Summary of main strengths as identified in Autumn 2014:
- Callystown National School has a conscientious, dedicated, innovative staff, open to new ideas and initiatives. It is focussed on providing the best possible educational opportunities for its pupils.
- Attainment levels in Literacy are above the national norms. Overall literacy scores on the Micra T tests are above the national average (average percentile 52.7).
- 75% of pupils have STen scores of 5 or greater.
- 9% of pupils have STen scores of 3 or less.
- Pupils display positive attitudes towards reading and literacy.
- The teaching staff has been involved in continuous and extensive planning for Literacy since the introduction of the new curriculum of 1999.
- The school introduced Reading Recovery in 2009.
- The school has been running Lift Off to Literacy in classes from Senior Infants to Second since 2010.
- This year the school has extended Lift Off to Literacy in second class so that it will run for two full terms, using two ex-parents as reading helpers.
- Learning support initiatives (groups are decided at the end of each term, individual literacy programmes eg. Toe by toe are offered to some pupils, programmes in oral language, creative writing and Building Bridges to Comprehension are run in different classes when LS/RT time allows.
- The school runs an annual Literacy Week and has allocated notice boards throughout the school to promote literacy.
- The school has a Literacy Link teacher ~ Breda O Connell.
- There is a strong practice of using supplementary readers in junior classes.
- The study of novels in senior classes is a very positive experience for pupils.
- Classroom libraries have been extensively restocked over the last 3 years.
- Reading Eggs, an on line programme will be introduced in 2014.
- In a survey, 93% of parents say that their child likes reading
- In the same survey, 92% say that their child is getting on well at reading.
Summary of main areas requiring improvement as identified in the SSE:
- In a parental questionnaire, of the five questions asked on Literacy, the lowest scoring statement surveyed was “My child likes to write stories?”. 23 % disagreed with this statement.
- In a pupil questionnaire, pupils from were asked if they liked writing activities, 33% said a lot, 60% a little and 9% not at all.
- Teachers in a discussion on Literacy were asked of their concerns, of the many opinions expressed, both positive and negative, the following is a synopsis; there is a need for greater parental involvement, pupils’ reading in senior classes does not receive the same organised teacher attention, in order to improve Micra T scores, pupils should be given more practice at cloze procedures, teachers found it difficult to differentiate for the vast range of pupil abilities in literacy.
- As an observation, much of the focus on literacy was on reading and there seemed to be a need to spend time developing oral language and writing skills.
- In pupil questionnaires, a substantial number of pupils considered writing to be handwriting and not the written expression of thought.
- Fewer than 50% of pupils showed a strong understanding of the different formats of writing.
- The staff has chosen writing and in particular the teaching of the different genres of writing, as its primary focus of improvement.
- In the teaching of the genre, teachers will teach the writing process to ensure the development of spelling, punctuation and the other norms of writing.
- 3 genres per year will be taught over the coming three years.
- To improve pupils’ attitude to liking writing activities “a lot “, from 33% to 50%.
- To increase the understanding of writing genres among our pupils (2nd -6th class) from < 50% to > 75%
- To increase the number of parents who say that their children like writing from 77% to 85%.
Recount Writing Targets
- 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
- Knowledge 10% ≥ 50%, 46%≥70%, 59% ≥80% ,73%≥90%, 74%≥90%
- Structure 44%≥70%, 35% ≥75%,43% ≥80%, 47% ≥85%, 50%≥90%
- Norms 5% ≥ 25%, 10% ≥30%,24% ≥40%, 35% ≥50%, 30%≥50%
Note: Knowledge = knowledge of the structure of a recount
Structure = the grammatical structure (tense and connectives)
Norms = writing norms of punctuation, spelling and paragraphs.
- Agreed scaffolds for the different genres will be taught and displayed.
Class teachers from 2nd– 6th Every 9 weeks
- The particular grammatical, linguistic or organisational features of the genre are to be taught
Class teachers from 2nd – 6th Every 9 weeks
Method of Teaching:
- Teachers will introduce/develop the genre following the 7 stages listed:
- Familiarisation with the genre.
- Establishment of framework.
- Modelled writing by the teacher.
- Shared writing between the teacher and pupils.
- Guided writing in pairs/groups.
- Independent writing.
- Presentation of writing to an audience
Class teachers from 2nd – 6th Every 9 weeks
- Each genre will be taught over a nine week timeframe.
- Teachers will teach between 2 to 3 lessons on the genre each week.
Class teachers from 2nd – 6th Every 9 week
- Resources will be put on the server by the principal.
- Teachers will receive a copy of the First Step chapter on the different genre.
- Prim-Ed writing boxes and books will be bought for the school.
- PM Writing series will be used for the teaching of the different steps.
- Hard back copies will be bought for pupils from 2nd to 6th..
Principal to organise Ongoing
- Teachers will ask pupils to write a piece in a particular genre before the formal teaching of the format begins. This will be used as a baseline for assessment. Teachers will be asked to score the piece under the criteria of the genre. A copy of the piece and scores will be kept by the teacher.
