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School Self-Evaluation Report 2013-2014

School Self-Evaluation Report 2013-2014

      School self evaluation of learning and teaching is part of the on-going work of Callystown National School. The focus of the school self evaluation for 2013/14 is numeracy. The school has chosen numeracy as it is the subject due for consideration under the school’s three year cycle of review of core subjects. A number of initiatives and strategies have been used to improve mathematical learning and teaching in previous years. This year’s review will employ the evaluation process and report structure as outline by the Department of Education and Skills.     School Context Callystown National School is situated in Clogherhead, a fishing village in Co. Louth. The village has seen a rapid growth in population over the last 10 years.   The school is under the patronage of the Archbishop of Armagh. The school has 311 pupils (178 boys and 133 girls), 11 classroom teachers, 3 full time LS/RT teachers, 1 shared LS/RT teacher and 1 part time resource teacher (6 hours per week) and an administrative principal. The school also has 1 full time SNA and 1 SNA for a half day. There is also a part time secretary and caretaker.   The school has doubled its enrolment in the last 10 years, however numbers have stabilised in the last three years. The school has seen two large extensions to accommodate the growth in numbers. The increase in numbers has brought to the school children from many different nationalities and also children who have had no previous connection to the village.              

The findings: In order to gather evidence for a programme of improvement the school employed a number of strategies of investigation:

  • Analysis of Sigma T scores from 2011-13
  • Staff discussion during Croke Park planning time
  • A numeracy questionnaire given to all parents in March 2013
  • A questionnaire given to pupils by teachers on word problem solving in November 2013

The findings were as follows:  

Sigma T Scores:

  • Overall numeracy scores show percentile scores above the national average (average percentile 55.2)
  • 74% of pupils have STen scores of 5 or greater
  • 12% of pupils have STen scores of 3 or less
  • The areas of understanding concepts and facts, number  and algebra significantly above the national average
  • The area of word problem solving and measure was below the national average.

    Staff Discussions

  • Teachers report that attainment trends are good.
  • Station teaching (4 weeks) of number in Senior Infants is having very good results.
  • Teachers report that there is a wide range of pupil/ home experience in social maths ( money, time etc).
  • Teachers report that it is a significant challenge to differentiate for the vast range of mathematical abilities found in each class.
  • The introduction of Maths Recovery for learning support pupils has been of great benefit.
  • Teachers of Infant and Junior classes are very positive regarding the introduction of the Planet Maths scheme.
  • A number of teachers report that there are pupils in senior classes still having difficulties with number fact recall.
  • Some teachers report that the time allocated to maths in the school timetable is insufficient to cover the programme.
  • Short term ability groups have been effective in the opinion of teachers.
  • Some teachers have suggested that there should be greater use of concrete materials in senior classes

        Parents’ Questionnaires

  • 83% of parents report that their children like maths.
  • Approximately 50% of parents report that their children need regular support with maths homework.
  • 87% of parents feel they know the strengths and weaknesses of their children’s ability in numeracy.
  • 75% of parents report that their children are learning maths at the appropriate level.

  Pupils’ (4th class to 6th) Questionnaires on Word Problems

  • 30% of pupils surveyed said they liked solving word problems.
  • 10% of pupils surveyed said solving word problems was easy while 62% said it was sometimes easy.
  • When asked what was difficult about word problems, pupils found that they found that the words confused the problem, that it was difficult deciding on the right operation and that getting the calculation right was a challenge.
  • When asked what would help improve their performance in word problems, pupils replied that they would like more practice, that they needed to focus/try harder more, that they use the method that the their teacher had taught them more and that the teacher should go through the problems more so show them how to get the answers.

Previous Targets: As this is a new format for evaluation, there are no previous targets.  

Summary of school self-evaluation findings  

Strengths:

  • Callystown National School has a conscientious, dedicated, innovative staff, open to new ideas and initiatives and focussed on providing the best possible educational opportunities for its pupils.
  • Attainment levels in numeracy are above the national norms.
  • Pupils display positive attitudes towards numeracy.
  • Learning support initiatives (Station teaching, Maths Recovery, and short term ability groups etc) are having positive outcomes.
  • Pupils display strong skills in number, algebra and concept understanding.

Areas for Improvement:

  • Pupils need to learn better strategies in dealing with word problems.
  • Pupils understanding of the different elements of Measure needs improvement.
  • Number Fact acquisition and use in calculations needs monitoring in senior classes
  • Developing strategies to support teachers in differentiating numeracy lessons for their pupils is an area that would improve numeracy in the school.

