DEIS Action Plan - Eglish NS   (2022-2025)


Eglish NS received DEIS status in September 2017

The DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) action plan was launched in 2005 by the Department of Education and Skills. It was based on the findings of the Educational Disadvantage Committee and was grounded in the belief that every child and young person deserves an equal chance to access, participate in and benefit from education. The aim of the DEIS action plan is to ensure that the educational needs of children and young people from disadvantaged communities are met. It is the Department of Education’s social inclusion strategy to help and support children who are at risk of or who are experiencing educational disadvantage.

As an Ashoka Changemaker School, much of how we approach the teaching of the Primary School Curriculum is linked to the empowering pillars of ‘Empathy’, ‘Creativity’, ‘Teamwork’ and ‘Leadership’. The ‘Changemaker philosophy’ of EACH (Everyone A Changemaker) is central to what we do. We expect and encourage all of our students to aim high, work hard and take individual responsibility in their lives and everyday situations. In all new problem-solving situations, we require them to ask the question, “What can I do?” and then, to answer it and follow up with action.

In addition to enabling our students to access and enjoy their education, we are committed to helping them prepare for the next phase of their education and for life beyond school. In terms of preparation for employment opportunities, the CBI (the UK’s premier business organisation)in its recommendations for future employees points to the central importance of a positive attitude and resilience, demonstrated for example by a readiness to take part, openness to new ideas and activities, and a desire to achieve. This attitude also involves understanding that hard work and effort yield results.

A recent report on skills for employability commissioned by the London Chamber of Commerce stated: “Softer skills, such as team working and communication, are an important aspect of an individual’s employability, and they will be in higher demand as we move towards a more knowledge-intensive economy”. Although this phrase ‘soft skills’ is often used to describe things like oral communication, problem solving and the ability to work well with others, it is recognised that these skills have tangible, real-world outcomes. These ‘soft’ skills have ‘hard’ outcomes.

Our DEIS Philosophy:

Eglish NS exists for the pupils. We are committed to enabling, encouraging and empowering each child to become the very best version of themselves. Our key values are respect, positive attitudes, safety, love of learning and creativity. Our golden rules are: ‘We work together. I do my best. We respect each other’. Our approach is very much a ‘Whole-School Approach’. We plan, set targets, take action and review on an ongoing basis. We are open to learning about and trying new methodologies and practices to meet the needs of identified pupils. We systematically use assessment tools, (formal and informal) to inform whole-school plans and individual teacher preparation and classroom practice.

❖     We avail of the ‘School meals programme’.

Role of Principal:

❖     To facilitate professional development, integrate services, procedures for reporting to be set up.

❖     Targets are to be short-term; timescale to be realistic, work to be kept achievable and manageable.

❖     Prioritising: Which area first? Parental Partnership. Why? Greatest need for parental involvement/ support.

❖     Monitoring Individual teacher feedback. Staff meetings discussions. Monitoring levels of pupil attendance.

❖     Collaborate with other schools/ agencies to increase the range of parent development opportunities available, and to support access for parents to a range of relevant courses and information.



The SSE process provides a way for us to systematically plan for, implement and monitor changes and improvements in aspects of practice that have been identified as priorities.

DEIS themes



Parents can help by…


 Improvements in literacy and numeracy skills have been a key objective of the DEIS action plan from the beginning. The Department’s national literacy and numeracy strategy sets out a very broad definition of literacy that includes ‘the ability to use and understand spoken language, print, writing, and digital media’.

DEIS themes



Parents can help by…


To improve oral language ability of our students by providing a language rich environment and intentionally developing oracy skills in a structured way


To cultivate a culture of dialogic teaching where the learning potential of the interplay of talk between teacher and students is promoted


To empower all students from Junior Infants to 6th Class to stand up and speak in public confidently with communicative competence following the ‘LET’s Stand Programme


To deliberately extend students’ vocabulary.


To identify, help and support struggling readers at an early stage using Reading Recovery


To improve pupils’ attitudes and dispositions to reading


To encourage reading for pleasure.


To develop students’ comprehension skills.


To assess and monitor student progress and effectiveness of interventions and strategies.  


To develop students’ writing skills.


To teach students how to present their work clearly, neatly and with pride.


To develop memory skills through, for example, mind mapping and story retell activities


To provide feedback to pupils so as to ensure that pupils are aware of how well they are doing and how they could make further progress in the various elements of literacy


To assist and provide opportunities for students to use IT as an aid for oral presentations.


To use IT as a stimulus and resource for literacy activities.


To train all students to type.


To prompt students to think more deeply about topics using Edward DeBono’s ‘6 Thinking Hats’.


To develop students’ collaboration skills

  1. Oral Language development: Children will develop oral language skills at each class level and use full sentences when speaking about something.


  1. We will provide oral Language and Presentation opportunities regularly in all classrooms and at Assemblies eg. poems, presentations and ‘joke of the week’. Students from the Senior Room take turns to lead assemblies.
  2. Teachers use talk to develop a shared understanding or 'common knowledge' with their pupils and all school staff foster an environment in which high quality adult talk with children is recognised and put to good use
  3. We build vocabulary through dictionary and thesaurus work. Weekly spellings are put into sentences to show understanding in context.
  4. We will support all students to complete 7-10 oral presentations a year using the LET’s Stand programme providing teacher feedback and facilitating peer feedback on each presentation.
  5. Conversation stations.
  6. We will explain to students the importance of ‘Public Speaking’ in their lives, its power and influence while reaffirming that this is something that they can do.
  7. Reading: Children will experience and enjoy different reading genres at their own instructional level.
  8. Shared reading, silent reading, guided reading, modelling reading and buddy reading.
  9. ‘Eager Readers’ club and development of school library
  10. Foster close connections with our local library and actively encourage all students to visit the library. Organise at least one visit a year for each class to the library.
  11. In-class support for Literacy and Numeracy in all classes
  12. Use a thematic approach, integrating across the curriculum to make learning more meaningful.


  1. Use Literacy Lift-Off in the Junior Room


  1. Use First Steps’ Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening Approaches across the school


  1. Use genres in the teaching of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.


  1. Development of comprehension skills, study skills, researching, inferring, defining important information and synthesising information.


  1. Free writing activities in all classes.


  1. Writing for pleasure and specific purposes and penmanship – helping, supporting and requiring all students to lay their work out neatly and date it so that they can observe their own progress over time


  1. Development and improvement of punctuation and grammar skills as part of the writing process


  1. Development and expansion of writing as communication


  1. Regularly check orally and in writing what the children are learning (Learning Outcomes)


  1. Teachers modify their teaching approaches and differentiate appropriately in order to ensure that the literacy needs of the pupils are being met effectively.


  1. Broadening range of teaching methodologies used/ professional development – Facilitate related CPD for Staff


  1. Deliberately maintain a conscious focus on vocabulary expansion and including this focus in our notes.


  1. We reward ‘Outstanding Effort’ on a weekly basis and ‘Dalta na Míosa’ on a monthly basis.

▪         Speak positively to your child about reading, learning and school


▪         Encourage your child to talk to you about their interests eg. sports / video games etc…


▪         Talking to your child / children about their day; friends? / what did they enjoy most?/ what was challenging and why?/say a rhyme / sing a song learned.


▪         Encourage your child to use a full sentence when describing something about their day?


▪         Can they put the word of the week into a sentence?


▪         Play ‘I spy with my little eye….’ while going for a walk / in the kitchen / in the car

▪         Talk about the book before your child reads it. Point out the title. Can they name the characters and the setting? Can they predict what is going to happen?


▪         Read a bedtime story to your child before they go to bed / as they are drifting off the sleep or encourage an older sibling to do so.


▪         Listen to their reading, let your child ‘sound out’ the words they are not sure of and praise him / her when she gets it right.


▪         Can he / she identify high frequency words? Eg: look, Here, is, the? / Dolch List word for older children.


▪         Talk to him / her about the book at the end – can he / she tell you back the story in his /her own words?


▪         Read any story and talk / ask questions to check understanding heard.


▪         Laugh about stories, make up funny words, have fun with literacy.


▪         Check the information folder for new junior infants to get tips on learning from letter sounds / letter formation/blending/identifying sounds in words and to find out how important play is for learning and development.


▪         Check and Sign homework (Middle Room and Senior Room)every night.


▪         Join the local library and encourage a love of books and reading.


▪         Let your child see you reading for pleasure, perhaps a book / a newspaper / a magazine / a blog or a social media message.



Numeracy: The national literacy and numeracy strategy offers a broad definition of numeracy: ‘the ability to use mathematical understanding and skills to solve problems and meet the demands of day-to-day living in complex social settings’.

DEIS themes



Parents can help by…


Foster a positive attitude towards Maths


Select and integrate strategies to improve numeracy


To integrate Maths across the curriculum


To connect and explicitly link Maths to real-life situations


To expand children’s Maths vocabulary


To embed key strategies to improve numeracy into every day classroom practice


To provide differentiated programmes to reach all students and with a particular focus on improving attainment levels of pupils of higher academic abilities


To develop a positive attitude from teachers, students, and parents towards a partnership approach to the teaching of Numeracy.

To raise awareness about the importance of integration of Maths into all subject areas.

To raise awareness about the use of students’ environments in the promotion of Mathematical thinking.

To provide opportunities for students to experience success in implementing maths concepts.

To create an atmosphere of fun around maths.

To integrate Maths with IT.


  1. Every opportunity will be taken to link Maths topics to concrete / real life experiences of the children eg. shopping situations, measures etc… (using objects from their environment for counting etx….)


  1. Use a thematic approach, integrating across the curriculum to make learning more meaningful
  2. Lessons start with use of concrete examples and materials and are linked to previous learning


  1. Oral /mental maths will be linked to pupil experience; Teachers will dedicate 10 minutes daily for oral/mental maths.


  1. Use of individualised Maths Dictionaries which students bring with them from one class level to the next to intentionally build students’ Maths Vocabulary banks.


  1. All maths lessons will be differentiated to reach all learners


  1. Broadening range of teaching methodologies used/ professional development –facilitate related CPD


  1. Use of agreed software programmes (e.g. Numbershark, Times Tables Rockstars).


  1.  Compilation of list of relevant Maths websites that have been tried, tested and proven to be successful.
  2. Celebrate Maths Week in October


  1. Organise and take part in Maths Trails and integrate outdoor learning with Maths.


  1.  Develop use of concrete materials (eg. numicon) in all classes.


  1. Peer-tutoring with focus on Maths games: ‘Maths for Fun’


  1. Use ‘Maths Recovery’ expertise within the school.


  1. Problem of the week / Puzzle solving / One answer – how many questions?


  1. ‘Challenge the Teacher’ for problem solving


  1. Provide plenty of opportunities for practical life maths eg. Shop selling books.


  1. Facilitate and support the students to run their own ‘Díolacháin’ (Bring-and-buy Sale) annually in December.


  1. Audit practical Maths resources and invest if necessary.


  1. Explore new, interesting and fun ways to learn and teach tables and Maths rules.


  1. Use computer / ipad / laptop based maths games


  1. Combine sport / PE / Physical activities and games with maths or literacy (tables or spellings etc…)

Parents can help by:

▪         Speak positively to your child about Maths.


▪         Ask your child what they are learning in Maths and to show you / help you to solve everyday Maths problems.


▪         Playing games – use anything to hand at home for *sorting (by colour / shape / size); *counting, *card games like snap., etc.


▪         With food items and products around the house, point out the weight / capacity eg. 200ml or 10g


▪         For older children sit with them while they are doing their homework and sign it when completed. If they are unsure ask them to read the question again aloud and break it down into manageable chunks / compare it to something you know they know.


▪         Talk about how maths is used by everyone everyday – telling the time, planning events, shopping, money, speed limit to name a few. ‘Notice’ maths in the environment and draw your child’s attention to it too


▪         Play number games – counting in 2’s, 3’s, count backwards,etc. Snakes and Ladders, Bingo etc.


