Traditionally we have thought about literacy as the skills of reading and writing; but today our understanding of literacy encompasses much more than that. Literacy includes the capacity to read, understand and critically appreciate various forms of communication including spoken language, printed text, broadcast media, and digital media.
In Killarney Community College we have endeavoured over a number of years to teach literacy skills in all classes. We have had a whole school approach using a focus on new words and concept mapping in all classes.
The students have also had the opportunity to engage in a number of specific initatives across their year groups. These include:
• Regional reading initiative for 1st years
• Word Millionaire for 2nd years
• Writer in residence for 3rd years
• Different groups have had the opportunity of taking part in the writers in residence programme
• Students have the opportunity to take part in a Poetry Aloud competition in the Kerry ETB schools
• A small number of first years took part in a specific reading programme using the acceleread/ read write gold programme. PLC students acted as their literacy tutors.
These have been seen as a model of best practice in methods of improving literacy levels for all students.