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You are here Parents Report on Teaching & Leaning (June 2007)

Report to BOM on Teaching and Learning June 2007

The 2006/2007 school year was a very busy but enjoyable one for the staff, parents and children.

Building Self-Esteem:
The school has been quite successful this year in building up the self-esteem of pupils through a variety of initiatives such as the Pupil of the Week Award, the Gymnastics Programme, the Positive Behaviour Trip, the Paired Reading Programme and in particular through the friendliness, warmth and genuine care shown by all the staff of the school to the pupils and to each other. Programmes to build the self-esteem of pupils will continue next year with particular attention given to programmes to foster anti-bullying in the school. Anti-bullying workshops will be arranged for all children in fourth, fifth and sixth classes.

Money raised from the Halloween Walk enabled pupils in third, fourth and fifth classes to take part in the very enjoyable “Singfest Programme” where two highly motivated music teachers together with four dedicated and enthusiastic class teachers taught a wide variety of songs to the pupils. This culminated in a wonderful performance in Clonard, Wexford in February. This programme was part funded by County Wexford Arts Department.

Homework Club:
The school’s Homework Club was started after midterm and it catered for 42 pupils immediately after school for an hour. Miss Dunne, Miss Kennedy, Miss Spruhan, Miss Keane and two parents Siobhán Moore and Éilis Healy ran the club. Pupils were given a snack and a drink and helped with homework on Mondays to Thursdays. This was a particularly successful programme and will start again early in September. There is already a waiting list to join the club!

Induction Night for Parents of Junior Infants:
The parents of next year’s junior infants came to an induction night on 3rd May when they were given activity packs to work with their children. This programme asked parents to work through four different activity packs with their children before the end of June. The packs covered a wide variety of pre-reading activities which would prepare children for school. The response of parents to date has simply been terrific. Parents have expressed their thanks to the school and especially to Miss O’Meara who spent months putting together four different packs for over 40 new pupils. Patricia Garvin from Wexford Area Partnership will run courses on how to get the best use (and fun) from such activity packs and address other school related issues early next school year.

Paired Reading:
One very successful programme started this year was called “Paired Reading”. Mrs. Edel Kearney worked with the teachers to ensure that all children in the junior classes were listened to read every day at school. This is one of the programmes undertaken to raise literacy standards in the school. The success of this project has prompted the teachers to explore the possibility of using adult volunteers from the community to do a similar programme with the older pupils next year.

Upgrade of Computer Room:
Bunclody Community Resources gave the school a grant of €20,000 and together with a grant of €10,000 from the Board of Management the school upgraded the Computer Room with a new server, laser printer and 19 new computers. A projector and wall screen have recently been installed. Lucy Fortune has been working with the junior classes teaching them word processing skills and will continue the programme to include all classes as time permits next year. The official re-opening of the Computer Room will take place in September.

The school appointed Mr. Eamonn Scallan as Home School Community Liaison (HSCL) last February. Eamonn works to build up relationships between home and school and to meet the needs of parents. This is an exciting new development as it enables to school to develop meaningful relationships with the parents and provides a contact person for parents who will visit them or meet them out of school hours.

Madame Malone was appointed during the year to teacher French to the fifth and sixth classes. French is taught under the Modern European Languages initiative through the Department of Education and Science. This project will continue again next year.

One major area of concern to teachers is the poor attendance levels of some children. Although 135 children were awarded Good Attendance Certificates this year there were 51 children reported to the National Education Welfare Board having missed 20 days or more. The school will appoint an Attendance Secretary next year who with the HSCL will specifically help these children to attend school regularly.

Literacy & Numeracy:
Teachers have worked very hard to raise literacy and numeracy standards in the school within their own classrooms or support rooms. The coordination and streamlining of support teaching this year has greatly contributed to meeting the needs of children. As part of the school’s policy on assessment the results of the standardised tests in Mathematics and Reading held in May each year were posted to parents. This will enable parents to closely monitor the progress of their children. It will also help pupils to become more involved in taking responsibility for their own education.

