Annual School Report 2016-’17

Annual School Report

 

Kilmacrennan N.S Annual School Report 2015-‘16

 

Introduction and Overview of the School.

During the 2016-’17 school year, there was a total  staff of 13 teachers and 4 SNA’s in Scoil Cholmcille, Kilmacrennan.

The 13 staff comprised of an administrative principal, 8 class teachers, two Learning Support Teachers (one full time in our school; the other teacher here for three days per week), and two Resource teacher (one full-time in our school, one shared with another local school).

There were 22o pupils on the school roll.

Board of Management.

The B.O.M. of our school met on five occasions during the past school year.  A new Board was appointed in November 2015 and will serve a four year term.  The members of the Board are Fr Patrick Dunne, Chairperson, Eileen Egan, Patrick Mc Ginley, Amanda Quinn, Charles Sweeney, Michael Mc Bride, John P Gallagher and John Devenney.

 

School Self-Evaluation/School Improvement Plan

The school engaged wholeheartedly in departmental led initiatives during the school year, most notably School Self-Evaluation (SSE).  As part of this process of evaluation, we identified many of our school strengths and areas for improvement.

With regard to SSE, we are proceedeing with our Literacy and Numeracy initiatives.  The staff ascertained what we feel is working well and identified our strengths as

  • Our most recent Whole School Evaluation(WSE) by the DES Inspectorate.  {This report is available as an addendum to this report}.
  • annual testing of our pupils compares most favourably with national averages in both English and Mathematics.
  • the school has a print rich environment in relation to Literacy and Numeracy.
  • pupils and teachers are positive when engaging in their approach and attitudes towards initiatives
  • the school engages in a range of In-School activities that support good literacy practice, including DEAR, Reading for other classes, Shared Reading (with parental involvement), Paired reading, Spelling Bee, INTO Handwriting activities, a co-ordinated approach to handwriting etc.
  • With regard to a School Improvement Plan, focussing initially upon Literacy, we identified Oral Language as an area that we would like to target.  Teachers provide for discrete oral language times on their timetables and engage in a range of initiatives to promote good Oral Language targets.  Following discussions regarding Oral Language at previous staff planning days/ Staff Meetings, we have over the years introduced a range of specific in-school initiatives in this regard, including 8 week Assembly Blocks where pupils from different year strands perform weekly (music, drama, poetry, improvisation, dance etc)/We have introduced class debates/power point presentations etc in Senior Classes.
  • Our engagement with SSE is an ongoing process.  We have also focussed to a considerable extent on problem-solving in Numeracy this year.  In a similar vein to Literacy, our pupil testing results were well above national norms.  Following attendance at staff training, we have introduced numerous whole school and class based activities to promote effective problem solving strategies (e.g. RUDE).
  • All staff received training in First Aid during the year.
  • *Please note that since April 4th 2016 the INTO has directed its members not to engage with the formal SSE process.* 

Legislative and Regulatory Obligations.

The school is compliant with legislative and regulatory obligations, as identified in ‘School Self-Evaluation- Guidelines for Primary Schools, 2012’.  These as

  • Time in school as per Circular 11/95
  • Arrangements for parent/ teacher and staff meetings as per Circular 14/04
  • Implementation of Croke Park agreement regarding additional time requirement as per circular 08/2011
  • Standardisation of school year as per circular 034/2011
  • Valid enrolment of pupils as per

o   Section 9(1), 15 (2) and 23 education act 1988

o   Sections 20 and 21 Education (Welfare) Act 2000

o   Rules 55, 64, 108 and 123 rules for national schools

o   Circular P24/02

o   Staffing schedule for current school year

  • Retention of pupils as per

o   Rule 64 rules for national schools

o   Circular 11/01

o   Circular 32/03

  • Development of school plan as per

o    Section 21, Education Act 1998

  • Appointments to posts of responsibility as per circular 07/03 and 053/2011
  • Time for literacy and numeracy assessing and reporting literacy and numeracy achievement as per circular 0056/11 initial steps in the implementation of the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy
  • Exemption from Irish as per circular 12/96
  • Implementation of child protection procedures as per circular 0065/2011
  • Implementation of complaints procedure as appropriate

o   Complaints procedures, section 28 Education Act

o   Primary Boards of Management Information Manual November 2007

  • Refusal to enrol
  • Section 29 Education Act 1998
  • New Garda Vetting circular May 2016 has implications for the employment of personnel in schools

Early Intervention/ Testing of Pupils

Our school undertakes testing of pupils at various stages of their schooling.  Infants are generally screened through the BPVT Test and MIST

Early Intervention

Strategies are in place for pupils who require help at this stage.  We also undertake annual testing of pupils of in English, Irish and Mathematics and IQ tests.  We compare pupils performance in the standardised English and Mathematics tests with their measured ability and make provisions for those who are under-performing.  The results of tests conducted on pupils in second, fourth and sixth classes are submitted annually to the DES.  School staff monitor and track individual and class-testing results, and can compare them to national trends.  Kilmacrennan N.S. is performing strongly in all these areas

