Eglish NS

Eglish, Ahascragh,


Co. Galway


School Self-Evaluation Report

Evaluation Period January 2013 – June 2014

Report Issue Date:

School Self-Evaluation Report

Eglish NS, 2013


  • 1.1The focus of the evaluation

A school self-evaluation of teaching and learning in Eglish NS was undertaken during the period from January 2013 – June 2014. During the evaluation, teaching and learning in the following curriculum area was evaluated:

  • Literacy (English)

  • 1.2School Context

Eglish N.S. is a co-educational primary school located in a rural setting approximately 3km from the village of Ahascragh in Co. Galway. The school dates from 1899. There are 44 students enrolled in the school taught by 3 Mainstream Teachers, 2 Resource Teachers and 1 Learning Support Teacher. 2 SNAs are employed in Eglish NS. There is a high incidence of pupils with learning difficulties and Special Education Needs in the school. A significant number of the students in Eglish NS come from the Travelling Community (approximately 50%) all of whom would not have been in a Pre-School setting prior to coming to Primary School.

  • 2.The Findings


Two teachers: Ms. Rourke and Ms. Devine took a closer look at the students’ experience of Literacy in our school. Mrs. Mulry and Ms. Kenny looked at what the Standardised Test results over the last few years have to tell us about Literacy and finally, Mrs. Murphy and Mrs. Fitzgerald collected relevant information from the parents.

  • Students:

A questionnaire was given to all students either in groups or individually depending on the needs of the child.

  • Standardised Test Scores:

The Standardised Test Scores (Micra-T) for the years 2008,2009,2010, 2011,2012 were analysed for a random selection of students.

  • Parents:

A questionnaire was given to a random group of parents from each of the classes in the school.

  • Staff Reflection:

Over the course of 2 Croke Park Hours, all teachers shared their opinions regarding what is working well in the area of Literacy in the school and what areas require more attention. A SCOT analysis (Strengths, Concerns, Opportunities, Threats) was completed which addressed Literacy under the headings of Reading, Writing and Oral Language. This provided us with a base-line for planning Year 1 of our 3 year Literacy plan.

  • Staff Checklists:



  • -A high percentage of students like reading, think there are good books in the class and have confidence in their reading ability.
  • -A low percentage read newspapers
  • -65% find spellings easy to learn
  • -61% sometimes use computers to write stories in school
  • -47% like when the teacher asks them a question in front of the class
  • -58% like reading aloud in class
  • -65% like telling the teacher about things that happened outside school
  • -63% said they ask someone when they don’t understand something they read, 21% look in the dictionary, 16% ignore it
  • -22% like writing a lot, 28% a bit
  • -15% like Joined Writing a lot, 31% a bit
  • -28% said they like someone reading to them a lot, 25% a bit
  • -67% said they understand their reading better when they read it in their head
  • -53% said they like a lot seeing their writing displayed
  • -74% like Free Writing

Standardised Test Results:

  • -Standardised Test results of a random selection of students in English reading show that there has been an improvement in scores for most students since 2008
  • -There is a broad range of results ranging from Sten 3 at the lowest to Sten 9


  • -13 out of 17 parents reported their child liked Reading
  • -8 out of 17 said they often read to their child
  • -4 out of 17 said their child enjoys learning spellings
  • -5 out of 17 said their child likes to write stories
  • -PE and Outdoor activities was what most parents reported their child liked best about school
  • -Irish and Maths was what most parents reported their child liked least about school
  • -The area of Literacy of greatest challenge to their child were, in order, Spellings, then Oral Language and finally Writing.

Staff Reflections and Checklists:

Working well:

  • -Sharing of expertise / resources among staff
  • -Phonics, Junior and Middle room get great grounding
  • -End of Year Assessment and clear recording of results, great aid for teacher, AFL, showing baseline for the new year
  • -‘Aistear’ Programme in the Junior Room

Areas for Improvement:

