Coláiste Pobail Setanta

School Self Evaluation

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School Self Evaluation

School self-evaluation (SSE) empowers a school community to affirm good practice, to identify areas that merit improvement and to decide on actions that should be taken to bring about improvements in those areas. It gives teachers and schools the opportunity to tell their own story.

School self-evaluation (SSE) is an important process influencing the quality of the education provided for children and young people in schools. In Ireland, SSE is designed as a process of collaborative, internal school review that is focused on school improvement.

SSE enriches the learning and the teaching experience for the benefit of all concerned. SSE is primarily about schools taking ownership of their own development and improvement. SSE is not just about teachers and school leaders, it is also meant to be an inclusive, participatory process involving school management, all staff, pupils/students and their parents.

SSE 2019/20
The focus of this evaluation:
We undertook self-evaluation of teaching and learning during the period 2019 to 2020. We evaluated the following aspect(s) of teaching and learning: differentiation in class and in homework to extend the learning of all learners. To be cognisant of the learning styles and needs of all learners and to use differentiation to create an inclusive environment to improve the learning of all learners.
Findings:
Using the principles of Assessment for Learning (AfL) in our Teaching and Learning since 2008: sharing the learning intentions, sharing the criteria for success, providing feedback based on the criteria for success, using mini-whiteboards, a traffic-light system and lolli-pop sticks, quality questioning, BLOOMS taxonomy, differentiation.
This is how we know:
The SSE survey completed by staff reflected that most teachers were either confident or very confident in their use of AfL.
Most teachers felt confident or very confident that their practice allowed for ‘assessment of knowledge and skills and dispositions of the students’ learning’.
Our previous Whole-School Evaluation (WSE) commended the use of AfL amongst the teaching staff.
Thus, the following Statements of Highly Effective Practice were chosen based on the survey results. Each department focused on:
  1. Identifying and thoroughly preparing in advance resources tailored to match the specific learning intentions of each lesson, or series of lessons, and individual students’ learning needs.
  2. Including preparation for the differentiation of learning intentions and learning activities, including personalised learning opportunities, and is informed by meaningful use of data.
  3. Including in our assessment practices not only assessment of knowledge but also assessment of skills and dispositions. We tailor assessment strategies to meet individual learning needs.
  4. Sharing and co-creating success criteria with students so that they can assess their own learning through self-assessment and peer assessment and identify areas for improvement and strategies to achieve improvement.
  5. Maintaining assessment records that are clear, useful, easy to interpret and share, and tailored to students’ individual learning needs.
SSE 2021/22
The focus of this evaluation:
To create a powerfully inclusive learning environment where all learners succeed (both teachers and students) and where learner voice drives change.

We will do this by initiating a Support Hub programme that give students the opportunity to reengage and catch up on any learning that they may have missed during school closures as a result of national lockdowns in 2020 and 2021. These support hubs will allow teachers to reinforce the AfL strategies that were the focus of our previous evaluation and support students upon their return to face-to-face teaching after the school closures in 2020-21.

Findings:
The surveys conducted after each support hub showed that students, staff and parents were very supportive of the initiative. Students appreciated having their views and opinions listened to and acted upon when planning for the next support hubs. Teachers responded well to having more planning time with their departments. Parents appreciated the efforts being made by the school to provide extra support. There was a desire among all stakeholders for a return to Assessment for Learning and group learning following the lifting of restrictions in Semester three.
This is how we know:
All stakeholders were surveyed regularly throughout the process. The data collected from the surveys was collated by the Curriculum Coordinator and her SSE Committee. The survey responses were evaluated to ensure that the next round of support hubs would be more responsive to student needs. Student focus groups were also established. Students across a range of year groups were asked to contribute. The data collected was then evaluated with a view to sharing this information with teachers. Teachers could take all contributions into account when preparing in their subject departments ahead of the next week of support hubs.
SSE 2022/23
The focus of this evaluation:
Schools across the country are taking part in an SSE Review Year before a new cycle of SSE begins in 2023-2026. As part of the Review Year, schools must take stock of their SSE process to find areas of excellence and areas for improvement. We will use this review year to:
  • Review the needs of all of our students across the continuum of support
  • Engage in the DDLETB Ethos initiative to analyse how our key principles of Care, Community, Respect, Equality and Excellence in Education permeate all that we do in our school
  • Continue with the Target Setting initiative that began in our school with 2nd Year maths students last year. This has been extended to all 3rd Year students this year.

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2022
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