SSE

crest photo

St. Colmcille’s Girls’ N.S

Chapel Lane

Swords

Co.Dublin

18977B

 

 

 

School Improvement Plan for St. Colmcille’s Girls’ N.S. Swords

Numeracy

Year 1 2014

Pupil Survey carried out in 2nd, 4th and 6th classes with a total of 185 pupils surveyed.

Parents/Guardians Survey carried out in Senior Infants, 1st, 3rd, 5th classes

All teachers completed a SCOT analysis of Literacy and Numeracy 2012

All teachers completed a whole school evaluation of literacy and numeracy January 2014

Baseline data

 

  • From the parent survey carried out in June 2014, parents indicated that they would like more information about the topics children are covering in Maths during the month and also requested that the school supports parents in helping children at home with Maths activities and games, apps, etc.

 

  • The teachers, parents and pupil surveys indicated a need for attention to the teaching and learning of problem solving.

 

  • The outcome of the pupil survey indicated that problem solving was an area that children liked the least and that they rated themselves lower than they did for number and operations.-13% said they liked problem solving.
  • Majority of parents and pupils feel that Maths is taught excellently, very well or well in the school.
  • Data from children and parents suggested a need for greater emphasis on relating maths to the environment.

 

  • The following is a breakdown of the SIGMA-T results from 1st-6th class in June 2013:
At or below 2nd percentile 3rd to 16th percentile 17th-50th percentile 51st-84th percentile 85th-98th percentile Above 98th percentile
0.80% 6.8% 26.6% 38.5% 23.5% 3.70%
Summary of main areas requiring improvements

 

  • Main focus of SSE will be on problem solving with all strategies explicitly taught at relevant class levels.
  • Use of the school and class blogs to communicate with parents about the topics being taught in school and ideas for how to help at home.
  • Use of Maths Room for this year to emphasise the ‘everyday’ uses of Maths and development of problem solving skills in a practical manner.
  • Attitude to problem solving to improve by positive reinforcement of the strategies and all other problem solving activities.
Improvement Targets Required Actions Success Criteria / Measurable Outcomes Persons Responsible

 

Timeframe for Actions
*That there would be a 1% overall decrease in the number of children performing at or below the 16th percentile from our current level of 6.8 %

*That there would be a 3% increase in the amount of children at or above the 85th percentile from our current level of 35.8%

* That children’s attitudes to and confidence in problem solving will improve.

 

·         Equipment and resources for the Maths Room.

·         Continued termly emphasis on the other areas of Maths that progress has been made in ie: mental maths, number facts, Maths language, accuracy, calculator use, etc.

·         Problem of the Week in all classes

·         Continued promotion of World Maths Day/Maths Week.

·         Children at all class levels to be taught particular problem solving strategies explicitly at the appropriate class level.

·         Children will have access to the Maths Room and practical Maths activities at the appropriate class level.

·         Parents will be informed of the Maths topics covered on a regular basis through the class blog and suggestions for helping children at home will be provided.

·         Repeat survey of children, parents and teachers which should have improved results in all the targeted areas.

·         Improvement in the SIGMA-T results at the end of the school year 2017.

·         Children will report improved confidence in problem solving

·         Children will be observed using the strategies confidently and referring to classroom and whole school displays when engaged in problem solving..

·         Children’s attitude to and confidence in problem solving should improve.

·         Mrs. Burke Logue

[Principal to lead and oversee all SSE activities, to arrange all staff members to engage, to attend SSE seminars and report back to staff, to compile and approve questionnaires and to purchase resources required.]

 

  • Ms. Downey [Acting Deputy Principal to compile questionnaires, to be team leader of surveys, to oversee the resources in the Maths Room with the help of the LS teachers and class teachers, to attend SSE seminars and report back to staff, to compile SIGMA-T results and report to staff at end of year.]
  • Ms. O Brien

[Special Duties Post Holder including Maths to be team leader of surveys, to compile questionnaires, to be  the Numeracy Link teacher, to attend seminars and cluster meetings and report to staff, to research and compile resources needed for problem solving strategies.]

·         All staff members             [to engage fully in the process, to teach problem solving skills explicitly at the appropriate level, to use resources, to update the class blogs regularly, to make full use of the Maths Room and prepare lessons around its use and topic..]

