Our Activities


Literacy Lift Off

Literacy Lift Off is an evidence based intervention that gives children lots of opportunities to read books at their own level of competency and gradually raises the complexity of what they can do in both reading and writing. The PM+ levelled reading scheme, which is a costly requirement for Literacy Lift Off, was purchased last year as a result of various fundraising events, Board of Management investment and the generous contribution of the Parents’ Association Committee.

It is a daily literacy hour where, resource teachers in collaboration with class teachers work with the children from Monday to Thursday morning inclusive, for five to six weeks in five 10 minute rotating sessions on a range of literacy activities. 

These activities include:

  1. Rereading familiar books to build fluency and confidence
  2. Being introduced to and attempting to read a new book
  3. Composing and recording their own sentences
  4. Reconstructing the sentences which have been cut-up
  5. Exploring how words work using magnetic letters and whiteboards.
  6. Computer work – reading on-line books

Some of the benefits of Literacy Lift Off:

  • Increased level of literacy (determined by Pre and Post Programme assessments)
  • Promotes inclusion as children gain new confidence levels which enables them to better access other class reading materials and become more able to participate in the wider curriculum
  • Strengthens the link between home and school
  • Gives many opportunities in small groups to practice reading and writing skills
  • Children actively involved in their own learning.
  • Children have fun, enjoy the programme and really look forward to coming to school. 

To support your child in this process we ask parents/guardians to:

  • Listen to their child reading a familiar book (a book already read in class) each night. This book will be in their child’s reading folder. 
  • Discuss the cover of the book, the pictures, the illustrator, author etc
  • Listen to your child read
  • If your child gets stuck on a word ask them what strategy they could use – look at the picture, chunk it up, sound it out, look for a little word within a big word, read on for clues (but always remember to go back!)
  • Ask your child questions about the story and encourage your child to give as much information as possible.
  • Your child could ask questions to see if you were paying attention! – this is your chance to model answering questions correctly.
  • Can your child sequence events from the story correctly? What happened first, then what happened, what happened last?
  • Can they summarise the story giving the main theme in one or two sentences?
  • Discuss the characters, their favourite part of the story, what they didn’t like, what might happen next if there was another chapter in the story?
  • Is there anything in the story that reminds them of their own life? Talk about this with them.
  • The more you talk with your child the more their vocabulary and confidence in speaking and reading will grow.

This homework should only take 5 to 10 minutes and should be a very enjoyable time for parents and their child. We would like to thank you for your support with this reading initiative.

Guided Reading

The school has also recently invested in the Big Cat readers to use for guided reading in the middle and senior classes of the school. Like Literacy Lift Off, guided reading provides opportunities for pupils to read at their own level in a small group setting. Our Special Education Teachers work with class teachers during guided reading sessions to ensure that pupils can gain maximum benefit from their guided reading block.

We have also started to use suitable novels in the senior classes for guided reading. During these sessions, pupils work in small groups reading a suitable novel. The teaching and learning focus here is on developing comprehension skills, increasing reading fluency and developing pupils’ vocabulary. 

Again, parents are encouraged to read regularly with their children during the week. 



St Patricks National School

St.Patrick's N.S. is a co-educational, Catholic, primary school which strives to provide a well-ordered, caring, happy and secure atmosphere where the intellectual, spiritual, physical, moral and cultural needs of the pupils are identified and addressed.