An Roinn Oideachais agus Eolaíochta

Department of Education and Science

 

Meastóireacht Scoile Uile

TUAIRISC

 

Gaelscoil Uí Ríordáin

Cúl Rua, Baile an Chollaigh, Contae Chorcaí

Uimhir Rolla: 19839R

 

Dáta na cigireachta: 30 Aibreán 2006

Dáta eisithe na tuairisce: 26 Deireadh Fómhair 2006

 

 

1. Réamhrá - Comhthéacs agus Cúlra na Scoile

2. Fiúntas na bainistíochta sa scoil

2.1 An Bord Bainistíochta

2.2 Bainistíocht inscoile

2.3 Bainistíocht acmhainní

2.4 Bainistiú an chaidrimh agus na cumarsáide le pobal na scoile

2.5 Bainistíocht daltaí

3. Fiúntas na pleanála sa scoil

3.1 An próiseas pleanála sa scoil agus a chur i ngníomh

3.2 Pleanáil sa seomra ranga

4. Fiúntas na foghlama agus an teagaisc

4.1 Teanga

An Ghaeilge

Béarla

4.2 Matamaitic

4.3 Oideachas Sóisialta, Imshaoil agus Eolaíochta (OSIE)

Tíreolaíocht

Stair

Eolaíocht

4.4 Oideachas Ealaíon

Na hAmharcealaíona

Ceol

Dramaíocht

4.5 Corpoideachas

4.6 Oideachas Sóisialta, Pearsanta agus Sláinte (OSPS)

4.7 Measúnú agus gnóthachtáil

5. Fiúntas na Tacaíochta do Dhaltaí

5.1 Daltaí a bhfuil riachtanais speisialta oideachais acu

6. Achoimre ar thorthaí agus ar mholtaí d’fhorbairt bhreise

 

 

 

1. Introduction – Context and Background of the School

2. Quality of School Management

2.1 Board of Management

2.2 In-school Management

2.3 Management of resources

2.4 Management of relationships and communication with the school community

2.5 Pupil management

3. Quality of school planning

3.1 School planning process and implementation

3.2 Classroom planning

4. Quality of learning and teaching

4.1 Language

Irish (An Ghaeilge)

English

4.2 Mathematics

4.3 Social, Environmental and Science Education (SESE)

Geography

History

Science

4.4 Arts Education

Visual Arts

Music

Drama

4.5 Physical Education

4.6 Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE)

4.7 Assessment and achievement

5. Quality of Support for Pupils

5.1 Pupils with special educational needs

6. Summary of findings and recommendations for further development

 

 


Measúnú Scoile Uile

 

Scríobhadh an tuairisc seo tar éis meastóireacht scoile uile a bheith déanta ar Ghaelscoil Uí Ríordáin. Léiríonn sí torthaí na meastóireachta a rinneadh ar obair na scoile ina hiomláine agus déanann sí moltaí i leith tuilleadh forbartha ar obair na scoile. Le linn na meastóireachta bhí cruinnithe réamh-mheastóireachta ag na cigirí leis an bpríomhoide, leis na múinteoirí, le bord bainistíochta na scoile agus le hionadaithe chumann na dtuismitheoirí. Cuireadh an mheastóireacht i gcrích thar thréimhse roinnt laethanta inar thug na cigirí cuairteanna ar sheomraí ranga inar bhreathnaigh siad ar theagasc agus ar fhoghlaim. Rinne siad idirghníomhú leis na daltaí agus leis na múinteoirí, scrúdaigh siad obair na ndaltaí agus rinne siad idirghníomhú leis na múinteoirí ranga. D'athbhreithnigh siad doiciméadú faoi phleanáil scoile agus ullmhú scríofa na múinteoirí. Bhuail siad le grúpaí foirne éagsúla de réir mar ba chuí. I ndiaidh na gcuairteanna meastóireachta thug na cigirí aiseolas ó bhéal don fhoireann agus don bhord bainistíochta mar gheall ar na torthaí.  Tugadh deis do bhord bainistíochta na scoile ar a thuairim a léiriú ar thorthaí agus ar mholtaí na tuairisce; ba rogha leis an mbord glacadh leis an tuairisc gan freagra a thabhairt.

 

 

1. Réamhrá - Comhthéacs agus Cúlra na Scoile

 

Ó bunaíodh í sa bhliain 1983 tá an scoil bhreá seo suite i bhfoirgneamh ar chíos i gCúl Rua in iarthar Bhaile an Chollaigh. Is léir go bhfuil dul chun cinn suntasach déanta ag an scoil ó osclaíodh í agus go bhfuil an-éileamh ar áiteanna sa scoil. Tá borradh breise tagtha ar líon na ndaltaí ón uair a soláthraíodh an tuairisc dheireanach sa bhliain 1996. Tá breis agus 60 dalta cláraithe don bhliain seo chugainn agus múinteóir eile le ceapadh. Tá 325 dalta ar na rollaí faoi láthair. Freastalaíonn an scoil ar dhaltaí na garthimpeallachta i mBaile an Chollaigh agus ar pháistí ó pharóistí eile chomh maith de bharr éilimh. Ar an iomlán bíonn tinreamh maith acu agus cuirtear an tábhacht a bhaineann leis seo ar a súile do na tuismitheoirí go minic. Ní mór a chur san áireamh gur tharla cuid mhaith athruithe foirne le blianta beaga anuas.

 

Cé gur tógadh seomraí breise de réir mar a d’fhás an scoil tá an-ghanntanas spáis sa bhfoirgneamh agus tá an bord bainistíochta ag súil go gceannóidh an Roinn Oideachais agus Eolaíochta suíomh d’fhoirgneamh buan gan a thuilleadh moille. Is cúis mhór imní don bhord agus do Chumann Thuismitheoirí na scoile an easpa spáis agus áiseanna sa bhfoirgneamh sealadach. Tá buairt ar leith orthu mar gheall ar chúrsaí sábháilteachta agus sláinte. Ach is léir go bhfuil an-chreidiúint ag dul d’fhoireann na scoile a oibríonn go han-díograiseach chun an curaclam a chur i bhfeidhm agus oideachas leathan a chur ar na páistí atá faoina gcúram in ainneoin na ndeacrachtaí a bhaineann leis an bhfoirgneamh ar cíos.

 

Is é Easpag Chorcaí agus Rois pátrún na scoile. Bíonn tinreamh na ndaltaí an-mhaith agus ar fhágáil na gaelscoile dóibh leanann céatadán suntasach acu ar aghaidh le meánoideachas trí mheán na Gaeilge sa cheantar. Toisc gur scoil Lán-Ghaeilge í tá áit lárnach ag an nGaeilge i saol na scoile agus is léir go bhfuil ag eirí le príomhoide agus le foireann na scoile cultúr an-dearfach a chur chun cinn sa scoil. Moltar go mór an t-atmaisféar fáilteach a chothaítear sa scoil agus an raon leathan gníomhaíochtaí seach-churaclaim a eagraítear do na daltaí. Is inmholta chomh fial flaithiúil is atá na hoidí lena gcuid ama.

 

 

2. Fiúntas na bainistíochta sa scoil

 

2.1 An Bord Bainistíochta

Tá an bord bainistíochta ceaptha faoi rialacha na Roinne agus tionóltar cruinnithe an-rialta. Coimeádtar miontuairiscí cuimsitheacha agus tugtar tuairisc airgeadais ag gach cruinniú. Cuireadh na miontuairiscí seo ar fáil le linn na meastóireachta. Is léir go bhfeidhmíonn an bord go cumasach agus go bhfuil ardmholadh tuillte ag na baill as a gcuid oibre ar son na scoile. Tá forbairt á déanamh faoi láthair ar theicneolaíocht an eolais sa scoil agus ar an gcóras slándála. De réir dea-chleachtais cuirtear polasaithe faoi bhráid an bhoird go rialta. Tá mórán ama agus dua caite ag an mbord ag plé le ceist an tsuímh don bhfoirgneamh buan agus is cúis mhór diomá don bhord nár ceannaíodh an suíomh i nDún Uí Mhurchú a bhí luaite go poiblí leis an scoil. Tá comhfhreagras suntasach ag an scoil maidir leis an suíomh seo. Tá láthair eile á lorg ag Oifig na nOibreacha Poiblí faoi láthair agus tá teagmháil rialta ag an scoil leis na húdaráis chuí agus iad ag súil go mbeidh toradh fónta ar an obair seo. Tá obair shuntasach déanta ag an mbord chun na moltaí a chuir oifigeach dóiteáin faoina mbraid maidir le cúrsaí sábháilteachta a chur i gcrích. Le linn na réamhchomdhála d’ardaigh an bord ceisteanna mar gheall ar chaighdeán Gaeilge oidí óga amach anseo.

