Scoil Naomh Fiachra

School Improvement Policy (SIP)

Scoil Naomh Fiachra, Clontubrid

Scoil Naomh Fiachra



Roll No. 16865D

School Self Evaluation Report Literacy and Numeracy  

School Improvement Plan 2015

 Report Issue: November 2015

Please download SIP here.


  1. Introduction

A school self evaluation of teaching and learning in Scoil Naomh Fiachra, Clontubrid was undertaken during the academic year 2013/2014 and 2014/2015. The primary focus our school self evaluation process was on Literacy and Numeracy.



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

  • Individual teacher reviews of practice in Literacy and Numeracy.
  • Checklists
  • Whole school staff reflection on teaching and learning
  • Standardised test scores. (Micra-T and Sigma T )First – Sixth, administered in May annually) (Mist in Senior Infants)
  • Pupils work .
  • The Learning Support Teacher observations and records.
  • Pupil Questionnaires – first to sixth class.
  • Parental Questionnaires






  1. School Context

Scoil Naomh Fiachra is situated in Clontubrid in Lisdowney Parish in Co.Kilkenny. It is a four teacher school, serving the educational needs of the children of Clontubrid and environs. The school provides hurling and football to children after school. The school is well recognised as a digital school.

Patron:                                  Seamus Freeman

Chairperson:                       Paddy Delaney

Principal:                              Mr. Pat Robinson

SSE Coordinator     `           Ms. Sinead Brennan

Staff:                                     3 mainstream teachers

Shared Learning Support Teacher (15 hours) Shared with Muckalee National School.

Resource Teacher Hours:  3.4 hours.

Pupils 2015/2016:                       65

School Motto:                     Tá  onóir an Aois agus Uaisle an Óige

Website:                               www.

Green school:                     2 flags and pursuing the third flag.

Active Flag:                         Pursuing our first active flag.


  1. Findings of School Self Evaluation
  Literacy Numeracy
Preparation  For Teaching
  • Teachers prepare short and long term plans and use their plans to guide teaching and learning.
  • Learning outcomes and teaching approaches, activities and resources are identified in the plans.
  • Curriculum objectives and the school plan are used to devise long and short term plans by teachers.
  • Assessment tools and methodologies are detailed in  Teachers’ Planning Notes


  •  Teachers’ planning is based on the Maths Curriculum and an over reliance on text books is avoided.
  • Teachers are familiar with the curriculum for their classes throughout the school through the school plan.
  • Specific issues relating to multi- class situations are addressed when needed
  • Mental maths is encouraged across all the strands and is an integral component of each maths lesson


Teaching Approaches
  •  Teachers employ a wide variety of teaching methodologies appropriate to the development of oral language, reading, writing and digital media literacy.
  • Very good use is made of resources including ICT to support pupils in their learning.
  • Teachers differentiate lessons effectively to cater for the needs and abilities of all pupils.
  • Talk and Discussion is an integral part of Mathematics. Opportunities are provided for pupils to explain how they got the answer to a problem..
  • There is an agreed maths language across the school and teachers model the language to be used.
  • There is an agreed and common approach to the teaching of tables and number facts.
  •  There are agreed strategies outlined in the school plan and guide notes for the teaching of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
  • Mathematics games and concrete materials are regularly used in teaching maths.
  • ICT  programmes  such as Mathletics are used to support Maths lessons} .
  •  Additional texts are available in classrooms.


Management of Pupils Collaboration between class teachers and learning Support teachers takes place on a regular basis and team teaching/In class support is being used to support the development of Literacy.

·        A variety of organisational groupings and settings are used in classrooms to support Literacy.

·        A positive code of behaviour including an anti-bullying policy is implemented in a fair and consistent way.

·        Teachers have high but realistic expectations of pupil’s behaviour and learning and they communicate these to them.


Each class uses a variety of organisational styles –

·        Pair work,

·        Group work,

·        Individual work

·        Whole class work.


