An Roinn Oideachais agus Eolaíochta

Department of Education and Science

 

Whole School Evaluation

 REPORT

 

TEMPLEGLANTINE N.S.

Templeglantine, County Limerick

Roll number: 02358G

 

Date of inspection:  06 December 2007

  Date of issue of report:  22 May 2008

 

 

Whole-school evaluation

1.     Introduction – school context and background

2.     Quality of school management

3.     Quality of school planning

4.     Quality of learning and teaching

5.     Quality of support for pupils

6.     Summary of findings and recommendations for further development

     School Response to the Report

 

 

 

Whole-school evaluation

 

This report has been written following a whole school evaluation of Templeglantine N.S.. It presents the findings of an evaluation of the work of the school as a whole and makes recommendations for the further development of the work of the school. During the evaluation, the inspectors held pre-evaluation meetings with the principal, the teachers, the school’s board of management, and representatives of the parents’ association. The evaluation was conducted over a number of days during which inspectors visited classrooms and observed teaching and learning. They interacted with pupils and teachers, examined pupils’ work, and interacted with the class teachers. They reviewed school planning documentation and teachers’ written preparation, and met with various staff teams, where appropriate. Following the evaluation visit, the inspectors provided oral feedback on the outcomes of the evaluation to the teachers. The post evaluation meeting was held during a period of transition when a new board of management had not yet been constituted. A meeting was held with the temporarily-appointed manager of the school and oral feedback on the outcomes of the evaluation was presented to him.   The board of management was given an opportunity to comment in writing on the findings and recommendations of the report, and the response of the board will be found in the appendix of this report.

 

 

1.     Introduction – school context and background

 

Templeglantine N.S. is a Catholic, mainstream, co-educational school situated in the village of Templeglantine on the N22. The patron of the school is the Catholic Bishop of Limerick.  The original school was erected in 1843. The school has five mainstream teachers. Support for children with learning needs is provided by a learning support teacher and a full-time and part-time resource teacher. At present, there are 120 pupils enrolled in the school and it is expected that this number will fall to 100 by 2010. Pupil attendance is fair to good. The school has drawn up a set of procedures to be adopted in the event of pupil absences. It is recommended that a policy to encourage more regular attendance should now be developed. The fundamental aims of the school are clearly articulated in its mission statement. This statement needs to be reviewed collaboratively and effectively communicated to the school community.

 

2.     Quality of school management

 

2.1 Board of management

The previous board of management met regularly and worked hard in the interest of the school and its pupils. This board ensured that the school’s organisation complies with Department of Education and Science regulations and circulars. The previous chairperson visited the school frequently. The roles of board members are clearly defined and individual members of the previous board were assigned specific responsibilities in accordance with their skills and areas of expertise. Detailed minutes of meetings have been recorded and these were adopted, signed and dated at subsequent meetings. It is the usual practice that the principal submits a report to the board at each meeting. Good financial records are maintained. It is now imperative that these accounts be certified on an annual basis as required by the Education Act (1998). It is further recommended that an annual review of the school’s work be published and shared with the members of the school community.

 

The previous board is commended for its active involvement in the drafting and regular review of a wide range of organisational policies. These policies were discussed and ratified at board meetings and many of these policies have been communicated to the parent body in hardcopy or in electronic format depending on expressed parental preference. The board had limited involvement in the drafting of curriculum plans but devolved this responsibility to the teaching staff.

2.2 In-school management

The in-school management team consists of an acting principal, a deputy principal and two special duties teachers. The acting principal discharges her duties in a professional manner and daily administrative and organisational tasks are capably undertaken. School activities are well organised and official records are carefully maintained. A significant number of organisational policies and curriculum plans have been drafted and reviewed during the tenure of the acting principal.  She has established effective lines of communication and consultation with the teaching staff and she promotes a culture of team work and collaborative decision making.