 

 

 

·         September 2014- June 2017.
Review June 2017

 

* Plan written in June 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 2015 Year 2

Review of Year 1:

  • SSE remains a topic for discussion at all staff meetings during the year.
  • Maths Room set up successfully and continually replenished and used regularly.
  • Pupils took part in Maths Trails and other practical Maths activities e.g Maths Eyes and expressed enjoyment of these activities.
  • Strategies need to be reframed and made more explicit for all class levels-this to be reflected in the cúntas míosúil report.
  • All teachers need to commit to updating class blog re: information on Maths topics on a monthly basis.

 

Required Actions Year 2

 

Persons Responsible

 

Timeframe for Actions
·         SSE problem solving strategies to be included in whole school planning template.

·         All class teachers to be clear as to the problem solving strategies they are teaching and reviewing previous years’ strategies to ensure a scaffolded approach.

·         Update blog regularly.

·         Inclusion of Maths in integrated approach in STEM Discover Primary Science and Maths programme.

·         SALF training in 2nd and 4th classes will enable the children to evaluate their own understanding of Maths and allow children to set their own targets.

·         Compilation of resources ie: websites, games, apps for parents to use for Maths at home.

 

  • Mrs. Burke Logue
  • Ms. Downey
  • Ms. O’ Brien
  • All teachers

 

·         June 2015

 

* This report is a working document and subject to review and change.

 

 

School Improvement Plan for St. Colmcille’s Girls’ N.S. Swords

Numeracy

Year 1 2014

Pupil Survey carried out in 2nd, 4th and 6th classes with a total of 185 pupils surveyed.

Parents/Guardians Survey carried out in Senior Infants, 1st, 3rd, 5th classes

All teachers completed a SCOT analysis of Literacy and Numeracy 2012

All teachers completed a whole school evaluation of literacy and numeracy January 2014

Baseline data

 

  • From the parent survey carried out in June 2014, parents indicated that they would like more information about the topics children are covering in Maths during the month and also requested that the school supports parents in helping children at home with Maths activities and games, apps, etc.

 

  • The teachers, parents and pupil surveys indicated a need for attention to the teaching and learning of problem solving.

 

  • The outcome of the pupil survey indicated that problem solving was an area that children liked the least and that they rated themselves lower than they did for number and operations.-13% said they liked problem solving.
  • Majority of parents and pupils feel that Maths is taught excellently, very well or well in the school.
  • Data from children and parents suggested a need for greater emphasis on relating maths to the environment.

 

  • The following is a breakdown of the SIGMA-T results from 1st-6th class in June 2013:
At or below 2nd percentile 3rd to 16th percentile 17th-50th percentile 51st-84th percentile 85th-98th percentile Above 98th percentile
0.80% 6.8% 26.6% 38.5% 23.5% 3.70%
Summary of main areas requiring improvements

 

  • Main focus of SSE will be on problem solving with all strategies explicitly taught at relevant class levels.
  • Use of the school and class blogs to communicate with parents about the topics being taught in school and ideas for how to help at home.
  • Use of Maths Room for this year to emphasise the ‘everyday’ uses of Maths and development of problem solving skills in a practical manner.
  • Attitude to problem solving to improve by positive reinforcement of the strategies and all other problem solving activities.
Improvement Targets Required Actions Success Criteria / Measurable Outcomes Persons Responsible

 

Timeframe for Actions
*That there would be a 1% overall decrease in the number of children performing at or below the 16th percentile from our current level of 6.8 %

*That there would be a 3% increase in the amount of children at or above the 85th percentile from our current level of 35.8%

* That children’s attitudes to and confidence in problem solving will improve.

 

·         Equipment and resources for the Maths Room.

·         Continued termly emphasis on the other areas of Maths that progress has been made in ie: mental maths, number facts, Maths language, accuracy, calculator use, etc.

·         Problem of the Week in all classes

·         Continued promotion of World Maths Day/Maths Week.

·         Children at all class levels to be taught particular problem solving strategies explicitly at the appropriate class level.

·         Children will have access to the Maths Room and practical Maths activities at the appropriate class level.

