Bishop Murphy Memorial School










The improvement of listening skills was identified as an area for improvement in the WSE-MLL report of Bishop Murphy Memorial School of 2016. As such, the school conducted a series of consultations involving staff, pupils, parents and the Board of Management, culminating in the production of this document as a means to addressing the aforementioned recommendations.

Listening, as opposed to hearing, is a conscious process of getting meaning from what we hear.  Skilful listening requires the ability to stay focused, resist other distractions and make a meaningful connection with the content of the message.  Good listening requires practice because it involves effort to do it well.  It is an essential skill, present in most of the activities we carry out throughout our lives.  We listen to a wide variety of things, for example – face to face conversations, on the telephone, announcements giving information, music, professional advice (e.g. at the doctor’s) or how to follow instructions.

It is with this in mind that we decided to formulate a plan to further enhance our children’s listening strategies here in Bishop Murphy Memorial School



  • That every child feels respected and valued when others listen.
  • That children feel they can talk about their experiences in a safe, secure and positive environment.
  • That each child develop the skill of empathic listening.
  • That each child are presented with opportunities to listen for pleasure (music, broadcasts, poetry ….)
  • That each child can listen carefully and clarify meaning.
  • That each child can improve their personal relationships and exhibit better frustration tolerance.


Roles and Responsibilities:

  • This policy was drafted by the Listening Skills Co-ordinator, Mrs. Rachael Ahern, in collaboration with the principal. The Listening Skills Co-ordinator will continue to oversee the implementation and if required, the review of such in the future, in consultation with the principal, staff , parents and the Board of Management/

Strategies to improve listening skills

The following teaching methodology will be adopted in each class


  1. The Five Magic Rules for Listening

Give me Five!


In each finger: Sit still; eyes on person talking; ears listening; hands waiting; quiet mouths.



  1. Auditory skills/listening activities once or twice a week if possible.


  1. Use following books:
  • Listening and Processing Auditory Direction
  • Mastering Auditory Sequencing
  • Awesome Auditory Activities
  • Look, Listen and think!


  1. Reward children for being good listeners.



 Effective strategies for class management


  • Greet your class with a smile every day!
  • Use redirection (“finish writing that sentence” instead of “stop talking”)
  • Tell them what you want them to do instead of what you don’t (“keep your hands to yourself” instead of “no hitting others”)
  • Allow for movement if getting distracted
  • Randomly say students names to keep their attention
  • Do random checks on comprehension
  • Say goodbye at the end of the day (with a smile!! )


Practice mindfulness ………… Why?


  • To enhance well-being and achieve balance
  • Children are becoming stressed at home and in school
  • It increases empathy, enhances concentration and decision making.


  • “Still Space” or “The Zone” cd
  • Try and use daily in the classroom


Bringing an attitude of gratitude!

(can increase optimism and decrease negative feelings)




  • Gratitude jar
  • Gratitude letter
  • Gratitude journal (i-pad/2 weeks)
  • Gratitude group/circle
  • Gratitude art (hands/tree)
  • Self-gratitude (my day was better because …..)    (ideas for songs)

Engage on a mindfulness walk for yourself at the end of a “busy” day – you’ll love it!!


Finally …….

School-based cue for classes to re-engage with múinteoir:

“One, two, three, eyes on me”

They respond:

“One and two, eyes on you”.


(Only once or twice a day, don’t overuse!)



This policy was ratified by the Board of Management at its meeting on the 7th April 2017