 

Members of the in-school management team meet frequently and work collaboratively with the acting principal. Specific duties have been assigned to each post. These duties are carried out effectively and it is clear that the team contributes to the organisation of the school through the fulfilment of these duties. At present, the duties allocated are primarily administrative or organisational in nature. It is recommended, therefore, that these duties be reviewed and that curriculum leadership roles be assigned to each post holder as outlined in circular 07/03.

 

2.3 Management of resources

Staff rotation is regularly practised in the school and teachers are facilitated to experience a variety of classes and teaching contexts. The previous board is commended for encouraging and facilitating the continuing professional development of the teaching staff. Special needs assistants (SNAs) are deployed effectively in supporting the care needs of the pupils and a well-devised policy in relation to their roles and responsibilities has been ratified. External tutors in the area of hurling, football and basketball are reported to be working under the guidance of the class teachers.

 

The previous board ensured that the school building and grounds have been maintained to a reasonable standard. The board is commended for overseeing the recent development of the play areas used by the pupils. The infant and junior classrooms, a staff room and three resource rooms are situated in three prefabricated buildings adjacent to the main school building. These prefabricated buildings are well maintained and comfortable. The original school building consists of three small classrooms, a general purposes room, a kitchen area, a storage room, a secretary’s office and toilets. Since the current provision of accommodation including the general purposes room and storage areas, is inadequate, it is now recommended that the board would devise a strategic plan for the phased development of the entire school building.

 

Teachers in the infant and junior classes and the special educational needs teachers have access to an appropriate range of teaching and learning resources. However, the range of resources available to the teachers in the middle and senior classes is limited and this is impacting negatively on the effective implementation of the Primary School Curriculum (1999) in many curriculum areas. It is recommended that an audit of available resources, including resources in the area of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) be undertaken and that a list of required resources be identified, prioritised and purchased by the board. Arrangements for the storage of and access to these resources should also be outlined.

 

2.4 Management of relationships and communication with the school community

The acting principal communicates on a regular basis with the parents in relation to upcoming school events and school successes. Parent teacher meetings are held annually. Parents are encouraged to make an appointment with the class teacher if they have concerns which they would like to discuss in relation to their child’s progress. End of year reports are not issued to parents but the school intends to establish this practice from June 2008.

 

The parents’ association was established in August of 2006 and is affiliated to the National Parents’ Council (NPC). Representatives of the association report that they have attended a number of training events organised by the NPC and an appointed delegate of the association attends local and national meetings of that organisation. A committee of eight members are reported to meet on a monthly basis during the school year. An annual general meeting (AGM) is held each October and attendance at this AGM is reported to be very good. The priorities of the association include the establishment of effective lines of communication between the board, the school and the parents and supporting the school through fund raising for the purchase of resources. However, parents do not, at present, play an active day to day role in school life. Given the relatively recent establishment of the parents’ association, it is now timely for the board, in collaboration with the parents’ association, to identify appropriate means through which parents are enabled to contribute more fully to their children’s educational provision, school development planning and school life in general.

 

2.5 Management of pupils

The management of pupils in the school is good. The code of behaviour and anti-bullying policy are currently being reviewed. Playground supervision is well managed. Pupils are observed to be inclusive and co-operative in their play. Incidents of in discipline, when they occur, are dealt with sensitively. The values of fairness and mutual respect are effectively promoted in the playground and in the classroom. As a result, pupils co-operate with their teachers and peers during class activities. Opportunities for pupils to engage in decision making might now be promoted through their engagement in the Green School project.

 

 

3.     Quality of school planning

 

3.1 School planning process and implementation

The school plan is presented in two sections. Organisational policies are contained in a lever arch folder. This folder also contains the school mission statement and the school motto “I can and I will”. The organisational policies were developed as a result of a collaborative process involving the board, the principal and the teaching staff. Parents are reported to have been involved in the drafting of a policy in relation to Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE). The quality of these policies is, in the majority of cases, of a very high standard and the school is commended in this regard.