 

2.2 Bainistíocht inscoile

Tá forbairt shuntasach déanta ag an scoil seo faoi cheannaireacht chumasach an phríomhoide. Caitheann sé dúthracht agus an-fhuinneamh lena chuid dualgais. Oibríonn sé go dlúth leis na múinteoirí chun an curaclam a chur i bhfeidhm ar bhonn na scoile ina hiomláine. Cuireann sé tacaíocht bhreise ar fáil d’oidí nuacháilithe ar an bhfoireann. Leagann sé béim inmholta ar obair fhoirne agus ar dhea-cheannaireacht a chur chun cinn i measc na múinteoirí go háirithe maidir le cur i bhfeidhm na bpolasaite éagsúla. Moltar go mór an dea-chaidreamh agus an tsuim i bhforbairt na scoile atá le mothú i measc bhaill na foirne. Cothaíonn an príomhoide dea-chumarsáid chomh maith leis na tuismitheoirí, leis an mbord agus leis na daltaí.

 

Is léir go dtacaíonn an príomhoide tánaisteach agus an fhoireann inmheánach bhainistíochta go han-ábalta leis an bpríomhoide agus go bhfeidhmíonn siad go héifeachtach. Tá na cúraimí ar leith a ghabhann le gach post freagrachta leagtha amach go soiléir agus dírítear aird inmholta ar chúrsaí curaclaim agus ar thréadchúraim chomh maith le riarachán. Comhlíonann

na baill a ndualgais le dúthracht agus buaileann siad go rialta leis an bpríomhoide tar éis scoile chun gnéithe éagsúla den obair a phlé. I measc na ndeachleachtas atá i bhfeidhm tá sé de nós acu spriocanna ar leith a leagadh síos le haghaidh forbartha agus tuairiscí rialta a chur ar fáil don bhfoireann ar dhul chun cinn na hoibre. Deineadh athbhreithniú ar na postanna freagracha le déanaí. Pléadh an tábhacht a bhaineann le hathbhreithniú rialta agus leis na struchtúir atá ar bun ar mhaithe le síorfheabhsú na scoile san am atá le teacht.

 

2.3 Bainistíocht acmhainní

Tá príomhoide, aonú oide ranga déag agus beirt oide oideachais speisialta ar fhoireann na scoile. Dáiltear na daltaí go cothrom ar an bhfoireann de réir treoirlínte na Roinne. Fágann sé seo go múintear dhá rangleibhéal le chéile i dtrí chinn de na seomraí ranga agus go bhfuil rang amháin i ngach ceann de na seomraí príomhshrutha eile. Is léir go bhfaigheann na hoidí deiseanna ar theagasc ag leibhéil éagsúla sa scoil. Fostaítear beirt chúntóir ranga speisialta, rúnaí agus beirt choimeádaí. Le cúnamh airgid ó na tuismitheoirí fostaítear múinteoir rince chun ceachtanna a chur ar fáil, mar chuid den chlár Corpoideachais, do dhaltaí Ranganna I-VI. Is léir go n-oibríonn an fhoireann go díograiseach chun curaclam leathan a chur i bhfeidhm. Is iad na hoidí féin a mhúineann an snámh. Tá moladh ar leith ag dul do na hoidí as na deiseanna fónta a thugann siad do na daltaí chun cócaireacht a dhéanamh.

 

Ainneoin na ndeacrachtaí sa chóiríocht shealadach tá an-chreidiúint ag dul don bhord, don bhfoireann, do na tuismitheoirí agus do na daltaí as an dea-chúram a dhéanann siad de chothabháil an fhoirgnimh agus de shlacht na scoile ó lá go lá. Cuirtear an-chuid grianghrafanna, ábhair léirithe agus samplaí de shaothar na bpáistí ar taispeáint go tarraingteach sna siúltáin rud a chuireann go mór le hatmaisféar foghlama na scoile. Gabhann eagar inmholta leis na seomraí agus maisítear go tarraingteach iad in ainneoin ganntanas mór spáis i bhformhór mór na rangsheomraí.

 

Cuirtear stór maith acmhainní ar fáil sa scoil do chur i bhfeidhm na n-achar curaclaim éagsúla  agus baintear an-leas astu. Moltar na hoidí as prionta agus as fearas a ullmhú chun tacú le foghlaim na bpáistí. Tá leabharlann bheag lárnach chomh maith le leabharlanna ranga forbartha sa scoil.  Tá stór maith leabhar i mBéarla agus i nGaeilge ar fáil ag rangleibhéil éagsúla agus moltar go hard an chaoi ina n-eagraíonn na hoidí na leabhair go tarraingteach d’fhonn suim sa léitheoireacht a spreagadh i measc na bpáistí. Is inmholta mar a spreagtar na daltaí chun léitheoireacht a dhéanamh sa dá theanga. Tá ríomhairí ar fáil sna seomraí ranga agus tá cúram na teicneolaíochta mar ghné de phost freagrachta. Baintear leas maith astu chun cur le foghlaim na bpáistí. Cuireadh go mór leis an trealamh spóirt le déanaí. Cuireadh leis an trealamh Matamaitice chomh maith ach meastar gurbh fhiú cur níos mó fós leis i roinnt ranganna.

 

2.4 Bainistiú an chaidrimh agus na cumarsáide le pobal na scoile

Tá teagmháil le tuismitheoirí aitheanta mar chuid rí-thábhachtach de shainspiorad na scoile agus fáiltítear roimh thuairimí na dtuismitheoirí. Dá réir sin, is léir go mbíonn an-chumarsáid idir na múinteoirí agus na tuismitheoirí. Tá cumann láidir tuismitheoirí sa scoil a chuireann go mór le saol na scoile agus tá sé cláraithe le Coiste Náisiúnta na dTuismitheoirí. Bíonn cruinnithe rialta acu agus coimeádann siad miontuairiscí ar ghnó na gcruinnithe. Eagraíonn siad raon leathan imeachtaí do phobal uile na scoile. Téitear i gcomhairle leis na tuismitheoirí maidir le cúrsaí polasaí. Reachtáltar cruinnithe foirmiúla leo uair sa bhliain chun dul chun cinn a bpáistí a phlé leo agus soláthraítear tuairiscí scríofa ar dhul chun cinn na ndaltaí ag deireadh na scoilbhliana. Chomh maith leis sin tugtar cuireadh do thuismitheoirí go mbíonn a leanaí cláraithe acu teacht chun na scoile chuig lá oscailte sula dtosnaíonn na páistí sa scoil. Cuirtear imlitreacha agus nuachtlitreacha abhaile go minic agus is minic a lorgaítear aischothú ó na tuismitheoirí san nuachtlitir. Tagann a lán tuismitheoirí isteach sa scoil go rialta chun cabhrú le gnéithe den churaclam mar an leabharlann, Corpoideachas, an chócaireacht, na hAmharcealaíona. Tá sé go mór le moladh go n-eagraítear ranganna Gaeilge agus Ceoil do thuismitheoirí sa scoil.

