School Self-Evaluation

Literacy 2013 – 2016

Report [June 2014.]

  1. 1.      Introduction

1.1.Focus of the Evaluation:

School self-evaluation of teaching and learning is part of the ongoing work of Saint Laurence’s N.S. The focus of school self-evaluation for 2013/2014 is literacy. This was identified, in part by our W.S.E. report and by tracking outcomes for both literacy and numeracy (Standardised test results) over the past three years. All pupils from first to sixth classes are assessed, including all pupils with special education needs. A number of strategies have been introduced over recent years to address the gap between attainment levels in literacy and numeracy.

1.2  School Context:

Saint Laurence’s is a rural, mixed primary school under catholic patronage. There are currently 336 pupils (181 boys and 155 girls), twelve class teachers, an administrative principal, two resource and two learning support teachers along with a part time learning support teacher. Two SNAs cater for the needs of resource pupils also. There is strong parental support for teaching and learning, a factor that is acknowledged as having a positive effect on pupil attainment levels and on pupils’ attitudes to learning.

  1. 2.      Findings:


Learner Outcomes:

  • Pupil standardised test scores for literacy indicate that STen scores for reading are above national norms for the most part. 32% of children are performing above the 85th percentile. The number of children in 1st to the 16th percentile is below the national norm. However it is a cause of concern that scores at Sten 6 & 7 are somewhat below the national norm. Addressing this will be a priority for us.
  • Our W.S.E. report advised that greater emphasis should be placed on the teaching and development of specific reading and oral language skills
  • Teachers report that attainment trends in reading are at a high level and that children enjoy engaging with comprehension strategies which are explicitly taught at all class levels.
  • Pupil questionnaires show that 89% of pupils enjoy reading.
  • Teachers report that listening and oral language require attention.
  • Teachers report that pupils use their literacy skills competently in their learning of all curriculum areas.

Learner Experiences:

  • Pupil questionnaire results show 87% of pupils assessed themselves as being good readers.
  • 72% of pupils report that they are members of a local library.
  • Teachers report that pupils are given purposeful and frequent opportunities to engage in collaborative and cooperative learning particularly during team teaching sessions
  • Teachers agree that pupils are involved in monitoring their own progress in learning and self-assessment opportunities are engaged in frequently
  • Teachers report that pupils are provided with frequent, access to ICT and are enabled to use it to present and illustrate their work, access and retrieve information, organise and produce information,express ideas, and to develop, support and extend their learning. However as ICT is forever changing we feel there is room for improvement in this area.



Teacher Practices:

  • Teachers report that pupils read a variety of print text with fluency.
  • Teachers report that digital media is an area to which pupils are not adequately exposed.
  • Teachers report that pupils use the comprehension skills that are explicitly taught.
  • Teachers agreed that the assessment of Oral Language skills needs to be addressed
  1. 3.      Progress made in previously-identified improvement targets:

N/A as this is the first year of the process

  1. 4.      Summary of school self-evaluation findings:


4.1 Strengths:


  • Attainment levels in literacy are above national norms for the most part.
  • Pupils display very positive attitudes towards all aspects of literacy.
  • Reading comprehension skills are explicitly taught at all class levels.
  • Pupils use their literacy skills competently in their learning of all curriculum areas.
  • Pupils are exposed to a wide variety of reading texts.

4.2 Areas for Improvement:

  • Outcomes for oral language need to be further explored and agreed at whole school level and used to facilitate progression.
  • The teaching of discrete oral language needs to be further developed throughout the school.
  • The assessment of Oral Language skills needs to be addressed
  • Need for greater use of digital media.


4.3 The following legislative and regulatory requirements need to be addressed:


  • See appended checklist: