SCHOOL SELF EVALUATION PROCESS – Our progress so far: As part of the School Self Evaluation process, we in St. Brigid’s National School, Greystones have been focusing on particular aspects of Literacy and Maths. Now we have added a third subject: SPHE (Social, Personal and Health Education). At the moment we are at the information gathering stage.
Target 1 In 2012, the school adopted a whole school approach to the learning of the comprehension strategies from the ‘Building Bridges of Comprehension’ programme. Comprehension strategies are conscious plans; sets of steps that good readers use to make sense of text. You should find that as your child moves up the school they use these strategies to help with comprehension.
- Making Connections
- Monitoring Comprehension
- Determining Importance
Target 2 (specific to Junior and Senior Infants) Children will attain selected curriculum objectives in pre-reading, reading, pre-writing, writing and learning grammar.
Target 3 related to English grammar
- 1st class will be enabled to identify and use nouns, verbs and pronouns , adjectives sentences and phrases.
- In addition 2nd and 3rd class will be enabled to identify and use collective nouns, comparative and superlative adjectives, adverbs, syllables and contractions.
- 4th class will be enabled to identify and use prepositions and conjunctions, prefixes, suffixes and homophones.
- 5th and 6th class will be enabled to identify and use the verb ’ to be’, compound & continuous verbs subject and object of sentence and possessive pronouns.
- All above will be consolidated through the use of texts “New Wave English” and ‘Jolly Grammar.’
Target 4 was a straightforward one: Pupils will improve their Dictionary Skills
Children will be able to identify and use writing genres.
The purpose of the writing and the audience for whom it is written will determine the genre. In St. Brigid’s National School, we teach all the following genres to classes as detailed below.
- Recount: school trip.
- Report writing: factual e.g. life history of the butterfly – book review.
- Explanatory writing: e.g. how a volcano is formed.
- Procedural writing: rules, directions, recipes.
- Persuasive writing: debate.
- Narrative: story e.g. A holiday of a lifetime.
In teaching the genres of writing, the students will encounter the genres though reading and being read to, teacher-modelled writing, shared writing, guided writing, leading to independent writing.
Most of these targets are now embedded in Whole School Approaches in St. Brigid’s NS., i.e ‘Building Bridges of Comprehension,’ ‘Jolly Grammar’, New Wave English and the use of writing genres.
As of 16th March 2018, our new target in English is that each class will use relevant creative writing skills detailed in curriculum with a particular emphasis on poetry.
In the infants classes the children will have opportunities to enjoy and recite rhymes and poems.
As the children move up the school they will continue to be exposed to a range of well know poems (to be chosen at teacher’s discretion). They will learn to recognise rhyming words and patterns in poetry. Children will write their own poetry in the following styles: acrostics, sound poems, haikus, limericks and non rhyming poetry.
In the more senior class children will learn about different poetry techniques e.g. rhyme, alliteration, repetition, similes, metaphors, personification, exaggeration etc.
Have the opportunity to create their own poems using well know poems or other curriculum to stimulus/inspiration and incorporating poetry techniques into their work.
So that by the end of primary school, children will have opportunities to
- Listen to poetry read aloud or presented on tape, radio or television
- respond to poetry and fiction through discussion, writing, drama, the visual arts
- express and analyse his/her reactions to poems
- relate personal experience to the ideas and emotions conveyed in the text
- write about the relationship between poems and personal experience
- analyse different interpretations of poems in writing
- hear the teacher model a response to poems, fiction, plays and parts of plays
- examine similarities and differences in various types of text
- examine different types of poetry (e.g. limericks, kennings, haikus, acrostics, tankas, humorous verse etc)
- write different types of poetry and write freely (independently) to express ideas, experiences and feeling
Teachers were asked how parents can help their children with Literacy. This is what they said:
‘I think it’s really important even in 4th class that children read aloud to an adult every night and also that an adult would read to them regularly’.
‘When practising spelling at home your child should write them out as opposed to calling them out.’
‘I would suggest sentence dictation at home using list words from spellings, plus others that are regularly spelled incorrectly’.
‘Reading for at least 20 mins a day – Ask your child to summarise what they are reading in their own words.’
‘Ask your child to make up questions based on what they are reading’.
‘Oral work is just as important as written work eg tables and reading homework’.
Since the SSE process started these have been our targets in Maths
Target 1 – Build a Solid number Foundation in Junior and Senior Infants.
- Implement “Ready, Steady, Go” Programme.
- Increase use of concrete materials
- Teach 1-1 correspondence, conservation of no, positional language, cardinal aspect of no
- Include more maths games in learning
Target 2 The Learning of Tables
- Children in 1st class will learn doubles, tenners, teens and near doubles.
- Children in 2ndclasses will learn all addition and subtraction tables to 12.
- Children in 3rd class revise addition and subtraction tables to 12 and learn multiplication and division tables to 12.
- Children in 4th, 5th & 6th classes revise all addition, subtraction, multiplication and division tables to 12.
Target 3 Place Value
- Children in 1st classes will be enabled to explore, identify, order and record numerals 0 to 99, 2nd class to 199, 3rd to 999, 4th to 9999.
- 3rd class will be enabled to explore, identify, order and record place value in decimal numbers to one place of decimals in 3rd class and to two places in 4th
- 5th class will round decimals to two places and to three places in 6th.
Target 4 JI – 6th Estimation
- Children will be enabled to learn steps involved in estimation. Teaching children that an estimate is just ‘their best guess’ and doesn’t have to be right.
Target 5 Language The language used in St. Brigid’s for the four main mathematical operations will be standardized across the classes. Teachers will make sure that they use the same terms and vocabulary.
Work on these targets are ongoing. We have done a lot of work, but there is more to do.
A Third Subject
As part of the School Evaluation process schools are asked to select a third subject to focus on. Staff in St. Brigid’s acknowledge the importance of educating the ‘whole child’. Because of that we decided on SPHE as 3rd subject we would work on. SPHE stands for Social Personal and Health Education.
‘The Social Personal and Health Education Curriculum (SPHE) is for children from junior infants to sixth class. The SPHE curriculum
- fosters children’s well-being, self-confidence and sense of belonging
- develops children’s sense of personal responsibility for their own behaviour and actions
- promotes children’s self-awareness and understanding by helping them to manage their own feelings, to recognise and appreciate individual abilities, and to cope with change of various kinds
- supports children to become active and responsible citizens.
The curriculum consists of three strands: Myself, Myself and Others and Myself and the Wider World.’ (From Curriculum Online)