  • Teachers employ a large selection of assessment tools to assess learning in Literacy – observations, checklists, curriculum objectives, questioning, self-assessment, tests and standardised tests.
  • A screening test  (MIST) is used in Senior Infants to identify children at risk of reading failure.
  • The Micra-T standardised test is administered to all classes from first to sixth in May each year and results are reported to parents in the end of year report.
  • Various diagnostic tests are used to assess children if teachers have any concerns regarding individual children.


  • Teacher Observation: Class teacher observe pupil’s interaction, performance and participation in mathematical activities.
  • Homework Correction: Teachers observes pupils from other classes as they complete and correct maths tasks.
  • Teacher designed tasks and tests.
  • Oral Questioning and tests and tasks.
  • Written class based tests and tasks.
  • Concrete explanations / demonstrations using of concrete materials, pupils perform tasks.
  • Problem Solving exercises: Oral / written concrete.
  • 8 Work Samples; School Math’s copy, Homework math’s Copy.
  •  Feedback from parents.
  • Diagnostic Testing (LS Policy)
  • Table Tests (Friday Test).
  • Standardised Tests: Sigma –T May
  •  Halloween, Christmas, Mid-Term, Easter and Summer assessments from Junior Infants –Sixth Class .



Learning Environment
  • The print rich environment is evident around the school
  • The school is decorated with displays of pupils work.
  • There is an agreed approach to the teaching of handwriting. Cursive handwriting is used from 2nd class to 6th class.
  • The Reading culture in the school is well cultivated and maintained by a variety of reading activities/initiatives throughout the year.
  • Each class visits the mobile library every three weeks and they have access to their class library every day
  • ICT programmes such as Reading Eggs and Microsoft word is used to support children’s reading and writing .


  • The school is a safe stimulating environment and classrooms and the building in general is organised, clean and well maintained. Classrooms are appropriately laid out and maths resources are stored together.
  • Teachers are aware of and follow the school’s Child Protection Guidelines.
  • The school environment is used to provide opportunities for mathematical problem solving and creating an awareness of number , maths trails.
Pupil’s Engagement with learning
  • Pupils at all class levels are actively engaged in their learning and the level of pupil interest and participation is high.
  • Pupils report that they enjoy a variety of activities in English lessons – reading, writing stories and .   Teachers report that some pupils have poor conversational skills, lacking vocabulary or correct language and giving only one word answers.


  • 53 % percent of pupils from first to sixth reported that they like Maths
  • Pupils reported that they enjoy a variety of maths lessons and 35 % of children find maths problems and mental maths the hardest.
  • 42% reported they were good at maths,
Parental Involvement
  • Parents are very supportive of school Literacy initiatives.
  • The Literacy Plan is available to parents.  Parents are encouraged to support their child’s reading through listening to reading for homework and shared reading.
  • High percent of parent questionnaires were returned from parents of pupils.
  • Overall parents are happy with how maths is being taught but numerous parents requested a parent’s night where teachers would explain to them the new methods of teaching maths such as the subtraction method.


4.a)  Our school has strengths in the following areas with regard to Literacy

  • Overall, pupils have a positive attitude towards literacy. They enjoy writing stories and typing them up to display their work.
  • Reading attainment is in line with national norms as evidenced by analysis of the standard results.
  • A spiral approach is used throughout the school in reading, for example the use of reading eggs is used throughout the school. Wonderland English Scheme is used throughout the school.
  • A variety of writing genres are taught throughout the school. In the Middle and Senior Room genres are split up between the 10 months of school year and there’s equal emphasis put on each strand.
  • Scoring above the national norms in Literacy .


