School Self-Evaluation Report

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Evaluation Period - September 2012 to June 2013.


Focus of the Evaluation:

A school self-evaluation (SSE) of teaching and learning was undertaken in Scoil Eimhín Naofa during the period September 2012 to June 2013. It was decided to prioritise Reading as the first component of Literacy to be addressed in Year 1 in line with Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life (Circular 56/2011). This was identified, in part, by tracking outcomes for Literacy as identified by Standardised Test Results. All pupils from first to sixth classes are assessed each May, including all pupils with special education needs.

School Context:

Scoil Eimhín Naofa is situated in the town of Monasterevin and serves a mainly urban area. It is a co-educational parish primary school for all infants, and girls to sixth class. At the beginning of first class the boys transfer to the neighbouring St. Peter’s Senior Boys’ National School. Scoil Eimhín Naofa is under the patronage of the Catholic Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin. Formerly administered by the Mercy order, the religious ethos is well preserved and an atmosphere of friendly co-operation and dedicated service permeates the school community.

Enrolment currently stands at 330 pupils (86 boys and 244 girls) and has been increasing in recent years. There are 3 classes of Junior Infants, 3 classes of Senior Infants and 1 stream of each class from First to Sixth. Further increase is anticipated in the coming years as a result of significant extra housing in the locality. The school community has been a homogeneous one until recent times when a number of pupils from other countries have been enrolled.

At present there are 12 mainstream class teachers, an administrative principal, 2 GAM/EAL teachers, one part-time GAM/EAL teacher and  2 part-time Resource teachers. Three pupils have low incidence special education needs and are allocated resource hours based on these needs. One SNA caters for the needs of one of these pupils also.

Each year Sigma-T Mathematics Tests and Micra-T Reading Tests are administered to all classes from First to Sixth. MIST is administered to Senior Infant Classes.

There is strong parental support for teaching and learning, a factor that is acknowledged as having a positive effect on pupil attainment levels and on pupils’ attitudes to learning.


As part of the process of school self-evaluation, evidence has been gathered from a number of sources in order to plan for the Reading Strand of Literacy. This has included data of a quantitative and qualitative nature.

Staff has

engaged in professional dialogue during formal Staff Meetings and informal meetings regarding the area/s requiring attention based on our school context and on the results of standardised tests i.e. Micra-T Reading Test and Middle Infant Screening Test (MIST)

engaged in analysis of and reflection on the teaching of literacy

considered the findings of individual teacher’s Informal Assessment

been afforded the opportunity to express its views and opinions


In order to further enhance the process of school self-evaluation the following steps were taken:-

A Literacy Committee has been specially convened. This focus group includes teachers from all class levels as well as our GAM/EAL teachers.

Our Deputy Principal is the nominated Literacy LINK teacher and has attended all PDST Seminars.

Our Principal has attended PDST Seminars and Drop-In Clinics addressing SSE.

Our Principal and Deputy Principal attended a PDST Data Gathering Seminar to assist with Parent/Guardian/Pupil surveys and other data gathering initiatives.


Parents/Guardians were

informed by letter and during annual Parent/Teacher meetings of the content of the Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life document

surveyed in relation to Attitude/Motivation component of Reading. This survey was compiled by the members of the Literacy Committee and was reviewed, edited and piloted prior to its issue in Term 3, 2012/2013, using Google surveys linked to our school website.


Our pupils were

surveyed in relation to Attitude/Motivation component of Reading. Two distinct surveys, for Junior and Senior pupils, were compiled by the members of the Literacy Committee. These were reviewed, edited and piloted prior to their issue in Term 3, 2012/2013, using Google surveys linked to our school website. 

due consideration was given to pupil’s responses to the various teaching methodologies and approaches used for literacy


Resulting Findings:

As a result of the above process of self-evaluation, Literacy/Reading was chosen as the main focus for Year 1 of our school improvement plan.

Furthermore, Teachers’ Practice was identified as the sub-theme most appropriate to develop Literacy within Scoil Eimhín Naofa.

Teacher Practices:

All teachers maintain appropriate schemes of work, lesson notes and cuntais mhíosúla.

Where long-term planning is concerned, teachers’ yearly schemes are in line with the Primary Curriculum documents and with the school plan. The schemes outline the strands and strand units of the curriculum to be taught, the teaching methodology and organisation to be used, and the assessment practices to establish children’s learning.

Regarding short-term plans, teachers provide weekly or fortnightly notes. Objectives are outlined and the notes identify the content to be covered in the course of the period. Teachers show the links to be made with other areas of the curriculum and outline the assessment methods to be used to determine how well pupils have mastered the objectives.

Progress is recorded in the cuntas míosúil for which a template has been drawn up to ensure consistency. Each teacher identifies the strands and strand units covered in the course of the month and outlines the content taught in every area of the curriculum. Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) are maintained on pupils in receipt of special tuition.

