The Learning to Learn programme is aimed at embedding a culture of learning and study at Junior Cycle. One of the key objectives of the Junior Cycle is to place the student at the centre of the teaching and learning. Students today are facing the challenge of ongoing changes in the nature of knowledge and the need for the requisite skills to process this increasing amount of information. This programme will assist students in knowing themselves better as learners, being more organised and confident along with having a proven study system and learning approach which will reduce their stress levels and add to their sense of well-being.
Statements of learning: Along with developing the identified Key Skills, Learning to Learn as a short course reflects four of the 24 Statements of Learning for the Junior Cycle. Learning to Learn incorporates the following Learning Statements: Learning Statement 1. Communicates effectively using a variety of means in a range of contexts in L1 Examples of Learning Students are engaged in a variety of learning activities where they are required to work individually, in pairs and as part of a group. Opportunities are provided for students to present on their work to their peers and teachers. 3. Creates, appreciates and critically interprets a wide range of texts As part of the course students will explore a variety of texts from subjects on their courses and apply the knowledge and skills from this course to those texts. 5. Has an awareness of personal values and an understanding of the process of moral decision making Through the variety of reflection exercises students are encouraged to reflect on their own learning and have a better understanding of themselves as learners, along with making better personal decisions about their own learning. 11. Takes action to safeguard and promote her/his well-being and that of others By having a greater awareness of themselves and growing in confidence as learners students are developing resilience to aid their own well-being and better cope with stress associated with formal assessments. 8
Reflection: 'Managing self' is one of the key skills for Junior Cycle and is focused on helping the student to better understand themselves as learners and individuals along with aiding them in planning and making good decisions in relation to their own learning. Reflection creates these opportunities for students along with promoting a growth mindset, where they can identify their own strengths and abilities to develop them further. As formative assessment is an integral part of the Junior Cycle, with ongoing opportunities for feedback for the student it is important that students are provided with the language, knowledge and skills to make the most of any feedback given. Opportunities for reflection allow this and give the student more control over managing and making use of any feedback and developing a more positive attitude to their own learning. Within the Learning to Learn programme space and activities are provided for the students to reflect on their learning and act accordingly in their planning, goal setting and actions. Each lesson concludes with a Pause and Reflect section, where teachers are encouraged to give time at the end of the lesson for the student to complete. The teacher may also wish to ask students to complete this at home as part of their homework along with feeding back to the teacher and class at the beginning of the next lesson. At the end of each section there is an inbuilt review template for students to reflect and evaluate what they have covered in that particular section along with an opportunity to reflect on how they can further embed what they have learned into their wider studies. At the beginning of Section 2 there is a chapter on ‘Reflection’ which focuses the students more on taking advantage of any feedback given, especially in terms of their formative assessment assignments. This chapter also contains an exercise focusing students on their readiness to learn. 9