·         Parents will be informed of the Maths topics covered on a regular basis through the class blog and suggestions for helping children at home will be provided.

·         Repeat survey of children, parents and teachers which should have improved results in all the targeted areas.

·         Improvement in the SIGMA-T results at the end of the school year 2017.

·         Children will report improved confidence in problem solving

·         Children will be observed using the strategies confidently and referring to classroom and whole school displays when engaged in problem solving..

·         Children’s attitude to and confidence in problem solving should improve.

·         Mrs. Burke Logue

[Principal to lead and oversee all SSE activities, to arrange all staff members to engage, to attend SSE seminars and report back to staff, to compile and approve questionnaires and to purchase resources required.]

 

  • Ms. Downey [Acting Deputy Principal to compile questionnaires, to be team leader of surveys, to oversee the resources in the Maths Room with the help of the LS teachers and class teachers, to attend SSE seminars and report back to staff, to compile SIGMA-T results and report to staff at end of year.]
  • Ms. O Brien

[Special Duties Post Holder including Maths to be team leader of surveys, to compile questionnaires, to be  the Numeracy Link teacher, to attend seminars and cluster meetings and report to staff, to research and compile resources needed for problem solving strategies.]

·         All staff members             [to engage fully in the process, to teach problem solving skills explicitly at the appropriate level, to use resources, to update the class blogs regularly, to make full use of the Maths Room and prepare lessons around its use and topic..]

 

 

 

·         September 2014- June 2017.
Review June 2017

 

* Plan written in June 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 2015 Year 2

Review of Year 1:

  • SSE remains a topic for discussion at all staff meetings during the year.
  • Maths Room set up successfully and continually replenished and used regularly.
  • Pupils took part in Maths Trails and other practical Maths activities e.g Maths Eyes and expressed enjoyment of these activities.
  • Strategies need to be reframed and made more explicit for all class levels-this to be reflected in the cúntas míosúil report.
  • All teachers need to commit to updating class blog re: information on Maths topics on a monthly basis.

 

Required Actions Year 2

 

Persons Responsible

 

Timeframe for Actions
·         SSE problem solving strategies to be included in whole school planning template.

·         All class teachers to be clear as to the problem solving strategies they are teaching and reviewing previous years’ strategies to ensure a scaffolded approach.

·         Update blog regularly.

·         Inclusion of Maths in integrated approach in STEM Discover Primary Science and Maths programme.

·         SALF training in 2nd and 4th classes will enable the children to evaluate their own understanding of Maths and allow children to set their own targets.

·         Compilation of resources ie: websites, games, apps for parents to use for Maths at home.

 

  • Mrs. Burke Logue
  • Ms. Downey
  • Ms. O’ Brien
  • All teachers

 

·         June 2015

 

* This report is a working document and subject to review and change.

 

 

School Improvement Plan for St. Colmcille’s Girls’ N.S. Swords

Literacy

June 2013  Year 1

Pupil Survey carried out in 2nd, 4th and 6th classes with a total of 190 pupils taking part.

Parents/Guardians Survey carried out in Senior Infants, 1st, 3rd, 5th classes with a total number of 183 parents replying.

All teachers completed a SCOT analysis of Literacy and Numeracy and also a checklist of comprehension strategies taught to date at their class level.

Baseline data

 

  • From the parent survey carried out in November 2012, parents indicated that they would like more feedback on their children’s reading progress and also a school-compiled list of appropriate reading material and authors at each class level.

 

  • A survey of teachers indicated that not all comprehension strategies were being taught at all class levels and that a definitive structure for teaching the writing genres was needed.

 

  • The outcome of the pupil survey indicated that 72% of the pupils comprehended the text better if they first read it silently. We deduced that our pupils were mainly reading out loud with the emphasis mainly on pronunciation/ phonics rather than comprehension.
  • 67% of the children indicated that, when faced with words or concepts they didn’t understand in a story/ text, they asked for help rather than use any strategies to comprehend them on their own.
  • Only 27% of children used a dictionary to aid with comprehension.
  • Reading for pleasure/enjoyment was rarely mentioned regardless of level or ability.

