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Galbally National School, Galbally, Co. Limerick


On this page scroll down and you will find some tips on

Shared reading.
Preparing for secondary school.
Helping your child understand friendships.
Understanding Special needs Education.

We will add to this list soon.Hope it helps you.

Shared Reading.
1. Choose a quiet time
Set aside a quiet time with no distractions. Ten to fifteen minutes is usually long enough.

2. Make reading enjoyable
Make reading an enjoyable experience. Sit with your child. Try not to pressurise if he or she is reluctant. If your child loses interest then do something else.

3. Maintain the flow
If your child mispronounces a word do not interrupt immediately. Instead allow opportunity for self-correction. It is better to tell a child some unknown words to maintain the flow rather than insisting on trying to build them all up from the sounds of the letters. If your child does try to 'sound out' words, encourage the use of letter sounds rather than 'alphabet names'.

4. Be positive
If your child says something nearly right to start with that is fine. Don't say 'No. That's wrong,' but 'Let's read it together' and point to the words as you say them. Boost your child's confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement.

5. Success is the key
Parents anxious for a child to progress can mistakenly give a child a book that is too difficult. This can have the opposite effect to the one they are wanting. Remember 'Nothing succeeds like success'. Until your child has built up his or her confidence, it is better to keep to easier books. Struggling with a book with many unknown words is pointless. Flow is lost, text cannot be understood and children can easily become reluctant readers.

6. Visit the Library
Encourage your child to use the public library regularly.

7. Regular practice
Try to read with your child on most school days. 'Little and often' is best. Teachers have limited time to help your child with reading.

8. Communicate
Your child will most likely have a reading diary from school. Try to communicate regularly with positive comments and any concerns. Your child will then know that you are interested in their progress and that you value reading.

9. Talk about the books
There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Just as important is being able to understand what has been read. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills.

10. Variety is important
Remember children need to experience a variety of reading materials eg. picture books, hard backs, comics, magazines, poems, and information books.

Transferring to Secondary School.
Transferring to secondary school can be a time of mixed emotions. Everything is so different. Pupils change from being 'a big fish in a little pond' to a one of the little ones in a much bigger environment. They are surrounded by many new faces and need to find their way around a new building. Instead of having one teacher, they have lots of new ones. There is a great deal to take in, all at once.

Here is some advice which may help your child to have a happy transition to secondary school.

  • Your child should not expect to understand everything straight away. It will take time to get into the new routines. You should explain that  he or she should not be afraid to ask questions.

  • Every school has rules. Whether children agree with them or not it is much better to keep to them. Impress upon your child that rules are there so that pupils understand what is expected of them and it is just not worth getting into trouble.

  • Your child will have homework . Homework is an essential part of your child's education, helping to establish independent study skills. Encourage your child to take assignments seriously by allowing adequate time for completion and working without distractions.

  • Remind your child that if someone is making their school life miserable to tell you or a teacher, even if they have been warned not to tell. It is his or her entitlement to attend school without being threatened and action must be taken to stop bullying.

  • Encourage your child to be supportive of classmates. Some may be having problems. Ignoring others or calling names can be very hurtful. However, being a good friend does not mean doing work for them.

  • Discuss your child's choice of friends. Sometimes children feel pressured into doing things they know are wrong because their 'friends' tell them to.

  • Your child will be fortunate if he or she gets on with all the teachers. Remind your child that the teachers are there for his or her benefit . Encourage your child to discuss with you any problems that arise.

  • A good way to meet new friends with similar interests is by joining a school team. Suggest that your child explores the options available.

  • Be supportive at exam times. Your child may have regular exams / assessments . Talk about these and the fact that there is no need to worry. With good notes and adequate revision time all should be well. Pupils who read over their notes only the night before an exam rarely perform to their potential.

  • Lastly encourage your child to relax and think positive. With caring support you can help to make the transition a happy period.

Friendships can be a wonderful source of strength emotionally for children, and help their developing self-confidence. After the age of nine or so, many children have a 'best friend' and may form intense, longer-lasting friendships on the basis of a variety of shared interests and things in common.Your child may be happy with just one friend, or be extremely popular with a large circle of friends. Alternatively, he may seem perfectly content on his own - sometimes because he has interests that are different from most other children his age, whether older or younger. If he's happy with the situation, that's fine. You only need to worry if he seems upset about rejection by friends.