▪         Check and sign homework every night.


▪         Play cards with your child.


▪         When you go shopping, give your child some money and the responsibility to do part of the shopping.


▪         Pick up some of the shopping brochures and catalogues. Have a chat with your child about the prices. Compare and discuss what’s best value. Ask, for example…..”If you had €10, what would you buy? How much change would you get?


▪         Let your child help you bake or cook and let them weigh some of the ingredients.


▪         If your child has an electronic device, ie. tablet or phone, point out to him / her all the maths related features on it or point them out on your own device. Ie. calculator, calendar, google maps.


▪         Remind your child frequently that numbers and Maths are everywhere and they can be a lot of fun.


▪         Reassure them that it’s ok to make a mistake. The most important thing is to try.


Attendance: Given the fundamental importance of attendance to pupils’ progress and attainment, schools are required to look at patterns of full-day absences, part-day absences, late arrival at school, and the rate of suspensions.

DEIS themes



Parents can help by…


To create a positive and welcoming school climate where students feel that they belong


To ensure that all pupils are enrolled and registered accurately and efficiently


To ensure that pupil attendance is recorded daily


To raise awareness of the importance of regular school attendance amongst the parents and the students


To ensure compliance with the requirements of the relevant legislation (Education Act 1998, Education Welfare Act 2000)


To identify patterns in absence


To develop a positive attitude towards pupil attendance.

To raise awareness among parents about challenges posed by poor attendance and lack of punctuality.

To raise awareness about the role of NEWB and its impact on the running of the school.

To raise awareness about health and safety issues arising from non-attendance.

To specify how attendance levels should improve as a result of actions taken by the school.

  1. Inform parents and make them more aware of the impact on their children’s learning of late arrival to / early departure from school, orally and in writing.


  1. Ensure that all parents know that a note is required for all absences.


  1. Written permission to be mandatory for absences during school hours, eg. early pick-ups, late drop-offs. Students are to be collected at the classroom door. If parents do not have a letter, a ‘leaving school early’ slip must be signed and a reason given.


  1. Review of School Attendance Policy. Parents to be involved in strategies to improve attendance and punctuality.


  1. Development of sheets to record individual absences.


  1. Procedure for daily monitoring and immediate response to absences.


  1. Teachers to have input into NEWB report. Oral and written contact with parents to be ongoing, e.g. parents to be contacted / alerted when child has been absent for 10 days and a standard letter sent to parents when child has been absent for 15 days.


  1. HSCLO and/or Senior Room teacher, Principal and relevant support teachers to develop communication with other schools, especially 2nd level.


  1. Attendance Strategy in place.


  1. Annual reward for ‘Respect for Rules’ which includes excellent attendance (not necessarily ‘perfect’ attendance.



●       Making sure a note is given to the teacher if your child is absent. [All unexplained absences over 20 days can be investigated by the Education Welfare Officer.] You will receive a letter informing you when your child has reached 15 days, be invited to discuss the situation with the Principal at this stage and you will receive another letter at 20 days’ absence.


●       Try to be on time for school every morning.


●       Don’t collect your child early from school unless it is for an urgent reason.


●       Understanding that most often the children don’t want to be absent, they actually enjoy school and meeting their friends. It’s upsetting for them when they fall behind at school as a result of being absent.


●       Cooperate with the HSCLO and / or Education Welfare Officer if required.

Retention: The theme of retention focuses on the importance of keeping children in school, identifying those at risk of early leaving, and taking action to reduce or eliminate factors that cause pupils to drop out.

Progression: Progression is very closely linked to attendance and retention. It puts a spotlight on the key moves from one stage of education to the next: in this instance from primary to post-primary .retention relates to ensuring that pupils remain in the school system until the completion of the Leaving Certificate examination. Progression relates to ensuring pupils make successful transitions from one school level to the next; either from junior primary to senior primary schools or from primary to post-primary schools a positive experience of primary school is key to ensuring progression to second level and retention in school to the end of senior cycle.

