Published on March 8, 2014
School Self-Evaluation Post-Primary Winter 2013 1
H1 an 2
SCHOOL SELF-EVALUATION REPORT School Self-Evaluation Report for Literacy September 2013 to May 2016 1. Introduction H3 an 1.1 The focus of the evaluation A school self-evaluation of teaching & learning in this school was undertaken during the Autumn term of 2013. Literacy in L1 English and how the teaching and learning in all other subjects support the acquisition of literacy skills were reviewed in 1st Year. This is a report on the findings of the evaluation 1.2 School context We are the only all girls post-primary school in an urban area, under the trusteeship of Loreto Education Trust. There are currently 719 students including 70 who have EAL. We have twenty feeder schools in our catchment area. 23 students avail of learning support in English and 10 students are in receipt of resource hours and have IEPs. TY is well established and LCVP was recently introduced. There is a strong culture of CPD and a core team has been established with representatives from a variety of subjects & disciplines. This core team was created by requesting a volunteer to represent each of the following subject groupings: (a) Science & Maths, (b) English, (c) Languages, (d) Business subjects (e) History & Geography, (f) Practical subjects – Art, Home Economics, Music, (g) RE, CSPE, SPHE, Careers (h) Learning support. This was to ensure all subject areas were represented without the core group becoming prohibitively large. Each volunteer agreed to act as the liaison person for the development of literacy (and subsequent areas for SSE focus) in their area. It was also identified that sharing resources was essential to maximize the potential and outcome of the process. As a result members of this team trained the whole staff in the use of Google Drive. All staff members are encouraged to share resources through this medium and it is used as a communication tool with the core team, among departments and the wider school community. In addition, it is used to develop hyperlinked department plans. 2. The Findings Learner outcomes The students’ standardised test results and report cards from the primary school were analysed by the career guidance counsellor. It was noted that the STen scores for reading for the cohort are slightly above the national norms. (See table 1) All subject departments used the PDST tool for analysing results in the Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate exams. This was done in order to use it as an indicator of existing standards and trends. The majority of subjects compare favourably to national norms, taking due cognisance of school context. Findings and targets are recorded in the respective subject department plans. 3
H3 Following a staff reflection on the overview of good practice, there was general agreement that the area of student’s written work was in need of improvement. There are five mixed ability first year classes and samples of written work across the curriculum were gathered. An error analysis was conducted under the following headings: spelling, punctuation and grammar, use of subject specific vocabulary, sequencing and development of answers (See table 2). TABLE 1 SUMMARY OF STen SCORES FOR READING STen score 1-3 4 5-6 7 8-10 Very low Low average Average High average Very high School 12% 11% 35% 16% 25% National 17% 17% 33% 17% 17% th class. The 3 who did not complete the 144 out of 147 students sat their reading test in 6 standardised test are immigrant students. TABLE 2 SUMMARY OF ERROR ANALYSIS OF A SAMPLE OF WRITTEN WORK ACROSS THE CURRICULUM Spelling Punctuation Vocabulary Sequencing Development & Grammar of answers Satisfactory 63% 40% 45% 30% 30% Not 37% 60% 55% 70% 70% satisfactory Learning experience At a staff meeting, the whole staff used the overview of good practice on page 25 to reach a consensus on strengths, areas for improvement and priorities for action. All teachers scanned through the evaluation criteria in the SSE guidelines. Subsequently the SSE core group designed a student questionnaire on attitudes to literacy & engagement in learning and a rubric for self-assessment of working with others (see appendix 1). The on-line questionnaire was designed using Google forms and was administered to 150 students taking three class periods in total. By using an on-line tool results were instantly collated and analysis began immediately. Parents were also surveyed to establish literacy attitudes in the home. Sample findings 79% of students read for more that one hour per week for enjoyment. There is a good attitude to reading for enjoyment amongst the First Year cohort. The most popular reading materials are magazines/comics & fiction. 41% of students believe that their writing is legible and 18% of students edit their own work. 29% of students like making their own notes. For 27% it is their favourite way to learn. 91% of students stated that they could recall the main points of what someone says always or sometimes. 89% of students feel most comfortable sharing their ideas in pairs/small groups but only 52% state this was their favorite way to learn and 57% of students stated that they got a chance to learn this way. 4
