Love the children … and make a great effort to improve their education
and raise it to as high a degree as possible. Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey



Mount Sackville Secondary School

Literacy Strategy

School philosophy and Ethos:

Mount Sackville Secondary School was founded in 1864 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny.  Since its foundation, it has taken its place among the leading secondary schools in Ireland and has been synonymous with the education of young women for over 140 years.  It encourages the pursuit of excellence, while offering a high standard of teaching and learning opportunities.

We are committed to respecting the individuality of each student and helping her to realise her full potential.

  • We encourage the pursuit of excellence and a high standard of teaching and learning opportunities is offered.
  • We provide opportunities for prayer and reflection and to relate to others in a Christian way.
  • We work to create a caring school community based on respect, integrity, honesty and justice.
  • We prepare our students to take their place as self-confident, articulate young women who will meet the challenges of modern life with serenity, resilience and courage.

Definition of literacy

The definition of literacy that we are using is the following:

“Literacy includes the capacity to read, understand and critically appreciate various forms of communication including spoken language, printed text, broadcast media and digital media.”

Literacy and Numeracy Strategy, 2011-2020.

Vision / Rationale

In conjunction with our Mission Statement, our vision for literacy is to have high expectations for our students with regards to their literacy skills, to ensure that they can actively engage as citizens. This vision pertains to all of our students. We will endeavour to ensure that our students can:

  • actively and fluently read a variety of texts (fiction, non-fiction, digital media, visual texts)
  • ask questions about what they read
  • navigate the internet and make judgements about what they read online
  • participate fully in society
  • communicate confidently
  • use their literacy skills to access, understand, analyse and evaluate subject content
  • use their literacy skills to express themselves creatively
  • articulate their thoughts and emotions fluently and confidently
  • write effectively in a variety of genres
  • listen, interpret, understand, make judgements and respond to what they hear

Literacy is the responsibility of all the education partners in the whole school community.

Literacy Core Team

A Literacy Core Team will drive the promotion of literacy and liaise with the whole school community, including students, parents, the primary school community and educational organisations. It is the collective responsibility of the whole school community to implement the school literacy plan, as outlined in our School Improvement Plan, (SIP).

Members of the Core Team (2018/19) – Hazel Scanlon, Ger Murphy, Patrick Porter, Trudy Loftus, Jennifer Simmons, Noreen McGlinn, Claire Haran, John Gorman, Jana Elkhaward.

Aims of the Literacy Policy:

This Literacy Policy aims to ensure that appropriate opportunities and procedures are in place to enable the school

  • to offer initiatives which increase literacy levels
  • To promote literacy among students across the curriculum.
  • To offer learning environment where each individual student can achieve high levels of literacy and are equipped for the information age
  • to ensure that all students in the school are given the opportunity through teaching practices and school initiatives to reach their highest possible individual literacy potential
  • To target groups/areas identified as having specific literacy needs
  • To develop teaching strategies which support literacy within each department
  • To develop the school as a print rich and literate environment
  • to promote a lifelong love of reading
  • to develop communication skills in each student
  • to equip students with the literacy skills they will need in the world outside of the school
  • to enable each student to be confident with language in all its forms, to be articulate and to have the skills needed to express themselves


In line with the National Strategy for Literacy and Numeracy, our targets will aim:

  • to raise community awareness of the importance of oral and written language in all its forms, (including print, writing and digital media)
  • to improve our attitudes to literacy
  • to foster an enjoyment of reading among students
  • to set and monitor targets of skills in literacy
  • to assess and evaluate teaching and learning in literacy
  • to inform parents / guardians about literacy skills of their children in the school
  • to involve parents / guardians in the literacy development of our students
  • to support the role of parents / guardians as the primary educators

Whole School Strategies / Initiatives:

Actions and interventions to support the quality of teaching and learning in the promotion of literacy that we espouse in our school:

  • teacher CPD
  • Regular use of the library for classes
  • comprehension strategies
  • formative assessment
  • use of graphic organisers, mind maps
  • use of thesauri and dictionaries
  • Read Walls
  • Question vocabulary
  • SEN Literacy policy to be followed throughout the school

Initiatives to Promote Literacy

Whole school initiatives:

In School:

  1. Reading

Accelerated Reader

Book in a Bag

Library Promotion

Fiction reading classes in the library

Recommended reading lists compiled by the librarian given to all students

Reading attitudinal surveys

Teachers’ books on doors

  1. Writing

Use of thesauri and dictionaries

Keywords on walls

Subject dictionaries

  1. Speaking and Listening Activities

Poetry Corner


  1. Digital Literacy

Digital Literacy classes in CSPE

Integration of digital literacy into teaching across the school

Implementation of the Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020

23 2024
Leaving Certificate 2024 Results
26 2024
1st Year Induction
27 2024
TY Trip to Carlingford
27 2024
1st Year Induction
Mount Sackville Secondary School,
Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny,
Dublin 20,
D20 WP68

01 821 3317
01 821 4061

© 2024 Mount Sackville Secondary School