 

2.5 Bainistíocht daltaí

Chonacthas mórán samplaí fónta de dhea-bhainistíocht ranga le linn na cigireachta agus tá ardmholadh tuillte ag na hoidí as atmaisféar taitneamhach foghlama a chur chun cinn ar fud na scoile. Cuirtear an cód iompair i bhfeidhm faoi mar is cuí. Caitear go deas lách leis na páistí agus moltar a n-iarrachtaí go leanúnach. Cothaítear dea-nósanna oibre agus béasaíochta iontu agus spreagtar iad chun bheith rannpháirteach ina gcuid foghlama. Gabhann éifeacht ar leith leis an bhfoghlaim nuair a bhaintear leas as grúpobair agus as raon leathan de mhodhanna múinte, cleachtas atá ar siúl i mórán ranganna sa scoil. Chun cur le héifeacht na foghlama moltar forbairt bhreise a dhéanamh ar na dea-chleachtais seo ar bhonn na scoile ina hiomláine.

 

 

3. Fiúntas na pleanála sa scoil

 

3.1 An próiseas pleanála sa scoil agus a chur i ngníomh  

Cuireadh fianaise ar fáil a dhearbhaíonn go bhfuil céimeanna cuí glactha ag an mbord bainistíochta agus ag an bhfoireann chun beartais a fhorbairt atá ag teacht le forálacha i Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children (An Roinn Sláinte agus Leanaí, 2004) agus Treoirlínte agus Cur Chuige um Chaomhnú Páistí (An Roinn Oideachais agus Eolaíochta, Aibreán 2001). Cuireadh fianaise ar fáil, leis, a dhearbhaíonn go bhfuil na beartais glactha ag an mbord bainistíochta agus go bhfuil siad curtha i bhfeidhm aige. Táthar tar éis duine idirchaidrimh ainmnithe a cheapadh de réir cheanglas threoirlínte na Roinne.  Ta triur ar an bhfoireann ainmnithe chun bheith freagrach as an gcur i bhfeidhm.

 

Déantar an-chúram den phleanáil scoile agus baintear an-leas as na seirbhísí tacaíochta éagsúla. Tá obair mhór déanta ag foireann na scoile i bpáirt leis na tuismitheoirí agus leis an mbord chun polasaithe don scoil a fhorbairt.  De réir dea-chleachtais leagtar amach clár oibre agus spriocanna cinnte don bhforbairt agus coimeádtar miontuairiscí ar ghnó na gcruinnithe. Is léir go bhfuil treoir nach beag á tabhairt ag an bpríomhoide agus ag oidí le dualgais speisialta i bhforbairt agus i gcur i bhfeidhm na bpleananna. Is mór is fiú an cur síos cuimsitheach a dhéantar sa phlean ar nósanna na scoile agus moltar an dialann phleanála atá leagtha amach don scoilbhliain seo. Tá polasaithe riaracháin eagruithe go cúramach agus táid curtha ar fáil do mhórán réimsí tábhachtacha mar shampla clárú, sábháilteacht, obair bhaile, úsáid substaintí, riarachán cógais, deiseanna comhionnais, forbairt ghairmiúil, sosanna gairme, cód iompair agus araíonachta. Is inmholta an dul chun cinn atá déanta chomh maidir le polasaithe a ullmhú do na hachair éagsúla den churaclam. Is inmholta go mór go bhfuil sé mar pholasaí ag an scoil am a chur ar fáil ag na cruinnithe foirne chun cúrsaí curaclaim a phlé. Tá obair idir lámha faoi láthair ar an Stair agus ar an Tíreolaíocht. Déantar athbhreithniú rialta ar na polasaithe. Ós rud gurb é an bunús atá le pleanáil scoile ná feabhas a chur ar an teagasc agus ar an bhfoghlaim, pléadh an tábhacht a bhaineann le hathbhreithniú rialta a dhéanamh ar bhonn na scoile ina hiomláine go háirithe chun na cleachtais sna seomraí ranga a aontú.

 

3.2 Pleanáil sa seomra ranga

Tá fianaise ann go gcuireann múinteoirí ag rangleibhéil éagsúla tosaíochtaí mar atáid leagtha amach sa phlean chun cinn go paiteanta sa phleanáil aonair agus go bhfuil toradh fónta ar an bplean scoile maidir le haidhmeanna oideachais na scoile a bhaint amach. Leagann gach oide plean fadtréimhseach agus gearrthéarmach amach dá rang féin agus cláraítear dul chun cinn na hoibre ar theimpléad míosúil na scoile. Is mór is fiú an úsáid a bhaintear as teicneolaíocht an eolais don phleanáil ranga. Tá teimpléad forbartha ag oidí na scoile don phleanáil choicíse agus baineann cuid mhaith múinteoirí leas as. Moltar é seo mar dhea-chleachtas toisc go gcuireann a leithéid de chóras an leanúnachas ón bpleanáil scoile go dtí na scéimeanna oibre aonair chun cinn. Chun tógaint ar na dea-chleachtais atá ar bun sa scoil, go háirithe maidir le spriocanna cinnte foghlama agus modheolaíochtaí a shoiléiriú, moltar anois athbhreithniú a dhéanamh ar bhonn na scoile ina hiomláine ar an teimpléad gearrthéarmach atá in úsáid.

 

 

4. Fiúntas na foghlama agus an teagaisc

 

4.1 Teanga

 

An Ghaeilge

Tá plean cuimsitheach ar fáil do theagasc agus d’fhoghlaim na Gaeilge sa scoil. Is inmholta an bhéim a dhíríonn an plean seo ar mhórán de phríomhtheachtaireachtaí an churaclaim i gcomhthéacs na scoile seo. Chun cur leis an dea-obair seo b’inmholta breis treoracha a chur ar fáil maidir le cur chuige cumarsáideach a fheidhmiú sa seomra ranga agus go háirithe maidir leis an ionchur teanga agus le tréimhsí an cheachta.

 

Faoi mar a léiríodh sa tuairisc dheireanach tá ardmholadh ag dul d’oidí na scoile seo as an dua a chaitheann siad le cur chun cinn na Gaeilge agus as an dea-thoradh atá ar a gcuid saothair. Labhraítear í mar theanga chaidrimh ar fud na scoile agus is inmholta an caighdeán atá bainte amach ag na daltaí i gcotinne. Moltar go mór na straitéisí éagsúla atá in úsáid ag an bhfoireann ag rangleibhéil éagsúla agus ag an bpríomhoide chun na daltaí a spreagadh ar bhonn an-taitneamhach. Dá thoradh sin, chonacthas mórán samplaí de theagasc a bhí ar ardchaighdeán. Bunaítear na ceachtanna ar ábhair go bhfuil suim ag na páistí iontu. Leagtar béim inmholta ar chothú na tuisceana, ar an bhfilíocht agus rannta agus ar an scéalaíocht, agus moltar go mór an bhéim a leagtar ar an drámaíocht. Is léir go mbaintear feidhm ina lán ranganna as druileanna, geáitsíocht agus as éagsúlacht mhodhanna chun ionchur teanga cinnte idir fhoclóir agus struchtúir a chur abhaile. Ar mhaithe le barrfeabhais a chur ar an dea-obair atá ar siúl moltar anois soiléiriú breise a dhéanamh ag leibhéil ar leith maidir leis an ionchur teanga agus béim sa bhreis a chur ar an gceacht comhrá a roinnt ina thrí thréimhse de réir a bhfuil molta sa churaclam. D’fhéadfaí chomh maith aire bhreise a thabhairt d’fhorbairt na teanga labhartha ar fud an churaclaim go háirithe ag leibhéil ar leith.

 

Moltar go mór an réimse leathan d’ábhar léitheoireachta, ábhar dílis ach go háirithe, a chuirtear ar fáil do na páistí ar fud na scoile. Is léir go bhfuil léitheoireacht pháirteach an-torthúil ar bun agus go bhfuil tacaíocht shuntasach ar fáil ó na tuismitheoirí chuige. Ag leibhéil áirithe is inmholta an aird a dhírítear ar scileanna maidir le haithint focal a fhorbairt agus ar an ngrúptheagasc. Ar mhaithe le freastal níos mó fós ar riachtanais na ndaltaí go léir moltar anois aire bhreise a dhíriú ar na dea-chleachtais seo ar bhonn na scoile ina hiomláine.