  • -Oral Language, not structured and we have big numbers of children with Speech and Language Disorder.
  • -Comprehension, approach is not structured and consistent throughout the school
  • -Spelling, dissatisfied with many of spelling books, students seem to have learned strategies for filling in certain workbook activities but do not necessarily know the spellings outside of these activities. Decide on a new approach.
  • -Writing, First Steps for the Senior Room
  • -SALF, introduce Self Assessment Learning Folders.
  • -More whole school display of students’ written work.
  • 3.Progress made on previously-identified improvement targets:
  • All teachers are involved in cooperative teaching and all students are benefiting
  • The Reading Recovery Approach is being used with more students and more students are using the PM readers including the Junior Room.
  • We have succeeded in reducing the number of books that students’ parents have to buy.
  • Mimio service for all white boards (June 2014) has been completed so that multimedia is available to use as a tool.
  • 4.Summary of school self-evaluation findings

4.1 Our school has strengths in the following areas:

Team Teaching


  • Team-teaching during Literacy Hour in the Junior Room and for writing in the Middle Room is working well.
  • Students developed interpersonal skills and learned to work in groups.
  • Children reported that they like when there was more than one teacher in the class
  • Children were exposed to two teaching styles and all had access to support when needed.
  • Teacher development – sharing ideas, resources and learning from each other.

Areas for improvement:

  • Introduce Team-teaching activities in Literacy into the Senior Room.
  • Get in-service and / or In-school support regarding Cooperative Teaching to keep all teachers up-skilled in the area
  • Time for cooperative / collaborative planning. Use Croke Park hours for this purpose.

First Steps in Reading


  • First Steps in Reading and Writing were introduced in September 2012 following some of the teachers’ training in the area.
  • In September 2012, teachers had the opportunity to provide feedback on First Steps training received and a plan of areas to cover (and in which term) was given to each Class Teacher.
  • The School invested in the First Steps in Reading book as a resource.

Areas for improvement:

  • Ensure consistency throughout the school by sticking to the Termly plan.

Reading Recovery


  • Students involved are progressing at their own rate and are enjoying reading
  • Approach is being used with more students

Areas for improvement:

  • Investment in more PM readers or equivalent is necessary

Word of the Week:


  • Fun, meaningful approach to developing students’ spoken vocabulary

Area for improvement:

  • Encourage more use of ‘Word of the Week’ in written work
  • Extend to all classes
  • Differentiation for SEN students

4.2The following areas are prioritized for improvement:

  • Oral Language, a structured, whole school approach to developing Public Speaking skills
  • Comprehension skills
  • Approach to spellings
  • Writing genres in every class.
  • Review the English Policy

4.3The following legislative and regulatory requirements need to be addressed

Attainment of Curriculum Objectives (Learner outcomes)

Engagement in Learning (Learning Experiences)

Teaching Approaches (Teacher’s Practice)

  • (See Appendix A, pg. 64-67School Self Evaluation Guidelines for Primary Schools)


5.1 Related to Pupils’ Achievement

  • ØAll students will actively engage in a structured Oral Language Programme and begin to demonstrate observable improvements in oral language skills and behaviors as outlined in the Drumcondra English Profiles.
  • ØThere will be an improvement in Comprehension Test Scores at the end of the year.
  • ØStudents will apply and use spellings learned in their writing and this will be observed in their portfolio of work
  • ØStudents will try different genres of writing in the Senior Room

5.2 Required actions (related to teaching and learning that will help achieve the targets)

  • ØThe Drumcondra English Profile for Oral Language will be completed at the end of September 2014 and again in June 2015
  • ØAll Class Teachers will pilot a new Structured Oral Language Programme and actively engage in internal and external CPD in the area of oral language as appropriate eg. within staff, education centre courses, NCCA website, PDST website
  • ØEach teacher will commit to conducting discrete Oral Language lessons ¾ times per week.
  • ØContinued use of Cooperative teaching for Literacy lessons, extending it to different writing genres for the Senior Room (Class Teachers and Resource and Learning Support Teachers.
  • ØUse of Haddington Road Hours to plan and review.
  • ØAll Class Teachers will use SALF for every student in their class (requiring all children to monitor and reflect on their own learning).

5.3 Timeframe for action

  • ØSchool Year 2014-2015
  • ØReview and monitor of progress in February 2015 and June 2015

5.4 Success Criteria

  • ØSALF folders will show improved samples of work
  • ØEvery student will have at least 5 structured Oral Language Projects completed by the end of the year
  • ØAll students will see at least one piece of their own work displayed throughout the school during the year
  • ØImprovement in Comprehension scores in Diagnostic Reading Tests


Review Date: June 2015