School Self-Evaluation Report 2017/2018

1. Introduction

1.1 The focus of the evaluation
A school self-evaluation of teaching and learning in Scoil Pól was undertaken during the period September 2016 to June 2017. During the evaluation, teaching and learning in the following subjects and programmes were evaluated:
• Literacy (in L1 English in English medium schools/ in L1 and L2, English and Irish in Irish medium schools) 

• Numeracy: Understanding and using Mathematics
• Assessment for Learning

This is a report on the findings of the evaluation.

1.2 School context
Scoil Pól is based in a small rural town of approximately 1500 people. The larger catchment area is predominately agricultural based with any extra employment based in Limerick and Cork cities and in Mitchelstown (Dairy Production). The student cohort is approximately equally divided male and female. The nearest alternative secondary school is 10km, thus making Scoil Pól the only viable option for many families. Enrolment has being increasing over the last four years going from 179 students in 2010 to 232 students in 2014 with an enrolment of 385 in September 2017. This is linked to a growing catchment area due to an increase in the school’s PR. Because of our rural setting, we are obliged to provide as wide a curriculum as possible to our students to provide them the opportunity to compete for their college and career options. This places a constant demand on resources.The staff in Scoil Pól is equally divided in terms of age/experience with an approximate 60/40 female to male representation. The school building is relatively new – 1986 build – and is in excellent condition. There are ample grounds surrounding the school that holds playing pitch and hard court areas along with a large area suitable for future development, if required (location for planned developments 2015/17 – planning permission granted)The schools Ethos and Mission Statement guide our school in an inclusive, caring and respectful manner within which there is a high expectation from all students to achieve to the best of their abilities. Students in Scoil Pól are encouraged to be aware of others and to learn to accept each other for whom and what they are. 

2. The findings
• Literacy – continues to be imbedded across all subjects
• Numeracy – continued progress across all subjects
• Attainment of subject and programme objectives  - very good
• Learning environment – excellent. Positive atmosphere, high teacher expectations
• Students’ engagement in learning – very good. Academic tracking and pastoral interviews indicate students happy with engagement. Additional staff roles in pastoral care to supplement the ongoing work completed in this role across the school 
• Learning to learn – assessment for learning focus commenced. Formative assessment for students commenced with both written and verbal replies given to students
• Preparation for teaching – excellent. Teachers very aware of their role in continuing to develop the school. Planning time given to all teachers to assist in preparation of the new elements in the new Junior Certificate
• Teaching approaches – varied methodologies found across the curriculum. Pastoral element continues to underpin all teacher interaction with students
• Management of students – very good. Systems are fair and equitable. Code of behaviour is based on restorative justice and behaviour correction by the students. 1st yr students surveyed to ascertain the success/issues around settling in to Scoil Pól. Very positive feedback from students  
• Assessment – a combination of continuous and set exams continues throughout the year for all groups. Four reports sent home through the school year. Academic tracking monitors student’s progress through the year. Formative assessment being implemented in weekly/regular class based tests

3. Progress made on previously-identified targets improvement targets
• Attendance – further improvements were seen. Greater awareness by students of the need to attend school daily to benefit from contact with class teacher – use of VSWare roll taking has been improved and imbedded across the school. Students arriving late to school without parental excuse are given detention for their poor time keeping. Contact with parents on a daily basis has been improved with a dedicated contact phone number given to parents
• Numeracy – work continues to imbed numeracy across the curriculum. Teachers encouraged to include – where possible – at Subject Department Meetings. 
• Increase in numerical based signage throughout school.

4. Summary of school self-evaluation findings

4.1 Our school has strengths in the following areas: 

• Strong and committed ethos based staff interested in the wellbeing of all our students
• High standard of teaching and learning throughout the school
• Wide variety of teaching methodologies and assessment techniques across the curriculum

4.2 The following areas are prioritised for improvement: 
• Application and adoption of technology in a positive way in the classroom

• Differentiation in all subjects – focus on differentiating ‘upwards
• Continued peer observation among staff
• Imbedding of the one hour class in the school structure

4.3 The following legislative and regulatory requirements need to be addressed.
• Critical incident policy and team to be revised
• Continued revision of school policies to reflect new changes and practices



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Our School Improvement Plan 2016/2017

Summary of main strengths as identified in last SSE in (specify date):

  • High teacher and student academic expectations.
  • Excellent teaching standards.
  • Caring and supportive school environment.

Summary of main areas requiring improvement as identified in last SSE:

  • Attendance.
  • Assessment for learning.
  • Imbedding numeracy.
  • Improvement targets (related to students’ achievement).
  • Increase in students taking Higher level subjects in Junior and Leaving Certificate exams.
  • Continued improvement re attendance rates.
  • Continued improvements in student literacy abilities.
  • Differentiating for high achievers.

Required actions (Related to Teaching and Learning that will help to achieve the targets):

  • Greater retention of borderline students in subjects levels.
  • Teacher focus on differentiation for high achievers reflected in SD Planning.
  • Positive encouragement to students and parents re attendance.
  • Development of student study and homework skills, promotion of use of library, continuation of focus on key words and word definitions.
  • Continuation of focus on cross curricular numeracy.

Persons responsible:
All staff.

Timeframe for action:
Academic year 2016 – 2017.

Success criteria/measurable outcomes:

  • Attendance statistics.
  • Evaluation of student statistics re subject levels opted for in exams.
  • Improvement in literacy skills in answering and presenting of work across all subjects. Increase in quality of individual work, projects and grades.
  • Use of AFL statistics.

Review date(s):
June 2017.