 

Forbraítear scileanna na scríbhneoireachta go tomhaiste. Ag leibhéil ar leith tugtar neart deiseanna do na daltaí tabhairt faoi réimsí éagsúla scríbhneoireachta faoi mar a mholtar sa churaclam agus dírítear aire chríochnúil ar phróiseas na scríbhneoireachta. Is léir go bhfuil caighdeán le moladh á bhaint amach ag a lán páistí. Moltar anois cur a thuilleadh fós leis an dea-obair seo ar bhonn scoile.

 

Béarla

It is evident that a considerable emphasis is placed on the teaching of English. The school has developed a comprehensive English policy to enable the staff “implement this subject within the parameters of the revised curriculum”. It is to be commended that this plan includes a whole-school phonological awareness programme and many useful guidelines for the implementation of the various strands at each class level. This fact is reflected in the commendable outcomes of standardised testing. During the inspection DES policy on the teaching of English was outlined in the context of the current evaluation being undertaken on the matter by the NCCA.

 

Many pupils throughout the school display an ability to express themselves confidently and fluently. Teachers are keenly aware of the importance of oral language and many effective methodologies were noted during the inspection. Good use is made of the oral language contexts outlined in the curriculum such as storytelling, poetry and rhyme. There is evidence of much purposeful teacher-directed whole-class talk and discussion. It is particularly commendable that there is also evidence of the use of carefully structured language enrichment exercises and co-operative learning approaches. The further development of these approaches is recommended. In particular the importance of consistently signalling the beginning and end of the English period was highlighted and discussed during the evaluation.

 

In keeping with best practice books are emphasised at all class levels. As previously noted many classrooms provide print-rich environments where words and sentences are displayed. A structured reading scheme is in use from senior infants to sixth class. Pupils in the middle and senior classes are also enabled to engage with a variety of class novels. A good range of additional reading material is provided in class libraries and strategies are in place at a variety of class levels to promote reading for pleasure and for information. It is to be commended that paired reading programmes in English are well established in the junior classes. Attention is paid to the development of word-identification skills as well as phonological and phonemic awareness.  Many pupils throughout the school read with fluency and discuss a range of genres and authors with obvious enjoyment and understanding.

 

Some impressive samples of children’s written work were in evidence in many classes during the evaluation. There is evidence of drafting, editing and redrafting and of carefully monitored work. An appropriate emphasis is also placed on the development of the children’s handwriting and presentation skills. In keeping with best practice the pupils are encouraged to write in a variety of genres and for different purposes. It is to be commended that their writing is displayed in many classrooms. Further development of the children’s independent writing skills at whole-school level is recommended. The importance of oral work and linkage with reading was usefully discussed in this context.

 

 

 

4.2 Matamaitic

Tá plean scoile an-chuimsitheach leagtha amach do mhúineadh na Matamaitice sa scoil. Cuirtear treoracha cinnte ar fáil do na hoidí a thagann lena bhfuil molta sa churaclam. Luaitear go speisialta an cúram atá déanta de théarmaíocht na Matamaitice agus an bhéim a leagtar ar shealbhú scileanna agus coincheapa. Moltar chomh maith an aird a dhírítear sa phlean ar pháistí le riachtanais foghlama ar leith.

 

Le linn na cigireachta chonacthas raon an-oiriúnach de mhodhanna teagaisc in úsáid agus is léir go bhfuil dul chun cinn á dhéanamh ag a lán daltaí. Is inmholta an leas éifeachtach a bhaintear as ábhar nithiúil i mórán ranganna chun cabhrú leis na páistí a dtuiscint a fhorbairt ar na coincheapa éagsúla. Cothaítear plé breá le linn na hoibre a spreagann iad chun dianmhacnamh a dhéanamh. Ag rangleibhéil éagsúla leagtar béim chuí ar an ríomhaireacht ó bhéal. Dírítear go sciliúil ar theanga na Matamaitice agus is mór an taca don bhfoghlaim iad na cairteanna agus na taispeántais atá ullmhaithe go cúramach i rangsheomraí áirithe. Spreagtar na páistí mar is ceart chun an obair scríofa a chlárú go cúramach. Leagtar béim bhreá ar réiteach na bhfadhbanna. Gabhann éifeacht ar leith leis an obair seo nuair a chuirtear béim ar réiteach fadhbanna praiticiúla a bhaineann le gnáth-shaol na bpáistí.  Moltar an cur chuige seo a fhorbairt ar bhonn scoile anois. B’fhiú tuilleadh fearais fós a sholáthar do na ranganna sinsireacha.

 

 

 

 

4.3 Oideachas Sóisialta, Imshaoil agus Eolaíochta (OSIE)

 

Tíreolaíocht

I bpleananna oibre na múinteoirí leagtar clár spreagúil amach sa Tíreolaíocht do gach rang atá bunaithe ar snáitheanna an churaclaim. Comhghaolaítear an t-ábhar go torthúil le hachair eile den churaclam, na hAmharcealaíona san áireamh. Sna ranganna a scrúdaíodh léirigh a lán páistí tuiscint agus an-spéis sna hábhair a bhí faoi chaibidil acu. Moltar go mór an bhéim a leagtar ar an ngarthimpeallacht agus ar an mapáil ag rangleibhéil éagsúla. Ag rangleibhéil ar leith cuirtear béim inmholta ar thionscnaimh agus ar na daltaí a spreagadh go han-éifeachtach chun an obair a chlárú agus a léiriú ina gcuid cóipleabhar. Moltar go mór an t-ard-chaighdeán atá le sonrú in áiteanna. Cuirtear ar a gcumas labhairt go líofa faoina bhfuil foghlamtha acu i gcoitinne. B’fhiú áfach ionchur teanga níos soiléire a theagasc uaireanta. Moltar anois forbairt bhreise a dhéanamh ar an ngné seo tríd an obair phleanála atá ar bun ar OSIE faoi láthair. Cuireadh comhairle ar fáil maidir leis seo le linn na meastóireachta.

 

Stair

Músclaítear suim na ndaltaí sa Stair agus cuirtear clár ilghnéitheach faoina mbráid agus léiríonn cuid mhór díobh tuiscint bhreá ar na hachair atá clúdaithe. Baintear an-leas as an scéalaíocht chun cabhrú leo tuiscint a fháil ar an saol fadó in Éirinn agus i dtíortha eile. Ag rangleibhéil éagsúla leagtar béim bhreá ar an stair áitiúil. Tugtar faoi obair thionscnaimh an-oiriúnach ag na leibhéil chuí agus is inmholta an cumas atá ag a lán daltaí chun cur síos réalaíoch a dhéanamh ar a gcuid oibre. Moltar go mór na deiseanna a chuirtear ar fáil do na páistí chun taighde agus iniúchadh a dhéanamh. Déantar comhtháthú an-éifeachtach idir an obair seo agus gnéithe eile den churaclam go háirithe leis na teangacha. Cuireadh comhairle ar fáil maidir le roghnú leabhar cuí.

 

Eolaíocht

Déantar an-chúram de mhúineadh na hEolaíochta sa scoil. Tá plean d’ardchaighdeán curtha le chéile go cúramach ag na hoidí a thugann treoir shoiléir dóibh don phleanáil aonair. Tá toradh fónta dá réir le sonrú san obair sna rangsheomraí. Is léir go gcuirtear prionsabail an churaclaim i bhfeidhm agus go leagtar béim ar fhorbairt coincheap agus scileanna chomh maith le sealbhú eolais. Déantar obair an-éifeachtach maidir le plandaí agus fásra trí chéile ag leibhéil ar leith. Chonacthas samplaí fónta de thrialacha oiriúnacha le linn na cigireachta. Mealltar na daltaí chun a dtuiscint ar ábhar an cheachta a fhorbairt trí iniúchadh agus tastálacha a dhéanamh. Cothaítear an fhiosracht chuí agus déantar scagadh agus plé an-bhreá ar thorthaí na dtrialacha.

