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School self-evaluation summary report for school community

Evaluation period: AUTUMN 2012

Report issue date: June 2013

Update: June 2014


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1. Introduction

St Anthony’s is an all-boys primary school.  There are 41 teachers and 795 pupils in the school. Our attendance levels are excellent.

Our School Motto is “Mol an Óige is tiocfaidh sí.”

Some current initiatives in the school include: Out-of-school trips; World Book Day; Annual Book Fair; Book Rental Scheme; After school coaching in hurling and football; Sciath na Scol football and hurling; FAI soccer competition;6th Class inter-schools basketball competition; Cork City Sports; School swimming classes; Cork Chess League; Ballinlough Credit Union Quiz; Liturgical Events; Graduation Ceremony; Annual Christmas carol mass

1.1    The focus of the evaluation

A school self-evaluation of teaching and learning in literacy was undertaken in autumn 2012. 
A general SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis was carried out by middle management. This resulted in a pin-pointing of Literacy as an area to be improved.  A further analysis was carried out by the whole teaching staff focussing on literacy and more specifically comprehension throughout the school.

The following sources of evidence were used to compile the findings of this report:

  • Questionnaires on Literacy in the school for parents of those in 2nd 4th and 6th Class
  • Questionnaires on children’s opinion of reading for 2nd, 4th and 6th Class pupils
  • Questionnaires on teaching of reading for all teachers
  • Individual class teachers’ observations and class test results
  • Staff review group meetings
  • Special Education Teachers’ observations
  • Drumcondra Standardised Test results in Reading Comprehension

This report summarises the strengths that were identified and the areas that have been prioritised for improvement.

2. Summary of school self-evaluation findings

2.1 We found that our school has strengths in the following areas:


  • Attainment of curriculum objectives: Standardised tests scores for literacy are significantly above the national norms.
  • Teaching approaches:
  1. School Reading Initiatives: The  school operates reading initiatives which encourage reading – CAPER (Children and Parents Enjoying Reading)- 1st to 4th Class
  2. A modern English Reading Programme (Reading Zone) is in place throughout the school.
  3. An effective spiral phonics programme is implemented in Infant Classes.
  4. A wide variety of reading texts is used in every class.
  5. Comprehension strategies are integrated throughout all subject areas.
  • Learning Environment: The school has a print- rich environment. Pupils engage willingly in class reading activities
  • Teacher Preparation: Teacher planning is focused, learning-based and differentiated
  • Management of Pupils: Effective Special Education team in place.
  • Assessment: A variety of assessment tools is used by class teachers, both formal and informal. Diagnostic standardised tests are administered in all classes from Senior Infants to  6th Class. Results of assessments are used to inform teacher planning.

2.2 We have decided to prioritise the following areas for development:

Areas for development

  • Attainment of curricular objectives: Increase the number of pupils scoring in the 51st to 99th percentile in comprehension
  • Pupils’ engagement in learning: Support parents in their role as partners in education in the teaching and application of reading. Support exceptionally-able students through differentiation, accelerated reading, ICT and independent research-based projects
  • Preparation for teaching and teaching approaches: Continue and expand CAPER. Increase variety of teaching methods. Develop Bridges of Understanding throughout the school.

We have agreed on a School Improvement plan based on above.

School Improvement Plan

During the next three years, we intend evaluating the following:

Year 1: Numeracy:Problem-solving

Year 2: Science

Year 3: Handwriting

Appendix to Primary School Self-Evaluation Report:

Legislative and regulatory checklist – reporting to the school community

Rules and regulations for schools are set out in a number of Education Acts, and in Circulars issued to schools from time to time by the Department of Education and Skills. The list below deals with important areas of school life and tells you what rules and regulations apply to them. You will find the Acts and Circulars mentioned on the Department’s website,

Which area of school life is involved, and what are the regulations?

Is the school following the regulations fully?

The school calendar and the school timetable
Circular 11/95 sets down the length of the school year - minimum of 183 days

Circular 11/95 sets down the length of the school day
4 hours 40 minutes (infants);
5 hours 40 minutes (1st-6th classes)




Parent/ teacher meetings and staff meetings
Circular 14/04 sets out the arrangements for these meetings


Implementation of agreement regarding additional time in school for teachers
Circular 0008/2011 requires teachers to do an additional 36 hours of out-of-class work each year, so as not to reduce teaching time


Standardisation of school year
Circular 034/2011 gives the dates for school holidays


Valid enrolment of pupils
Sections of the Education Act 1998 and the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, and the Rules for National Schools set out the conditions for pupils to be validly enrolled in a school


Pupils repeating a year
The circumstances in which pupils may repeat a year are set out in Rules for National Schools, and circulars 11/01 and 32/03


Development of school plan
Section 21, Education Act 1998 requires all schools to have a school plan


Engagement with SSE process
Circular 39/2012 outlines the school self-evaluation process and what it requires of schools


Time for literacy and numeracy - assessing and reporting literacy and numeracy achievement
Circular 56/2011 sets out initial actions required in the implementation of the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy


Exemption from Irish
Circular 12/96 sets out the circumstances in which children are exempt from studying Irish


Implementation of child protection procedures
Circular 0065/2011 and the Child Protection Guidelines oblige schools to ensure that: liaison persons have been appointed; the procedures have been communicated to the whole school community; and the procedures are being followed


Implementation of complaints procedure as appropriate
Section 28 Education Act 1998 provides for procedures to address complaints about a school.


Complaints have been resolved or are being resolved

Appeals in the case of refusal to enrol students, suspension and expulsion (permanent exclusion)
Section 29 Education Act 1998 provides for appeals procedures in these cases, which are dealt with first of all by the school. Where cases are not resolved at school level, an external appeals committee hears the appeal and makes a decision.


Appeals have been dealt with or are being dealt with

Schools are required to have certain policies in place as part of their permanent school plan. It is good practice for schools to consult with the school community in forming and reviewing many of these policies. The school board of management has to approve and ratify policies, and should ensure that they are reviewed on a regular basis.


What area of school life does the policy deal with and what is the aim of the policy?

Has policy been approved by the board of management?

Enrolment policy
Section (15)(2)(d) Education Act 1998 obliges schools to have and publish an enrolment policy that respects the principles of equality and parental choice


Code of behaviour
Section 23, Education (Welfare) Act 2000, and the 2008 National Educational Welfare Board Guidelines set out regulations and good practice for schools to follow in drawing up and implementing a code of behaviour


Anti-bullying policy
Anti-bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-primary Schools, 2013 sets out regulations and good practice for schools to follow in drawing up and implementing an anti-bullying policy


Attendance and participation strategy
Section 22 Education Welfare Act 2000 requires schools to develop a strategy to support high levels of pupil attendance and participation in school life


Health and safety statement
All schools should have a health and safety statement that is regularly reviewed (see Section 20 Health and Safety Act 2005)


Data protection
School procedures relating to gathering, storing and sharing data on pupils should comply with data protection legislation - Data Protection Act 1988
Data Protection (Amendment Act) 2003


Internet acceptable use policy
Schools should have and implement a policy to instruct pupils on safe and responsible use of the internet. See for guidelines


Special education needs policy
Various pieces of equality and education legislation, especially the Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act (EPSEN) 2004, require schools to be inclusive of pupils with special educational needs and to provide for them appropriately using the resources available


Relationships and sexuality education (RSE) policy
Schools are required to have an RSE policy and to implement it in line with Relationships and Sexuality Education: Policy Guidelines (1997)


Substance use policy
The National Drugs Strategy and Department Guidelines require schools to develop and implement a policy on substance use, in partnership with parents and other agencies


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