 

Curriculum plans for all eleven subject areas have been devised and are individually bound. The quality of these plans is good in relation to the manner in which they familiarise the reader with the principles and content of the Primary School Curriculum and it is evident that considerable time and effort was expended during the drafting process. However, aspects of many of the curriculum plans are in need of review and the majority are poor in relation to identified means of monitoring curriculum implementation. It is therefore recommended that the staff review the effectiveness of whole-school curriculum plans on a phased basis, with a view to improving classroom practice and enhancing pupil achievement across the curriculum.

 

Evidence was provided to confirm that the board of management and staff have taken appropriate steps to develop policies in line with the provisions in Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children (Department of Health and Children, 2004) and Child Protection Guidelines for Primary Schools (Department of Education and Science, September 2004). Evidence was also provided to confirm that the board of management has adopted and implemented the policies. A designated liaison person has been appointed in line with the requirements of the Departmental guidelines.

3.2 Classroom planning

All teachers prepare long-term and short-term planning and the quality of this planning varies from being very good to fair. Where very good planning was observed, teachers identify clear learning outcomes for the pupils based on curriculum objectives and the plans reflect a broad range of teaching strategies to be utilised. These plans identify suitable teaching and learning resources and provide for the active engagement of the pupils in their own learning. Where poor planning exists, disproportionate emphasis is placed on the use of textbooks to determine the content of the lessons to be taught. Little provision is made in this poor planning for the effective differentiation of the curriculum for those pupils who have identified learning difficulties, particularly in the area of literacy and numeracy. It is recommended that staff members collaborate in devising a method of classroom planning which is reflective of the whole-school plan and which would incorporate aspects of good practice adopted by many of the teachers.

 

The quality of planning undertaken by the support teachers is of a very good standard. It is evident that they collaborate extensively and their planning responds effectively to the individual learning needs of the pupils. These plans identify specific learning targets which are informed by the results of a wide range of diagnostic assessments, psychological assessments and which include teacher and parent input. All support teachers, however, need to be more systematic in recording the progress made by individual pupils in reaching the learning targets identified.

 

The school’s current method of completing monthly progress records is in need of review. It is recommended that the staff develop a more comprehensive format for recording monthly progress which should enable teachers to record pupil progress in relation to identified learning targets and which would ensure continuity and progression of pupil learning between classes.

 

 

4.     Quality of learning and teaching

 

4.1 Language

 

Gaeilge

Tá caighdeán ard sa Ghaeilge sa scoil agus moltar an dúthracht a chaitheann na h-oidí le teagasc an ábhair. Tá clár suntasach feabhsaithe leagtha amach ina léirítear aidhmeanna agus téamaí a bhaineann le comhthéacsanna réalaíocha an pháiste ar ghach leibhéal. Cothaíonn na hoidí dearcadh fabhrach i leith na Gaeilge agus baineann na daltaí taitneamh as bheith gníomhach san fhoghlaim. Úsáidtear raon maith d’áiseanna teagaisc agus foghlama agus tá na pictiúir agus na póstaeir atá déanta ag na hoidí féin á úsáid sna seomraí ranga. Úsáidtear éagsúlacht mhór i gcur chuige agus i modheolaíocht agus moltar an bhéim a leagtar ar an gcumarsáid. Tugtar seans dos na daltaí an teanga a chleachtadh agus a úsáid trí ghníomhachtaí éagsúla, agallamh beirte, drámaíocht, rólanna i suímh éagsúla a chruthú agus trí chluichí tomhais. Sna ranganna sóisearacha leagann oidí béim inmholta ar úsáid ábhar fisiciúl maraon le gníomhfhoghlaim thairbheach chun na daltaí a ghríosadh chun cainte agus chun tuisceana.  Cruthaíonn na h-oidí suímh oiriúnach sna seomraí ranga agus déantar iarracht mhaith an Ghaeilge a úsáid mar theanga chaidrimh sna rangsheomraí. Cuirtear rainn, amhráin agus filíocht oiriúnach ina láthair go tarraingteach, bríomhar. Éiríonn go han-mhaith leis na daltaí sa léitheoireacht agus léann siad le brí agus le tuiscint.  Tá dul chun cinn á dhéanamh i dtaca le féin-iarracht na ndaltaí ina gcuid scríbhneoireachta agus oiltear na daltaí chun abairtí agus altanna a scríobh faoi stiúir na n-oidí. Moltar anois béim níos mó a chur ar scríobh aistí.