 

4.4 Oideachas Ealaíon

 

Na hAmharcealaíona

Tá ardmholadh tuillte ag foireann na scoile seo as an obair a dhéanann siad chun na hAmharcealaíona a chur i bhfeidhm ar fud na scoile. Deineadh athbhreithniú le déanaí ar an bplean scoile atá i bhfeidhm ó Mhí na Samhna 2003. Díríonn an plean seo aird inmholta ar mhórán de phríomtheachtaireachtaí an churaclaim agus cuirtear treoracha soiléire ar fáil don teagasc. Sroichtear caighdeán an-ard san obair agus cuirtear neart samplaí de shaothar na bpáistí sna snáitheanna éagsúla ar taispeáint ar fud na scoile. Leagtar béim inmholta ar an bpróiseas cruthaitheach agus ar an mbreathnóireacht. Aithnítear an tábhacht a bhaineann leis an líníocht. Tá éagsúlacht an-bhreá ann maidir leis an taithí a thugtar do na daltaí dul i ngleic le cré, tógáil, priontáil, péint agus dath, fabraic agus snáithín. Léirítear cothromaíocht oiriúnach idir an obair dhéthoiseach agus tríthoiseach. Glacann na páistí páirt an-ghníomhach sna gníomhaíochtaí agus is léir go dtéann an obair an-thaitneamhach seo i bhfeidhm go mór orthu agus go mbíonn siad an-bhródúil as a gcuid iarrachtaí.

 

Ceol

Tá plean scoile an-chuimsitheach curtha ar fáil maidir le teagasc agus foghlaim an cheoil a thagann go mór le riachtanais an churaclaim. Moltar go mór na treoracha soiléire a leagtar amach go paiteanta d’fhorbairt na snáitheanna ag na rangleibhéil éagsúla. Is léir go bhfuil obair an-chreidiúnach ar siúl sna ranganna chun an plean a chur i bhfeidhm agus chun aird a dhíriú ar na foranna go léir. Múineadh na ranganna a chonacthas go cumasach agus tá ardmholadh tuillte ag na hoidí as an obair fhoirne atá ar bun acu chun tacú lena chéile an plean a chur i bhfeidhm go háirithe maidir le múineadh na n-uirlisí. Dírítear aird chuí ar fhorbairt na rithime agus baintear an-leas as na cnaguirlisí. Múintear an fheadóg stáin agus an fheadóg shasanach ó Rang a dó ar aghaidh agus chonacthas samplaí d’ardchaighdeán ag leibhéil éagsúla. Chonacthas samplaí fónta maidir leis an gcumadóireacht chomh maith. Canann na daltaí cnuasach d’amhráin éagsúla sa Ghaeilge agus sa Bhéarla agus cothaítear an binneas go cumasach sa chantaireacht. Is minic a fhaigheann siad deiseanna canadh le tionlacan ceoil ó na hoidí ar uirlisí éagsúla.

 

Dramaíocht

Baintear leas le moladh as an drámaíocht mar ghné thábhachtach den teagasc ag gach leibhéal a scrúdaíodh. Moltar na múinteoirí as an toradh inmholta atá ar a gcuid saothair maidir le féinmhuinín na ndaltaí agus a gcumas sna teangacha a fhorbairt. Tá moladh ar leith tuillte acu as deiseanna rialta a chur ar fáil do na páistí páirt a ghlacadh i gCor Fhéile na Scol, an Fhéile Drámaíochta, Ceol Drámaí agus taispeántais na scoile. Le linn na meastóireachta chonacthas drámaí a bhí scríofa as Gaeilge ag na daltaí ag rangleibhéal ar leith á léiriú go han-chumasach acu. Tá an obair seo go mór le moladh.

 

4.5 Corpoideachas

Is inmholta an t-athbhreithniú atá déanta ag an na hoidí ar mhúineadh an chorpoideachais. Is léir go bhfuil an-mhacnamh caite leis seo agus moltar go mór an plean scoile d’ardchaighdeán atá leagtha amach go cúramach. Le tacaíocht nach beag ó na tuismitheoirí éiríonn leis an scoil clár leathan atá bunaithe ar shnáitheanna uile an churaclaim a chur ar fáil do gach rang. Tugtar cead don scoil úsáid a bhaint as áiseanna den scoth a bhaineann le meánscoil sa chomharsanacht agus baintear an-leas as na háiseanna seo. Úsáidtear an halla beag sa scoil agus clós na scoile chomh maith chun an clár a chur i láthair. Stiúradh na ceachtanna a chonacthas go cumasach agus bhain na páistí taitneamh agus tairbhe astu. Tugtar na leanaí chuig linn snámha áitiúil chun an oiliúint uisce a dhéanamh. Tá moladh ar leith tuillte ag na hoidí as cáilíocht bhreise a bhaint amach sa ghné seo den chlár le cur ar a gcumas an oiliúint a chur ar fáil do na daltaí. Is inmholta chomh flaithiúil is atá siad lena gcuid ama maidir le cur cinn na gcluichí tar éis am scoile.

 

4.6 Oideachas Sóisialta, Pearsanta agus Sláinte (OSPS)

Tá polasaí cuimsitheach leagtha amach don ghné seo den churaclam agus múintear ceachtanna oiriúnacha ar leith i ngach rang. Baintear leas as réimse leathan d’acmhainní, lena n-áirítear Oideachas Caidrimh agus Gnéasachta, Bí Sábháilte, Bí Folláin agus Misneach.Is léir go ndéantar gach iarracht na páistí a oiliúint go cuí agus go dtéann an teagasc i bhfeidhm go mór orthu. Is léir chomh maith go bhfuil an t-atmaisféar dearfach atá go mór le sonrú sa scoil mar bhunús an-mhaith d’fhorbairt scileanna sóisialta agus pearsanta na ndaltaí.

 

4.7 Measúnú agus gnóthachtáil

Baineann an fhoireann leas as modhanna éagsúla measúnachta go foirmiúil agus go neamhfhoirmiúil. Cuireann na hoidí mórán trialacha dá gcuid féin ar na daltaí in achair éagsúla den churaclam go mórmhór sna teangacha agus sa Mhatamaitic. Déantar monatóireacht an-chúramach ar shaothar scríofa na bpáistí ag leibhéil ar leith agus tugtar aiseolas dearfach éifeachtach dóibh go minic. Úsáidtear tastálacha caighdeánaithe cuí go bliantúil sa Bhéarla agus sa Mhatamaitic agus coimeádtar cuntais chuí ar na torthaí. Baintear úsáid go torthúil as raon an-oiriúnach de thrialacha diagnóiseacha. Moltar go mór an obair atá ar bun chun próifilí a choimeád ar dhul chun cinn daltaí aonair i ngnéithe éagsúla den churaclam. Baineann fiúntas ar leith leis an measúnú nuair a chuirtear na sonraí san áireamh sa phleanáil agus sa teagasc chun freastal a dhéanamh ar riachtanais na ndaltaí. Moltar anois an cur chuige seo a fhorbairt níos mó fós ar bhonn na scoile ina hiomláine.

 

 

5. Fiúntas na Tacaíochta do Dhaltaí

 

5.1 Daltaí a bhfuil riachtanais speisialta oideachais acu

Tá polasaí an-éifeachtach forbartha ag an scoil maidir le freastal a dhéanamh ar dhaltaí a bhfuil riactanais oideachais speisialta acu. Tugtar cúnamh breise do dhaltaí sa Bhéarla agus sa Mhatamaitic. Roghnaítear iad le haghaidh cabhrach speisialta ar bhonn sainiúil atá ag teacht le treoirlínte na Roinne. Is léir go bhfuil an-chomhoibriú idir na hoidí tacaíochta agus na múinteoirí ranga agus go dtéitear i gcomhairle na dtuismitheoirí go rialta. Baintear leas as teimpléad an-oiriúnach don phleanáil. Cuirtear cabhair bhreise ar fáil do ghrúpaí beaga taobh amuigh dá rangsheomraí féin. Anuas air sin is inmholta go mór go bhfeidhmíonn na hoidí oideachais speisialta sna gnáthranganna chomh maith. Baintear leas ar raon de mhodhanna múinte éifeachtacha chun freastal ar riachtanais éagsúla na ndaltaí agus is léir go bhfuil roinnt daltaí tar éis dul chun cinn suntasach a dhéanamh cheana féin i mbliana. Tá córas cuimsitheach in úsáid chun monatóireacht leanúnach a dhéanamh ar dhul chun cinn na bpáistí. B’fhiú anois príomh-bhuanna agus príomh-riachtanais na ndaltaí a shoiléiriú a thuilleadh sna próifílí.