 

  • The following is a breakdown of the Micra-T results from 1st-6th class in June 2012:
At or below 2nd percentile 3rd to 16th percentile 17th-50th percentile 51st-84th percentile 85th-98th percentile Above 98th percentile
1.70% 9.60% 40.10% 34% 13.00% 1.70%
Summary of main areas requiring improvements

 

  • All comprehension strategies to be explicitly taught at all class levels with the emphasis on oral comprehension.
  • A variety of comprehension skills taught eg: dictionary skills, cloze test completion.
  • Definite structure for teaching the writing genres.
  • Increase the variety and amount of books in the school library and in classrooms and allow more time for reading for pleasure in class.
  • Regular communication with parents re: reading progress and compilation of reading lists.
  • Attitude to reading for pleasure to improve.
Improvement Targets Required Actions Success Criteria / Measurable Outcomes Persons Responsible

 

Timeframe for Actions
*That there would be a 1% overall decrease in the number of children performing at or below the 16th percentile from our current level of 8.3%

*That there would be a 2% increase in the amount of children at or above the 85th percentile from our current level of 20.4%

* That children’s attitudes to reading for pleasure will improve.

 

 

·         Purchase and regular use of Comprehension Boxes for each class level.

·         Compilation of comprehension, reading and writing manual for each class level.

·         Use of the ‘Building Bridges of Understanding’ methodology of teaching the comprehension strategies as a reference.

·         Children at all class levels would be taught particular comprehension strategies explicitly at the appropriate class level using the GRR model ( modelled, shared, guided, independent)

·         Arrange an annual Book Fair for the whole school.

·         D.E.A.R [Drop Everything and Read] strategy and weekly library visits to continue during the year.

·         D.E.A.L [Drop Everything And Listen] strategy to be done in the second term. [novel, short stories, poetry,etc.]

 

·         Repeat survey of teachers which should have improved results in all the targeted areas.

·         Improvement in the Micra-T results at the end of the school year 2014-2015.

·         Children are observed confidently using the correct terminology and referring to classrooms and whole school displays when engaging in comprehension work.

·         Children will display an observable improvement in attitude to reading for pleasure ie: looking forward to library visits, taking part in Battle of the Books, etc.

·         Mrs. Murtagh

[Principal to lead and oversee all SSE activities, to arrange all staff members to engage, to be the team leader for parent’s survey, to attend SSE seminars and report back to staff,  to compile and approve questionnaires and to purchase resources required.]

·         Mrs. Kelly.

[Deputy Principal to compile questionnaires, to be team leader of children’s survey, to produce a list of reading material and to distribute new books to each class level, to attend SSE seminars and report back to staff, to compile MICRA-T results and report to staff at end of year.]

·         Ms. Downey

[Assistant Principal to be team leader of teacher’s survey, to compile questionnaires, to be the Literacy Link teacher, to attend seminars and cluster meetings and report to staff, to research and compile resources needed for comp. strategies.]

·         All staff members             [to engage fully in the process, to teach comprehension strategies, to use resources, to read aloud to pupils and allow pupils to read silently for pleasure regularly.]

 

 

 

·         November 2012- June 2016.
Review Date: June 2014

 

* Plan written in June 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 2014 Year 2

Review of Year 1:

  • SSE remains a topic for discussion at all staff meetings during the year.
  • All resources purchased and being used in the classrooms.
  • Teachers reported informally that the comprehension strategies were working well in all of the classrooms.
  • Ms. Downey attended Cluster Meetings for Literacy in Drumcondra Education Centre.
  • CPD in summer courses completed by staff members.
  • Mrs. Murtagh retired December 2013 and Mrs. Burke Logue will be Principal September 2014. Mrs. Kelly on career break September 2013, Ms. Downey to be Acting Deputy. Ms. Downey Acting Principal December 2013- August 2014.
  • Book Fair was a great success and will plan for next year.

 

 

Required Actions Year 2

 

Persons Responsible

 

Timeframe for Actions
·         Purchase and use of the PM Writing scheme for each class level from Senior Infants to Sixth.

·         Coordination of writing genres and comprehension strategies at each class level.

·         Production of a Home-School Reading Communication sheet for Junior and Senior classes with opportunities for teachers and parents to communicate about reading progress/difficulties.

·         That parents will be informed of their child’s reading progress on a monthly basis and have access to a list of suitable reading material for their children.