- The scores will be sent to the principal who will collate the data and then set targets for the following 9 weeks.
- A piece of pupil’s writing will be assessed and score at the end of the nine weeks to assess achievement of objectives and targets.
- A hardback copy will be used to show the process and progress of a pupil’s work. This hardback copy will be kept by the pupil and passed through all the classes.
- Teachers will keep a copy of the pieces and assessment sheets of the work for all genres.
- Targets will be assessed at the end of each 9 weeks.
Success will be based on the achievement of our targets as set out above and as measured by our teachers at the end of each genre period. A further pupils’ and parents’ questionnaire will be issued to assess attitudinal changes. Teachers will also be asked their opinions on the success of the initiatives.
- Time will be given at each staff meeting over the next three years to discuss progress in achieving our targets.
- An in-depth review of scores will take place at the end of each genre period by the principal and teachers. This review will be reported back to all teachers.
School Improvement Plan for Numeracy
Summary of main strengths as identified in Autumn 2013 :
Callystown National School has a conscientious, dedicated, innovative staff, open to new ideas and initiatives and focussed on providing the best possible educational opportunities for its pupils.
Attainment levels in numeracy are above the national norms.
Overall numeracy scores show percentile scores above the national average (average percentile 55.2)
74% of pupils have STen scores of 5 or greater
12% of pupils have STen scores of 3 or less
Pupils display positive attitudes towards numeracy.
Learning support initiatives (Station teaching, Maths Recovery, and short term ability groups etc) are having positive outcomes.
Pupils display strong skills in number, algebra and concept understanding
83% of parents report that their children like maths.
75% of parents report that their children are learning maths at the appropriate level.
Summary of main areas requiring improvement as identified in the SSE:
Pupils need to learn better strategies in dealing with word problems.
Pupils understanding of the different elements of Measure needs improvement.
Number Fact acquisition and use in calculations needs monitoring in senior classes
Developing strategies to support teachers in differentiating numeracy lessons for their pupils is an area that would improve numeracy in the school.
The staff has chosen solving word problems as its primary focus of improvement.
In addition, it has decided that a system of monitoring pupil performance in number fact recall should be established.
To increase the school’s class based solving word problem average, in the annual Sigma T test, by 3 percentile ranking places each year. Over the three year period the school average will be improved from 40.8 to the national average of 50.0.
To improve the overall numeracy percentile scores from a school average of 55.2 by 1 percentile rank each year over the next three years to 58.2.
To create a data base of number fact scores (using the Ballard and Weston tests), so that numerical targets can be set for year two and three of this improvement plan
To increase the number of pupils scoring STen of 5 and greater by 1% each year over the next three years, from74% to 77%
To decrease the number of pupils scoring STens of 3 or lower by 0.5% each year over the next three years from 12% to 10.5 %
Required Actions Language:
Key words and phrases for mathematical operations will be taught and displayed on charts in each class.
Class teachers from 1st – 6th November 2013 Strategy:
The following step by step approach will be taught
o R Read the question at least twice. o
U Understand what is being asked – underline key words. o
C Choose the correct operations and number of steps. o
S Solve the operations…. work it out. o
A Answer write the answer with the units….. o
C Check the answer…… Did you work it out right?
Posters of this step by step approach will be displayed in each class.
Class teachers from 1st – 6th Nov/Dec 2013 Time:
½ hour a week will be timetabled for the specific teaching of solving maths word problems.
Teachers have a choice to teach this time as a single lesson or to divide it into lessons of shorter periods.
Class teachers from 1st – 6th On-going over three years Resources:
A resource bank of word problems for each class will be established and stored on the school server.
o Problems should be different to the topic being taught that week. o Problems should be one, two and multistep problems. o Problems should cover all strands of the curriculum. o 1st and 2nd classes should focus mainly on the strand of number.
Class teachers from 1st – 6th
The Sigma T will be administered by the S.E.T. in May of each year and word problem scores will be analysed. SEN Team and Principal May 2014-16
Two school based word problem tests to be administered for each class.
These two school based tests will be written and administered by the class teacher, the first in November and the second before the Easter holidays of each year. Principal and class teachers November & Easter 2014-16
The tests will be scored out of 20, one point for correct procedure and one point for correct answer. Class Teachers November & Easter 2014-16
Teachers will upload the scores of each test on Aladdin. Class Teachers 2014-16
Pupils will be asked to fill in a questionnaire on their attitudes and opinions to do with word problem solving. A record of their comments will be kept and assessed. A similar feedback session will be carried out after test two to assess any attitudinal changes. Class teachers November 2013
Success Criteria: Success will be based on the achievement of our targets as set out above and as measured by our Standardised Test Results at the end of each yearly period. A further pupils’ questionnaire will be issued to assess attitudinal changes. Teachers will also be asked their opinions on the success of the initiative. Review:
Time will be given at each staff meeting over the next three years to discuss progress in achieving our targets.
An in-depth review of scores will take place at the end of each school year by the Principal and S.E.T. This review will be reported back to all teachers.