Odd Socks Day – report by Bonnie McMahon and Jodie Murphy (2nd year students)
We decided to have Odd Socks Day on Wednesday, 20 March in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland in our school because we thought that it would be a nice thing to do considering both of us have family relatives who have Down syndrome. We thought that we should support them.
We wore odd socks to show that everyone is different in their own way and we thought that no matter what race, religion, disability, gender etc. you have to know that everyone has a voice. We made a speech to stand up for people with Down Syndrome to all year groups in our school before the fashion show in aid of sending two 5th years to Lourdes. We wanted Loreto students to know that people with Down Syndrome are just like us, and just because their features are different, they are human beings like us and that we should treat people with kindness and love. This is why we organized the day and made the speech in front of all the students.
The 5th year students have kindly donated €50 from their fashion show fundraiser to Down Syndrome Ireland. We would like to thank them and all the students who wore odd socks on Wednesday.
- Oral and practical examinations continue for 3rd and 6th year students next week.
- The HARA, a Manchester-based band, will perform to students in the school on the morning of Friday, 5 April and will deliver a message relating to safe and responsible use of social media.
Assessment for Learning (AfL) in Loreto – report by Ms. Michelle Jordan
Here in Loreto, Wexford we understand that AfL plays a key role in students’ learning experiences. AfL stands for ‘Assessment for Learning’.
There are two central components to effective AfL:
- the identification of clear Learning Intentions which describe what a learner should know, understand and be able to do as a result of learning and
- Success Criteria which indicate to both the student and teacher if the Learning Intentions have been achieved to the best of the student’s ability.
Second year English students work in groups to complete a character sketch of Ginger, a character from their class novel ‘Stone Cold’ by Robert Swindells. The learning intention and success criteria are displayed on the board.
Other aspects of AfL include:
- Provision of Effective Feedback
- Effective use of Questioning
- Self- Assessment
By using AfL, teachers ensure that students have both enjoyable and successful learning experiences. Have a look at some of the photos from our classrooms below to see AfL in practice:
Peer-assessment: Ms. Pheasey’s 5th Year English class present the findings of their group work to the class and answer questions.
Ms. Shannon’s TYs prepared lessons on grammar to teach to each other. During the lessons they used ‘Kahoot’, PowerPoint, brainstorming, questioned their peers and taught songs:
Peer and self-assessment: Ms. Shannon’s Sixth years are pictured doing a placemat revision exercise. They are writing a summary of the five prose on the Gaeilge course. They had five minutes to work on their own sections and then turned the placemat, so they were looking at one somebody else did and either adding to it or correcting.
The KWL Method helps to clarify learning outcomes for students. Students ask themselves ‘What do I know already?’ at the start of the lesson, then ‘What have I learned?’ and ‘What would I still like to find out? Ms. Johns and Ms. Culleton’s posters are pictured below:
Ms. John’s First Year Wellbeing lesson focused on human rights using the KWL method. Students worked in groups to reflect on key points they learned about this topic during previous lessons. The notes were pinned onto the appropriate board on the wall. Then students selected the information that was common to all groups and had a discussion.
At the end of a unit Ms. Culleton’s class sort key words into the correct category as a form of self-assessment:
Ms. Culleton also gets students to assess their own learning by sticking 3 things they learned onto a wall in the classroom:
5th Year Prefects Eimear Jackman and Isabel O’ Connor wrote about their experience of AfL and selected comment-only marking as their favourite part of it:
“Comment only marking is highly effective as it helps you progress and look back if needs be. We feel it gives another point of view to what you’ve written and helps you to develop some points (rather than just focusing on the grade). We feel that the level of ‘hands up’ in class can be very low. This could be due to lack of confidence and more class discussion (and less focus on grades) may relieve stress and tension in the class.”
AfL is not about replacing tests and traditional methods of learning (known as Assessment of Learning). Rather, these two approaches complement each other and we, as teachers, strive to get that balance right so that every girl can reach her full potential.