  • Mrs. Murtagh
  • Ms. Downey
  • All teachers

 

·         June 2015

 

 

June 2015  Year 3

Review of Year 2:

  • SSE remains a topic for discussion at all staff meetings during the year.
  • All resources purchased and being used in the classrooms.
  • Teachers reported informally that the PM writing genre resources were working well in all of the classrooms.
  • Book Fair was a great success and will plan for next year.
  • Home School Communication sheet was trialed and needs to be reviewed as it was not as effective as hoped.
  • Decision to update parents re: suitable reading material to be through the blog and teachers to inform pupils of same.
  • Decision made at Staff Meeting to include writing genres and comprehension strategies in cúntas míosúil report.
  • Reading corners in all Infant Classes redecorated and restocked to provide a comfortable and colourful environment to enhance the love and joy of reading.

 

Required Actions Year 3

 

Persons Responsible

 

Timeframe for actions
·         Whole school fortnightly/monthly planning template with SSE strategies included approved and to be used as of Sept. 2015.

·         Mrs. Burke Logue to attend SSE training seminar when available.

·         Facilitator from PDST to assist in SSE process for new management.

·         Close test practice in all terms.

·         Dictionary skills will be taught and emphasized from Jan.-June in 1st-6thclasses.

·         Compilation of suitable reading material, with provision made for advanced readers, at each class level.

·          Communicate to parents the importance of reading by compiling helpful tips for them to increase children’s interest in reading for enjoyment on the school blog.

·         Rejuvenation of reading corners in 1st and 2nd class.

·         Beginning of redecoration of school library to enhance the joy and love of reading.

·         Purchase of Coomber Listening System to provide audio books to children to allow all children to access books.

·         Repeat questionnaires to parents, pupils, teachers and analysis of information received.

·         At the year’s end, revisit baseline data to check achievement of targets.

 

 

  • Mrs. Burke Logue
  • Ms. Downey
  • All teachers

 

  • June 2016

* This report is a working document and subject to review and change.

 

School Self-Evaluation Report

Summary

 Evaluation period: November 2013 – June 2014

 Report issue date: June 2014

 

School Self-Evaluation Report

 

 

1. Introduction

 

The focus of the evaluation

 

A school self-evaluation of teaching and learning in St. Colmcille’s Girls’ N.S was undertaken during the period November 2013 to June 2014. During the evaluation, teaching and learning in the following curriculum areas were evaluated:

 

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy

The evidence for this report was gathered from teacher, parent and pupil surveys, staff discussions, whole school review of literacy and numeracy, whole school staff reflection on teaching and learning and review and analysis of all standardised tests results.

 

This is a report on the findings of the evaluation.

 

School context: St Colmcille’s Girls’ N.S is a vertical school with a pupil population of 453 girls under the patronage of the Archdiocese of Dublin. During the time the evaluation took place, the school staff comprised of the Principal, 17 class teachers, 4 Learning Support/Resource teachers, 1 Language Support teacher and 3 Special Needs Assistants. In the past number of years there has been a steady decline in enrolment which has resulted in the amalgamation of some same grade classes. Less than 20% of our pupil population do not speak English as their first language with the pupils experiencing most difficulties having access to a Language Support teacher in small group settings. 12 pupils had access to resource hours, 128 received support under the GAM and 5 pupils accessing SNA support.

Some initiatives that we have implemented include the use of interactive whiteboards in all mainstream classrooms, the development of our Strings Project where pupils from 4th-6th class participate in weekly violin and cello lessons and have recitals. From this has emerged our school orchestra comprising of pupils from 5th and 6th class. We have introduced Ready, Set, Go-Maths in our Junior and Senior Infant classes. We have Parent Activity hour in Junior and Senior Infant classes also during the year. The school has also gained its 5th Green Flag.

 

2. The findings

 

Learning to learn:

We support and encourage pupils of all abilities in different ways to learn and vary the teaching approach to appeal to all learners. The use of interactive whiteboards, visualisers, computers and providing a colourful, print rich environment all encourage the visual and aural learner. The use of concrete materials and a wide variety of resources in literacy and numeracy at all class levels help kinaesthetic learners. We use a variety of different methodologies and grouping of children for tasks and vary it between individual, pair and group for those children who like to learn socially or on their own. We encourage all children to be active learners.