H3 Teachers’ practice At a staff meeting in August 2013 the whole staff reflected on teaching and learning using the SSE guidelines under the three themes learner outcomes (pages 30 & 31), learning experiences (students’ engagement in learning – pages 34 & 35) and teachers’ practice (teaching approaches – pages 40 & 41). The whole staff then used the overview of good practice on page 25 to reach a consensus on strengths, areas for improvement and priorities for action and recorded this on the staff reflection sheet on page 84 of the SSE guidelines. Based on this feedback, the core team designed a survey on teaching approaches and this was administered on-line using Google Forms (see appendix 2). After analysis of both the teacher & student survey by the whole staff at a meeting in September 2013, an anomaly appeared in relation to pair/group work, so all staff agreed to use a rubric designed by the core team for self-assessment of their teacher practice in relation to group work. Staff also agreed that it made sense to look at the key skills of communicating and working with others as they tie in very well with the current focus on literacy. Consequently as part of subject department planning teachers agreed to audit their teaching approaches through the lens of these key skills using a template provided by PDST (see appendix 3). Sample findings Students cannot meet the literacy or numeracy demands of their subjects – written work is of a poor standard with many careless mistakes and subject specific language can be a challenge for many students, therefore the staff decided that literacy would be the focus for the first SIP. In general the focus of teaching is on knowledge and skills more so than literacy/numeracy or ICT. There is an awareness amongst staff of the eight key skills for junior cycle. 86% of teachers stated that they provided opportunities for pair/group work, however only 52% of students said it was their favourite way to learn and 57% said that they got a chance to learn this way. 82% of teachers use comprehension strategies in their teaching. 36% of teachers use editing checklists or issue their own set of criteria for writing. 29% of teachers use ICT regularly, however 47% of students stated that it was their favorite way to learn and 28% stated that they got a chance to learn using technology. Most of the learning outcomes for the key skills communicating and working with others are being addressed by teachers through their teaching approaches with the exception of the ICT component. Progress made on previously identified targets identified in the current SIP N/A for year one as SIP not in place yet. 5
4. Summary of school self-evaluation findings H3 4.1 Our school has strengths in the following areas: STen scores of 1st Year students for reading are above the national norms. Attainment in the majority of subjects at both JC & LC is above the national norms. 77% of students are reading fiction for enjoyment. There is a critical mass of teachers already using comprehension strategies. There is willingness to share good practice. Students are getting some opportunities to develop oral language and are confident working in pairs and small groups. 4.2 The following areas are prioritised for improvement Teachers to focus on the development of literacy as well as knowledge and skills. Increased expectations and standards in writing across the curriculum. Implementation of an editing checklist to concentrate on spelling and punctuation and grammar in year one, vocabulary and sequencing in year two and development of answers in year three. The development of comprehension and group-work strategies across all subject areas. Teachers to reflect on their practice in relation to pair/group work using a rubric designed by the core team. Students to self-assess how they work in pairs/groups using a rubric designed by the core team. Increase the number of students taking higher level in certain subjects for both Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate. 4.3 The following legislative and regulatory requirements need to be addressed. The school anti-bullying policy will be reviewed in light of circular 0045/13 http://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0045_2013.pdf The school enrolment policy will be reviewed in light of proposed changes 6
Appendix to School Self-Evaluation Report: Legislative and Regulatory Checklist Issue Valid enrolment of students Time in school - Length of school year (minimum of 167 days for all year groups) - Length of school week (minimum of 28 hours for all year groups) Standardisation of school year Arrangements for parent/teacher and staff meetings Implementation of national literacy strategy Implementation of Croke Park agreement regarding additional time requirement Development of school plan Relevant legislation, rule or circular M51/93 Circular M29/95 Is the school fully meeting the requirements of the relevant legislation, rule or circular? H3 If no, indicate to be developed Yes Yes Yes Circular 034/2011 Circular M58/04 Circular 25/12 Yes Yes Yes Circular 025/2011 Section 21 Education Act 1998 Guidance provision in Circular PPT12/05, secondary schools Education Act 1998 (section 9(c)) Whole-school guidance plan Section 21 Education Act 1998 Delivery of CSPE to all Circular M12/01 junior cycle classes Circular M13/05 Exemption from the study Circular M1 0/94 of Irish Implementation of revised Circular M29/02, in-school management Circular 21/98, structures Circular 30/97, Circular 29/97 Limited alleviation on filling Circular 53/11 posts of responsibility for school year 2011/12 Public service (Croke Park) Circular 71/11 agreement - special needs assistants Parents as partners in Circular M27/91 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 7
