Literacy and Excellence

There is much to celebrate in Scoil Iósaf’s educational success: the principal, teachers, parents and pupils working together to achieve great results. We work to make our school truly excellent: giving our pupils the best opportunity to realise their full potential. We want our students to reach high standards in reading and writing and we support them in doing so, ensuring that no child is left behind in the process.

This ambition lay behind the introduction of the following two literacy programmes.


(Children and Parents enjoying Reading)

In 1997 Scoil Iósaf introduced a reading scheme known as C.A.P.E.R. (Children and Parents enjoying Reading) with the aim of developing a home school reading partnership. C.A.P.E.R. has been implemented very successfully in Junior and Senior Infants. The aim of the programme is to encourage a love of reading – both for learning and for leisure.

The programme provides a three-way partnership between pupil, parent and teacher.

  • Each morning the child selects a book of her choice from a selection of suitable, attractive children’s books. She takes the book home in a folder together with a record sheet especially provided.
  • At home, the parent listens to, reads or shares this book with the child for ten to fifteen minutes and then signs the record sheet.
  • Next morning, the teacher listens to the child reading the book, signs the record sheet, and provides encouragement and praise for the pupil thus completing the three-way partnership.

C.A.P.E.R. is a great success in Scoil Iósaf, both in improving children’s reading ability and in fostering the reading habit.

Reading Recovery

In Scoil Iósaf we have a systematic process of monitoring our students’ literacy development.
In 2008, under the direction of Siobhán O’Donoghue (Teacher Leader) and Dr. Sue Bodman (University of London), Scoil Iósaf set up a programme called Reading Recovery.

Reading Recovery is an early literacy intervention programme designed to raise literacy standards in an education system. It provides intensive, individual help for any children, who, after a year of schooling, have not made accelerated progress in reading and writing. Reading Recovery is not solely concerned with improving children’s reading and writing skills. The term ‘Recovery‘ implies a clear objective to help children acquire efficient patterns of learning which enable them, by the end of their supplementary programme, to work at the average level of their classmates and to continue to progress satisfactorily.

In Scoil Iósaf the Reading Recovery programme identifies those children who would benefit from specialised one-to-one assistance from Mrs. Agnes O’Sullivan who is skilled in Reading Recovery procedures. The teaching is individually designed and individually delivered. It involves reading and writing in a daily one-to-one lesson for a period of between 15 and 20 weeks. The specially designed series of lessons, individually planned and delivered, provide intensive help for the child. At the end of the time period, most children will be reading and writing at a level which is above average for their class.

The Reading Recovery programme is proving very successful in Scoil Iósaf.