Whole School Micra -T Comparison with National Norms – Bar Chart  2014-2015


Percentile Band Normal Distribution
3rd-16th 4
17th-50th 29
51st-84th 41
85th-98th 25
99th-100th 0





Whole School Micra-T Comparison with National Norms – Bell Curve 2014-2015


4.b)Our school has strengths in the following areas with regard to Numeracy

  • Changes brought about by The Literacy and Numeracy Strategy are being implemented.
  • Teachers prepare short and long term plans to guide teaching and learning.
  • Teachers employ a wide variety of teaching methodologies appropriate to the development of numeracy and covers all strands.
  • Teachers differentiate the lessons effectively to cater for the needs and abilities of all pupils. Collaboration between Class Teachers and Support Teachers takes place and team teaching/In class support is being used to support the development of Numeracy.
  • A wide selection of assessment tools are employed to assess learning in Numeracy, such as teacher designed tests and tasks, work samples, standardised tests, observations, work samples etc.
  • Displays and interactive maths displays are used to support Maths learning
  • Pupils at all classes are actively involved in their learning and the level of pupil interest and participation is high.
  • Parents are very supportive of Numeracy activities. Parents are encouraged to support their child’s maths by using Maths eyes in the home and encourage use of Mathletics at home.
  • Sigma T Assessments reveal we are scoring above the national norms in Numeracy.


Sigma -T Results 2015

The standardised Sigma-T  Assessment results for June 2015  are as follows;

  • 2% of pupils were scoring in the 3rd-16th percentile=(Normal Distribution 14%)
  • 18 % of pupils were scoring in the 17th-50th percentile= (Normal distribution 34% )
  • 40 of pupils were scoring in the 51st-84th percentile  =   (Normal distribution 34%  )
  • 28% of pupils were scoring in the 85th 98th percentile= (Normal distribution  14% )
  • 12 % of pupils were scoring in the 99th-100th percentile= (Normal distribution  2%  )


Whole School Sigma-T Comparison with National Norms – Bell Curve  2014-2015


 Whole School Sigma-T Comparison with National Norms – Bar Chart  2014-2015


Percentile Band Normal Distribution
3rd-16th 2
17th-50th 18
51st-84th 40
85th-98th 28
99th-100th 12



Numeracy : Distribution by Skill


Skill 0-2nd 3rd-16th 17th-50th 51st-84th 85th-98th 99th-100th UAR/OAR
Computations & Procedures 0 0 24 56 18 2 0
Concepts and Facts 0 2 8 64 24 2 0
Problem Solving 0 0 52 40 8 0 0











  1. School Improvement Plan: Initiatives to Improve Literacy & Numeracy
  Literacy Numeracy
Year 1 o   Improvements in Oral Language and fluency and development of the expressive capacity of children.


o   Problem Solving Resource Cards will be used in middle and Senior Rooms and resources will be bought for Junior Room to aid problem solving.
o   Specific oral language skills are to be taught and practiced and timetabled. o   Dedicated problem solving time allocated on timetable for problem solving each week.


o   Oral language will be given as homework in 6   week blocks.


o    Oral comprehension for homework once a week.


o   Whole school strategy on how to teach problem solving implemented in middle and senior room. (RUCSAC)Read Underline, Choose, Solve, Answer , Check
o   An outside drama teacher will come in to develop children’s oral language skills o   Agreed language used across all areas of Numeracy
o   The development of vocabulary in all classes, with a focus on 3rd class to 6th class to use a wide range of tools such as a thesaurus, personal dictionary or online dictionary.


o   Open Night for Parents: Provision of information by class teacher outlining classroom activities and strategies to develop numeracy. This will be based on a questionnaire given to parents.
o   Aistear will be implemented in the Junior Room


o   Learning Support Teacher taking 4th class for Maths 3 days a week.
o   Use discretionary time once a month for oral language games.


o   ICT used to support Numeracy.


o   Debating in class once a month.


o   Participation in Maths week, Maths Eyes, Maths quiz, Maths trail etc.
o   Present stories, poems etc to different audiences once a month,


Year 2 o   All the above is being continued in year 2 except we didn’t feel the drama teacher met our needs so in the last term we are getting a “Speech and Language teacher”  to focus specifically on speech and language


o   In the Junior Room Charlie the travelling teddy will be introduced to the class, each child will get to bring him home and write what they did with him and then they bring him back into school and give an oral report on what they did with Charlie.
o   Literacy Power Hour with in class support will be done termly from the Junior Infants to third class to support early intervention.
o   Graded Readers purchased and used during Literacy Power Hour to boost reading levels and for early intervention.