 

Tacaíochtaí eile do dhaltaí: iad siúd atá faoi mhíbhuntáiste agus daltaí ó ghrúpaí mionlaigh nó grúpaí eile Glacann an scoil páirt sa chlár “Oideachas faoi Mhíbhuntáiste” agus faigheann an scoil deontas dá bharr chun deileáil leis an mí-bhuntáiste sa cheantar. Eagraítear club obair bhaile do bheagán daltaí ceithre lá sa tseachtain agus tá toradh le moladh ar an obair seo.

 

 

6. Achoimre ar thorthaí agus ar mholtaí d’fhorbairt bhreise

 

Seo a leanas na príomhbhuanna a aithníodh sa mheastóireacht agus na réimsí a gcaithfear forbairt bhreise a dheanamh orthu:

 

 

 

Mar bhealach le tógáil ar na buanna seo agus le díriú ar réimsí a gcaithfear forbairt a dhéanamh orthu, moltar na príomhphointí seo:

 

 

 

 

Reachtáladh cruinnithe iarmheastóireachta leis an bhfoireann agus leis an mbord  bainistíochta; cuireadh dréacht-thorthaí agus dréacht-mholtaí na meastóireachta i láthair agus pléadh iad ag na cruinnithe sin.

 

 

 

Whole School Evaluation

 

This report was written after a whole school evaluation was carried out on Gaelscoil Uí Ríordáin. It presents the findings of the evaluation that was carried out on the work of the school as a whole and makes recommendations for the further development of the work of the school. During the evaluation there were pre-evaluation meetings between the inspectors and the principal, the teachers, the board of management of the school and representatives of the parents’ association. The evaluation was completed over a period of days during which the inspectors visited classrooms in which they observed both teaching and learning. They interacted with the pupils and the teachers; they examined the work of the pupils and interacted with the class teachers. They reviewed documentation about school planning and written preparation of the teachers. They met with different groups of staff as was convenient. After the evaluation visits the inspectors provided oral feedback about the findings to the staff and to the board of management. An opportunity was given to the board of management of the school to give their views on the findings and recommendations of the report; the board chose to accept the report without giving a response.

 

 

1. Introduction – Context and Background of the School

 

Since it was established in the year 1983 this fine school has been situated in a rented building in Coolroe in west Ballincollig. The school has clearly made notable progress since it opened and there is great demand for places in the school. There has been a further increase in the numbers of pupils since the time the last report was produced in the year 1996. There are more than 60 pupils registered for next year and another teacher is to be appointed. There are 325 pupils on the rolls at present. The school serves pupils in the locality in Ballincollig and also children from other parishes as a result of demand. They have a good attendance record on the whole and the importance of this is frequently brought to the attention of the parents. It should be noted that there have been a lot of staff changes in recent years.

 

Although extra rooms were built as the school grew there is a severe shortage of space in the building and the board of management expects that the Department of Education and Science will buy a site for a permanent building without further delay. The lack of space and facilities in the temporary building is a cause of great worry to the board and to the Parents’ Association. They are particularly worried about issues of health and safety. But it is clear that great credit must go to the staff of the school that work very diligently to implement the curriculum and provide a wide education for the children who are in their care despite the difficulties which are associated with a rented building.

 

The Bishop of Cork and Ross is the patron of the school. The attendance of the pupils is very good and when they leave the Gaelscoil a notable percentage of them continue with secondary education through Irish in the area. Because it is an All-Irish school Irish has a central place in the life of the school and it is clear that the principal and staff of the school are succeeding in promoting a very positive culture in the school. The welcoming atmosphere that is encouraged in the school is highly commended and so is the wide range of extra-curricular activities that are organised for the pupils. It is commendable how extremely generous the teachers are with their time.

 

 

2. Quality of School Management

 

2.1 Board of Management

The board of management was appointed under the rules of the Department and meetings are held very regularly. Comprehensive minutes are kept and a financial report is given at every meeting. These minutes were made available during the evaluation. It is clear that the board functions effectively and the members have earned high praise for their work on behalf of the school. Information technology is currently being developed in the school as well as the security system. In line with best practice policies are regularly presented to the board. The board has spent a lot of time and effort dealing with the question of the site for the permanent building and it is a source of great dismay to the board that the site in Murphy Barracks that had been publicly promised to the school was not purchased. The school has notable correspondence regarding this site. The Office of Public Works is searching for another site at present and the school has regular contacts with the appropriate authorities and they hope there will be a worthwhile result to this work. The board has done significant work to implement the recommendations presented to them by a fire officer regarding safety issues. During the preliminary meeting the board raised questions about the standard of Irish of young teachers in the future.

 

2.2 In-school Management

This school has made significant development under the effective leadership of the principal. He carries out his duties very energetically and with dedication. He works hard with the teachers to implement the curriculum on a whole school basis. He provides extra support to newly qualified teachers on the staff. He places commendable emphasis on teamwork and on the promotion of good leadership amongst teachers particularly regarding the implementation of the different policies. The good relations and the interest in the development of the school that can be felt among the members of the staff are commendable. The principal encourages good communications with the parents, as well as with the board and the pupils.

 

It is clear that the assistant principal and the internal management team support the principal very ably and that they function effectively. The specific responsibilities of each post of responsibility are clearly laid down and a commendable focus of attention is directed at curriculum affairs and at pastoral care as well as administration. The members fulfil their duties with dedication and they meet the principal regularly after school to dicuss different aspects of the work. Among the best practise that is in force they set out specific targets for development and provide regular reports on the progress of the work to the staff. The posts of responsibility were reviewed recently. The importance of regular reviews and the structures that are established for the continued improvement of the school in the future were discussed.

 

2.3 Management of resources

There is a principal, eleven class teachers and two special education teachers on the school staff. The pupils are equally divided between the staff according to the Department guidelines. This means that two class levels are taught together in three of the classrooms and there is one class in each of the other mainstresam rooms. It is clear that the teachers get the opportunity to teach at different levels in the school. Two special class assistants, a secretary and two caretakers are employed. With financial assistance from the parents a teacher of dancing is employed to provide lessons, as part of the Physical Education programme, to pupils in Classes I-VI. It is clear that the staff work diligently to implement a wide curriculum. The teachers themselves teach swimming. The teachers are specifically commended for the worthwhile opportunities they provide for the pupils to do cooking.

 

In spite of the difficulties of temporary accommodation there is great credit due to the board, the staff, the parents and the pupils for the good care they take of building maintenance and the good appearance of the school from day to day. Many photographs, reading material and samples of the children’s work are displayed attractively in the corridors, something that adds greatly to the learning atmosphere in the school. There is commendable neatness in the rooms and they are attractively decorated in spite of the great shortage of space in most of the classrooms.

 

A good amount of resources are made available in the school for the implementation of different curriculum areas and they are of great benefit. The teachers are commendable for the preparation of print materials and equipment to support the learning of the pupils. A small central library as well as class libraries has been developed in the school. There are a good number of books available in English and in Irish at different class levels and the way in which the teachers organise the books attractively in order to stimulate interest in reading amongst the children is highly commendable. It is commendable how the pupils are encouraged to read in both languages. There are computers available in the classrooms and care of technology is one of the features of a post of responsibility. They are of great benefit to the learning of the children. The sports equipment was added to greatly recently. The Mathematics equipment was added to as well but it is thought that it would be worth adding even more to it in some classes.