 

 

 

 

Preparation for teaching:

All teachers prepare long and short term plans in all curricular areas.

Expected outcomes take into account the abilities of all pupils and preparation is also done in collaboration with Learning Support, Resource, Language Support teachers and also visiting teachers for the hearing or visually impaired. Teachers provide a monthly report of all the curricular strands, strand units and objectives covered in that time. Learning Support and Resource teachers prepare Individual Education Plans for children with access to resource hours and also prepare plans for children receiving support in a group within or withdrawn from the classroom.

 

Learning Environment:

Our mission in St. Colmcille’s Girls’ N.S. is to create a happy, caring and secure atmosphere. In this structured environment the vision of the school is to identify and address the academic, spiritual, physical, moral, social and cultural needs of all the pupils. We provide a safe, clean, comfortable, accessible and well maintained environment for all children. Classrooms, prefabs and corridors are print rich, colourful, stimulating and organised. Use is made of the school grounds and surrounding areas to provide opportunities for learning. Purchase and continuous use of new resources in the areas of literacy and numeracy greatly benefit the children’s learning.

 

Management of pupils:

Class teachers, Learning Support, Resource, Language Support teachers and SNAs collaborate effectively in organising and providing structured support for pupils of all abilities. All activities are carried out with pupil safety and maximum learning opportunities in mind. A variety of organisational groupings and settings are used in classrooms to support literacy and numeracy. A positive code of behaviour including an anti-bullying policy is implemented in a fair and consistent way. Teachers have high but realistic expectations of pupils’ behaviour and learning and they communicate these to them regularly. Pupil’s efforts and achievements are affirmed. Assemblies, regular announcements and reminders by the Principal over the intercom system and all staff being vigilant and consistent about behaviour and expectations create a very pleasant, secure and respectful environment. All pupils with special educational needs, all international pupils and children from minority groups are treated in an inclusive and equitable way.

 

Teaching Approaches:

The teaching approaches used in our school are many and varied and are adapted to meet the age, ability and class needs at each level. The Language Support teacher coordinates with the Special Ed. and class teachers to provide the maximum support that children experiencing difficulties require. Particular children with special educational needs are withdrawn for literacy and numeracy support in small groups based on their individual needs. There is also a social group setting for children who have social interaction difficulties. In class and withdrawal support is provided in all classes from Junior Infants to 6th with an emphasis on in class support and team / station / collaborative / parallel / alternative teaching. ICT is used to support pupils in their learning and teachers in their delivery of differing teaching approaches. We employ a streaming strategy of pupils in 6th class (2012-2013 and 2013-2014) and 5th class (2013-2014) for literacy and numeracy.

 

Pupils Learning Experiences:

Pupils display positive attitudes to listening and speaking and have a love of and interest in reading as indicated in pupil, teacher and parent questionnaires. They also display positive attitudes towards numeracy and have an appreciation of its practical application.

They are motivated to use their listening, oral, reading and writing skills for learning and communication and use these literacy skills in all curricular areas. Pupils enjoy using their numeracy skills both within discrete lessons and in integrated settings and also are motivated to use their numeracy skills for learning in other curricular areas.

 

Attainment of curriculum objectives:

From our whole school evaluation on numeracy and literacy, teachers agree that pupil’s knowledge, understanding and skills reflect the learning outcomes in the curriculum for each class level. Formal and informal assessment tools and analysis of these results show that the majority of pupils are achieving and attaining well, in accordance with their ability and are making progress from their prior levels of achievement.

 

Assessment:

Class teachers and support teachers continually assess and track pupil attainment in literacy and numeracy both formally and informally using a range of assessment tools. Formal assessments (MICRA-T, SIGMA-T, Drumcondra Spelling Test,NRIT) are carried out annually and results analysed to aid with teacher planning and identification of children who may need support in specific areas of the Maths or English curriculum. Results of formal assessments are communicated to parents in the end of year report and summary results of 2nd, 4th and 6thclasses are communicated to the Department of Education and Skills as required and in accordance with Department guidelines.

MIST is administered to Senior Infant pupils in the month of May annually and children identified continue with the Forward Together programme for the first term of 1st class.

