Ovens NS School Self Evaluation
Note: There is currently an INTO directive on non-cooperation with School Self-Evaluation in all schools. The directive advises members that they should not engage with School Self-Evaluation from 4th April 2016.
School Self-Evaluation: Literacy and Numeracy
The Department of Education and Skills, as part of the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy, requested all schools to focus on specific areas over a three year period, with a view to improving standards . Questionnaires completed by both parents and pupils have provided valuable insights and information in relation to these areas. Data from these questionnaires and comments and suggestions from both parents and pupils have assisted us with identification of target areas for improvement, thus informing our planning and teaching. The following areas are currently being targeted:
· Free and creative writing
· Independent Reading
· Grammar and punctuation
As a parent you can help us in the following ways:
i. Supporting your child with his/ her English homework every day.
ii. Visits to the library, listening to your child’s reading and reading to your child on a regular basis.
iii. Encouraging and praising efforts made by your child in relation to creative writing, and both written
and spoken grammar
Presentation of Pupils Work in copies
As a parent you can help us in the following ways:
iv. Supporting your child with his/ her Maths homework every day.
v. Examine your child’s tables on a regular basis.
vi. Encouraging and praising efforts made by your child in relation to neat presentation of work in maths
Literacy and Numeracy websites to aid your child’s learning
Reading Eggs makes learning to read interesting and engaging for kids, with great online reading games and activities. You get a free trial of 14 days when you sign up. Children love the games, songs, golden eggs and other rewards which, along with feeling proud of their reading, really motivate children to keep exploring and learning.
Reading Eggspress makes reading real books, improving spelling skills and building reading comprehension highly engaging for 7 – 13 year old children. You get a free trial of 14 days when you sign up. The site is packed full of hundreds of great online activities, books, and games.
Manga High is a fantastic Maths website that our school has registered with for the year. It allows all the children play fun Maths games and compete in challenges.
This website has games and activities based on Maths and Reading. It caters for children of all ages. It includes puzzles, matching games, word games and much more.
A website aimed at younger children but can entertain all ages. It includes early learning activities and a lovely section with free printable colouring pages.
This site includes addition, subtraction, multiplication and division questions. It also has activities based on reading and English grammar games
IXL is a Maths website that proves quite popular with children of all ages. A free daily limit of 20 questions is allowed without logging in. A membership fee is required to continue after 20 questions.
This is a website for younger children learning to read. It contains learning activities based on letters and phonics.
This is a great site that has many pages of fun information about the History and Geography of Ireland.
This site has information on many areas of Science and it is directly related to the Science curriculum.
A site all about weather just for children.
S.S.E. was launched at the end of 2012, but Ovens N.S., in common with many other schools, has been self evaluating for a long time in an unofficial capacity. However, since the 2012/13 school year we have been working on S.S.E. on a more formal basis, as per Department of Education circulars. Our school inspectors introduced us to S.S.E. as well during our Whole School Evaluation in April 2013 and expressed satisfaction with the school’s work thus far.
When Self evaluating, our school follows the following process:
(i) An aspect of practice is chosen,
(ii) this is discussed in a school context
(iii) We discuss our findings
((ii) and (iii) are either done in a large group or a number of sub groups
first before joining together).
(iv) we summarise the strengths of what we’re doing and plan to
continue this (with improvements, where necessary)
(v) We summarise areas needing improvement and try to work on
Teachers are encouraged to reflect on their plans and work both individually and in a whole school situation. We look at areas such as assessment of records, team teaching and group planning. We check our children’s attainment levels (individually and as a whole school, with Drumcondra tests mainly). We implement changes made on a whole school basis.
Examples of changes we’ve made through self evaluation using the above method can be found in our school plans and policies as well as throughout the school. Some examples are as follows:
a) Assessment of pupils (using Drumcondra) includes children from
2nd , 4th and 6th class, taking place in May (since May 2012),
b) each class teacher evaluates children’s progress daily either
orally or in writing.
At Christmas, Easter and Summer, classes from 3rd to 6th
are evaluated through more formal written tests,
especially in Gaeilge, English and Maths,
c) Health and Safety changes include supervision from 9am
(before school begins @ 9.20am) and extra staff on
d) A Healthy Eating Policy and Egg Free Zone policy was
e) a review of written plans in Gaeilge, English, Maths,
History, Geography, Science, Religion, R.S.E., Drama,
Visual Arts and Music has taken place and
will continue on an ongoing basis through S.S.E.
f) Review of pupils’ copies/files/folders is also an ongoing
g) in 2011 a review of our monthly planning/Cuntas Míosúils
as well as termly plans took place with input from all staff
h) teacher discussion, reflection and observation is ongoing,
i) in class support from LS/RT teachers and co-operative
learning is used regularly
j) our school website and blog has been updated and modernised
k) iarracht níos fearr ar Ghaeilge a úsáid mar ghnáth
There are many more examples of S.S.E. throughout the school. Last year we asked children from Senior Infants up for a free writing sample. Each teacher analysed it, picked an area to improve on
e.g. adjectives, spellings, grammar and worked on that until June. In June the children did another free writing sample and we compared both to check on children’s progress. This is another example of S.S.E. working in a practical way. This area of our school website will be updated with information, samples etc… regarding S.S.E. from now on.
Included are samples of templates formulated by the staff for use in School Self Evaluation. Further information on S.S.E. in Ovens N.S. may be sought by ringing Eoghan Hyde on 021-4872531 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.