DEIS themes



Parents can help by…

Retention and Progression

To identify those pupils who are at risk of early leaving, and take action to reduce or eliminate the factors that cause them to drop out.


To inspire and empower our students to believe that they are capable of achieving their dreams.


To impact and facilitate a smooth, positive transition to Secondary School.


To ensure consistency and continuity of realistic high expectations for all of our students.


To provide access to and information regarding role models from within their own community.


To promote life-long learning


To examine the most marginalised pupils’ experiences of school to ensure their meaningful retention within the education system


  1. We constantly affirm our students in their abilities and strengths and communicate our high expectations to them in an encouraging away.


  1. Transition programme will begin to some degree for all students when they enter the Senior Room (4th-6th Class)


  1. Specific Transition Programme / book (designed and reviewed on a regular basis by our teachers) will be followed for 6th Class.


  1. Principal and Class Teacher and Support Teacher (where relevant) will begin liaising with child’s Secondary School after Halloween of 6th Class.


  1. Maintain close relationship and connection with all secondary schools in the area and attend Christmas Concerts, Soccer blitzes etc…. with students from the Senior room.


  1. The school ensures that all pupils have submitted application forms on time.


  1. Maintain links with post-primary schools to track the progress, or otherwise, of their pupils and to show ongoing interest.


  1. Facilitate visits by the Secondary School Principals to the school to talk to the students.


  1. In 2016-2017, through Forbairt, the Principal and Deputy Principal carried out an In-School Leadership project on ‘Impacting a more positive transition to Secondary School for all of our students’.


  1. We have added a section to our Education Passports to hi-lite to Secondary School teachers our students’ strengths and interests so that they may be able to strike up a friendly and familiar conversation with them from the start, ensuring a smooth beginning to Secondary School.


  1. Initiate discussions regarding subject choice at second level


  1. Senior Room uses some Secondary School books for project based learning to familiarise students with them and to show them that they are capable of navigating their way through them.


  1. Invite role-models / past pupils who have shown great example and leadership in to the school to present our ‘Leadership’ prizes to our students at the Graduation. This role-model will also be asked to speak to the children to deliver a message of motivation and inspiration.

●       Speak positively and encouragingly to your child about Secondary School.


●       Let the Principal and Class Teacher know as soon as possible what school you are choosing to send your child to.


●       Be sure to attend the Secondary School’s Open Evening with your child.


●       Visit the Secondary School with your child when you hear of any events that they are running.


●       Look up the Secondary School’s website with your child. Get excited together about the various opportunities on offer.





Partnership with parents and others: The DEIS action plan supports schools to develop partnerships with parents and with the community. Schools are also expected to develop links with other schools, for example in transfer programmes from primary to post-primary school. Involvement of parents/ families is crucial supporting and engaging parents/ developing their confidence in helping their children’s education, identifying their needs and facilitating these needs e.g. family literacy project. 

DEIS themes



Parents can help by…

Partnership with parents

Foster close relationships with parents


Promote and frequently refer to the reality of ‘Parents as Partners’


Respect parents as the ‘primary educators’ of their children


Encourage parents to visit the school more frequently and take part in school-related events.


Ensure the children see / witness positive, respectful, friendly communication exchanges between parents and teachers, eg. at the school gate every evening.


Empower parents to take part in programmes aimed at improving literacy and numeracy levels among pupils. Typically, these might include: Maths for fun, Paired reading, Assisting with the school library.


Adopt a broader multi-agency approach when seeking to address issues such as attendance and the meaningful retention of children in the education system


Parents to be informed of school activities.


  1. Invite parents into school on the first day of the school year – have refreshments available in a warm, welcoming, positive atmosphere.


  1. Invite parents into school on our annual ‘Earth Day’ in September to plant / weed / harvest with us and monitor the progress of our trees in the forest planted by parents and families in early 2018.


