St Rose's National School


St Rose’s teaches the entire primary school curriculum, with the exception of Irish. Children spend spend an hour a day learning the Wilson programme, an hour with other English lessons, and an hour with Maths. In the afternoons other areas of the curriculum are covered, including History, Geography, Science, Physical Education, Art, Music Drama and SPHE.


Sounds and Tapping

All children take part in the Wilson programme, which is a systematic programme designed to help children and adults with dyslexia improve their reading and spelling.

Wilson is a twelve step programme. Beginning in steps one and two, children review all letter sounds and link them to keywords, to make sure that they are making all sounds correctly and not confusing them with other letters. Vowels are often a particular area to watch.

They also learn to separate the sounds in a word by tapping them on their fingers and blending them together.

Sometimes two letters together make only one sound, as in “sh” and “ch”. These cases are called digraphs, and only one finger is used. Eg. “chin” is tapped as /ch/ /i/ /n/.

These skills are learned and practised using a variety of activities, including word card games, manipulating sound cards, reading sentences and stories, using ipad apps, dictation, air writing and gel board writing, and reading nonsense words.


An important concept in Wilson is fluency. When a child reaches a stage of fluency they don’t need to tap out each individual word. This allows for much greater comprehension and they read with greater expression and phrasing.

Children will bring home fluency books to practice reading in smooth quick phrases. They will read decodable words against a timer, followed by a list of sight words. They will practice reading short phrases built from a combination of words from the lists before eventually reading a full story, discovering that they can read it smoothly and fluently.

Trick Words

Children will also be taught about irregular or “trick” words. These words cannot be tapped, and are usually learned by using a form of trick or memory aid, such as a made up sentence starting with each letter, or a picture. Children often invent their own tricks. These words are especially difficult for children with dyslexia and need a lot of repetition. Many of the words are very common.




In later steps, children learn to split words into syllables. Words are scooped into syllables as seen below.


St Rose’s NS, Tallaght, D24 T324
01 451 7933
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