School Self Evaluation

ScoilBhrídeStraffan N.S. School Self Evaluation (SSE)

In 2012, all primary schools in Ireland were asked to commence a process of School Self Evaluation (SSE). The SSE process provides a way for schools to systematically plan for, implement and monitor changes and improvements in aspects of practice that they have identified as priorities.

In the first phase, schools focused on teaching and learning and the SSE process helped them to identify aspects of provision that were strengths, as well as areas that required development. Between 2012 and 2016, the inspectorate engaged in ongoing dialogue with the education partners and sought feedback from schools on how the process was working and how it could be further developed for schools.

In 2016 a new SSE circular and resource materials were published to support schools in the second phase of SSE from 2016 to 2020.ScoilBhrídeStraffan NS fully participates in this Department of Education and Skills SSE initiative,by following the School Self Evaluation Guidelines 2016-2020, designed to support primary schools in their engagement with the second phase of SSE,andLooking at Our School 2016 – A Quality Framework for Primary Schools, a unified and coherent set of standards for two dimensions of the work of schools: teaching and learning and leadership and management.

School Self Evaluation – A Six Step Process:

SSE is a collaborative, inclusive, and reflective process of internal school review. It is an evidence-based approach that involves gathering information from a range of sources, and then making judgements. All of this is done with a view to bringing about improvements in students’ learning.

Step 1: Identify Focus:

In this step, schools should identify the focus for the inquiry

Step 2: Gather Evidence:

In this step, the types of evidence required will depend on the focus of the SSE and the domains and standards listed in the SSE Guidelines that the school has used to focus the evaluation. Evidence should be collected from a variety of sources, including teachers, learners, parents and school management.

Step 3: Analyse and Make Judgements:

In this step, the evidence collected in step 2 should be analysed. Schools should then use the statements of practice to make judgements on the aspects of provision that are already effective and identify those areas that need to be improved.

Step 4: Write and Share Report and Improvement Plan:

In this step, the school then prepares a short Report and Improvement Plan, based on the strengths and areas for improvement identified in step 3. The plan should detail the improvement targets and the actions that will help the school to bring about the improvements. A summary report and plan should be shared with the school community.

Step 5: Put Improvement Plan Into Action:

This is the most crucial part of the six-step process. This is where, individual teachers, subject departments and school leaders implement the agreed actions to bring about the desired improvement. This step will look different in every school and for evaluation.

Step 6: Monitor Actions and Evaluate Impact:

This step is closely linked to step 5. As the improvement plan is being put into action, the school monitors the actions as they are rolled out. It is important to consider the experiences of teachers and learners as well as the impact of the changes on learning. Sometimes, there may be evidence to suggest that the targets and actions need to be adjusted, reframed or amended. This is all part of the improvement process.

ScoilBhrídeStraffan NS School Self Evaluation – Where we are now:

In 2019, ScoilBhrídeStraffan NS identified Problem Solving and Mathematical Language in Numeracy as an area for improvement through the SSE process. The above steps were undertaken collaboratively, with pupils, parents and staff. We are currently working at Step 5 in ScoilBhrídeStraffan NS (March 2020).

Please see ScoilBhrídeStraffan NS School Improvement Plan 2019for further details.

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