 

 

Irish

There is a high standard of Irish in the school and the emphasis that the teachers place on the teaching of this subject is praised.  An impressive improvement programme has been devised which outlines the aims and themes that are associated with the real life contexts of the pupils at each level. The teachers develop a positive attitude to Irish and the pupils derive pleasure from being actively engaged in the learning. A good range of teaching and learning resources is in use and pictures and posters made by the teachers are used in each classroom. A large variety of teaching methodologies is utilised and the emphasis placed on conversation is praiseworthy. Pupils are given a chance to practise and use the language through the use of actions, paired conversation, drama and the creation of roles in various situations and through guessing games. In the infant classes the teachers place commendable emphasis on the use of concrete materials to support purposeful active learning so that the pupils understanding and conversation is developed. The teachers create a suitable environment and they make a good effort at using Irish as the language of the classrooms. Suitable rhymes, songs and poems are presented attractively and with enthusiasm to them. The pupils are succeeding very well in reading and they read with understanding and enjoyment. Progress is being made in relation to the pupils individual attempts at writing and the pupils are trained to write sentences and paragraphs under the direction of the teachers. It is recommended now that more emphasis is placed on the writing of essays.

 

English

The whole-school English plan outlines clearly the school’s aims and objectives in relation to the teaching of literacy and these are organised under the strands and strand units of the curriculum. However, it is recommended that, during a future review of the current English plan, the specific content to be taught at each class level would be identified in brief. The current plan lacks detail in regard to the development of emergent literacy skills and the reading material to be utilised, including the use of the novel.  The manner in which the writing process, as outlined in the curriculum, will be dealt with in this school should be addressed. The plan should also ensure that all teachers timetable discrete lessons for oral language development.    

 

In general, satisfactory lessons in oral language are taught. In the infant and junior classes, the pupils’ listening and oracy skills are developed appropriately using a range of stories and poems and through the effective integration of the oral languages programme with other areas of the curriculum. In these classes, pupils’ vocabulary is extended and teaching strategies include the use of talk, discussion, debate and brainstorming. Although pupils’ oral language skills are generally good, insufficient opportunities are provided at the middle and senior levels to allow  the pupils to use language creatively, to develop receptive language skills and to develop their cognitive abilities through responding to higher order questioning. These omissions should be addressed when reviewing the whole-school English plan.

 

Good practice exists in the early years, as, by and large, no formal reading commences at the junior infant level.    Formal reading is taught competently at each subsequent class level and the pupils have attained satisfactory standards in reading. Much emphasis is placed on the development of phonological awareness throughout the school and the special educational needs (SEN) team provides support in this area through a mixture of in-class support and the withdrawal of groups of pupils from the classroom. Large-format books and extension readers are skilfully employed in the infant and junior classes. However there is an over reliance on textbooks for the teaching of reading in the middle and senior classes. It is recommended that real books and class novels be introduced at these levels to enrich pupils’ reading experiences and to develop their comprehension skills.

 

A print rich environment is created in all classrooms and this effectively supports the writing process. In almost all of the classrooms pupils’ written work is attractively displayed. High frequency words and common sight words are clearly displayed and effectively used by the pupils. Handwriting is well taught in the infant and junior classes and, in general, pupils’ handwriting and presentation skills are of a good standard throughout the school. Pupils are encouraged to write for a variety of purposes and in a variety of different genres and the teachers are praised in this regard. It is recommended that the range of methodologies utilised in the teaching of writing be extended to include experiential charts, story frames, shared writing and the scaffolding of pupils’ writing skills. It is further recommended that pupils in the senior classes be provided with more opportunities to write creatively.

