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Through, “Discussion, hands-on experience with materials, and active learning”(NCCA) we aim to provide our students with a solid foundation in mathematical language, critical thinking skills and independent learning.

Each week pupils will use interactive online resources, physical manipulatives and small groups to help learning and understanding. Pupils will also be offered the opportunity to advance their mathematical skills through projects for “maths week” and “maths trails” throughout the year. Our recent refurbished computer room caters for a class of eight pupils at a time, allowing plenty of time for project work and online mathematical investigations.

Our in class support teachers are at hand throughout the week to provide specific, targeted interventions. One such interventions is the “Maths Recovery” program. This builds on the knowledge of the student to create a solid foundation to aid further progressions.

 By encouraging everyday maths at home such as counting money, measuring ingredients or even playing board games, you are making connections for your child with the maths curriculum. You can find further maths supports under our “Links” tab that can be accessed at home or out and about on a tablet.


In St John the Baptist Boys National School, it is our best effort to conform to the principles of the Revised Curriculum and to ensure that the pupils in our care are afforded every opportunity to develop skills in oral language, reading and writing. We aim to provide meaningful learning opportunities for the children whilst covering all aspects of the curriculum. We cater to all learning abilities and use various teaching methodologies and resources. We do extensive 6 week blocks of Small group literacy which is catered to the children’s needs, some of our favourite resources include Big Cat levelled readers, the starlight interactive oral language programme and core reader. Each classroom has reading corner and a print rich environment to stimulate our students.

Strategies used in St John the Baptist:
Print Rich Environment labelling flashcards, charts IT, dictionaries, newspapers and project work all serve to ensure that the pupils work in a print rich environment.

  • Basic Sight Vocabulary:
    • The Dolch list is used as a yardstick re basic sight vocabulary.
    • Other programmes used include:
    • Dolch 1 and 2
    • 100 next most used words
    • Corewords
    • Second 100 words
    • Common words books
    • Common words objects
    • 100 most used words in writing
    • Also, socially useful words are taught.
  • Phonological Awareness:
    We used The Phonological Awareness Training Programme in our school.

  • Phonics:
    Phonics instruction is based on sight words from the children’s reading material. The spelling programme may be integrated. See attached programme.

  • Identification Strategies:
    Pupils are encouraged to use Look & Say; use sounds contextual knowledge and syllabic awareness to identify words.
  • Comprehension strategies:
    • Building bridges– this is a whole school approach to teaching comprehension. Its primary focus is the teaching of comprehension, with the ultimate aim of enabling children to become self-regulated strategic readers. To this end, eight key comprehension strategies are identified, namely, prediction, visualisation, making connections, questioning, clarifying, determining importance, inferring and synthesising. Each strategy is explicitly modelled through a think-aloud process using high-quality fiction and non-fiction picture books. Children’s understanding of each individual strategy is supported by Comprehension Process Motions which are hand movements that help to concretise abstract unseen cognitive processes thus reinforcing the learning through a kinaesthetic pathway.

We expose children to a variety of texts including expository narrative diagrammatic and representational. The questioning strategies we employ include:

    • Literal questions
    • Inferential question
    • Beyond the text

We aim to develop many comprehensive skills including:

    • Understanding
    • Analysis
    • Deduction
    • Summarisation
    • Inference
    • Prediction
    • Confirmation
    • Synthesis
    • Evaluation
    • Correlation

Reading Scheme:

The Starlight scheme is used to coincide with the oral language programme. We use big cat levelled readers as well Folens comprehension boxes.

Novels are studied termly in both the senior and junior room .

Each class has a library with books to suit the interest and reading ability of the children, e.g. fiction/non fiction, poetry etc. There is a reading corner in all classrooms. Children are involved in the organisation of the library in each class. Children record in their journals/ CAPER sheet, the books they have read. Libraries are stocked through the school book fairs and at the request of class/learning support/resource teachers.


Since S.P.H.E. has a moral and spiritual dimension its development and implementation are influenced significantly by the ethos or characteristic spirit of the school (Primary School Curriculum, p. 2)

St John the Baptist is a caring Catholic School whose primary objective is to provide education in a safe and friendly atmosphere. We strive to ensure that the staff and pupils have a mutual respect for each other. Every pupil has a right to education. In order that the child receives the best possible, there must be co-operation between parents/pupils and teachers.

We recognise that SPHE is intrinsic to the learning and teaching that occurs both formally and informally in the school and in the classroom. Through our SPHE programme we wish to assist children to develop feelings of self-worth and self-confidence while encouraging their ability to relate to others in a positive way.

The individuality of each pupil is accommodated, while acknowledging the right of each pupil to education in a relatively disruption free environment.


Our school strives to achieve the aims of SPHE which are set out below

  • to promote the personal development and well-being of the child
  • to foster in the child a sense of care and respect for himself/herself and others and an appreciation of the dignity of every human being
  • to promote the health of the child and provide a foundation for healthy living in all its aspects
  • to enable the child to make informed decisions and choices about the social, personal and health dimensions of life both now and in the future
  • to develop in the child a sense of social responsibility, a commitment to active and participative citizenship and an appreciation of the democratic way of life to enable the child to respect human and

We are passionate about mindfulness and wellbeing in our school, meditation is a feature which is used throughout the school. We focus on developing meaningful functioning relationships with the children; communication is key and it is imperative that children feel comfortable enough to discuss their emotions with staff.

Programmes and Other Materials:

  • SPHE Teacher Guidelines
  • Walk Tall
  • Be Safe
  • Stay Safe Child Abuse Prevention Programme
  • Action for life
  • Mindful matters – Mindful Matters is a complete SPHE programme that combines all components of the SPHE curriculum. It covers these components through pupil book activities, posters, stories, poetry, role-playing, brainstorming and more. The textbook is colourful and attractive. It is treated almost like a portfolio and acts as an assessment tool. The emphasis is on drawing out the children’s thoughts and opinions rather than on grammar and full sentences.
  • Responding to Critical Incidences
  • Stop It! (Bullying)
  • Stay Safe Pack for children with Learning Difficulties
  • RSE
  • Bullying (Prim-Ed Publications)
  • Anti-bullying support material (primary)
  • Busy Bodies (HSE)
  • PDST resources from

Most materials can be accessed on the PDST website.