Castletroy College

Step Up Project

Step Up Project

Launch of the Schools Excellence Fund Project Website

In 2018, a School Excellence fund project called Step Up was launched by the Department of Education and Skills (DES). The goals identified for the Step Up project were to achieve higher quality learning experiences and outcomes for students through more effective implementation of aspects of the Framework for Junior Cycle (2015).

Castletroy College one of 9 schools nationwide who were chosen to participate in a Department of Education initiative called Step Up in 2018. A report on the results of the work of Castletroy College to develop their practice in relation to the implementation of the new Junior Cycle curriculum to a highly effective level, which was launched on Wednesday, 9th March 2022, at an online event that was attended by members of the wider education community nationally, with closing comments by the Chief Inspector of the Department of Education, Harold Hislop.

Lisa Kiely (Project Coordinator), Sharon Delaney, John Keehan, Anne Marie McMahon and Linda Hannon along with the Principal, Padraig Flanagan, described in the report the results of the effort in their school to promote integrated, interdisciplinary planning that would allow their students to make meaningful and authentic connections between learning in different subjects areas of the curriculum.

Sustainability in the use of electronics, more specifically the use of mobile phones, formed the core theme in all lessons delivered across the five subject areas of the four-week unit. Students studied the topic from the perspective of the three pillars of sustainability, economic, environmental, or social depending on the subject they were in. The project report also includes an outline of key implementation practices, as well as the lasting impact on students, teachers and the school community.

Castletroy College's report can be accessed here on the website www.stepupproject.ie

The teachers in Castletroy College indicated that participation in the project was professionally invigorating. Working as part of a committed team and being exposed to a range of effective classroom practices from other departments greatly enhanced teachers' capacity to design and deliver engaging and student-centred lessons across this unit of work. The team found it very rewarding to see the students respond so positively during the implementation, with increased enjoyment and engagement in these lessons widely reported.

Project schools were supported to develop highly effective practices of teacher collaboration and reflection, guided by the School Self-Evaluation (SSE) process and standards, while simultaneously developing student-centred innovation in relation to aspects of the new curriculum. Cross-subject groups of teachers whose subjects (English, Business Studies and Science) had been the first three to undergo specification change under the Framework for Junior Cycle (2015) were invited to participate in Step Up, creating the opportunity for their learning to influence the practice of other subject areas within their schools. Selected schools were given support, in the form of advice and feedback, by Advisors with Junior Cycle for Teachers (a support service of the Department of Education) and project link Inspectors from the Inspectorate of the Department.

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Castletroy College,
Newtown,
Castletroy,
Co. Limerick,
V94 6D85

061 330 785


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