 

4.2 Mathematics

A good whole-school plan has been drafted in Mathematics. Much of this plan effectively informs teacher practice. The plan gives good guidance to teachers in relation to agreed approaches to number operations and towards the development of estimation skills. Teachers are praised for the manner in which they plan for the delivery of a broad and balanced Mathematics curriculum. Strands are taught as interrelated units in which understanding in one area is dependent on, and supportive of, ideas and concepts in other strands. It is recommended, however, that action plans be devised to ensure the effective implantation of those sections of the Mathematics plan which relate to skills development, differentiation and assessment.

 

In general, the teaching of Mathematics is good and the standard of pupil attainment in Mathematics is satisfactory. Oral mathematical activities are effectively used to stimulate pupil interest. The majority of teachers plan learning activities which involve the regular use of concrete materials. In all classes good attention is paid to the acquisition and consolidation of mathematical language. Some teachers have created a supportive and rich mathematics learning environment. Teachers in the infant and junior classes employ a range of effective teaching methodologies, including active discovery and group work.  Whole-class teaching, however, predominates in the middle and senior classes. The SEN team provides support to pupils in the senior classes by withdrawing the fifth class pupils and teaching them as two groups. Similarly pupils in second class are also withdrawn from their multi-class setting and taught as a single class. This method of organisation allows for the pupils in second, fourth and sixth classes to be taught by the class teacher as a single stream. It is recommended that this arrangement be reviewed. Interventions by the SEN team should be arranged to specifically benefit those pupils who are experiencing learning difficulties. Teaching and learning in Mathematics would be improved by the provision of opportunities for all pupils to construct and apply their mathematical understanding in contexts drawn from everyday life and from the pupils’ immediate environment. Increased attention should also be paid to problem solving as a means of developing higher-order thinking skills and to the provision of more challenging material for pupils in the senior classes.

 

4.3 Social, Environmental and Scientific Education

 

History

Very good lessons were observed in the teaching of History. Pupils in the school display a good knowledge and understanding of various aspects of the history curriculum. In the infant classes, pupils develop an interest in and curiosity about the past through their effective interaction with a variety of artefacts. Good emphasis is placed on the exploration of personal and family history at this level. Pupils are encouraged to actively explore aspects of their own immediate past and that of their families. Through story, which is used to very good effect in the infant and junior classes, the pupils are provided with opportunities for the development of simple historical skills, such as sequencing. Very good projects on the Celts have been completed by the pupils in the senior classes. Working in pairs, the pupils are facilitated to source information from the internet, to compile a project on various aspects of life in Celtic times and to present their findings to the class. This work is highly commended. Teacher planning indicates that much of the content of the History curriculum delivered in the junior, middle and senior classes centres on themes included in commercial texts and that local history features to a limited extent in the curriculum delivered. The skill of Working as an historian is also poorly developed in these standards. It is recommended that increased emphasis be placed in these classes on the teaching of local history and on the development of the skill of Working as an historian.

 

Geography

The quality of teaching in Geography is of a satisfactory level and pupils have achieved reasonable standards in most of the strands. Good use is made of maps, atlases and photographs in the senior classes. Pupils are facilitated to locate a number of South American countries using an atlas. Pupils in the infant and junior classes are facilitated to develop a sense of place through the examination of their classroom and school and the drawing of simple maps indicating how they travel to school. Very good practice was observed in the junior classes where the pupils engage in fieldwork and observe the weather, collect, measure and record data and present it in visual format. The strand Environmental awareness and care is well developed throughout the school and the involvement of the school in the Green School project should further assist learning in this area.  However, the whole-school plan and individual teacher planning overlooks an important principle of the Geography curriculum, in which concepts, knowledge and skills should be thoroughly explored in local contexts at all levels. There is a need to balance the treatment of lesson content with the development of geographical concepts and skills. It is therefore recommended that active and discovery learning methodologies feature to a much greater extent in the teaching of Geography and that opportunities for effective linkage within the SESE curriculum and the integration of Geography with other subject areas of the curriculum be explored and developed.