education Issue Relevant legislation, rule or circular Implementat ion of child protection procedures Circular 65/11 Please provide the following information in relation to child protection • Number of cases where a report involving a child in the school was submitted by the DLP to the HSE • Number of cases where a report involving a child in the school was submitted by the DLP to the HSE and the school board of management informed • Number of cases where the DLP sought advice from the HSE and as a result of this advice, no report was made • Number of cases where the DLP sought advice from the HSE and as a result of this advice, no report was made and the school board of management informed Implementat Section 28 Education Act 1998 ion of Please provide the following information complaints in relation to complaints made by parents procedure as during this school year appropriate • Number of formal parental complaints received • Number of formal complaints processed • Number of formal complaints not fully processed by the end of this school year Refusal to Section 29 Education Act 1998 enrol Please provide the following information in relation to appeals taken in accordance with Section 29 against the school during this school year • Number of section 29 cases taken against the school • Number of cases processed at informal stage • Number of cases heard • Number of appeals upheld • Number of appeals dismissed Is the school fully meeting the requirements of the relevant legislation, rule or circular? If no, indicate aspects to be developed H3 Yes 0 0 2 2 Yes 0 0 8
Issue Suspension of students Expulsion of students Relevant legislation, rule or circular Section 29 Education Act 1998 Please provide the following information in relation to appeals taken in accordance with Section 29 against the school during this school year N/A • Number of section 29 cases taken against the school • Number of cases processed at informal stage • Number of cases heard • Number of appeals upheld • Number of appeals dismissed Section 29 Education Act 1998 Please provide the following information in relation to appeals taken in accordance with Section 29 against the school during this school year Number of section 29 cases taken against the school Number of cases processed at informal stage Number of cases heard Number of appeals upheld Number of appeals dismissed Is the school fully meeting the requirements of the relevant legislation, rule or circular? N/A If no, indicate aspects to be developed H3 N/A END OF SCHOOL SELF-EVALUATION REPORT 9
H4 This template can be used to summarise the findings from the analysis of data using 2 the relevant aspects of the evaluation criteria as a guide STEP 2 ANALYSE EVIDENCE Theme/subtheme Findings Learner outcomes Evaluation criteria page 30 Quality statements page 31 There was a staff consensus that written work is of a poor standard with many careless mistakes and poor use of subject specific language. It emerged that even though grades compare favourably with national norms, levels do not always Headings Knowledge, understanding & skills Attitudes & dispositions Literacy & numeracy Attainment trends Learning experience Engagement in learning Evaluation criteria page 34 Quality statements page 35 Headings Active Learning Collaborative & independent learning Progress skill development Other learning experiences Challenge & support Attitudes Teachers’ practice Teaching approaches Evaluation criteria page 40 Quality statements page 41 Year Head reports and teacher observation suggest in general students enjoy learning and have developed appropriate attitudes and dispositions and that students at risk of underachieving have made good progress. All teachers agreed that students are challenged to their level of ability through differentiated teaching and resources and that all students are given support as needed. All teachers agreed that while they have ICT available as a teaching tool, most are not using it as a learning tool for students and may need CPD in the area. Expected learning outcomes are identified in subject plans and shared with students in most classes. All teachers believe that their classes are stimulating and relevant and some but not all are using literacy strategies on a regular basis. Headings Learning outcomes Focus of learning Approaches Differentiation Resources Assessment Please highlight strengths in green & areas for improvement in orange STEP 3 DRAW CONCLUSIONS (JUDGE QUALITY) 10