School Activities

There was a strong emphasis on participation in a diverse range of activities over the course of the school year.  Among the activities/events/competitions that our pupils participated in were

  • Gaelbhratach award
  • Digital School of Excellence National Award
  • Third Green Flag award
  • Active Flag award
  • Class Assemblies
  • School Concerts
  • Kilmacrennan’s Got Talent;
  • Réalt Uladh event
  • Scríobh Leabhar Gaeilge
  •  Guth Ghoill
  • Lk Debating League
  • Concern Debating League
  •  School Gardening Club
  • School Athletic club
  • Music tuition and School Music group
  • Science Day
  • School tours
  • Student Council
  • Art competitions
  • Quizzes
  • Swimming lessons
  • Cumann na mBunscol events
  • History Week;
  • School Cooking

While participation is the key motivation, individual and team success is also cherished. Among the notable achievements in school competitions were Finn Harps Cup for third and fourth classes  winners (boys and girls); Cumann na mBunscol County quiz success; Garda Quiz success individual pupil success in national art competition.

The school also won the inaugural Donegal Debating League,

The school won the All Ireland Credit Union Quiz!

Home-School-Community links

We cherish and actively seek to enhance Home-School-Community links.  Kilmacrennan N.S. has an active Parents Association, offering support and direction.  School Community links over the past school year include our Annual 5k event, Pantomime event, Grandparents’ Day/ St. Bridget Cross making/ table quiz.  Our School Music groups have performed at religious events in the community.  Our school community assist greatly with tea and refreshments on First Communion/ Confirmation and 5K events.  We also enjoyed our involvement with the Young at Heart group.  We also held a ‘Greet and Meet’ day for the new Junior Infant incoming class/ A meeting with the parents/ Enrolment packs were provided

Resources

We wish to acknowledge financial donations from the Kilmacrennan Parents Association.   The Parent’s Association purchased musical equipment and PM resources for the school.

A DES grant enabled a significant upgrade of the school computer suiite and IT infrastructure in the school

Further books were bought for the School and Class Libraries.

 

Board of Management

 

The B.O.M. has met its obligations in respect of Child Protection and Anti-Bullying Procedures.

 

The B.O.M. has reviewed Standardised Test Results and Pupil Attendance returns during the course of the year.

 

The school accounts have been audited in line with DES guidelines.

 

The BO.M. wishes to acknowledge the commitment of staff, the support of parents and guardians and the enthusiastic co-operation of the pupils who work together to make the school a centre of excellence in Catholic primary education.

 

Board of Management June 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whole School Evaluation – Management, Leadership and Learning Report

