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From the very beginning...

In February 2022, ALPACA originated as a collaborative research project involving Trinity College Dublin and the Marino Institute of Education. Then, with the help of Dr. Jennifer O'Sullivan (whose research ALPACA was built on), we created A.L.P.A.C.A! This stands for: Assessing Letter knowledge & Phonemic Awareness Class Assistant.

This early literacy assessment tool has been co-created with 70 teachers, in 30 primary schools with the help of 1000 junior infant (4-6 year old) little learners across 5 countries. Incredible! 

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    To reading success! 

  • We assess your Junior Infant learners at three points a year. (September - October, January - May)
  • We identify gaps in children’s foundational reading skills and help inform the intervention required for these little learners to become successful readers. 🤩 
  • Then, we give you the evidence and ability to regularly monitor the progress of children who are receiving instruction in phonemic awareness and letter knowledge throughout the school year.

✔️  Informs groupings through understanding ability levels

✔️  View, analyse and share results to help differentiate learners within your class

✔️  Recommendations to inform parental involvement 








Assess your Junior Infant class

Completed 3 times per year

Requires digital devices: iPads, laptops, you name it!

Must have: 4-6 good quality headphones for your class

What the thought leaders want you to know...


Dr. Jennifer O’Sullivan:

"This digital tool focuses on prevention rather than remediation of reading difficulties. ALPACA aims to provide support to children as early as possible in their reading journey, as delayed reading intervention can negatively affect many aspects of a child’s progress through school. We want to identify children who are showing evidence of future reading difficulties before they begin to formally read. While this assessment tool is designed for use with beginning readers, it can also be used to identify children struggling with reading in older classes."

Join us

Nessa McEniff, Learnovate Director:

“The problem of undetected literacy difficulties goes beyond the clear disadvantages to the child and cascades out to overburdened and expensive remedial resources. This commercialisation project will provide a digital tool for early literacy screening and monitoring to primarily help teachers, Special Education Teachers (SETs) and principals to solve the problem of assessing young children’s early literacy skills in a time-efficient, consistent and evidence-based manner.”

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Prof Teresa O’ Doherty, President of Marino Institute of Education

"We are delighted to be a partner in this innovative project which promises to have a significant impact on policy and practice in primary schools. The awarding of this funding demonstrates the potential of high-quality applied research to address a key national and international educational concern."

Discover the research

Meet Us


Joe Fernandez

Teacher's Voice

Guides us with his deep passion to ensure we're creating something truly impactful for educators.


Dr. Colm Fallon

Data Shepherd

Navigates Alfie through the realms of artificial intelligence, ensuring each exploration is enriched with resources and insights.

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Cathal McGahan

Prob-llama Solver

A genius at tackling those tricky tech puzzles, making sure our tool is running smoothly for you.


Michael Lenahan

Cria-ting Solutions Specialist

Works magic behind the scenes, cria-ting tech solutions that your experience with ALPACA is seamless.


Aima Molati

Alfie's Academic

Guides Alfie through the realms of educational research, ensuring every endeavor is well-equipped and insightful.


Dr Richard Harte

Experience Guide

Crafts a delightful and easy-to-use experience for you, making sure every moment with Alfie is a joy.


Luciana Medeiros

User Interface & Artist

Brought Alfie the Alpaca to life. Designs how Alfie looks and feels and interacts with you, so your journey is always engaging and enjoyable.