategy: Check texts and identify essential words. Make a list, keeping it as short as possible. Pre-teach keywords. Revise keywords. Encourage students to identify and define key words.




For more information, please visit the following links;


National Strategy on Literacy and Numeracy


Junior Certificate Schools Programme (JCSP) Literacy Policy


Information for Parents on Federation of European Literacy Associations FELA website


Scoilnet Digital Literacy webpage

Welcome To St Colman's College

                                         A Secondary School For Boys,

                                         Claremorris, Co. Mayo.


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