Our Self Evaluation Report and Improvement Plan
St. Conleth’s College
This document records the outcomes of our previous improvement initiatives, the findings of this self-evaluation, and our current improvement plan. This includes our targets and the actions we will implement to meet them.
1.1 School Context
St Conleth’s College is a fee-paying Secondary School with approximately 270 students. For many years, the school was a boys’ school which accepted girls in 5th and 6th year but since 2016 it has been fully co-educational. Our school is co-located with a junior school. We have recently completed several building projects and refurbishments which have further improved the school environment.
1.2 Outcomes of our last improvements
Since 2012, the school has been focused on trying to improve student literacy. We noticed that students often did not understand the subject-specific terms used in text books and exams and so we introduced displays of keywords to help with this problem. Subject specific terms were displayed so that students could familiarize themselves with them. An improvement was noted, but not specifically measured.
1.3 The focus of this evaluation
We undertook self-evaluation of teaching and learning during the period February 2017 to June 2017. We evaluated the following aspect(s) of teaching and learning:
- General student/teacher/parent relationships
- Assessment for Learning
The evaluation was carried out based on staff discussions, and parent and student surveys. The results of the surveys are referred to below. In each case the results have been averaged out and are marked on a scale of 1 (poorest result) to 5 (full marks). The plan is to repeat these surveys at the end of 2017-18 and hopefully register improvements as outlined below.
In addition to the evaluations outlined in the SSE and SIP processes, we carry out an analysis of our students’ academic performance versus the national average in all subjects in state exams and discuss our overall performance in an all-staff setting.
The findings of our evaluation are outlined below.
2.1 General student/teacher/parent relationships
We were one of the first schools to be inspected according to the new Management Leadership and Learning MLL assessment structure in 2010 and the feedback from our parents and students was excellent. The positive relationship between teachers, students and their parents underpins everything we do at St. Conleth’s and so acquiring feedback in relation to this aspect of our school will continue to be an important part of our self-evaluation.
We repeated the parent survey ourselves in June 2017 and noted continued positivity in general. While we will continue to monitor the status of these relationships, this is not a formal area for improvement.
2.1.1 This is effective / very effective practice in our school
Parents appreciated the family atmosphere within the school and the positive relations with the teachers.
2.1.2 This is how we know
The feedback from parents was very good. Parents responded that their child was doing well in the school (4.1/5), that teaching is good in the school (4.1/5) and that management of students is good in the school (4.1/5).
2.1.3 This is what we are going to focus on to improve our practice further
We will continue to monitor these relationships but do not intend to set specific targets in this area.
We initially focused on improving literacy amongst our students in 2012 and adopted various measures such as a focus on keywords to achieve this goal. We have decided to continue with our literacy drive and try to measure the outcome.
2.2.1 This is effective / very effective practice in our school
Our use of keywords has worked well, but is of limited use as a standalone measure. In maths, our Junior Cycle students have been maintaining alphabetised lists of keywords.
2.2.2 This is how we know
In class, students are enthusiastic to maintain and add to their keywords.
2.2.3 This is what we are going to focus on to improve our practice further
In our surveys, our some students noted that different teachers use different terms for the same thing. Within departments we should try to standardize terms.
We will continue to highlight keywords across all subjects. In addition, the English teachers have carried out some reviews of keyword familiarity amongst students in 2nd year and these can be reassessed at the end of the year to gauge improvement.
As a means of “catching up” on the 2012 drive, we are also pushing forward with targets in numeracy this year. In particular, we are focusing on improving the general attitude to maths in 1st year.
2.3.1 This is effective / very effective practice in our school
We have always encouraged 1st years to work without calculators and have been able to continue this since the introduction of the Common Introductory Course of Project Maths. We thereby encourage all but the very weakest students to learn the proper handling of key skills such as fractions and handling of integers.
In addition our Junior cycle students have 4 classes per week (1st year) and 5 classes per week (2nd and 3rd year) and our Senior cycle students have 6.
2.3.2 This is how we know
We surveyed our students on some key “maths beliefs” and found that by and large our students felt that maths was important and that they could improve their maths skills with work.
In addition, we see the evidence of favourable results in maths in State Exams, well ahead of national averages.
2.3.3 This is what we are going to focus on to improve our practice further
We are expanding concepts of numeracy to all subject areas. We are also surveying our new first years on their maths beliefs at the start and end of first year and hope to see an improvement.
2.4 Assessment for Learning AfL
Our third primary focus for evaluation and improvement is the further deployment of AfL techniques in all teaching and learning throughout the school.
2.4.1 This is effective / very effective practice in our school
Our teachers have always used elements of AfL and this has been recognized and appreciated by our students.
2.4.2 This is how we know
Our survey of students in June 2017 showed that students have experience of assessing their own work (3.7/5) and to read over and correct their work (3.9/5). However the figures for assessing their fellow students work (2.9/5) and discussing their work with other students (3.4/5) leave room for improvement.
2.4.3 This is what we are going to focus on to improve our practice further
We will focus on the following aspects of AfL
— Making success criteria clear for our students
— Peer reviewing work
— Displaying examples of excellent work by other students.
— Encourage student reflection on their own work
2.5 Use of Technology in the classroom
In addition to the areas of improvement outlined above, there is a parallel initiative to improve use of Technology in the classroom throughout the school. This year there are plans to roll out chrome-cast and extend the use of google classroom to more class groups.
3 Our improvement plan
On the next page we have recorded:
- The targets for improvement we have set
- The actions we will implement to achieve these
- Who is responsible for implementing, monitoring and reviewing our improvement plan
- How we will measure progress and check outcomes (criteria for success)
As we implement our improvement plan we will record:
- The progress made, and adjustments made, and when
- Achievement of targets (original and modified), and when
Timeframe of this improvement plan is from Sept 2017 to June 2018
|Targets||Actions||Persons / groups responsible||Criteria for success||Progress and adjustments||Targets achieved|
|Literacy||Maintain lists of keywords for all subjects
Include definitions of terms in homework and class tests.
Analysis of keyword understanding by 2nd years to be carried out at the start and end of the year.
|All subject teachers
|We should see an improvement in the keywords section of class tests.
Measure the performance in this analysis at the end of the year – aim to see an improvement in performance.
|Numeracy||Get students to calculate their own percentages for class tests. Maths Dept to provide posters with instructions
Examine 1st years’ attitude to Maths at start and end of year
Language classes focus building familiarity with numbers, dates, prices, ages, page numbers in books and games such as bingo.
|All subject teachers
1st Year Maths teachers GNA & SC
|Students should be able to do this without help.
We should see a more positive attitude towards maths in our survey results
|Assessment for Learning (AfL)||Encourage peer review of student work
Provide students with clear criteria for success
Display examples of quality work
Use AfL questioning techniques
Encourage student reflection on their work
Use of “minute papers” – a quick reflection at the end of class on what was learned
|Subject teachers||Repeat AfL questionnaire and aim for at least a 10% increase in results|