 

Science

Active teaching and learning methodologies contribute greatly to pupil achievement in Science. Lessons in this area of the curriculum are reinforced by the selection of content of interest and relevance to the pupils and pupil participation in these lessons is high. In the senior classes, the pupils engage with simple experiments which effectively develop their understanding of the application of basic scientific ideas and concepts in everyday situations. In the junior classes, pupils are encouraged to observe their natural environment and their knowledge in relation to local fauna is successfully extended. Each of the four strands is effectively developed and pupils display good knowledge of what they have learned. However, there is a need for systematic development throughout the school of the pupils’ skills in the strand unit Designing and making.

 

4.4 Arts Education

 

Visual Arts

The quality of teaching and learning in Visual Arts varies from being good to poor. Where good practice was observed, pupils’ creative thinking is stimulated and pupils are encouraged to make a personal response to visual art forms of different styles, periods and cultures. However, in general, the teaching of visual arts in this school focuses too closely on the production of two dimensional art and on explicit direction from the teacher. This practice impedes the effective personal interpretation of the individual pupil and limits the range of materials with which pupils should have the opportunity of engaging. Pupils should be enabled to explore, clarify and express ideas, feelings and experiences through a range of arts activities. A wider variety of teaching and learning methodologies, including the use of the environment, individual, paired and group work should be employed.  In the infant and junior levels the visual arts is integrated to some extent with other areas of the curriculum but opportunities to support pupil learning in other subject areas through the effective integration of the visual arts programme are largely not availed of in the middle and senior classes. The evidence from teacher planning and practice suggests that the systematic development of concepts and skills is not addressed. It is recommended, therefore,  that the whole-school visual arts plan be reviewed with a view to ensuring the full realisation of the aims and objectives of the Visual Arts curriculum.

 

Music

The school plan and individual teacher planning indicate that a broad and balanced Music curriculum is delivered to all pupils in the school. Each strand of the Music curriculum is carefully developed. It is evident that pupil progress in this area of the curriculum is very good. Pupils in the infant and junior classes sing a range of songs sweetly and with enjoyment. All pupils are facilitated to compose and perform music. Music literacy is very well developed in the middle and senior classes and pupils from first to sixth class play a variety of tunes competently on the tin whistle. Listening and responding activities are carefully organised for the pupils and they are awarded opportunities to engage with a variety of percussion instruments. The school is praised for its encouragement of the pupils to become involved with the local Comhaltas group and for the recognition and celebration of pupils’ successes in the performance of traditional music in local and national competitions. The Music curriculum might be further enhanced by broadening the range of musical genres which the pupils experience.

 

Drama

A very good whole-school Drama plan was drafted in 2006 which the teachers are currently in the process of implementing. Very effective use is made of Drama as a teaching methodology in the infant and junior classes, especially in the area of Irish and in the use of story. Planned lessons in Drama indicate that the pupils experience a broad and balanced curriculum and that active learning methodologies, including hot-seating, role play, paired and group work are employed. It is recommended that Drama contracts be devised in each classroom and that processes are put in place to enable the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the Drama plan.

 

4.5 Physical Education

The quality of teaching and learning in Physical Education is very good. A wide variety of very good “warm up” and “cool down” activities are identified in teachers’ planning. Pupils were observed to participate fully and actively engage in their lessons. Specific skills are carefully and systematically developed. Fair play and co-operation are purposefully developed and a good balance is stuck between competitive and non-competitive activities. Equipment is well utilised and it is evident that the pupils derive benefit from the organised activities. It is recommended however, in order to enable the pupils to access a broad and balanced Physical Education programme that arrangements be made to facilitate their participation in the strands of Aquatics  and Outdoor Adventure Activities.   

