School Self Evaluation -2016-2020

School Self Evaluation 2016-2020- Learning Experiences

The School Self Evaluation Process is guided by ‘Looking at our School 2016’ to ensure that the most effective and engaging teaching and learning is taking place in our schools.
The areas chosen for School Self Evaluation should be chosen from the 4 Domains as set out in The Quality Framework for Post Primary Schools.

• Domain 2- Learning Experiences

Students engage in learning activities
Students grow as learners through interactions and experiences
Students reflect on their progress as learners
Students experience opportunities to develop skills for lifelong learning

6 Step Process

1. Identify focus
2. Gather evidence
3. Analyse findings
4. Write Report and School Improvement Plan
5. Present to full staff and put into action
6. Monitor actions and evaluate impact

• Domain 2- Learner Experiences

Step 1. Focus of SSE- Classroom management and Creation of a positive learning environment for students.

Step 2-Gathering Evidence

• Analysis of VS Ware in relation to Behaviour comments from teachers
• Survey sheet for 6th Year students in relation to a Positive Learning Environment in the Classroom ( See Appendix 2 )
• Survey sheet for Teaching Staff of the school (See Appendix 3)

Gathering of Information
The focus groups for the gathering of information were
• Students-6th Years
• Teaching staff

The information was gathered by using a questionnaire for both focus groups. On analysis of the questionnaires the following strengths & weaknesses were identified.


Large number of Classrooms have

• High levels of organisation
• Definite seating Plans
• Well planned and structured lessons
• Good Pupil/Teacher relationships
• Good variety of Teaching/Learning strategies
• Defined Classroom rules
• Good use of IT
• Attractive/colourful classrooms


A number of classrooms have the following

• Congested rooms
• Classrooms which are cold and not clean /tidy
• No Seating Plans
• No Learning objectives on the board
• Poor student behaviour
• Poor teaching practices
• Students who do not have the required books for class work
• Poor classroom management/ Poor use of the Ladder of referral
• Poor classroom atmosphere- Lack of respect/Poor teacher control
• Poor timekeeping –Teachers & Students
• Lack of homework/class tests

Improvement Plan

(a) The Classroom
• Create bright, clean attractive classrooms through ensuring that floors are swept and the classroom walls are rich with posters and subject related material.
• Monitor the Heating situation in all classrooms to ensure that the rooms are comfortable for teachers and students.
• Assess the IT in all classrooms to ensure the quality is sufficient for teaching & learning.
• Check seating and table quality in all classrooms.

(b) Classroom Organisation
• Teachers to ensure that they are in the classroom when the students arrive to greet them and organise them as they enter the room.
• Student late coming to be monitored and recorded
• All classrooms must have a seating Plan displayed for all classes.
• Learning Outcomes to be placed on the blackboard at the start of all classes.
• Students remove jackets at the start of class and place required books and school diary on their desks.
• The schools Ladder of Referral should be used to deal with issues in the classroom.
• The atmosphere should be one of respect where the teacher is allowed to teach and the students are involved fully in the learning.
• See Appendix 1 for document on Classroom organisation.

(c) Teaching Strategies
• Create a good relationship between the teacher and the students which will promote better teaching and learning in the classroom.
• Introduce a variety of teaching and learning methodologies to ensure that classes are interesting for the students and fulfilling for the teacher.
• Adopt AFL and AOL appropriately so that teaching and learning can be assessed throughout.
• Investigate the use of IT as a method to improve teaching and Learning in the classroom

Monitoring of the plan will occur on a yearly basis at the last staff meeting of the year in May.Appendix 1

Appendix 1

General Classroom Organization
• Be at Classroom 5 mins before class and have room open. Check students as they arrive and allocate them seating. A Seating Plan should be in place .This will help settle the class down and keep them in an orderly manner.
• Ask all students to take off jackets and take out books and School Diary and have them open on the Desk.
• Roll call should be taken by going through each student’s name and marking them in or out. The projector screen should not be on when the roll is being taken.
• Homework should be checked and the previous day’s lesson should be revised at the start of the class. Learning Outcomes should be written on the board.
• The class should continue as planned with a variety of strategies being used to make it possible for all students to understand and learn the subject matter.
• At the end of the class, students should be given some homework, oral/written etc and all students should write down this homework in their school diary.
• The students should leave the class in an orderly manner when the bell sounds.
• All students should have Book, Notes Copy, and exercise copy in class each day and homework should be corrected and dated on a regular basis.
• Learning should be assessed on a regular basis, daily, weekly and monthly through various methods of assessment and results of these should be recorded and communicated to the parents through the school Diary.
• Instances of misbehaviour should be dealt with through the schools Ladder of Referral which clearly lays out the steps to be taken where a student does not adhere to the Agreed Code of Conduct.
• Instances of misbehaviour should be documented on VS Ware and the sanctions imposed should also be included in this report.
• Under no circumstances should a student be left unsupervised outside the classroom door. In emergency situations there should be an arrangement in place for a teacher next door or close by to take the student until the problem is sorted out.

