Cloonakilla NS Self-Evaluation Report and Improvement Plan

Cloonakilla NS Self-Evaluation Report and Improvement Plan

1.       Introduction

Cloonakilla NS is a 16 mainstream classroom school with 5 SEN teachers + Principal situated in Monksland, Athlone. This has been a developing area for the past 10 years and consequently our school has grown from a 4 teacher school to a 22 teacher school in this period. This has presented many challenges for us as we have sought to accommodate the growing needs of this diverse neighbourhood. In September 2018 there were 431 pupils enrolled. We conducted a School Improvement Plan in Literacy (2012/2015) and a School Improvement Plan in Numeracy (2013-2016).

This document records the outcomes of our both improvement plans, the findings of this self-evaluation, and our current improvement plan, including targets and the actions we will implement to meet the targets.


  • Outcomes of our last improvement plan from [date] to [date]

The outcomes of our Literacy Plan were as follows:

  • Pupils improved their oral language development by 2 scale points ( Drumcondra Oral Language Profiles)
  • 75% of pupils could write confidently in all genres by the end of 5th class
  • 60% of pupils were able to improve their self assessment of writing using a teacher designed rubric
  • By June 2016 there were 62% of children below SS 109 and 38% above

The outcomes of our Numeracy Plan was as follows:

  • We increased the average score of problem solving within the school from 56% to 58% by 2018
  • We improved our overall Sigma T Scores from Average SS 114 TO 117
  • We increased the number of pupils scoring in the C Range of the problem solving rubric from 8% in 2015 to 34% in 2018
  • By June 2018 we had 73% of pupils above SS 109 and 27% below

1.2       The focus of this evaluation

We undertook self-evaluation of teaching and learning during the period (month/year) to (month/year). We evaluated the following aspect(s) of teaching and learning with regarding to English Reading as analysis of Micra T Scores have indicated that this is an area that requires some attention.

  • Learner Outcomes: Pupils demonstrate the knowledge, skills and understanding required by the Primary School Curriculum.
  • Teachers’ Individual Practice: The teacher selects and uses teaching approaches appropriate to the learning objective and to pupils’ learning needs.
  • Teachers’ Individual Practice: The teacher selects and uses planning, preparation and assessment practices that progress pupils’ learning.

2. Findings


2.1 This is effective / very effective practice in our school

List the main strengths of the school in teaching and learning.


  • Teachers (Junior Infants – 2nd) are currently preparing for teaching of Writing and Reading  using the New Primary Language Curriculum having already implemented the Oral Language Programme in English and Irish.
  • Pupils have good vocabulary in English following extensive work in this area
  • Teachers work collaboratively in planning and delivering the curriculum
  • An audit of classrooms found a rich print environment with an extensive bank of resources and effective use of ICT to promote literacy
  • Parental support is evident through participation in the Home Reader Scheme
  • Teachers deliver effective instruction while being always conscious of eliciting pupil engagement through employing a range of questioning techniques and use of prediction & connection strategies. (Building Bridges of Understanding)
  • Teachers purposefully develop relevant literacy skills through use of Word Wall, writing genres, fluency strategies (Spot the Signals) , Peer Tutoring and Building Bridges of Understanding
  • Pupils in middle and senior classes engage in self assessment of literacy through use of teacher designed rubric while all classes use WALT/WILT to some extent as part of Assessment for learning.


2.2. This is how we know

List the evidence sources. Refer to pupils’ dispositions, attainment, knowledge and skills.

  • Pupil Questionaire
  • Response to a Pupil Questionaire indicated that pupils are positively disposed towards reading with 62% of pupils reporting that they like reading to some extent but are not enthusiastic readers
  • 67% of pupils felt they were managing comfortably at reading following extensive work on fluency and vocabulary development with only 30% presenting as very competent readers
  • Only 33% of pupils read at home daily and are members of the local library
  • The majority of pupils were able to employ a range of strategies when they came across an unfamiliar word
  • Pupils would like a wider range of books in the school library and would like to see more DEAR Time incorporated into the school day

Parent Questionnaire

  • Parents reported a very positive attitude from their children towards reading with 95% of parents stating that their children like to read
  • 96% of parents reported that they read with their children at least twice weekly and all parents surveyed felt that reading at home should continue to be part of homework

Teacher Focus Group

  • Teachers reported pupils as being quite competent readers and felt that extensive work on vocabulary during our previous Literacy Plan has benefitted children greatly
  • Teachers reported that it is increasingly difficult to instil in children a love of reading. They hoped the new school library and additional DEAR time built into the school day might help in this regard
  • While pupils read competently in class teachers felt they do not always comprehend the reading material


2.3 This is what we are going to focus on to improve our practice further

Specify the aspects of teaching and learning the school has identified and prioritised for further improvement.

  • Further development of comprehension skills so that pupils can progress at reading and can make meaningful links between reading material and learning in other subjects.
  • Junior Infants – 2nd Class will look at Learning outcomes 6 and 8&9 in Reading
  • Stating learning objective clearly before each reading lesson
  • Differenciate reading text and activities  according to individual levels so that all pupils are challenged and experience success as readers
  • Use of Higher Order Questioning to elicit information and develop understanding
  • The teaching of Oral Language (3rd-6th) is not focussed as well as it could be on specific skills
  • Provide children with more opportunities to read and try to instill love of reading for its own sake
  1. Our improvement plan

On the next page we have recorded:

  • The targets for improvement we have set
  • The actions we will implement to achieve these
  • Who is responsible for implementing, monitoring and reviewing our improvement plan
  • How we will measure progress and check outcomes (criteria for success)

As we implement our improvement plan we will record:

  • The progress made, and adjustments made, and when
  • Achievement of targets (original and modified), and when

Our Improvement Plan

Timeframe of this improvement plan is


* To have 38% of pupils above SS 109 by 2020





To instill a love of reading on pupils


* To develop oral language skills so that each pupil will increase by 4 scale points orreach the top of the scale by 2020




Development of reading skills using Learning Outcome 6 in Reading


 To further develop comprehension skills throughout the school using LO 8&9



Implementaion of Guided Reading in Senior Infants – 6th class

* Literacy Lift Off Programme in Sen Infants/1st class


·   Read aloud

 DEAR Time

  Library visits

Author visits

Implementation of:

 Oral language programme

·    New Primary Language Curriculum


Teachers use mini-lessons to teach skills

* New Primary Language C


 Building Bridges

 Teaching of skills  PSDT Manual


Persons/Groups responsible

Class teachers

SEN team

Class teachers




3rd-6th class teachers




Class teachers

 SEN Teachers


 Class teachers

 SEN Teachers


Criteria for success

Analysis of Micra T Scores



Teacher observation

Pupil reflection sheets



·         Analysis of Drumcondra Oral Language Profiles

(Tracker group)





Analysis of Building Bridges Checklists

  Analysis of Drumcondra Primary Reading Test

Progress and adjustments

Targets achieved