Study Skills

First Year

In First Year, the focus is to guide students in developing practical techniques to assist them in settling into St. Joseph’s and to gain insight into techniques and tools that will help them learn better. As part of our Wellbeing suite of subjects in St. Joseph’s offers all junior students a weekly timetabled period of a module we call Learning to Learn The focus of this module in primarily concerned with:
  1. Transitioning and settling in to secondary school
  2. Exploring what learning is all about
  3. Developing techniques and skills on students can better manage information
Please follow the link to a study guide for First Year students:

Second Year

In Second Year, students engage more fully with their own learning process. They build on the skills they learned in First Year and explore how and why it is important to set goals for their Junior Cycle learning. As part of our Wellbeing suite of subjects in St. Joseph’s all Second Year students have a weekly timetabled period Learning to Learn. A Second Year St. Joseph’s student is encouraged develop a study system that will support them throughout their junior cycle. The ‘Learning to Learn’ programme in Second Year places a focus on:
  1. Identifying the student’s personal learning style
  2. Setting goals and motivation for learning
  3. Developing memory and study techniques
Please follow the link to a study guide for 2nd year:

Third Year

The focus of the Learning to Learn module for Third Year students in St. Joseph’s is on preparing students for assessments. This year, our students explore simple strategies that will help them better manage the pressure and stresses they may encounter or feel as they prepare to sit their first state exam. Lessons are based around:
  1. Exploring the purpose of both formative and summative assessment practices
  2. Developing resilience as a learner
  3. Preparing for assessment and exams
Please follow the link to study guide for 3rd year:

Senior Cycle

Throughout the course of their senior cycle the Ms. Siobhan Kilkenny, head of Guidance in St. Joseph’s organises a study skills workshop/ seminar with specialist study skills providers and consultants which places a strong emphasis on senior students learning to think, act and study independently. The workshop explores the following themes:
  • Efficient Learning – Core strategies to aid learning and revision; the optimum learning environment, note taking, interleaved practice, the Spacing Effect, Forget to Learn Theory and Retrieval Practice
  • Marginal Gains – Strategies to improve personal performance; collaboration, problem solving, research skills and time management tools
  • Mindset Matters – Examining ability beliefs and approaches to challenges
  • The Malleable Brain – The basics of brain biology and its link to learning; the differences in storage and retrieval strength in memory and why multisensory learning is important
  • Physiological and Psychological preparation in the run up to exams and coping with anxiety/stress
  • Self– belief and success visualisation
  • Revision Strategies relevant to student learning preferences.
  • Exam Techniques
  • Planning and Time Management
Senior Cycle students in St. Joseph’s also follow the Reach+ programme and spend time reflecting on their current learning/study methods and how these can be improved. The topics covered are:

Learning Approaches

Building upon prior self -knowledge from junior cycle, students learn about the various learning styles by carrying out their own Approaches to Learning Quiz. This can help students determine their own specific learning style. Developing an appreciation and understanding of this important self-knowledge can assist students to become more efficient in how they learn.

Learning Skills – Introduction

The focus of this set of lessons explores the importance of why students need to be well organised and prepared for Senior Cycle learning. Students are introduced to the concept of exam target setting, study skills, goal setting and study behaviour.

Academic Tracking- Setting Targets

The Guidance team in St. Joseph’s encourage students to monitor and track results obtained through Senior Cycle. This forms an important part of one-to-one individual appointments with Ms. Kilkenny and Mrs. Mc Alpine

Study Skills Questionnaire

Students complete a Study Skills Questionnaire to help measure their performance on a number of key study habits and routine.

Study Action Plan

Students reflect on various methodologies/strategies/techniques explored and experience throughout Transition Year, Fifth Year and Leaving Cert and develop their own strategies. In doing, a St. Joseph’s student takes ownership of her own learning thereby improving her study habits and exam/assessment performance.


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