Accelerated Reader Programme.

SEN Co-Ordinator at St Louis, Ms Gemma Finn is delighted to announce the start of the Accelerated Reader Programme at St Louis for all First Years and for students with learning support hours.

At its heart, Renaissance Accelerated Reader is simple. Its aim is to engage students, motivate reading practice and improve reading progress. The girls will read a book, take an online quiz, and get immediate feedback. Students respond to regular feedback and are motivated to make progress with their reading skills. A whole team of St Louis teachers spent time learning about the programme in order to help with the rollout of this programme.

 

Valuable data

Accelerated Reader gives teachers the information they need to monitor students’ reading practice and make informed decisions to guide their future learning.

A comprehensive set of reports reveals how much a student has been reading, at what level of complexity, and how well they have understood what they have read. Vocabulary growth and literacy skills are also measured, giving teachers insight into how well students have responded to reading schemes and class instruction.

The interactive Reading Dashboard allows staff to see how well students are performing at class, group and individual level. It brings together data from the Accelerated Reader and the Renaissance Star Reading assessment to allow teachers to diagnose problems and inform intervention programmes.

 

Accelerated Reader produces “particularly positive effects” according to an independent study by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and Durham University.

“The internet-based programme increased the reading age of pupils by three additional months in just 22 weeks. The effect on low-income pupils was even greater, with their reading age improving by five additional months in the same amount of time.”

We look forward to seeing these same positive effects on our students here at St Louis.

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TY September Report

September, like every month in St Louis Dundalk, was a busy one for the Transition Years. At the start of term the girls met up and were assigned to new class groupings, which is usual. It allows the girls to create new friendships whilst maintaining older ones. Their first outing was to Newgrange House, an adventure centre. There the girls completed a 25 km hike, which fulfils one strand of the Gaisce programme, but also found time for other activities including canoeing, abseiling, and a few karaoke sessions.

Once the girls arrived back to school their academic programme started. The girls get the opportunity in TY to experience all subject areas covered at Senior Cycle, and sometimes the girls find new passions which determine their choices for Fifth Year. This year in keeping with the Dept’s emphasis on Wellbeing, the students will have a short intensive programme working on enhancing the work done in this area at Junior Cycle.

Then it was time to hear what show will be done this year. The girls will be putting on “All Shook Up” from March 12-14 2019 in the Chapel Hall, under the tutelage of Ms Elaine Byrne, Ms Siobhán Higgins, Ms Kate O’ Byrne and Ms Lynne Rice. The hall has been ringing to the sounds of Elvis while the girls work on their moves and grooves.

That same week was also an exciting one for another very different reason. The girls received their Junior Cert results. It was heartening to see that their time in DkIT had not affected results adversely. There were tears of delight and hugs galore.

The week after was busy too. The girls took part in the Opening Mass, which took place at school this year because of Storm Ali, which prevented us from heading to The Redeemer Church as is usual. There was something very special about attending mass in the Chapel Hall this year, with the last vestiges of the fire evident in the stained glass window that are being repaired in Germany at present. There was a beautiful atmosphere as the whole school community gave thanks for saving our school and giving us back so much. That same week a group of TY students headed to Carrickmacross  for the SVP “Youth for Justice” conference.

Last week the girls headed to the Marble Arch Caves in Co Fermanagh where they researched both surface karst features and underground calcite features as part of their TY Geography programme. That same week they had a guest speaker visit from Gaisce to let the girls know of the different requirements to qualify for the Bronze Award.