For distribution by Board Of Management to the School Community
St. Fergus’ N.S. Glin, Co. Limerick
School Self-Evaluation Report
Evaluation period: September 2014-June 2015
Report issue date: 15th June 2015
School Self-Evaluation Report
1.1 The focus of the evaluation
A school self-evaluation of teaching and learning in St Fergus’ N.S.was undertaken during the period January 2015 to June 2015. During the evaluation, teaching and learning in the following curriculum areas was evaluated:
- Literacy (Handwriting and Spelling along with the Genres of Writing)
- Numeracy: Tables and Problem Solving
This is a report on the findings of the evaluation.
1.2 School context
- This is a vertical, mixed, rural primary school.
- There are currently 111 pupils enrolled.
- There are 7 teachers (4 class teachers including a teaching principal, 1 shared Learning Support teacher, based in our school and travelling to Loughill for 5 hours, one full time and one part time Resource Teacher shared with Loughill.)
- There are 2 full time SNAs and a part time SNA (8 hours a week)
- The school administers standardised tests in Mathematics and English in May and June each year. These tests are the M.I.C.R.A.-T and the S.I.G.M.A.-T.
- St Fergus continues to engage in the School Self Evaluation process through continual professional development (attending courses, inviting guest speakers from P.D.S.T. and through Link Teachers and principal attending in service course days on School Self Evaluation held in Limerick Education Centre by the P.D.S.T.).
- Parental and pupil surveys were conducted in February 2015 in the area of Numeracy.
- Ballard and Westward Tables tests were administered from 3rd to 6th classes at least twice over the course of the school year 2014/15.
- Schonell Spelling Test was administered from 3rd to 6th class in November 2014.
- The Jolly Phonics/Jolly Grammar has been phased in through the school since September 2013. It now extends as far as Second Class.
- The school participates in C.A.P.E.R. (Children and Peers Enjoy Reading), Guided Reading and Maths for Fun Initiatives.
- A school information leaflet on the language of Maths and approaches to Maths used in St Fergus’ and useful websites was sent to each family this year.
2. The findings
Pupils continue to perform at the national norm for M.I.C.R.A-Ts, with 61.1% of pupils scoring above a STEN of 6. (National Norm is 61%)
Pupils’ results in Schonell Spelling test continue to improve, with 79%of pupils now scoring at/above their chronological age for spelling.
Handwriting continues to be good, with an increase of 73% of pupils in the Senior Classes (3rd-6th) now joining letters in their copies.
At Infant Level, teachers have seen a marked improvement in letter sounds and blending. This has greatly helped in reading acquisition there and in all classes.
All pupils report enjoying C.A.P.E.R., Guided Reading and Maths for Fun.
Pupils continue to perform at the norm for S.I.G.M.A.-Ts, with 62.2% of pupils scoring above a STEN of 6. (Norm is 63%)
From November 2014 to June 2015 pupil performances in Tables have improved by on average 10% as per Ballard and Westwood Tables Tests.
While only 52% of pupils state that they like Maths, 67% of pupils state that they find drawing or using Maths equipment helps them when solving Maths Problems.
58% of pupils like solving Maths Problems, however 38% of pupils say that they have difficulty in getting started on a problem that is new to them.
40% of pupils say that they do not take the time to estimate the answer to a problem before they do it.
100% of pupils agree that it is important to learn tables.
- Attainment of curriculum objectives
Teachers report a significant improvement in attainment of curriculum objectives following the introduction of Graded Schemes through the school in the following areas.
This has ensured that pupils’ knowledge skills and understanding are developed in a progressive way.
- Learning environment
The use of external class Notice Boards based on a curricular area through the school each month has been very successful in bringing pupil and parental attention to curricular areas.
Classrooms are bright and colourful to ensure a happy environment which is conducive to learning.
- Pupils’ engagement in learning
Pupil engagement with learning is good. In so far as is possible, teachers engage in active learning.
The use of ICT and Interactive White Boards is prevalent through the school.
Pupils report enjoying learning in the areas of Literacy and Maths. (82% and 53% respectively. 35% of pupils are not sure of their feelings towards Maths).
Pupils’ engagement in learning is communicated regularly to parents via Leabhar Cumarsáide.
Learning activities are also communicated to parents and the wider school community via the school website (www.stfergusns.ie).
- Preparation for teaching
Preparation for teaching is of a high standard through the school. Teachers meet monthly to discuss approaches and strategies.
Common themes and objectives are discussed and decided among staff.
School Plans are currently being reviewed in line with the National Curriculum. Teacher planning is carried out with this in mind.
Differentiation caters for the learning needs of all pupils.
Teachers’ monthly progress records (Cúntaisí Míosúla) record progress and ensure accurate planning.
Teacher discussion and reflection is used-particularly between class and LS/RT teachers.
- Teaching approaches
Teachers use a variety of approaches to teaching, in well-structured classes. These include active learning (including play), guided activity and discovery learning, teacher and pupil questioning, talk and discussion collaborative learning and environment based learning. All activities have a clear and realistic expectation and purpose.
- Management of pupils
The school has a positive code of behaviour including an anti-bullying and anti-cyber bullying policy in keeping with Department of Education Guidelines and NEWB Guidelines.
Teacher-pupil and pupil-pupil interactions are respectful and pupils’/parental views and opinions are valued and welcomed.
The school has a written policy on assessing and reporting on pupils’ progress which takes into account curriculum and NCCA guidelines.
A range of assessment approaches, including Assessment Of Learning and Assessment For Learning is used to evaluate pupils’ understanding and progress and to inform teachers’ planning.
Pupils and parents are provided with constructive feedback through Leabhar Cumarsáide, Parent Teacher Meetings and End of Year Report Cards. These are also used to communicate the results of Standardised Tests and Class Tests where applicable.
3. Progress made on previously-identified improvement targets
- The percentage of pupils now using joined/Cursive handwriting has increased from 9% to85%.
- Our Standardised Test Results remain consistently good and in keeping with national norms.
- Schonell Spelling test scores are up, with on average 79% of pupils from 3rd-6th classes scoring above their chronological/actual age.
4. Summary of school self-evaluation findings
4.1 Our school has strengths in the following areas:
- Teaching and learning is well planned, well organised and structured. Pupils are properly challenged and supported in their learning.
- Overall attainments in standardised testing remains at a good standard.
- A positive attitude towards learning is fostered in our school.
- Presentation and content of written work is of a high standard through the school.
- The majority of parents contacted report knowing their child’s strengths in the area of Literacy and Numeracy.
- Assessment of Learning and Assessment for Learning are used by the teachers in our school.
4.2 The following areas are prioritised for improvement in 2015/16:
- Using the different Genres of Writing in Literacy
- Continue with progress made in handwriting and spelling
- Continue progress in the area of tables throughout the school in Numeracy
- Problem Solving-in particular word problems, in Numeracy.
4.3 All regulatory and legislative requirements have been addressed. Checklist compiled and submitted to Board of Management June 2015.