‘’You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book” Dr. Seuss


Literacy is probably the most fundamental and crucial part of education and life – long learning. Without it all other learning is impossible.

It is defined as the ‘capacity to read, understand and critically appreciate various forms of communication including spoken language ,prints text, broad text media, and digital media.’ (DES,2011)

Literacy is the key to success in life and Firies school are passionate about giving children a flying start to becoming independent, confident, life-long readers who can engage with the written word for functional and personal purposes. Below are some suggestions on how you can help your child become a happy and confident reader.

  • Be a role model and let your child see you reading – a newspaper, a book, a magazine.
  • Talk to your child about the joy of reading.
  • Read together every day. Make it an enjoyable activity.
  • Read to your child with humour and expression. Use different voices.
  • Be interactive. Discuss what is happening in the book, ask questions about the story, point out objects and words on the page.
  • Know when to stop. Put the book away when your child loses interest. Choose a different book or come back to it later.
  • Read it again and again. Young children especially love repetition so go ahead and read your child’s favourite book for the 100th time!!
  • Join the local library and visit it regularly.
  • Give everything a name. Build your child’s vocabulary by talking about interesting words and objects and discussing words in the reading and in the environment around you.
  • Point out print everywhere. Talk about written words you see in the world around you. Find new words on each outing.
  • In the evening time, turn off the TV and all interactive devices and let your child ‘get lost’ in a book.

There are many useful websites that provide resources to help promote Literacy.

www.Scoilnet.ie/primary/theme-pages/english provide hundreds of engaging English Literacy Resources at all levels in primary school. Use the search function to find one that suits your needs or select one of the resources featured in the spotlight section.

www.ncca.ie/en/primary/resources-for-parents has resources for parents on the Language Curriculum at all levels in the primary school.

Here are additional links that you might find useful depending on your child’s age or stage in school.

Junior classes

Middle Classes


World Book Day in Firies School

Literacy is celebrated all over the world as part of World Book Day.

World book day in Firies School is a huge opportunity to develop the children’s confidence in reading for enjoyment, oral language and writing skills.

It gives the children an opportunity to dress as their favourite characters in their costumes. They share their favourite books, authors, characters and illustrators with their peers and other classes. It encourages children to work in groups and create their own stories and books. There is no doubt that Firies have a school of book lovers.

Buddy Reading

Literacy is celebrated all over the world as part of World Book Day.

Buddy reading in Firies School has proven to be a hugely popular and worthwhile activity. It helps children improve academically as literacy development is a core value of Buddy reading. It provides an opportunity for children to read books of their choice for enjoyment during school.

The younger children gain confidence and improve on their reading as they are supported by their older peer/ buddy and teachers. It encourages the child to be active in learning and it encourages academic and personal development for both children.

Team Teaching Station Teaching

Literacy is celebrated all over the world as part of World Book Day.

Teaching Literacy through Station Teaching / Team Teaching has proven to be a flexible teaching and learning strategy that allows the teacher to differentiate and personalize Literacy to meet the needs of all children in both Junior and Senior classes. It helps pupils develop at their own pace in smaller groups aided by the guidance of teachers. There are different teachers at different stations / teams and children enjoy the variety and flexibility of these strategies where their Literacy skills of reading, comprehension, oral language, and writing are fully developed.

Pyjama Party in Firies School

As part of our literacy program in Firies school ‘Pyjama night’ is a big celebration of literacy for our junior classes. The children look forward to dressing up in their Pyjamas at night, arriving with their favourite toy and enjoying an evening of stories being read to them by the teachers.

Hot chocolate is also part of the celebration.


Setting the Seeds

In our school we work in setting the seeds so that our children can blossom into accomplished authors. We guide them from a scribble to a word, a word to a sentence, a sentence to a page and maybe someday a book.

Developing the desire to write

In infant classes through ‘Aistear’ we encourage children to write shopping lists, recipes for potions, orders at the restaurant, messages in bottles or anything else that comes up in our structured play.

Introduction to different genres

The objective of writing is to put your thoughts on paper either for yourself or to be read by a specific audience. It may be an opinion, a list, recounting an event or creating a new world of fantasy. To this end we introduce our students to a wide variety of genres and styles. We give them the skills to write in all the various genres.


In Firies National School we use the cursive script and encourage children to join their writing from 4th class upwards. We ask that children use a pen at this stage. We take pride in the fact that our students have been very successful in handwriting competitions and always give them the opportunity to enter.

Studying Authors and Novels

We encourage children to share books that they have read and loved. From 3rd class up we read at least one class novel each year. This gives children the chance to experience different styles of writing. They write down new words and phrases or descriptions that they admire and go on to use some of these ideas in their own writing.

A Love of Poetry

From Nursery Rhymes to Seamas Heaney and Spike Milligan, poetry is always part of the curriculum in Firies. We focus on humorous, rhyming verse in junior classes and branch out to including soulful and emotive poems with older classes. Children are taught how to write list Poems, sensory poems, Limericks, acrostic poems, Haikus and ballads. We remind them that powerful feelings and funny tales can be expressed as a poem in very few carefully crafted words.

Developing Confidence

From middle classes up we see the value in peer editing. Children pick out and compliment phrases that they admired and give constructive criticism. We always give children the opportunity and encouragement to read their work aloud but never put pressure on them to do so. We always watch out for creative writing competitions and endeavour to submit entries from the children. Over the years Firies has had winners in ‘The Listowel Writer’s Week’, The ‘Kerryman’ and Kerry Radio.

Tips for Parents

  • Good readers make good writers. Expose your child to a wide variety of books and discuss them together.
  • Provide the opportunity for your child to write. (Birthday cards/invitations; postcards; Christmas cards; a letter of thanks to a relative; a Get Well card)
  • Make sure your child is using the correct pencil grip from the start.
  • If your child is writing his/her name ensure that only the first letter is a capital.
  • Proofread your child’s writing together and use positive criticism.
  • Read, acknowledge and praise your child’s written work.
Fostering a love of books and poetry, be it to write or read them, is a gift for life. Let’s parcel it together!
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