School Self Evaluation

School Self Evaluation (SSE) was undertaken in Scoil Mhuire from September 2012 to February 2013. The area which the staff identified as needing improvement was Oral Language throughout the school. It was decided to look at Teachers' Practice. We analysed Standardised Test results, completed Teacher Questionnaires and undertook a review of the Oral Language section of the school plan.
Following on from the SSE a School Improvement Plan (SIP) has been developed which outlines the improvements we hope to make in the teaching of Oral Language. The areas addressed in the SIP include Teachers' Preparation for teaching Oral Language, Teaching approaches to be used, Classroom Management of Pupils for Oral Language and the assessment tools to be used for assessing pupil achievement in oral language. We also aim to develop school policies on: Data Protection, Parents as Partners and Chronic Illness.
Throughout the year 2013/14 you and your child may be asked to complete Questionnaires / Surveys or participate in a focus group to assist us in implementing our action plan to increase pupil proficiency in Oral Language. We hope that you will assist us in our efforts.
Both documents were ratified at our Board of Management meeting on the 20th June 2013 and are available in their entirety in the school office. 
Please see our Oral Language Tips for Parents in the Website Menu on the left.
June 2014
Review of School Improvement Plan June 2014
A review of our School Improvement Plan was undertaken in May/June 2014.
 The following improvements were noted:
Teachers' Preparation /Approaches/ Classroom Management/Assessment Tools
  • Teachers are now using a wider variety of methodologies in developing oral language including  Games, Improvised drama, Story and Poetry.
  • Pair work and group work is being used by teachers.
  • New methods of assessing oral language have been introduced such as the Drumcondra English Profiles. 
Tracker Pupils were identified and their progress tracked from September 2013 to June 2014.
These pupils are being monitored and are showing signs of improvement and at the end of  year 2 their improvement will be analysed. 
Our targets for Year 2 are:
  • We will develop our Oral Language Resources in the school.
  • We will introduce Guided Reading in Senior Infants and 1st Class and Oral language opportunities will be exploited.
  • We will improve the class average score on the Drumcondra English Profiles by 2 scale score units over the next 2 years.
  • We will develop childrens' confidence in public speaking through improvised drama.
The legislative and regulatory checklist as prescribed by the Department of Education and Skills and which is an Appendix to the SSE ( School Self Evaluation ) Report was reviewed and approved at the Board of Management Meeting held on the 17th June 2014.
The following school policies were developed this year: Data Protection, Parents as Partners (Parental Involvement) , and Chronic Illness (Administration of Medecines). All of these policies were ratified by the Board of Management and are available for viewing in the school office.
A number of other policies were reviewed during this year: Attendance, Career Break, EPV Days, Job-sharing, EAL (English as an Additional Language) and School Drug Policy. All policies were ratified by the Board of Management.
All Policies are available for viewing in hard copy in the school office or in digital format on request.

Review of School Improvement Plan June 2015

Literacy Actions:

Oral Language:The focus on oral language continues into year 3 (2015/2016).

Strategies as laid out in our SIP (School Improvement Plan for 2014/2015 ) are to continue for 2015/2016.

Tracker Pupils will continue to be monitored.

Three extra actions have been included:

  • Guided reading to be extended to 2nd Class
  • We will develop a differentiated Oral Language Programme for Junior and Senior Infants.
  • Oral language stations are being included in Literacy station teaching in Junior Infants,Senior Infants and 1st Class.

Numeracy Actions:

Problem Solving:

Last year (2014/2015) teachers and Pupils identified Problem solving  as the area posing greatest difficulty in Maths. 2015/2016  is Year 1 of Numeracy -Implementation stage. The following areas have been prioritised for improvement:

  • Pupils attitude towards problem solving
  • Teaching of higher order skills, particularly expressing and communicating problem solving
  • The formal teaching of maths language
  • Time allocated to maths problems particularly real life problems, games , puzzles, trails
  • A move away from the text book particularly with regard to problem solving
  • More structured re-inforcement across all classes in the implementation of our agreed problem solving approach

Maths is a targeted subject in Scoil Mhuire.

Junior and Senior Infants are following the Ready, Set Maths Programme. 1st Classes are using elements of the Maths Recovery Programme and Pupils from 2nd to 5th Classes are using Jump Maths.

This is Scoil Mhuire’s third year to work with the Jump Maths Programme .

Jump Maths is the brainchild of John Mighton from Canada.

The word JUMP comes from Junior Undiscovered Maths Prodigies. The programme aims to improve the teaching of mathematics and to help students reach their potential in the subject. The approach used is “guided discovery”. Through teacher guidance students are expected to discover and understand mathematical concepts by answering questions and working through challenges on their own.

Scoil Mhuire teachers were delighted to be invited by Atlantic Corridor Tullamore to take part in piloting Jump Maths in the school.  The programme is sponsored by Jump Maths Canada in conjunction with Ericssons Athlone. Teachers travelled to Athlone to train for the programme and engage in tele-conferences with the Jump Maths team in Canada.

After a 6 week pilot of the programme in May/June of 2013 the teachers decided to take on the programme in 3rd and 4th Classes for the 2013/14 year. The Programme is now in its’ third full year and has been very successful in the school.

All children from 2nd to 5th Classes are now following the programme. Teachers report that the programme is very well structured and the scaffolded instruction allows for a variety of learning styles and abilities.

Having followed the programme the children have a very good understanding of number concepts and computation in particular.

This is having a very positive impact on other strands of the maths curriculum.  The pupils seem to be gaining more confidence in their mathematical abilities and pupils report that they enjoy Maths class. Confidence levels are increasing and the programme has generated an excitement around Maths for students and teachers.

This, in itself, is a very positive result.