St Mary's NS Knockbridge

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School Evaluation Report 2013/14

School Self Evaluation > SSE Literacy 2013/14

St. Mary’s NS, Knockbridge
School Self Evaluation Report- Literacy March 2013

Focus of the Evaluation
A school self-evaluation of teaching and learning in literacy was undertaken during the period 1/9/12 to 19/2/2013. This process involved:

  • training seminars for the principal and the deputy principal
  • staff meetings/presentations
  • analysis of standardised test results from the last 5 years
  • surveys of the parents and pupils of 2nd and 5th classes.
  • whole school reflection

School Context

  • large rural co-educational primary school
  • 270 pupils on roll
  • 11 class teachers, an administrative principal, 2 full-time learning support teachers, 1 part-time learning support teacher , 1 full-time resource teacher and 1 part-time resource teacher.
  • The school’s population has remained steady over the last 6 years, although it has temporarily dropped this year. Consequently there will be pressure on teaching resources next year owing to reduced staffing arrangements.
  • Drumcondra standardised literacy and numeracy tests are administered annually in May from 1st to 6th. Micra-T (literacy) is administered to senior infants in May and the NRIT is carried out yearly in 1st and 4th.
  • The ‘Magic Emerald’ reading programme is used from junior infants to 6th. This scheme is complemented by novels and alternative reading schemes (mixed classes).
  • Jolly Phonics is used in the school with emphasis on the infant classes.
  • A number of events are held annually to promote literacy in school including Buddy Reading, Book Fair Week and World Book Day.

The Findings

  • Standardised test results show that most pupils are performing at or above the national norm. 30% of pupils scored at or above the 85 percentile - this is almost twice the national average (16%). 3% of pupils scored at or below the 16 percentile - this is a fifth of the national average.
  • Analysis of test results data over the last 5 years in English reading show that the school has been raising standards with more children moving into the average or above average range and less pupils falling into the below average range.
  • Staff expressed satisfaction with standards of reading, availability of resources, school environment, supportive parents and in-class supports from learning support, resource teaching and SNAs. They expressed concerns regarding general ability of pupils’ writing in terms of genre writing and creative writing. Concerns were also mentioned in relation to spellings, expressive language and co-ordination of a correction policy at whole school level.
  • Parents and pupils both indicated that not only were pupils competent and confident readers but that they enjoyed reading and were engaged with their learning. They felt that there was no difficulty with spelling and were positive about their spelling book.
  • Both parents and pupils felt that the area of writing and in particular creative writing was an area of difficulty. Pupils said that coming up with ideas and knowing how to write stories was difficult.
  • Some parents said that writing stories should be included as part of homework and that dictionary work was worthwhile.

Summary of School Self Evaluation Findings

  • Our school has strengths in the following areas:
  • Pupils are highly competent and motivated readers and standards of reading are high
  • Pupils are engaged in their learning
  • School environment is conducive to learning
  • Supportive parents and in-school/class support

Areas for Improvement:

  • Whole school approach to teaching and learning writing
  • Greater understanding of the writing process by staff and pupils
  • Portfolios
  • Co-operative group work with support staff
  • Whole school policy on corrections

The following legislative and regulatory requirements need to be reviewed over the 3 year period 2013-2016:

  • Child Protection Policy
  • Enrolment/Admissions Policy
  • Code of Behaviour
  • Anti-Bullying Policy
  • Policy on the Exemption of the Study of Gaeilge
  • Special Education Needs Policy
  • Attendance and Participation Strategy
  • Acceptable User Policy

The following curricular plans and policies need to be reviewed over the 3 year period 2013-2016:

  • Literacy/English
  • Numeracy
  • Visual Arts
  • RSE
  • Assessment

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