 

2.4 Management of relationships and communication with the school community

Contact with parents is recognised as a very important part of the ethos of the school and the opinions of the parents are welcomed. Accordingly, it is clear that there is a lot of communication between the teachers and parents. There is a strong parents’ association in the school that adds greatly to the life of the school and it is registered with the National
Parents Council. They have regular meetings and they keep minutes of the business of the meetings. They organise a wide range of events for the whole school community. The parents are consulted regarding policy issues. Formal meetings are arranged with them once a year to discuss the progress of their children and written reports about the progress of the pupils are provided at the end of the school year. As well as this parents whose children are registered are invited to come to the school for an open day before the children start in the school. Circulars and newsletters are frequently sent home and feedback from parents is often requested in the newsletter. Many parents come into the school regularly to help with aspects of the curriculum such as the library, Physical Education, cooking, the Visual Arts. It is very commendable that classes in Irish and Music are organised for parents in the school.

 

2.5 Pupil management

Many worthwhile examples of good class management were observed during the inspection and the teachers have earned high praise for promoting an enjoyable learning atmosphere throughout the school. The code of behaviour is applied as appropriate. The children are dealt with nice and gently and their efforts are continually praised. Good habits of work and mannerliness are fostered and they are encouraged to participate in their learning. Learning has a particular effect when group work is used with a wide range of teaching methods, a practice that is carried out in many classes in the school. To increase the effectiveness of learning it is recommended that these good practices be further developed throughout the school as a whole.

 

 

3. Quality of school planning

 

3.1 School planning process and implementation

Evidence was provided which confirms that appropriate steps have been taken by the board of management and the staff to develop measures that follow the provisions of Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children (Department of Health and Children, 2004) and Child Protection: Guidelines and Procedures (Department of Education and Science, April 2001). Evidence was also provided that the board of management accepted the measures and that they have been implemented by it. A designated liaison person has been appointed according to the requirements of the guidelines of the Department. Three staff members have been designated to take responsibility for the implementation.

 

Great care is taken with school planning and great use is made of the different support services. The school staff together with the parents and the board has done great work to develop policies for the school. In accordance with best practice a programme of work and definite targets are set out for development and minutes are kept of the business of the meetings. It is clear that no small amount of guidance is being given by the principal and by teachers with special duties in the development and implementation of the plans. The comprehensive description in the plan of the procedures of the school is worthwhile and the planning diary that is laid out for this school year is commended. The administrative policies are carefully organised and are made available to many important areas for example, registration, safety, home work, substance abuse, administration of medicines, equality of opportunity, career development, career breaks, code of behaviour and discipline. Commendable progress has been made regarding the preparation of policies for the different areas of the curriculum. It is very commendable that it is school policy to provide time at staff meetings for discussion of curriculum issues. Work is in hand on History and Geography. The policies are reviewed regularly. Since the basis of school planning is the improvement of teaching and learning, the importance of carrying out regular reviews on a whole school basis was discussed particularly to unify the practices in the classrooms.

 

3.2 Classroom planning

There is evidence that teachers at different class levels promote priorities as they are laid out in the plan clearly in individual planning and there is a useful result for the school plan regarding the achievement of the educational aims of the school. Each teacher lays out a long-term and short-term plan for their own class and the progress of work is recorded on the monthly template of the school. The use that is made of information technology for class planning is very worthwhile. The teachers in the school have developed a template for fortnightly planning and many teachers make use of it. This is commended as good-practice because such a system promotes the progression from school planning to the individual schemes of work. To build on the good practices that are established in the school, particularly regarding clarification of definite learning targets and methodologies, it is now recommended that the short term template that is in use should be reviewed on a whole school basis.

 

 

4. Quality of learning and teaching

 

4.1 Language

 

Irish (An Ghaeilge)

There is a comprehensive plan available for teaching and learning Irish in the school. It is commendable how this plan emphasises many of the key elements in the curriculum in the context of this school. In order to add to this good work it would be advisable to provide extra guidelines regarding the implementation of communicative procedures in the classroom and particularly regarding language input and lesson periods.

 

As was shown in the last report there is great praise due to the teachers in this school for the hard work they put into the promotion of Irish and the good result that comes of their efforts. It is spoken as a language of communication throughout the school and the standard that has been achieved by the pupils in general is commendable. The different strategies that are used by the staff at different class levels and by the principal to encourage the pupils on a very enjoyable basis are very commendable. As a result of that, many examples of high standards of teaching were observed. Lessons are based on topics in which the children are interested. Commendable emphasis is placed on the encouragement of understanding, on poetry and rhyme and on storytelling, and the emphasis placed on drama is highly commended. It is clear that use is made in many classes of drills, gestures and of different methods to drive home definite language input in both vocabulary and structure. In the interests of making the maximum improvements to the good work that is being carried out it is now recommended that extra clarification be given at specific levels regarding language input and extra emphasis be put on the division of the conversation lesson into three periods as recommended in the curriculum. Extra attention could also be given to the development of the spoken language throughout the curriculum in particular at specific levels.

 

The wide range of reading material is greatly commended, particularly authentic material, which is provided for the children throughout the school. It is clear that fruitful participation in reading is happening and there is noticeable support from the parents for this. At certain levels there is commendable focussing of attention on skills regarding development of recognition of words and on group teaching. In the interests of serving even better the needs of all of the pupils it is now recommended that extra attention be focussed on these good practices throughout the whole school.

 

Writing skills are carefully developed. At certain levels plenty of opportunity is given to the pupils to undertake different areas of writing as is recommended in the curriculum and thorough attention is paid to the process of writing. Many children are clearly reaching a commendable standard. It is recommended now that even more be done by extending this good work on a school-wide basis.

 

English

It is evident that a considerable emphasis is placed on the teaching of English. The school has developed a comprehensive English policy to enable the staff “implement this subject within the parameters of the revised curriculum.” It is to be commended that this plan includes a whole-school phonological awareness programme and many useful guidelines for the implementation of the various strands at each class level. This fact is reflected in the commendable outcomes of standardised testing. During the inspection DES policy on the teaching of English was outlined in the context of the current evaluation being undertaken on the matter by the NCCA.

 

Many pupils throughout the school display an ability to express themselves confidently and fluently. Teachers are keenly aware of the importance of oral language and many effective methodologies were noted during the inspection. Good use is made of the oral language contexts outlined in the curriculum such as storytelling, poetry and rhyme. There is evidence of much purposeful teacher-directed whole-class talk and discussion. It is particularly commendable that there is also evidence of the use of carefully structured language enrichment exercises and co-operative learning approaches. The further development of these approaches is recommended. In particular the importance of consistently signalling the beginning and end of the English period was highlighted and discussed during the evaluation.

 

In keeping with best practice books are emphasised at all class levels. As previously noted many classrooms provide print-rich environments where words and sentences are displayed. A structured reading scheme is in use from senior infants to sixth class. Pupils in the middle and senior classes are also enabled to engage with a variety of class novels. A good range of additional reading material is provided in class libraries and strategies are in place at a variety of class levels to promote reading for pleasure and for information. It is to be commended that paired reading programmes in English are well established in the junior classes. Attention is paid to the development of word-identification skills as well as phonological and phonemic awareness. Many pupils throughout the school read with fluency and discuss a range of genres and authors with obvious enjoyment and understanding.

 

Some impressive samples of children’s written work were in evidence in many classes during the evaluation. There is evidence of drafting, editing and redrafting and of carefully monitored work. An appropriate emphasis is also placed on the development of the children’s handwriting and presentation skills. In keeping with best practice the pupils are encouraged to write in a variety of genres and for different purposes. It is to be commended that their writing is displayed in many classrooms. Further development of the children’s independent writing skills at whole-school level is recommended. The importance of oral work and linkage with reading was usefully discussed in this context.

 

 

4.2 Mathematics

There is a very comprehensive school plan set out for teaching mathematics in the school. Definite instructions are made available to the teachers that follow the recommendations in the curriculum. Special mention is made of the care taken with mathematics terminology and the emphasis placed on acquisition of skills and concepts. Also commended is the attention paid in the plan to children with special learning needs.