The following legislative and regulatory requirements need to be addressed:  

  • Following the publication of the DES revised Anti Bullying Procedures (Circular 0045/2013), the school’s Anti Bullying policy will need to be updated.
  • A formalised Relationship and Sexuality policy.
  • A Data Protection policy

      Appendix to School Self-Evaluation Report: legislative and regulatory checklist

 Issue  Relevant legislation, rule or circular  Is the school fully meeting the requirements of the relevant legislation, rule or circular?  If no, indicate aspects to be developed
Time in school- Length of school year – minimum of 183 days – Length of school day 4 hours 40 minutes (infants); 5 hour 40 minutes (1st-6th classes) Circular 11/95 Yes       Yes
Arrangements for parent/ teacher and staff meetings Circular 14/04          Yes
Implementation of Croke Park agreement regarding additional time requirement Circular 0008/2011          Yes
Standardisation of school year Circular 034/2011 Yes
Valid enrolment of pupils Section 9(1), 15(2) and 23 Education Act 1998Sections 20 and 21, Education (Welfare) Act 2000 Rules 55, 64, 108 and 123, Rules for National Schools Circular P24/02 Staffing Schedule for current school year Yes
    Retention of pupils Rule 64 Rules for National Schools Circular 11/01 Circular 32/03 Yes
Development of school plan Section 21, Education Act 1998 Yes
Appointments to posts of responsibility Circular 07/03Circular 053/2011 Yes
Time for literacy and numeracy – assessing and reporting literacy and numeracy achievement Circular 0056/11 Initial Steps in the Implementation of the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy Yes
Exemption from Irish Circular 12/96         Yes
Implementation of child protection procedures Circular 0065/2011  Please ensure the following in relation to child protection Yes
▪ Number of cases where a report involving a child in the school was submitted by the DLP to the HSE  ▪ Number of cases where a report involving a child in the school was submitted by the DLP to the HSE and the school board of management informed   ▪ Number of cases where the DLP sought advice from the HSE and as a result of this advice, no report was made   ▪ Number of cases where the DLP sought advice from the HSE and as a result of this advice, no report was made and the school board of management informed _0____       ___0__       ___0__         ____0_
Implementation of complaints procedure as appropriate Complaints Procedures, Section 28 Education ActPrimary Boards of Management Information Manual November 2007   Please consider the following in relation to complaints Yes
▪ Number of formal parental complaints received  ▪ Number of formal complaints processed   ▪ Number of formal complaints not fully processed by the end of this school year ___0__   ____0_   _____0
Refusal to enrol Section 29 Education Act 1998  Please provide the following information in relation to appeals taken in accordance with Section 29 against the school during this school year N/A
Number of section 29 cases taken against the school  Number of cases processed at informal stage   Number of cases heard   Number of appeals upheld   Number of appeals dismissed 0    0     0   0   0
Suspension of students Section 29 Education Act 1998  Please provide the following information in relation to appeals taken in accordance with Section 29 against the school during this school year
Number of section 29 cases taken against the school  Number of cases processed at informal stage   Number of cases heard   Number of appeals upheld   Number of appeals dismissed 0       0     0     0
Expulsion of students Section 29 Education Act 1998  Please provide the following information in relation to appeals taken in accordance with Section 29 against the school during this school year
Number of section 29 cases taken against the school  Number of cases processed at informal stage   Number of cases heard     Number of appeals upheld   Number of appeals dismissed 0     0   0   0   0
 Policy  Source  Has policy been approved by the board of management?    If no, indicate aspects to be developed.
Enrolment policy Section (15)(2)(d) Education Act 1998           Yes
Code of behaviour[1] including anti-bullying policy Circular 20/90DES Guidelines on Countering Bullying Behaviour 1993 NEWB Guidelines Section 23, Education Welfare Act 2000           Yes The anti bullying policy will be updated in 2014 to take account of new guidelines issued by DES
Attendance and participation strategy[2] Section 22 Education Welfare Act 2000Equal Status Acts 2000-2011           Yes
Health and safety statement Section 20 Health and Safety Act 2005            Yes
Data protection Data Protection Act 1988Data Protection (Amendment Act) 2003            No A data protection policy will be considered and ratified by 2015
Special education needs policy[3] Education Act 1998Equal Status Acts 2000- 2011 Education (Welfare) Act 2000 Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act (EPSEN)[4] 2004 Disability Act 2005            Yes
Relationships and sexuality education (RSE) policy Relationships and Sexuality Education: Policy Guidelines (1997)            No A formal policy will be ratified by the staff and BOM by Dec. 2014
Child protection policy Circular 0065/2011          Yes
Parents as partners Circular 24/91          Yes
Public service (Croke Park) agreement – special needs assistants Circular 71/11           Yes
Other

[1]Under the provisions of the Education (Welfare) Act (2000) (section 23) the school’s code of behaviour should conform to the specifications stated. [2]Under the provisions of the Education (Welfare) Act (2000) (section 22), the school’s attendance strategy should conform with the provisions stipulated. [3]Section 9 of the Education Act (1998) requires a school to “use its available resources” to identify and provide for the educational needs of those “with a disability or other special educational needs.” [4] The EPSEN Act requires that schools be inclusive of and provide an appropriate education for pupils with special educational needs.

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