 

1.3. Progress made on previously-identified improvement targets

 

  • Our strategies to target literacy areas such as cloze test completion skills (in 3rd-6th classes), vocabulary/language extension exercises (Junior infants-6th classes), and spelling strategies (5th class) are reflected in higher achievement rates in the MICRA-T results for 2011-2012.
  • Our strategies to target numeracy areas such as coordinated early maths activities (Parents activity hour and daily revision of various strands in Junior and Senior Infants) and whole school focus on mental maths and accuracy in computation show are shown to have been successful in the higher achievement results in the SIGMA-T results for 2011-2012.
  • Informal assessment and observation by individual class teachers at the time indicated an overall improvement in pupils achievement in the areas focused on in literacy and numeracy.
  • Handwriting was another area identified for improvement- we have adopted a whole school cursive writing scheme and handwriting has improved significantly resulting in regional winners and a national winner in the INTO handwriting competition 2012-2013.

 

4. Summary of school self-evaluation findings

 

4.1 Our school has strengths in the following areas:

Literacy:

  • Reading initiatives to encourage reading – Paired reading, Buddy reading, DEAR time daily, shared reading and timetabled visits to School Library and Local Library
  • Variety of methodologies and teaching techniques used in delivery of literacy lessons.
  • Incorporation of literacy skills in other curricular areas.
  • Variety of teaching materials, manuals, resources used in all classes and by support teachers.
  • Well-stocked school and classroom libraries
  • A range of IT software resources available to teachers and pupils
  • Lists of suitable websites for literacy and numeracy compiled and distributed to all staff.
  • Increasing variety of reading material available to all classes including fiction and non-fiction books.
  • Diagnostic and standardised tests administered annually as per DES circular
  • Whole school approach to cursive writing style beginning in Junior Infants.
  • Variety of assessment tools used
  • Print rich, colourful and stimulating environment
  • Whole school phonics programme in place from JI-6th class.
  • Whole school spelling strategy- based on reading and phonic schemes in place.
  • Buddy reading between children in 4th and 5th class and senior infants and 1st class
  • CAPER programme in 1st class very successful for involving parents in their children’s reading instruction.
  • Results of assessments are used to inform teacher planning
  • Oral language and vocabulary development at all class levels.
  • Teachers undergoing CPD in areas of literacy and sharing knowledge, strategies and resources gained from such.
  • Emphasis on and promotion of reading opportunities eg: World Book Day.
  • Annual Book Fair promotes the importance of books and reading.
  • Writing genres and writing as a process taught at all class levels.
  • Parents are happy with the way we teach reading and report that children enjoy reading.
  • Parents feel that the school supports reading ability of all children.

 

Numeracy:

 

  • Pupils have a proficiency in fundamental mathematical skills.
  • Standardised test results good in comparison with national norms.
  • Pupils and parents have a positive attitude to and enjoy Maths.
  • Increased time spent at Maths has seen better results in standardised and informal test scores
  • Good parental support with school and home work.
  • Parents report that number, operations, number facts, mental maths, space and shape, time, measures and data are topics their daughters are doing well in. (% between 70 and 97)
  • Ready, Set Go-Maths initiative has worked really well in Junior and Senior Infants (2013-2014)
  • Wide variety of resources used well to consolidate learning at all levels.
  • Different methodologies used ie: small group, whole class, pair work, etc.in maths lessons.
  • Team teaching, parallel teaching, collaborative planning used in maths lessons with all relevant teachers involved.
  • Pupils experiencing difficulties in Maths are well supported and catered for within and outside of the classroom setting reported by pupils, parents and teachers.
  • 34% of parents feel that we teach Maths excellently, 46% feel that it is very good and 20% feel that we teach it well.
  • Majority of pupils feel that homework is easy and can manage it easily at home.
  • Pupils would like to spend more time at Maths.
  • Use of the school environment and grounds to aid consolidation of maths concepts ie: Maths trails.
  • Emphasis on and promotion of and participation in mathematical opportunities eg: World Maths Day.
  • All of the areas targeted in the past have seen improvement in assessments.