What if your child has trouble making friends?
This can cause enormous anxiety. It's right to worry if your child seems upset by a constant lack of friends. This can mean they're more vulnerable - not just to loneliness and low self-esteem - but to later problems such as lower academic achievement, or even eating disorders and depression.

Shyness or aggression can prevent children from making friends, but there are children who are neither and who just seem to be loners. Not all of these children are troubled by it, so it's important not to overreact. While the vast majority of children do rely heavily on their friendships, there are some who seem quite happy without this, and many grow into resourceful, creative adults.


  • Encourage your child - talk to him about friendships, share memories of your childhood friends and ask your child's views about his.

  • Teach social skills and sociable behaviour - explain to your child how to understand non-verbal and verbal cues, for example, someone smiling at him or making a jokey remark. Your child may be misinterpreting these and miss opportunities to make friends. Your child may overreact to teasing, or pressure others to play when they've said "no". You can even use role play to show your child, for example, how to make eye contact and to smile to show he's friendly. Your child could also practise saying something like: "Hello I am Sam, would you like to play?

  • Teach basic social rules - not to snatch things, or hit others and how to share and co-operate, and ensure your own behaviour gives a good example.

  • Make your child's friends welcome in your home - don't judge your child's choices too harshly or force him to play with children you choose.

  • Make an effort to talk to other parents at school - this encourages children to get to know each other.

  • Find local activities, where your child will have opportunities to make friends outside of school, such as cubs, a drama group or swimming lessons.

  • Show love - this is invaluable as it helps bolster your child's confidence, even if there are occasional friendship difficulties. Never show up your child or tell him off in front of friends.

  • Try not to interfere too much in matters connected with your child's friendships and social life - he should have the chance to sort these out in his own way whenever possible.

  • Safety advice

  • Don't let your child go off alone unsupervised - especially with a friend you feel uncomfortable about.

  • Be wary of groups you don't feel happy about - boys especially can be led on into much worse behaviour when a 'gang' is egging them on.

  • Make sure you always know where your child is - have clear rules that they must come and tell you before moving on somewhere else.

Understanding Special needs Education.
Provision of Supplementary Teaching
The primary work of the learning support teacher is the provision of supplementary teaching to the pupils identified using the agreed criteria.The class teacher and the learning support teacher meet to devise Individual Education Plans. The pupils also contribute to setting their own short-term targets.

Such plans address the pupils' full range of needs and include:

  • Detail from the pupils' class teacher

  • Learning strengths and attainments

  • Priority learning needs

  • Learning targets

  • Class based learning activities

  • Supplementary teaching activities

  • Home support activities, e.g. phonics, spelling and reading activities

Each plan is monitored through teacher observation and the keeping of Weekly planning and progress records. Regular updates and meetings take place between the class teacher and learning support teacher. A detailed review takes place at the end of each instructional term. This involves some re-testing of to determine whether or not learning targets have been met and to inform future planning.

Learning Support Programme
The learning support programme in literacy for example consists of a range of interventions and the teaching of a selection of different strategies to the pupils experiencing difficulties. The aim of the learning support programme is to optimise the teaching and learning process so as to enable pupils with learning difficulties to achieve adequate levels of proficiency in literacy before leaving primary school. The learning support programme is a team effort in which the learning support teacher and the class teachers cooperate with each other, with parents and with relevant outside agencies. We feel it is important to attempt to build up confidence, morale and self-esteem in pupils. Pupils who have a history of failure are given an opportunity to enjoy and succeed in their reading related activities. Due to the differences in pupils' strengths, needs, targets and learning activities as outlined in the Individual Education Plans, it is not possible to adhere to a strict learning support programme. However, suggestions regarding lesson content and methodologies that may be adopted are outlined below:

  • Developing Skills and Strategies.

  • Developing Oral Language

  • Developing Emergent Literacy Skills.

  • Letter Knowledge.

  • Visual Discrimination of Letters and Words.

  • Developing: Auditory discrimination & auditory memory. Phonemic awareness, sequencing skills, listening skills

  • Developing Comprehension Strategies.

  • Recognising rhyme and alliteration

  • Developing Word identification Skills.

  • Developing gross and fine motor skills (if necessary)

Continuing and Discontinuing Pupils in receipt of Supplementary Teaching.
Following the end of an instructional term a review of a child's progress will take place. The learning support teacher will undertake further diagnostic testing and this will determine how much progress the pupil has made in meeting the goals set out in the IEP/IPLP/GEP. A decision is then made to continue/discontinue the provision of supplementary teaching.