What is School Self Evaluation?
School self-evaluation is a collaborative, inclusive, reflective process of internal school review. During school self-evaluation the principal, deputy principal and teachers, under the direction of the board of management and the patron and in consultation with parents and students, engage in reflective enquiry on the work of the school. When engaging in school self-evaluation, schools reflect on their aims, consider criteria for success within the school’s context and ethos and determine appropriate methods for judging the quality of educational provision in the school. It is an evidence-based approach which involves gathering information from a range of sources and making judgements with a view to bringing about improvements in students’ learning. In Spa N.S. the School Self Evaluation process has been used to address the following key questions with regard to important subject areas of the school’s work:
- How well are we doing?
- How do we know? What evidence do we have?
- How can we find out more?
- What are our strengths?
- What are our areas for improvement? How can we improve?
Why is School Self Evaluation important?
Teachers frequently reflect on their work and the learning that their students achieve. For many years, teachers and boards of management in Spa N.S. have used the school development planning process to identify what is working well in the school and what might be improved. School self-evaluation is a way in which this process of reflection, improvement and development can take place in a more systematic way. All schools are required to engage in systematic school self-evaluation from the 2012/13 school year onwards. The introduction of systematic school self-evaluation complements the implementation of the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy.
The School Self Evaluation Process
The process requires schools to gather evidence about teaching and learning practices, to analyse the evidence and to reflect on the findings in order to reach conclusions and to make judgements about their strengths and weaknesses. The school self-evaluation process and the school improvement plan needs be informed by assessment information, including information about literacy and numeracy, and other forms of evidence, such as the views of pupils and their engagement in learning and in school life. The school will record its own judgement about its performance and the quality of its work, in the form of a concise school self-evaluation report. As a result of the school self-evaluation process each school should produce a short school improvement plan. The plan shall contain specific and measurable targets to improve outcomes for learners. It should act as a guide for improving teaching and learning activities in the school. Summaries of the school self evaluation report and school improvement plans are made available to the whole-school community.
School Self Evaluation in Spa N.S.
In the 2012/13 school year, Spa N.S. started on the school self-evaluation process.
Each year since then, the teaching staff have
- Engaged in self-evaluation of teaching, learning and attainment in the selected area (literacy, numeracy and Gaeilge),
- Completed a self-evaluation report that identified strengths and areas for development in the area selected
- Devised a three-year school improvement plan for the selected area, which became part of the overall school plan
- Begun to implement the strategies outlined in the school improvement plan
- Monitored the implementation of the school improvement plan completed in the previous school year.
2012 / 2013:
We chose to focus on Literacy in Spa N.S. for our school self-evaluation. We completed a self-evaluation report on literacy in June 2013 and devised a school improvement plan that was completed in September 2013. Please find details on this process, the school’s evaluation report and school improvement plan on the ‘literacy’ web page.
2013 / 2014:
We chose to focus on Numeracyin Spa N.S. for our school self-evaluation. We completed a self-evaluation report on literacy in May 2014 and devised a school improvement plan that was completed in June 2014. Please find details on this process, the school’s evaluation report and school improvement plan on the ‘numeracy’ web page.
2014 / 2015:
We chose to focus on Gaeilge in Spa N.S. for our school self-evaluation. We are presently completing a self-evaluation report on Gaeilge and devising a school improvement plan that will be completed in June 2014. Full details on this process, the school’s evaluation report and school improvement plan will be posted on the ‘Gaeilge’ web page as they are finalised.