 

4.2 The following areas are prioritised for improvement:

 

 

Literacy

1. Reading Comprehension

2. Oral language development

3. Vocabulary development in written work

4. Development of media skills

 

 

 

 

Literacy:

 

  • We are going to focus on improving pupil comprehension at all class levels.
  • We will use ideas and resources from Building Bridges of Understanding.
  • We will employ a whole school planned and strategic approach to teaching all comprehension skills appropriate to the age and ability of the pupils.
  • We will use a termly approach to develop dictionary use and cloze test completion skills.
  • We will integrate the genres of writing with the comprehension skills and teach all explicitly.
  • We will increase time for silent reading, reading for pleasure and DEAL (Drop Everything And Listen).
  • We will increase the variety and range of reading material available and provide parents with a list of authors suitable for their child’s age group.
  • We will introduce a two communication sheet in children’s readers to allow parents and teachers to communicate about children’s reading progress on a monthly basis.

 

The following areas are prioritised for improvement:

Numeracy

  1. Problem solving
  2. More communication with parents re: Maths topics and ideas to help daughters at home.

3   Practical maths activities in school

  1. Fractions, decimals and percentages in senior classes

 

Numeracy:

 

  • Problem solving in Maths has been identified as an area for improvement.
  • More communication with parents about Maths topics covered in school ie: through the class blog.
  • Compile a list of websites, apps, and resources for parents re: helping daughters at home with Maths.
  • The teaching of fractions, decimals and percentages is an area for improvement in Senior classes.
  • We need to increase the use of more ‘everyday’ Maths in the real world ie: practical Maths exercises.

 

4.3 The following legislative and regulatory requirements need to be addressed:

 

  • Parents as Partners Policy to be documented.

 

 Summary of School Improvement Plans for Literacy and Numeracy

 

A school self-evaluation of teaching and learning in St. Colmcille’s Girls’ N.S was undertaken during the period November 2013 to June 2013. During the evaluation, teaching and learning in the following curriculum areas were evaluated:

 

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy

 

The evidence for this report was gathered from teacher, parent and pupil surveys, staff discussions, whole school review of literacy and numeracy, whole school staff reflection on teaching and learning and review and analysis of all standardised tests results.

 

This is a summary of the findings of the evaluation.

 

We are a school with significant strengths in the areas of both literacy and numeracy.

We have identified areas that we will concentrate on to improve pupil attainment.

 

Literacy

Area to focus on:

1. Reading Comprehension

2. Oral language development

3. Vocabulary development in written work

4. Development of media skills

 

 

This is how we plan to improve attainments in literacy:

  • All comprehension strategies to be explicitly taught at all class levels with the emphasis on oral comprehension.
  • A variety of comprehension skills taught eg: dictionary skills, cloze test completion on a whole school, termly basis.
  • Variety of tasks in the writing genres over all class levels to avoid repetition of particular genres.
  • Increase the variety and amount of books in the school library and in classrooms by purchasing more books and having an annual Book Fair.
  • Regular communication with parents re: reading progress and compilation of reading lists.
  • Attitude to reading for pleasure to improve by allowing more time for reading for pleasure, weekly trips to the library, DEAR (Drop Everything And Read time), etc.

 

 

 

*Whole school attainments in MICRA-T scores available to view on noticeboard outside the Principal’s Office.

 

Numeracy

Areas to focus on:

  1. Problem solving
  2. More communication with parents re: Maths topics and ideas to help daughters at home.

3   Practical maths activities in school

  1. Fractions, decimals and percentages in senior classes

 

 

This is how we plan to improve attainments in numeracy:

 

  • Main focus will be on problem solving with all strategies explicitly taught at relevant class levels.
  • Use of the school and class blogs to communicate with parents about the topics being taught in school and ideas for how to help at home.
  • Use of Maths Room for this year to emphasise the ‘everyday’ uses of Maths and development of problem solving skills in a practical manner.
  • Attitude to problem solving to improve by positive reinforcement of the strategies and all other problem solving activities.
  • Whole school, termly approach to improving number facts knowledge, mental maths skills, use of maths language, accuracy in computation and calculator skills.

*Whole school attainments in SIGMA-T scores available to view on noticeboard outside the Principal’s Office.

*A more comprehensive report of the SSE process and findings is available on request to read in the Principal’s Office.

 

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