All pupils are encouraged to do their best. Teachers differentiated work to a much greater degree this year to meet the needs of their pupils. The school is anxious to support pupils in every way who need additional help but teachers are also very conscious of the need for the brightest pupils to achieve academic excellence. Pupils who have the ability to achieve the best are encouraged and supported to attain top grades.

The school has an experienced and dedicated Support Team which in close cooperation with the parents worked with great patience to meet the needs of targeted children. The school is aware that the raising of literacy and numeracy standards of many of these children is a slow and gradual process. Even the smallest steps are significant and worthy of note. This is the first year where the Support Team had access to significant funding and this continued funding is crucial in identifying and targeting children in danger of early school leaving. The school has been able to put in place a number of screening tests to help identify the needs of children as early as possible.

Sporting Activities:
Pupils took part in various sporting activities during the year, pupils from second class to sixth class attended swimming lessons in the Waterfront Pool in Enniscorthy, football and hurling skills were taught by George Rankin and Mr. Roberts, tag rugby was taught to fifth and sixth classes by Ken Leech from Enniscorthy Rugby Club, Rackard League Camogie was coached by Miss Dunne and Miss Doyle and a very well supported volleyball league ran during the winter months. A soccer league for the senior classes is currently underway and pupils will compete in the annual swimming gala in Enniscorthy on 21st June.

Language Support:
This year the school appointed a language support teacher for the year. Miss Flynn has made a significant contribution in helping non-English speaking pupils to acquire English and to settle into our school. The teachers really appreciate the contribution made by Marzena Szabla, Kate Lorens-Kuchta and Gabriela Frajdlova who helped to interpret for the school at parent/teacher meetings, the induction night and various times when parents called to the school.

Parents Council:
The teachers appreciate the contribution made by the Parents Council to the school. It has facilitated the passing on of the views of the parents to the principal, helped in the formulation of school policies, worked to change the school tracksuit, helped with preparations for the sacraments, successfully lobbied Wexford County Council to upgrade the road markings on Hospital Hill, ran a successful Book Fair and supported parents in the education of their children. A very profitable Bring & Buy was organised by the Parents Council in May this year.

Green Schools:
Pupils were involved in the Green Schools Project this year. The local committee was set up and several projects undertaken. The school took part in the annual clean up of the area in conjunction with Wexford County Council helped by volunteer parents and neighbours of the school. The school is now ready to apply for the Green Schools Flag.

Guest Speakers:
The school once again used the services of Mrs Therese Fennessey to cover the sexuality section of the RSE programme for 4th, 5th and 6th classes. She met with the parents and pupils at night and spoke to the pupils in fourth class during the day.

Transition Programme:
The Sixth class pupils took part in a mentoring programme called “The MAGIC Programme” – Mentoring, Awareness, Guidance, Information and Consultation - during May and June. Four trained mentors talked with the pupils once a week for 6 weeks on issues relating to transferring to secondary level. All sixth class pupils spent a day in Bunclody Vocational College on 23rd November where they found out what a day in secondary school was like. Students also attended the FCJ Secondary School’s open day.

Inservice Days:

October 17th Planning Day – representatives from Parents Council, the teachers, secretary and SNAs all attended a presentation by Mairéad Hennessey from School Planning & Development. During this day the school was informed about the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) Programme, drew up measures to tackle educational disadvantage, composed a three year plan and drew up measures to improve literacy and numeracy standards in the school. School policies were also prioritised for review and compilation.

November 8th Drama Day – on this day the teachers attended County Wexford Education Centre to be informed about the revised Drama programme.

December 8th – School based planning day for Drama

March 9th SESE – teachers attended County Wexford Education Centre to be informed about the integration of History, Geography and Science under SESE.

March 28th – teachers met in the school to draw up plans in relation to the guidelines received on March 9th

May 18th – teachers met to compile a policy on Drama.

Board of Management:
The teachers thank the Board for the continued support of teaching and learning in the school. They thank the Board for the upkeep and maintenance of the school which helps to create an atmosphere favourable to learning.