 

4.6 Social, Personal and Health Education

Pupils’ self-worth and self-esteem is actively developed in the Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) programme delivered in this school. Teacher planning indicates that a range of effective methodologies including discussion, debates and group work is utilised. Good lessons are organised which foster the personal development, health and well-being of the pupil. Appropriate emphasis is placed on assisting pupils to understand themselves, to relate to others and to maintain healthy patterns of behaviour. A framework of values, attitudes, understanding and skills that assist in informing pupils’ actions and decisions is developed. This is supported within the context of a positive school climate and discrete lessons. It is recommended that opportunities to integrate learning in SPHE with other areas of the curriculum be further explored.

 

4.7 Assessment

The school has not yet drafted a whole-school assessment policy. Individual curriculum plans outline a range of modes of assessment to be utilised by class teachers but practice in the implementation of these guidelines varies from poor to good and teacher planning for assessment is, in general, weak. While current planning identifies a range of assessment modes to be used, there is little evidence that these are, in fact, utilised. Some teachers have developed a means of recording pupil progress in some aspects of literacy and numeracy and this good practice is commended. However there is little evidence to indicate that the results of these assessments inform teaching and learning. Standardised tests in literacy and numeracy are administered each year. The results of these tests are communicated to parents and are used to identify those pupils who are in need of targeted support by the SEN team. However, these results should also inform the class teacher of the children’s learning needs thus enabling the teacher to plan a suitable programme of work and to appropriately organise lessons to meet these needs. The SEN team members effectively administer a wide range of diagnostic tests. It is recommended that a whole-school assessment policy be drafted which will outline how pupil progress across the curriculum is to be assessed and recorded and how class teachers will effectively utilise assessment data to the benefit of the individual pupil.

 

 

5.     Quality of support for pupils

 

5.1 Pupils with special educational needs

The school is commended for the manner in which it supports pupils with special educational needs. These pupils are well integrated into the daily life of the school and within the classroom context. The previous board is commended for facilitating individual members of the SEN team to engage in continuing professional development. Good early intervention strategies are practised. Effective individual education plans (IEPs) are prepared which identify specific learning targets based on the identified learning needs of the pupils. Parental consultation and the co-operation of outside agencies is facilitated in the drafting of these IEPs and pupil progress is communicated to the parents on a regular basis. The SEN team is praised for the innovative manner in which it organises support for those pupils who are experiencing difficulties. However, it is recommended that the present arrangements in relation to co-operative teaching be evaluated at the end of this instructional term. The SEN teachers need to ensure that these interventions are targeted at the pupils most in need of support and that evidence is gathered to demonstrate that these interventions impact positively on the levels of achievement of the pupils with identified learning difficulties.

 

 

 

6.     Summary of findings and recommendations for further development

 

The following are the main strengths identified in the evaluation:

 

 

 

As a means of building on these strengths and to address areas for development, the following key recommendations are made:

 

 

 

Post-evaluation meetings were held with the staff and with the manager of the school where the draft findings and recommendations of the evaluation were presented and discussed.

 

 


 

 

 

 

Appendix

 

School Response to the Report

 

Submitted by the Board of Management

 

 

 

 

Area 1:  Observations on the content of the inspection report

 

·         The school facilitated swimming for the past 10 years.   It was not possible to facilitate it this year due to parental consent raised about the number of students not availing of swimming and the amount of time spent out of the classroom, subsequently it proved difficult to organise an agreed alternative.

 

·         Every effort is made by all teachers to cover all strands of the Visual arts Curriculum.  However sufficient funds were unavailable to the school at the time of inspection.

 

·         The novel is explored in the senior classes in the third term.

 

·         The school has difficulty in accessing funds which negatively impacts on the implementation of the Primary School Curriculum particularly in the middle and senior classes.

 

Area 2:  Follow-up actions planned or undertaken since the completion of the inspection activity to implement the findings and recommendations of the inspection

 

The school welcomes the WSE report and thanks the inspectorate for the time and effort spent discussing implementation of the recommendations.  We will make every effort to address the recommendations where possible.   Since the inspection a Cuiditheoir facilitated staff inservice to review whole school approaches in the areas of Maths and oral language.   This review informs current practice.