Positive Learning Environment

Come in quietly wipe your feet, go straight to your designated seat.

Jackets off and books are out ..

321 -, no need to shout.

Listen up, it’s time to start..

we are ready for the learning part!

Appendix 2

Positive Learning Environment- Student Survey
• What are the factors that contribute to a Positive Learning Environment in the classroom?

• What are the factors that contribute to a classroom not being a Positive Learning Environment?

• List examples of good practices that you have experienced in a classroom which lead to a Positive Learning Environment.

• List examples of practices that you have experienced in your classrooms which prevent the existence of a Positive Learning Environment.

• As a student what do you think need to be done in order to ensure that a Positive Learning Environment exists in all classrooms in St Mel’s College.

Appendix 3

Positive Learning Environment- Teacher Survey
• What are the factors that contribute to a Positive Learning Environment in the classroom?

• What are the factors that contribute to a classroom not being a Positive Learning Environment?

• List examples of practices that you have experienced in your classroom which lead to a Positive Learning Environment.

• List examples of practices that you have experienced in your classroom which prevent the existence of a Positive Learning Environment.

• From the perspective of the Teacher list the factors which contribute to a positive Learning environment in the classroom and the factors that prevent one.



This School Self Evaluation Plan was ratified by the staff meeting which was held on Friday January 19th 2018.

School Self Evaluation Area No 2- Domain 3- Teachers Individual Practice

The teacher has the knowledge of subject and pedagogy and classroom management
The teacher uses planning, preparation and assessment practices to progress student learning
The teacher uses teaching approaches appropriate to the learning intentions and to students learning needs.
The teacher responds to individual learning needs and differentiates teaching and learning activities.

School Self Evaluation-Learning Support for EAL Students

• Focus: Learning Support/EAL and strategies used by teachers.
• Standard within SSE Framework: The teacher responds to the individual learning needs and differentiates T+L activities as necessary.
• Overall aim is to be effective/highly effective in our practice:

English as an Additional Language-or “EAL” as it is also known as is catering for the individual needs of students whose first language is not English. This area was chosen due to the changing demographics of Longford Town and consequently St. Mel’s College. Because of this there is an ever-increasing need for teachers to differentiate and amend their lesson plans to meet the needs of these students.
This report and improvement plan aims to achieve this by analysing information gathered from Teachers, Students and SNA’s in an attempt to measure the effectiveness of teaching in mainstream classes.
The overall aim is to improve upon how we teach EAL Students at Junior and Senior Cycle.

Improvement Plan:
Based on feedback from teachers and students the following are some examples of ineffective-v-effective strategies used in classes.
Examples of Ineffective Strategies Examples of Effective Strategies
• No Differentiation in lesson plans and using a “1 size fits all” approach to teaching and learning.
• Ignoring the needs of EAL students in mainstream classes entirely. An attitude that if students are out of sight they are out of mind.
• Relying too much on traditional methods of teaching-for example lots of writing-lessons need to have variety. • Team Teaching.
• Use of Graphic Organisers.
• Use of Google Translate during a lesson or similar online tools.
• One to one/small groups.
• Seating Arrangements-have EAL students sit beside those students that can translate for them.
• Personal rapport-getting to know these students.
• Use of dictionaries in their 1st languages.

Based on the above the following are a list of suggested targets for improving the strategies used by all teachers of EAL students.
1. The EAL folder on Teacher Share is updated immediately and will include the Subject Specific Folders created for mainstream Junior Cycle classes last year in softcopy format. These folders will be expanded to include Senior Cycle subjects also. It is at the individual teacher’s discretion to amend these for their lessons.
2. Mainstream teachers teaching EAL students have individual files-similar to SEN IEPs-and are updated regularly to account for that students Level of Language Proficiency in that subject and to record evidence of learning.
3. A request will be made to the PDST for a range of resources that can be used and amended in classrooms to help accommodate the needs of the EAL leaners, for example, Graphic Organisers.
4. Dictionaries of some of the most common languages-Polish and Slovakian for example- will also be sourced for mainstream classes. This will give students the opportunity to record the key words in lessons at the very least.
5. Teachers continue to differentiate their lesson plans on a regular basis.

In other to facilitate the implementation of the above, members of the Learning Support Unit, the EAL link teacher and myself will help oversee the Improvement plan. It is anticipated to have the above fully organised by Easter and monitored accordingly

This School Self Evaluation was ratified at the full staff meeting on January 19th 2018.