SSE - Kilmessan NS

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Kilmessan Mixed NS
Kilmessan, Co.Meath
Roll No. 04210H

School Self-Evaluation Report

Evaluation period: September 2013-June 2014

Report issue date: June 2014

School Self-Evaluation Report

1. Introduction

1.1 The focus of the evaluation
A school self-evaluation of teaching and learning in Kilmessan Mixed NS was undertaken during the period September 2013 to June 2014. During the evaluation, teaching and learning in the following curriculum areas were evaluated:

• Numeracy: Understanding and using Mathematics

This is a report on the findings of the evaluation.

1.2 School context
Kilmessan Mixed NS is a co-ed primary school under the patronage of the Catholic Diocese of Meath. It is located in a small, but growing village. There are currently 173 pupils (83 boys and 90 girls), six class teachers (with a seventh mainstream post pending), including a teaching principal, one full-time learning support teacher, one visiting learning support teacher (1 day per week) & one visiting resource teacher. Four pupils currently have low incidence special education needs and are allocated resource hours based on these needs. One SNA caters for the needs of one (soon to be two) pupils also. A second part-time SNA has been sanctioned for September to cater for the needs of an incoming Junior Infant pupil. Our pupils come from a mixture of socio-economic backgrounds and there is strong parental support for teaching and learning, a factor that is acknowledged as having a positive effect on pupil attainment levels and on pupils’ attitudes to learning.

2. The findings

The school examined (i) the quality of learning outcomes – results of standardized and
teacher-designed tests (ii) the quality of the learning experiences of the pupils and (iii) the
quality of teaching – approaches, methodologies, planning etc.

Evidence was gathered in the following ways:
 Error analysis on answer-scripts from 2012 standardized tests (Drumcondra Maths)
 Teachers engaged in in-class observations and also of classwork & homework.
 Pupils from 1st to 6th Classes completed comprehensive surveys
 Parents also engaged in comprehensive surveys
 Teaching staff engaged in an in-depth review of teaching practices  

Attainment in Numeracy
The overall attainment of pupils in Maths was above the national average. In the Drumcondra Primary Maths Test 2012, 87% of pupils ( from 1st – 6th  Classes) attained a Sten of 5 or higher, 9% of pupils attained a Sten of 4 and 4% attained a Sten of 1-3.

Attainment of curriculum objectives
Curricular objectives are being achieved at all class levels.
Analysis of content areas showed that the attainment levels in Measures were lower than in the other strands in the majority of classes.
Analysis of process areas showed that Problem Solving was the area in greatest need of attention.

Learning environment
All classrooms are well organised and laid out, with designated Maths areas, display areas etc. However, it was recognised that Maths could be made more visible and attractive throughout the entire school. Greater use could be made of our school environment for Mathematical activities and greater use could be made of Maths Trails at all class levels.

Pupils’ engagement in learning
All pupils from 1st to 6th completed comprehensive surveys on Maths. The results indicated a positive attitude towards the subject. The main findings are listed below.

 1st & 2nd Classes: 61% felt happy during Maths lessons, 3% unhappy & 35% were neither happy nor unhappy & 63% said Maths was one of their favourite subjects

 1st & 2nd Classes: 99% felt that they usually do well at Maths, 81% felt Maths was usually interesting

 3rd – 6th Classes: 69% felt they were good at Maths. 26% were unsure & 9% felt they were not good

 3rd-6th classes: 70% of children reported liking Maths. 14% were unsure & 16% reported not liking Maths

 64% 0f children reported finding Maths easy either always or most of the time( 35% sometimes, 1% never)

 46% found Problem Solving easy usually, 53% sometimes and 1% never

 72% reported enjoying playing games on computers, websites etc…. and 44% would like to spend more time doing Maths activities at school

 Pupils reported a strong correlation between knowing their tables and success at Maths with 97% reporting that knowing  tables was very important

Preparation for teaching
All teachers engage in both long and short term planning for Mathematics. While this planning is based on the Maths Curriculum, there is still somewhat of a reliance on text books.
The majority of teachers have undertaken continual professional development in the area of Mathematics in recent years.
There is good collaboration between class teachers and Learning Support teachers in the provision of support for Mathematics.
Specific issues relating to the delivery of the curriculum in multiple classes are addressed in teachers’ planning.
Mental Maths is encouraged across all strands, and we aim to make it an integral element of every Maths lesson.

Teaching approaches
Teachers use a range of methodologies including talk & discussion, collaborative groups, Maths based games & activities, Maths Club, and ICT.
There is an agreed Maths language throughout the school. We have recently colour coded the Language of Maths in all classes.
Number facts and tables are taught and practised in all classes.
There are agreed strategies outlined in the school plan for the teaching of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Problem solving lessons are varied and children are encouraged to explore multiple approaches to solving problems. However, it is recognised that further development is required in this area. Greater emphasis needs to be placed on the process rather than the end product.

Management of pupils
A positive Code of Behaviour, including an Anti- Bullying Policy is implemented in a fair and consistent manner.
Teachers have high but realistic expectations of pupils’ behaviour and engagement in the learning process.
A variety of organisational groupings and settings are used to support Numeracy.
Class teachers and SEN teachers collaborate effectively in organising structured support for pupils.

A wide range of assessment approaches are used to inform the teaching and learning process.
 Teacher observation
 Teacher-designed tasks and tests
 Correction of homework and classwork by teachers
 Self-assessment and peer assessment by pupils
 Oral and written questioning
 Problem solving exercises
 Work samples- copies, workbooks etc.
 Maths Challenge 1st - 6th Classes
 Feedback from parents
 Feedback from post-primary assessment tests
 Diagnostic Testing
 Standardised Tests: Drumcondra Maths Test (Rang I-VI); Dtens (Senior Infants)

Parental Feedback
The main findings from the Questionnaire for Parents are outlined below.

 83% of parents surveyed reported that their children liked Maths

 78% said they knew what their child’s strengths were and 63%  knew what their child’s weaknesses were

 78% believed their child was making very good progress or managing comfortably

 55% reported their child rarely/ never required help with Maths homework. 45% reported that their child needed help sometimes/ often

 56% felt that they received good information from the school about their child’s progress (16% disagreed & 28% were unsure)

 98% considered Maths to  very important

 95% felt that tables/ number facts were important

 89% of parents reported discussing real-life Maths problems with their children often/ sometimes

 88% reported playing Maths games with their children at home often or sometimes

3. Progress made on previously-identified improvement targets

• This is not applicable yet, as this is our first SSE & SIP for Maths.

4. Summary of school self-evaluation findings

4.1 Our school has strengths in the following areas:

• Pupils in all classes have a positive attitude towards Maths
• Pupil attainment in standardised tests is high and well above the national average
• Maths lessons are well prepared and teachers are committed to CPD and to reflective practice
• Pupils have very good parental support

4.2 The following areas are prioritised for improvement:

• To increase attainment levels in the strand Measures in line with other strands
• To develop a whole-school approach to Problem Solving.
• To create a Maths rich environment throughout the school
• Greater use of ICT and interactive Maths activities
• To emphasise Mental Maths and make it an integral element of Maths lessons
• More effective communication with parents about children’s progress, areas of difficulty etc...

4.3 The following legislative and regulatory requirements need to be addressed:

• Review of Special Education Needs Policy (2014/15)

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