Summary of School Self-Evaluation and School Improvement Plan: June 2015

A school self-evaluation of teaching and learning in St Joseph’s BNS was undertaken during the period September 2012 to June 2014. During the evaluation, teaching and learning in the following curriculum areas were evaluated:

  • Numeracy
  • Literacy

This is a summary report on the findings of the evaluation.

 

 Numeracy June 2013

The following sources of evidence were used to compile the findings of this report:

  • Individual teacher reviews of practice in Numeracy.
  • Staff observations of school numeracy plan and its implementation
  • Pupils work – samples, copies, displays.
  • The Learning Support team observations.
  • Parental Questionnaires
  • Pupil Questionnaires – third to sixth class.
  • Standardised testing and informal tests and observations

 

Literacy June 2014

The following sources of evidence were used to compile the findings of this report:

  • Individual teacher surveys of practice in Literacy – oral language.
  • Teacher observation group on Literacy
  • Review of school plans
  • Pupils work – samples, copies, displays.
  • The Learning Support/Resource team observations.
  • Parental Questionnaires
  • Pupil Questionnaires – third to sixth class.

 

Summary of school self-evaluation findings

 4.1 Our school has strengths in the following areas:

 

Numeracy

  • Whole school standardised Maths tests were compared with normal distribution for the school year 2011/2012 and 2012/2013.   Pupils are performing better than the average norm.
  • A numeracy committee of teachers meet regularly
  • Measures are in place in order to ensure that all teachers are familiar with the curriculum for their class level and that this familiarity is maintained if teachers change classes or if new teachers join the staff
  • Mental Maths is encouraged across all strands and given a specific time slot.
  • Teachers’ planning is based on the Maths curriculum and the school Maths plan.
  • Talk & Discussion opportunities are given to pupils to explain answers for part of Maths lessons.
  • There is an agreed whole school policy on Maths Language and agreed strategies for teaching various Maths topics.
  • There is an agreed approach to numeral formation
  • Pupils are encouraged to find multiple approaches to solving one problem
  • Equal emphasis is placed on the process of problem-solving as well as finding the answer
  • Pupils are encouraged to listen to the views of others when problem solving and to accept the reasoning of others
  • Teachers ensure that skills are being actively developed through the content and that transfer of these skills is taking place in other areas
  • A variety of modes of assessment (of and for learning) is used consistently in all classes to monitor pupil progress
  • All strands of the Maths Curriculum programme are being adequately assessed.
  • Results of assessments are analysed at school level, class level and for individual pupils where particular concerns arise
  • Results of assessment are used for screening purposes, diagnosis of learning difficulties and to identify aspects of Numeracy in need of re-teaching
  • Pupils with special needs are provided with access to all strands of the mathematics curriculum
  • There is a collaborative approach between class teacher and the learning-support/resource teacher
  • ICT is used to support teaching and learning for pupils
  • Team teaching is used as an early intervention/prevention strategy and for provision of learning support
  • A good supply of ICT resources in Numeracy is available for all class levels and for all strands.
  • The majority of parents say that their child likes maths
  • A large majority of pupils in the younger and middle classes like maths and find it easy
  • Parents know their child’s strengths in maths
  • The majority of parents say that their child does not need help to complete maths homework
  • The majority of parents regularly help their son with maths
  • Over ¾ of parents feel sufficiently familiar with the approaches used in teaching mathematics to help their child with homework
  • List of resources for Numeracy for parents on school website

 