TEACHER SURVEY RESPONSES H5 31 responses 1. Focus of learning: during my lessons, attention is given to the systematic development & application of: Knowledge/content 96% Subject specific skills 86% Literacy skills 79% Numeracy skills 29% ICT skills 14% Communication skills 64% Managing myself skills 43% Staying well skills 14% Managing information & thinking skills 61% Being creative skills 36% Working with other skills 61% Cross-curricular links 43% People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%. 2. I provide opportunities REGULARLY for my students to learn: Independently 89% In pairs/small groups 86% By listening to me & taking down my notes 89% By making their own notes 71% By investigative/self-directed learning 57% By using technology e.g. i-pads, powerpoints, web 2.0 tools 29% Other 4% People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%. 3. I use the following REGULARLY during my lessons: Comprehension strategies e.g. key words, KWL, anticipation guide, mindmaps.. 82% Student teaching/presenting to the class 39% Peer-teaching 21% Newspaper/magazine articles, on-line resources etc. 64% Editing checklists for students (based on my own set of criteria) 36% Problem solving strategies e.g. LUV2CU 43% Other 4% People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%. 11
H5 4. Questions during my lessons: Are varied according to e.g. Blooms Taxonomy 68% Are supported by a problem solving approach (eg. PQE Point Quote 36% Explain) Are equitably distributed among the students 64% Are ANSWERED clearly with subject specific language 68% Includes adequate wait time 57% Other 4% People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%. 12
STUDENT SURVEY RESPONSES H6 126 responses 1. On average, how many hours PER WEEK do you read for enjoyment? Not at all Less than one hour More than one hour Other 2% 19% 52% 27% 2. Please rate on a scale of 1 to 5 how you feel about reading for enjoyment 1 - Absolutely hate reading 2 3 4 5 - Absolutely love reading 4% 3% 22% 39% 29% 3. Please list what you have read over the summer. Nothing sleep over club, Boy in the striped pyjamas, The diamond girls, Dare to Dream, Cherry crush, Coco caramel, Marshmallow skyes. 4. Please select which of the following you prefer to read for enjoyment Magazines/comics Newspapers (any section) Fiction e.g. "The Hunger Games" etc. Non-fiction e.g. books on hobbies/sports/science etc. Digital media e.g Wikipedia, blogs, Facebook, twitter etc. Textbooks None Other 50% 9% 77% 15% 32% 3% 0% 9% People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%. 5. Please tick which of the following statements are true for you. I like writing e.g. a diary, letter, short stories, speeches.. I like writing in a blog/facebook etc. I like making my own notes from the text book 44% 39% 29% 13
I do not like writing at all 6% Q. 5 continued….. 18% I always check my writing for mistakes My writing is neat and easy to read and understand 41% I would like to have a checklist to help me improve my writing 23% People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%. H6 6. I am most comfortable speaking/sharing my ideas In pairs/small groups In whole class discussions In a presentation to the class (in front of the class) Never Other 89% 24% 12% 4% 4% People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%. 7. I can recall the main points of what someone says Always 22% Sometimes 69% Never 0% 8. Please tick your favorite way to learn On my own 40% In pairs/small groups 52% Listening to the teacher and taking notes 52% Making my own notes 27% Using technology e.g. i-pads, power points , internet etc. 47% Other 3% People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%. 9. I get a chance to learn in class On my own In pairs/small groups Listening to the teacher and taking notes Making my own notes Using technology e.g. i-pads, power points, internet etc. Other 55% 57% 61% 31% 28% 1% 14
H7 STEP 1 - GATHER EVIDENCE Evidence gathered and/or further evidence needed Learner Outcomes 1. Who gathered/collated assessment data from primary schools? 2. Was the information about the cohort discussed/shared with staff? Learning Experience 3. Were the SEC results for both JC and LC over the past 3 to 5 years gathered and collated? 4. Were attitudinal surveys/focus group schedules sourced/designed for at least the current focus for at least two of the following students/teachers/parents? Teachers’ Practice 5. Who sourced/designed attitudinal surveys/focus group schedules? 6. Did the whole staff get a chance to give feedback before they were administered? What do we need to do before the next SSE session? ACTION PERSON RESPONSIBLE DEADLINE 15
STEP 2 & 3 ANALYSE EVIDENCE & DRAW CONCLUSIONS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. H7 Was the evidence analysed by one person, a team or the whole staff? Was the evidence analysed using the evaluation criteria? Did the evidence show a trend or a gap in the data? Is further evidence needed? Have the findings been benchmarked against the quality statements in order to draw conclusions? What do we need to do before the next SSE session? ACTION PERSON RESPONSIBLE DEADLINE STEP 4 School Self-Evaluation Report 1. Does the SSE Report outline the school context? 2. Are the findings related to the three themes of the teaching and learning framework? 3. Are the findings linked to the analysed evidence? 4. Are the strengths and areas for improvement linked to findings? 5. Are the strengths and areas for improvement supported by the evaluation criteria? 6. Are the areas prioritised for improvement listed? 7. Is there an appendix of legislative and regulatory requirements? 8. Has a summary been approved by the BOM & provided to whole school community? What do we need to do before the next SSE session? ACTION PERSON RESPONSIBLE DEADLINE 16
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