 

During the inspection a range of very appropriate teaching methods was observed in use and it is clear that many pupils are making progress. The effective use of concrete material in many classes to help the children to develop their understanding of the different concepts is commendable. A good discussion is encouraged during the work that stimulates them to deep thought. At different class levels appropriate emphasis is placed on oral arithmetic. The language of mathematics is skilfully focussed on and the charts and displays that are carefully prepared in certain classrooms are a great support to learning. The children are stimulated correctly to record written work carefully. Good emphasis is placed on problem solving. This work has a specific effect when emphasis is placed on solving practical problems that relate to the ordinary life of the children. It is recommended that this procedure is now developed throughout the school. It would be worthwhile providing even more equipment to the senior classes.

 

4.3 Social, Environmental and Science Education (SESE)

 

Geography

In the work plans of the teachers a stimulating programme is laid out for every class that is based on strands of the curriculum. The subject is correlated fruitfully with other areas of the curriculum, including the Visual Arts. In the classes examined many children showed evident understanding of and great interest in the topics they were dealing with. The emphasis placed on the locality and on mapping at different class levels is highly commended. At specific class levels commendable emphasis is placed on projects and on very effectively encouraging the pupils to record the work and present it in their copybooks. The high standard that is evident in places is highly commended. They are enabled to speak fluently about what they have learned in general. However it would be worthwhile to teach language input more clearly sometimes. It is recommended now that further development is made of this aspect through the planning work that is in progress on SESE at present. Advice was provided regarding this during the evaluation.

 

History

The interest of pupils is awakened in History and a diverse programme is presented to them and many of them show a good understanding of the areas that are covered. Beneficial use is made of storytelling to help them understand life long ago in Ireland and in other countries. At different class levels good emphasis is placed on local history. Very appropriate project work is carried out at the relevant levels and many pupils have a commendable ability to give a realistic dscription of their work. The opportunities that are made available to the children to do research and investigate are highly commended. Very effective integration is made between this work and other aspects of the curriculum particularly with the languages. Advice was provided regarding the choice of suitable books.

 

Science

The teaching of Science is trated very responsibly in the school. A plan of high standard has been carefully put together by the teachers that gives them clear guidance for individual planning. A useful result is accordingly evident in the work in the classrooms. It is evident that the principles of the curriculum are put into effect and that emphasis is placed on the development of concepts and skills as well as acquisition of knowledge. Very effective work regarding plants and vegetation together is evident at certain levels. Useful examples of suitable experiments were observed during the inspection. The pupils are enticed to develop their understanding of the topic of the lesson by investigation and doing tests. Appropriate curiosity is encouraged and the results of the tests are critically examined with very good discussions.

 

4.4 Arts Education

 

Visual Arts

The staff of this school deserves high commendation for the work they do to implement the Visual Arts throughout the school. A review was recently carried out on the school plan that has been in effect since November 2003. This plan directs commendable attention to many of the key elements of the curriculum and clear instructions are provided for teaching. A very high standard of work is achieved and plenty of examples of the work of the children in the different strands are placed on display around the school. A commendable emphasis is placed on the creative process and on observation. The importance of drawing is recognised. There is a very nice difference regarding the experience given to the pupils in handling clay, construction, printing, paint and colour, fabric and fibre. A suitable balance is evident between two-dimensional and three-dimensional work. The children take a very active part in the activities and it is evident that this very enjoyable work influences them greatly and they are very proud of their efforts.

 

Music

A very comprehensive school plan has been made available that follows closely the requirements of the curriculum regarding the teaching and learning of music. The clear instructions that are neatly laid out for the development of the strands at different class levels are highly commended. It is evident that very creditable work is being done in the classes to implement the plan and focus attention on all the subsections. The classes observed were taught capably and the teachers deserve high commendation for the team work they are carrying out to support each other in the implementation of the plan particularly regarding the teaching of the instruments. Appropriate attention is focussed on the development of rhythm and good use is made of percussion instruments. The tin whistle and recorder are taught from Class two on and examples of high standard were observed at different levels. Useful examples of composition were also observed. The pupils sing a repertoire of different songs in Irish and in English and the sweetness is capably encouraged in the singing. They frequently get opportunites for singing with musical accompaniment by the teachers on different instruments.

 

Drama

Commendable use of drama is made as an important aspect of teaching at every level examined. The teachers are commended for the praiseworthy result of their labours regarding the development of self-confidence in the pupils and their ability in the languages. Particualr praise is due to them for the regular opportunities they provide the children to take part in the Schools’ Choral Festival, the Drama Festival, school Musicals and shows. During the evaluation dramas were observed that had been written in Irish by the pupils and very capably performed by them at a particular class level. This work is highly commended.

 

4.5 Physical Education

The review carried out by the teachers of the teaching of physical education is commendable. It is evident that much thought has been given to this and the school plan of high standard that has been carefully laid out is highly commended. With not a little support from the parents the school succeeds in making a wide programme that is based on all the strands in the curriculum available to every class. The school is given permission to use the first class facilities belonging to a secondary school in the neighbourhood and beneficial use is made of these facilities. The small hall in the school is used and the school yard also to present the programme. The lessons observed were conducted capably and the children got enjoyment and benefit from them. The children are taken to the local swimming pool to do water training. Particular commendation is deserved by the teachers for achieving an extra qualification in this aspect of the programme to enable them to provide the training to the pupils. It is commendable how generous they are with their time regarding the promotion of games after school time.

 

4.6 Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE)

There is a comprehensive policy set out for this aspect of the curriculum and suitable lessons are specially taught in each class. A wide range of resources is used, including Relationships and Sexuality Education, Stay Safe, Be Healthy and Misneach. Evidently every effort is made to educate the children appropriately and the teaching influences them greatly. It is also evident that the positive atmosphere that is very obvious in the school is a very good basis for development of social and personal skills of the pupils.

 

4.7 Assessment and achievement

The staff use different methods of assessment both formally and informally. The teachers set many of their own tests for the pupils in different areas of the curriculum particularly in the languages and in Mathematics. Very careful monitoring is carried out on the written work of the children at specific levels and effective positive feedback is frequently given to them. Appropriate standardised tests are used annually in English and Mathematics and suitable records are kept of the results. A range of very suitable diagnostic tests is used fruitfully. The work that is being carried out to keep profiles of progress for individual pupils in different aspects of the curriculum is highly commended. The assessment is of particular value when the data are included in planning and teaching to serve the needs of the pupils. It is now recommended that this procedure be further developed on a whole school basis.

 

 

5. Quality of Support for Pupils

 

5.1 Pupils with special educational needs

The school has developed a very effective policy regarding service to pupils who have special educational needs. Extra help is given to pupils in Engish and in Mathematics. They are selected for special help on a professional basis that follows the guidelines of the Department. It is evident that there is great cooperation between the support teachers and the class teachers and that the parents are consulted regularly. A very suitable template is used for planning. Extra help is made available to small groups outside their own classroom. As well as that it is highly commendable that the special education teachers also work in the ordinary classes. A range of effective teaching methods is used to address the different needs of the pupils and it is evident that some pupils have already made notable progress this year. A comprehensive system is in use to continuously monitor the progress of the children. It would be worthwhile now to make the main strengths and the main needs of the pupils more clear in the profiles.

 

Other supports for pupils: those who are disadvantaged and pupils from minority groups or other groups

The school participates in the programme “Educational Disadvantage” and the school receives a grant as a result to deal with disadvantage in the area. A homework club is organised for a few pupils four days a week and there is a commendable outcome to this work.

 

 

6. Summary of findings and recommendations for further development

 

The following are the main strengths identified in the evaluation and the areas which must be further developed:

 

 

 

As a means of building on these strengths and to address areas in need of development, the following main points are recommended:

 

 

 

 

Post-evaluation meetings were held with the staff and with the board of management; draft-findings and draft-recommendations were presented and they were discussed at those meetings.