Literacy

  • School Standardised Tests in English: Children were tested in Spring 2013 and 2014 and the results were analysed. Reading comprehension and reading vocabulary was analysed and compared to national norms. Both reading vocabulary and comprehension presented with a similar bell curve and were higher than the national norm at the top end of the bell curve and slightly lower at bottom end of the bell curve.
  • A literacy committee of teachers meet regularly
  • Measures are in place in order to ensure that all teachers are familiar with the curriculum for their class level and that this familiarity is maintained if teachers change classes or if new teachers join the staff
  • Sharing of good practice is facilitated among staff and multimedia is used effectively as a tool for teaching the English curriculum
  • Vocabulary development is encouraged across all strands and given a specific time slot.
  • Teachers’ planning is based on the English curriculum and the English school plan.
  • Talk & Discussion opportunities are given to pupils to explain answers for all subject areas
  • There is an agreed whole school policy on English Language and agreed strategies for teaching various English strands
  • There is an agreed approach to letter formation and presentation of written work.
  • Pupils are encouraged to listen to the views of others and to accept the reasoning of others
  • A variety of modes of assessment (of and for learning) is used consistently in all classes to monitor pupil progress
  • Accelerated Reading Programme in place to assist with the development and assessment of Literacy skills
  • Results of assessments are analysed at school level, class level and for individual pupils where particular concerns arise
  • Results of assessment are used for screening purposes, diagnosis of learning difficulties and to identify aspects of Literacy in need of re-teaching
  • Pupils with special needs are provided with access to all strands of the English curriculum
  • There is a collaborative approach between class teacher and the learning-support/resource teacher
  • ICT is used to support teaching and learning of the English curriculum for pupils
  • Team teaching is used as an early intervention/prevention strategy and for provision of learning support
  • A good supply of ICT resources in Literacy is available for all class levels
  • The majority of pupils stated that they like and are comfortable speaking in front of the class or large group.
  • The majority of parents who took the survey (35%) felt that their child could express himself well and follow verbal instructions easily
  • The majority of parents regularly help their child with English homework in reading and spelling
  • Over 80% of parents know that listening and speaking is part of the English curriculum.

4.2 The following areas are prioritised for improvement:

 

Numeracy (June 2013)

  • Strategies to support pupils problem solving need to be agreed at whole school level.
  • Increasing opportunities for pupils to engage with Maths

o   Increase the use of Maths in the school environment.

o   Increased use of Maths games

  • Examine how we can support parents with regard to the content, methodologies and language of Maths – especially topics of subtraction, long division and fractions.
  • Examine strategies to provide challenge for more able students in Maths.

 

Literacy (June 2014)

Formal timetabling of oral language development: discrete oral language lessons

  • Specific teaching of oral language skills and regular practice of these skills
  • Teaching and learning resources for oral language development to be made available, easily accessible, and stored centrally
  • Increase opportunities for pupils to talk, orally present projects and express opinions in front of class and large groups of people
  • Continue to improve the standard of vocabulary attainment for all classes
  • Promote opportunities for pupils to use and develop oral language skills within the class and at home
  • Create awareness among the parents of the importance of oral language skills as a precursor to the continued development of reading and writing skills and as important skills for all learning

 

Summary of School Improvement Plan

 

Numeracy

  1. To develop a whole-school approach to the use of mathematical language and a common approach to number operations
  2. To create a culture and practice of teaching the skills that pupils should acquire as they develop mathematically by implementing teaching strategies that are agreed and used by the whole school – eliciting, supporting and extending during class lesson
  3. To enable the pupils to develop a more positive attitude towards maths – differentiation and maths activities
  4. To support parents with the teaching and learning of Numeracy at all levels

 

Literacy

  1. To continue to improve the standard of vocabulary at all class levels with the aim of improving comprehension
  2. To prioritise oral language development
  3. To use check lists and language indicators to assess improvement in oral language skills
  4. To recognise and promote opportunities for children to use and develop oral language skills within the class and at home,
  5. To create awareness of the importance of oral language skills as a precursor to the continued development of reading and writing skills.

 

4.3 The following legislative and regulatory requirements to be addressed:

 

  • Policy checklist – Review and updating of the following policies needed
  1. Special Education Needs Policy – GAM, LITH hours
  2. RSE policy – updating
  3. Parents as partners – updating
  4. Public service agreement – special needs assistants duties etc.
  5. Health and Safety Policy

 

  • Curriculum Plans and Policies need to be reviewed over the next 3 years:
  1. Maths In School Management Policy
  2. English Attendance Policy/Strategies
  3. Science
  4. History Swimming Policy.
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