17 October, 2018 - Department of Education and Skills launches the inaugural Literacy and Numeracy forum

Promoting and encouraging quality, excellence and innovation in Literacy and Numeracy 

The Department of Education and Skills today (Wednesday October 17th) launched the inaugural Literacy and Numeracy Forum.  The forum aims to; 

  • showcase and celebrate exemplars of quality, excellence and innovation in Literacy and Numeracy in the Irish school system
  • capture the voices of learners as to their reflections on the literacy and numeracy competence and knowledge
  • strive for excellence - providing curricula and learning outcomes appropriate for current and predicted future skills requirements and to
  • highlight the work of our education partners and industry to improve literacy and numeracy skills 

Opening the forum Harold Hislop, Chief Inspector with the Department of Education and Skills stated: “The Forum is a celebration of the quality, excellence and innovation in Literacy and Numeracy that is happening in the Irish school system and of the work of our education partners and industry to ensure our learners are equipped with the necessary literacy and numeracy skills to succeed in an ever-changing world”. 

The Forum allows reflection on the progress that has been made in the achievements of our learners over recent years, to identify some of the exemplary practice that has led to these achievements, and to explore the innovative ways in which we can proceed into the future. 

Speakers were welcomed from industry, Further Education, National Council for Curriculum and Education, Primary Parents Council, libraries, schools and most importantly the student themselves. 

Today we will hear from students who will reflect on the skills, competencies and knowledge that they will require to participate fully in the social and economic life of Ireland in the future.  It is vital that our learners are equipped with the 21st century learning skills required to enable them, as citizens of tomorrow, to learn, to enjoy and confidently participate in every aspect of day-to-day life.  

Áine Lynch from the National Parent’s Council Primary spoke about a joint initiative between the Irish Primary Principals Network and the National Parents Council Primary called Partnership Schools Ireland (PSI).  PSI provides a framework to schools to support their work with Parents, students and the local community with the focus being on better outcomes for children to include supporting numeracy and literacy in Irish primary schools. 

Minister McHugh stated, “This future must be for all.  It is essential that every child has the opportunity to fulfil their potential, regardless of their circumstances. The gap between the learning achievements in schools with a high proportion of disadvantage and other schools remains. We need to tackle educational disadvantage with targets that will closely link the Literacy and Numeracy agenda with the DEIS plan 2017”. 

The Action Plan for Education commits to continue building on our strong improvements under Literacy and Numeracy and to improve the learning experience of learners so that they may reach their full potential. 

Ends 

Notes For Editors

 

  1.  Literacy & Numeracy Forum

17th October 2018

Gresham Hotel, O’Connell Street, Dublin 1

Programme of Events

 9.00 - Registration, Tea & Coffee

9.30 - Introductions by Alison Curtis, Chair - radio journalist with Today FM

9.50 -Keynote Speakers

i.            Sylvia Caldwell, Keelings  – Literacy and Numeracy in the Workplace

ii.            Roisín Doherty, Solas – Adult Literacy and Numeracy

iii.            Arlene Forster, NCCA – Curriculum reform and support of Literacy and Numeracy Strategy and the revised targets for 2017–2020

10.40 - Discussion at tables and feedback to floor

11.10 - Tea and Coffee Break

11.30 - Keynote Speakers

iv.            Áine Lynch, National Parents Council (Primary) – Mobilising Parents as Supports    

v.            The Student Voice – Video of students’ reflections on the skills, competence and knowledge that they will require to participate fully in the social and economic life of Ireland in the future

12.00 - Discussion at tables and feedback to floor

12.20 - Response to keynote speakers

Dr Emer Ring, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick

13.00 – Lunch

14.00 – Showcase of Best Practice and Discussion – Primary Schools

Our Lady of Mercy Primary School, Sligo

Coláiste Bríde, Clondalkin, Dublin 22

14.30 - Showcase of Best Practice and Discussion – Community Based Initiatives

Bernadette Fennell, Libraries

15.10 - Panel Discussion

This panel will take its lead from what has been presented during the day

Panellists:

  • Evelyn O’Connor – Principal Officer, Curriculum and Assessment Policy Unit, Department of Education and Skills
  • Suzanne Dillon – Assistant Chief Inspector, Department of Education and Skills
  • Arlene Forster – Assistant Chief Executive, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment
  • Sandra O’Neill – Lecturer, Early Childhood Education, Dublin City Universtity
  • Roisín Doherty – Solas
  • Merrilyn Goos – Director of EPISTEM, Univeristy of Limerick
  • Michael McNamara – Professioanal Development for Teachers – Technology in Education

16.15 - Close of Forum

Séan Ó Foghlú, Secretary General, Department of Education and Skills

2. List of schools providing poster presentations on literacy and numeracyinterventions in their schools:

  • St. Joseph’s NS, Rathdonnell, Donegal
  • Our Lady of Mercy Primary School, Sligo
  • Scoil Íosagáin, Buncrana, Donegal
  • St. Brigid’s Boys’ National School, Killester
  • Scoil Cholmchille, Glengad, Malin, Donegal
  • Scoil Náisiúnta na Rinne, Rinn Ua gCuanach, Port Láirge
  • Kilkenny City Vocational College
  • Collinstown Park Community College, Dublin 22
  • Choláiste an Phiarsaigh, Gleann Maghair
  • Coláiste Bríde, Clondalkin

3. Background

The Literacy and Numeracy Strategy, launched in 2011, recognised the importance of the key skills of literacy and numeracy for all aspects of day-to-day life and learning setting out a vision for raising standards in our early years, primary and post-primary school settings.  The strategy set out a radical programme in areas such as; teacher education and professional development, curriculum change, monitoring of student progress and evaluating the work of schools. It acknowledged the central role of parents and the need to support them as they help their children to learn. 

The interim review highlighted the improvements that have been realised in relation to literacy and the need for an increased focus on numeracy.  Redevelopment of the primary mathematics curriculum to include computational thinking, introduction of Computer Science at Leaving Certificate, implementation of the actions under the STEM Education Policy Statement 2017-2026 and the Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 are among the series of ambitious actions to further improve our performance in mathematical and digital literacy.  

Tackling educational disadvantage is a key priority with the need for improvement in achievement between learners in DEIS schools and those in other schools.  Specific targets for literacy and numeracy within disadvantaged schools are set out in the interim report and are supported by the publication of the DEIS Plan 2017.    

The Interim Review is available at:

https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Information/Literacy-and-Numeracy/Literacy-and-Numeracy.html