Promoting Academic Excellence
Davis College is strongly committed to ensuring that each student fulfills their academic potential. A number of initiatives and developments have been implemented in the College so as to ensure that this academic focus is always a priority. These include:
Supervised Study Programme: After school supervised study is provided up to 6pm four days a week. In addition, supervised study programmes are also organized during term holidays, such as mid-term breaks, and also on Saturdays in the run up to the state examinations.
Academic Council: The College has a Council of teachers who meet regularly to formulate strategies aimed at furthering academic attainment to ensure we never lose sight of our goal that all students achieve their full potential.
Teacher Expectations: Teachers in Davis College expect students to always strive to give of their best in terms of effort and commitment, regardless of academic ability. This expectation motivates students and helps instill qualities such as work ethic, determination, self-discipline and the ability to set goals and to set plans to achieve them.
Homework: Homework is central to effective academic achievement. It reinforces the learning that has taken place during the school day and helps to prepare students for further learning in the following lesson. Davis College teachers assign and mark homework for all lessons
Homework Journal: Students are required to record the homework that is assigned in their homework journals and these are reviewed each week by the class teacher. Not only is homework recorded, students also record the learning outcome for the lesson. The Learning Outcome/s are statements of what it intended the students will be able to do or should know by the end of each lesson. Research tells us that learning is improved when students have a clear focus on the purpose of each lesson. It also helps students when completing homework. Students should also record developments in their literacy and numeracy competencies that took place during the lesson. This is in keeping with the requirement at government level that all teachers are responsible for promoting literacy and numeracy in their various subject areas across the curriculum.
‘Learning to Learn’: Study is an essential part of school life and we sometimes assume students know how to study. Like most things in life, studying is a skill and there are many different ways to study. In Davis College we provide students with the opportunity to discover and practice the style of learning that suits them best. These classes also focus on creating study plans, organisation of handouts, notes, materials etc. all essential skills for increasing academic attainment.
Extra Tuition: As a result of our close links with UCC we are in a position to offer additional tuition to student free of charge. Last year we had in excess of 400 hours tuition at our disposal and this is delivered by the staff in the College.
Extending Subject Options: Davis College provides a very wide curriculum and to meet changing needs in the economy, the College has introduced extra subjects at senior cycle subject to demand, including Applied Mathematics, Economics, and Accounting.
Transition Year: All students in Davis College complete Transition Year. This experience enables students to avail of the benefits of an extra year. This has an invaluable impact their academic development and also allows students develop the ‘soft skills’ seen as vital to success in later life. These include teamwork, collaboration, critical thinking, entrepreneurship and innovation.
Additional Academic supports
- Drop in Maths’ (A lunchtime drop-in centre for students who need extra help with Maths on a casual basis)
- Language Clubs: French/Irish/German - emphasis on the spoken word
- Traditional Irish music club
- Drama club College
- Choral society
- Model United Nations
Virtual Learning Environment (VLE): Through our engagement with the Google Drive facility students can obtain extra notes and learning resources from this forum. They can also interact with their teachers by submitting assignments and receiving feedback.
Regular Assessment & Feedback: International research indicates that regular feedback to students which affirms success and points to steps that can be taken for further success, can have the impact of an improvement of two grades in the student’s examination achievement. In Davis College we assess in a variety of ways:
- Assessment for learning-giving students feedback (verbal/written etc.) to inform their future progress
- Assessment of learning-grading students’ work according to marking schemes
- Regular class tests
- Formal assessments-Mid-term, Christmas and summer with written reports issued to parents/guardians
- Pre Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations
- Formal parent-teacher meetings are held at regular intervals in the school year
Mathematics and Science: Davis College teachers are working with the National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning, along with other local schools, in a pioneering project which has made Mallow a hub for intensive investment and research into fostering excellence in the teaching of these two important subjects.