  1. Directly ask parents to become involved and help out in the school in their particular areas of expertise


  1. Engage with Parents’ Association and individual parents.


  1. Every effort is made to accommodate parents with Parent- Teacher Meetings.


  1. Parents are invited, encouraged and supported to take up a role on our various committees, eg. Health Promoting Schools’ Committee, Green Flag. Also, invited regularly to get involved with sports, garden, pancake making etc……


  1. Parents invited to take part in a Shared Reading Programme with the Junior Room students.


  1. Parents invited to School Concert and celebrations.


  1.  Newsletters for parents every term.


  1. Information also shared through blog, website, twitter and facebook.


  1. Parents’ noticeboard set up in school shelter.


  1. Direct communication with parents regarding upcoming events through Textaparent.


  1. Develop involvement of parents in particular activities, e.g. Tree planting, Active Week, Heritage in Schools’ events.


  1.  Parents’ Association to be invited to help in development and maintenance of school sensory garden and polytunnel.


  1. Parents’ assistance welcomed and encouraged for school tours and Erasmus events and mobilities.


  1.  Grandparents’ involvement in Catholic Schools’ Week ‘Grandparents’ Day’.


  1. Autumn information meeting for new parents.


●       Come into the school when invited.


●       If you have any questions or concerns, don’t be afraid to ask the Class Teacher.


●       Understand that we are here to help your child, that we genuinely want what’s best for them and that if we work together (home and school), we can achieve so much more.


●       Attend Parent Association Meetings.


●       Consider putting yourself forward as a parent nominee on the next Board of Management.


●       Check out our website (especially our section for parents) and social media postings regularly. We will share useful information for parents.


●       Checking out some of the on-line resources available and try using them at home. Suggestions: – “Go Noodle Mindfulness” and “10@10”



Engagement with outside agencies:  Integration of services, inter-agency , collaboration, co-ordination of existing resources, school/ parent/ community/ external agencies partnership; wider community to be involved in supporting children; partnership between schools.

DEIS themes



Parents can help by…

Engagement with outside agencies

To increase community involvement in school activities, and make children and parents aware of the respective roles of agencies and individuals in school life and lives of children.

HCSLO and/or Principal and/or Junior Room teacher to maintain contact with local playgroups.

Open-door policy for HSE workers on our multidisciplinary teams.

Continuous review of enrolment policy. Feedback from parents and teachers to be encouraged and welcomed. Culture of positive communication between parents/ teachers/ wider community.

Maintain links with local sporting clubs.

  1. Establish and maintain links with the Galway Traveller Movement


  1. Maintain regular contact and positive relationships with local Secondary Schools


  1. Maintain close relationships with local Sports and Drama clubs and community groups by attending events and inviting speakers and local sporting heroes / authors etc… into the school


  1. Avail of positive relevant opportunities provided by ‘Heritage in Schools’


  1. Facilitate provision of Speech and Language Support (in-school)


  1. Provide opportunities for students to share their talents with the local community by, for example, putting on our ‘Scoil Dramaíocht’ productions in the local community centre.

●       Attend events organised by the school to establish and maintain links with relevant external agencies.


●       Inform the school / offer their opinions regarding which external agencies they would like us to establish closer connections with for the good of their child.

CPD for Staff:

-         Two teachers to attend ‘Friends for Life’ training and to feedback to the rest of the staff at the next Staff Meeting and organise a Croke Park for further sharing of information.

-         Two teachers to attend ‘Empowering Learning’ training, feedback to staff and organise a Croke Park hour.

-         Teacher to attend ‘Mata sa rang’ training and feedback to staff.

-         One / two teachers to attend ‘Incredible Years’ training and feedback to staff.


To ensure an optimum experience of education for our students in Eglish National School and beyond school, we are committed to developing our students sense of self-efficacy. According to Albert Bandura (2008), self-efficacy is not a trait that some have and others don’t (or somewhere in-between). Instead he proposes that anyone, regardless of their past or current environment, has the ability to exercise and strengthen their self-efficacy. He offers four ways to do this: 1) Mastery Experiences, 2) Social Modeling, 3) Social Persuasion and 4) States of physiology.

Our DEIS Plan above, outlines the many ways we do this through the many opportunities we provide for our students.