Teaching Approaches:

Pupils’ progress in the various strands of the curriculum is carefully monitored and recorded and the development of pupils’ oral skills is treated as central to teaching and learning, not only in the English programme but in the context of a wide curriculum. Every opportunity is availed of to develop the children’s oral skills as well as their confidence and competence in discussion. Language corners and word walls are designed to be stimulating. Each classroom is supplied with very good stocks of books and teachers ensure that every room is attractive and print rich.

Appropriate aims and objectives are outlined for the teaching of reading. The pupils generally read their books with ease and discuss their content. Dictionary skills are developed at the appropriate level in the middle and higher classes while younger pupils compile personal dictionaries. Pupils are afforded plenty of opportunities to read for a variety of audiences. The children put together attractive books of their own to mark various significant times of the year and these books are displayed in   classrooms. The pupils at every level read a wide selection with meaning, discuss the stories with enthusiasm and reading for leisure is given appropriate encouragement. In general, the pupils in the various classes read with accuracy and fluency and they have very good comprehension skills. Some classes do book reviews and pupils are capable of defending their choice of library reading materials.


Management of pupils:

Pupils are generally well-behaved and show respect for their school. They relate respectfully, but confidently, to visitors. The school’s welcoming atmosphere and its ethos reflect a firm commitment to the development and extension of pupils’ skills in this area. The school has a clearly-defined and fair Code of Behaviour based on well thought-out rules. The Code of Discipline is carefully calibrated and allows for measured sanctions for transgressions of discipline.

Assessment and Achievement:

At the most formal level, Micra-T standardised reading tests are administered annually to secure accurate measures of pupils reading. The MIST test is used in Senior Infants. Diagnostic tests are used to pinpoint special difficulties. Records are stored carefully and are available to teachers and parents concerned. The results of tests are considered and used to inform the selection of reading material and teaching methods. Teachers also keep portfolios of pupils’ writing and Visual Art work which enables them to consider progress over time.

Progress made on previously identified improvement targets:  N/A as this is the first year of the process for Literacy – reading.

Summary of school self-evaluation findings

Following consultation with all partners (staff, parents and children) these areas were identified as strengths with regard to literacy:

The quality, commitment and dedication of teaching staff and the good practice evident in classrooms;
A dedicated, diligent and supportive Board of Management;
Teacher planning, the use of varied teaching methodologies/approaches, classroom management, pupil assessment and achievement;
Teacher willingness to adopt new strategies and practices which will enhance the quality of teaching and learning;
Collaborative planning across streams and learning support;
Initiatives aimed at encouraging and promoting reading: ‘Buddy Reading’, Bookworm Club, visits to local library, school visits of authors/storytellers, Book Fairs and the publication of a book entitled, ‘We Are Writers’, which is a compilation of the creative writings of pupils from First to Sixth classes;
Print rich environment;
Well-resourced school library and classroom libraries;
Good spiral phonics programme in junior classes;
Pupils’ results in Standardised Tests for Literacy indicate that STen scores for reading are above the national norms;
Parent Survey responses have indicated a high degree of satisfaction regarding the teaching of reading and the value of Buddy Reading and Bookworm Club programmes being implemented;
93% of Junior Pupils surveyed expressed their enjoyment of Buddy Reading
98% of Senior Pupils surveyed read at home. The variety and breadth of favourite book titles and authors is most extensive.
The majority of pupils display positive attitudes to reading.

The following areas are prioritised for improvement following consultation with all parties:

Attitude and Motivation: pupils’ willingness and eagerness to read;
Reading fluency;
Comprehension skills;
Vocabulary development;
To increase literacy levels by 5% in standardised test results using Micra-T assessments;
To provide the children with opportunities to read books at their own level of competency and gradually raise the complexity of what they can read and comprehend – Literacy Lift-Off;
To give children opportunities to explore and interact with books of differing genres in a stimulating and enjoyable fashion;
That pupils will learn and apply similar reading comprehension strategies in a whole-school approach across the various curriculum areas;
Foster pupils’ love of reading by engaging with multiple texts and books as a vital part of developing positive attitudes to literacy;
Communication with parents regarding Literacy Lift-Off and comprehension strategies;
DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) Time as a whole-school initiative;


The following legislative and regulatory requirements need to be addressed

Code of Behaviour needs review to include Anti-Bullying Policy (in accordance with Circular 0045/2013)

Health and Safety Statement will need revision due to ongoing site investigations and future building of new school on existing site of Scoil Eimhín Naofa - Section 20 Health and Safety Act 2005

Enrolment Policy needs to be reviewed due to increase in enrolment applications and future amalgamation of Scoil Eimhín Naofa and St. Peter’s Boys’ N.S.