Introduction• A Whole School Evaluation – Management, Leadership and Learning (WSE-MLL) was undertaken in Scoil Naomh Colmcille in May 2013.
• This school, under the patronage of the Catholic Bishop of Raphoe, has an enrolment of 214 pupils. Pupils are taught in single stream classes. In recent years enrolment has been increasing steadily. School attendance is very good.
• This report is based on a selection of lessons observed in a range of learning settings in the school, interaction with pupils and review of their work, meetings with the principal and with board and parent representatives, completed parent and pupil questionnaires, and a selection of school documents.
The school has strengths in the following areas:• The overall learning achievements of the pupils are very good.
• The learning outcomes in numeracy and literacy are highly commendable.
• Tá caighdeán sár-mhaith le sonrú i múineadh agus foghlaim na Gaeilge [The standard of teaching and learning in Irish is very high]
• Overall teaching is skilful and purposeful with a strong focus on learning outcomes.
• The management of pupils is excellent overall and the pupils are very well behaved and co-operative.
• The work of the board of management is very effective and there is a strong parental support for the school.
• The instructional leadership provided by the principal is highly commended.
• The in-school management team is deeply committed to the school and to the pursuit of excellence in learning.
• Pupils are well cared for in an inclusive learning environment.
The following recommendations are made:• The systematic use of objectives in teachers’ planning and monthly progress reports is recommended as it would ensure better continuity and progression across the curriculum; planning for differentiation should be targeted.
Findings:
1. The learning achievements of pupils
• The overall learning achievements of the pupils are very good. Of particular note are their achievements in Gaeilge, music and sport.
• The learning outcomes in numeracy and literacy are highly commendable. The pupils’ results in standardised tests indicate very satisfactory performance overall. Pupils take great pride in their work and engage in a broad range of stimulating learning experiences.
• The progress of pupils including pupils with special educational needs is very successful.
2. Quality of teaching• The overall quality of teaching in the school is very good. Teaching is skilful and purposeful with a strong focus on learning outcomes. The principles of the Primary School Curriculum (1999) inform classroom practice. For example, learning is integrated very effectively, there is successful use of the immediate environment and language is central in the learning process.
• Tá caighdeán sár mhaith le sonrú i múineadh agus foghlaim na Gaeilge. Tá foireann na scoile an-fhabhrach don Ghaeilge agus tá an teanga mar chroí lár na scoile. The quality of teaching and learning in Irish is very high. The school staff is very positively disposed to Irish and the language is central to the work of the school. In English, there is a strong emphasis on talk and discussion and vocabulary enrichment. However, the timetabling of discrete oral language, evident in some classrooms, is advised for all. Reading and writing skills are developed very effectively. In Mathematics, suitable methodologies and pertinent resources are used very well to develop skills and conceptual development. Lessons observed in other areas of curriculum, including, Physical Education, Science, Geography, Social Personal and Health Education and Music were well structured and suitably challenging.
• All teachers provide written planning of their work. Use of systematic objectives in teachers planning and monthly progress reports is recommended as it ensures continuity and progression across the curriculum. Planning for differentiation should be targeted as an area for improvement.
• The quality of teaching provided for pupils with special educational needs is very good overall. Early screening and intervention programmes are carefully considered and highly effective. Support is provided skilfully through a variety of means. Learning targets are appropriate and progress is carefully assessed. Co-ordination with class teachers is good but informal. Consideration should be given to formalising review meetings.
3. Support for pupils’ well being• The management of pupils is excellent overall and pupils are very well behaved and co-operative. A student council has been established and its works to date has been very positive. In questionnaires, pupils indicated significant satisfaction with their school and learning experiences. There was a more varied response to questionnaire statements in respect of pupils’ access to information and communications technologies (ICT) and group work.
• The school is an inclusive learning environment and pupils are well cared for. The holistic development of the school is promoted through involvement in a wide range of co-curricular and extracurricular activities. Pupils have received many accolades for academic and sporting achievements at local, regional and national level.
• Confirmation was provided that the board of management has formally adopted the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools without modification and that the school is compliant with the requirements of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post –Primary Schools.
4. Leadership and Management
• The board of management is very well informed and purposeful. It strives for continuous improvement in both its own work and in promoting the success of the school. The school facilities, both internal and external, and the variety of resources including information and communications technologies (ICT), are excellent. The parents are commended for their contribution to the provision of the exemplary sporting facilities. Ancillary staff, including secretary, special needs assistants and cleaning staff, contribute very positively to the work of the school.
• The in-school management team comprises the principal, deputy principal and two teachers with posts of responsibility. The team members are deeply committed to the school and to the pursuit of excellence in learning. They are well organised, each with discrete areas of responsibility. The instructional leadership provided by the principal is highly commended. He manifests a love for the Irish language and culture and a strong ethic. The principal has high expectations of teachers and pupils. He fosters very good relationships with the school community.
• Leadership is distributed effectively. The many and varied tasks and projects undertaken are led competently by both post holders and the wider teaching staff. There is very good staff morale and a positive work environment.
• Feedback from discussion with parents’ representatives and from the parents who completed questionnaires provides a very strong endorsement of the school. Parents are actively involved in their children’s learning and participate regularly in in-school curricular activities for example, shared reading and sport. End-of-year reports to parents are informative and ICT is used very well to communicate with the school community. School management reports very good support from the parents association.

5. School Self-evaluation• Whole school planning is effective. The school is involved in a continuing process of development. In accordance with the School Self-Evaluation Guidelines for Primary Schools (2012), teachers have reflected to good effect upon the three teaching and self-evaluation themes. In particular, their work in establishing motivating learning environments is highly commended.
• Teacher – led assessment is strong and teachers monitor pupils’ progress regularly; provide good written feedback to pupils, maintain satisfactory records of pupils attainment. Some teachers have introduced assessment for learning approaches. This should be developed at a whole-school level.
6. Conclusion• Given the school’s strong leadership, the motivation of staff and the co-operation of parents and pupils, the school’s capacity to develop further is excellent. The school staff engaged very openly with the whole-school evaluation process.

  • School Holidays

    • Christmas Holidays
      School closes on Fri 22nd Dec 2017 and will re-open on Mon 8th Jan 2018.
    • Feb Mid-term 2018
      Closed on Thurs 15th & Fri 16th Feb 2018
    • Easter Holidays 2018
      Closing for Easter Holidays on Fri 23 March & re-opening on Mon 9 April 2018.
    • May Bank Holiday 2018.
      The school is closed on Mon 7th May 2018.
    • June Bank Holiday 2018.
      The school is closed on Mon 4th June 2018.
    • Provisional Summer Closure 2018
      Provisional date for Summer Holidays is Fri 22nd June 2018.

      Please note that the above dates are subject to change.

      In the event of unforeseen closures, the Board of Management may use the first three days of the Easter Holidays to catch up on missed school days.