You are here Parents Report on Teaching & Leaning (June 2009)
Report on Teaching and Learning June 2009
This year has been a very successful and enjoyable year for the school with a number of memorable events taking place. The dramatic rise in standards in Numeracy achieved last year have been maintained and indeed improved upon, the school continued teaching musical instruments to second, third, fourth and fifth classes, our new library opened and was manned by volunteers from Parents Council, the school continued to provide a counselling service in the school for pupils, a very successful Readathon took place and a very successful and enjoyable Christmas Concert was held in the school.
The school has been quite successful again this year in building up the self-esteem of pupils through a variety of initiatives such as the Pupil of the Week Award,pupils performing / singing at weekly assembly, the Gymnastics Programme for Infants & First Classes, the All-Ireland Talent Show Competition, Summer Activities, the Bullying Awareness Workshops for all classes run in association with Red Moon Theatre, the Counselling Programme, the various sporting activities, the Christmas Concert 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.
(All Ireland Talent Show Winners 2009)
More Able & Talented Programme:
Our school decided to implement a More Able & Talented Programme to provide the support, inspiration, encouragement and information learners need to help them maximise their gifts and talents, whatever they may be. This is not a programme for the tiny percentage of our school population seen as exceptionally gifted but a programme which identifies the most capable pupils we have in each class and puts measures in place to meet their needs. They will be varied and many: research, collaborative writing, creative writing, coding & cryptography, mind mapping, differentiated classroom work, taking part in competitions such as World Class Maths & World Maths Day, table quizzes, additional work at weekends (not traditional homework!), presentations at assembly, music performances on occasions such as concerts, meetings, church services etc (if appropriate), taking part in sports and other projects targeted to meet the needs of the pupil. The programme will begin in September 2009.
Money raised by the Parents Council and funds from the local community funded the teaching of musical instruments to pupils in second, third, fourth and fifth classes. The musicians played at our Christmas Mass in the school and played in the church for First Holy Communion and will play at the end of year Mass. They also played in the Church of the Most Holy Trinity the Sunday before St. Patrick's Day. The music teacher Mrs. Dunbar will continue to widen the range of musical instruments taught - tin whistle, flute, keyboard, accordion and percussion.
The school's Homework Club was started in October and ran until the end of May. It catered for over 40 pupils immediately after school for an hour. Miss Dunne, Miss Porter, Mrs. Ryan, Bean Uí Mhaoláin, Miss Kennedy, Annamarie Maher (SNA), Bernie Hickey (SNA) and Edel Kearney (SNA), Helen Tobin (secretary) 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. This programme is coordinated by Ms Bríd O'Meara our HSCL.
A very successful Readathon organised by the school's Parents Council and sponsored by Byrne's World of Wonder and individual parents was held in January & February. The Junior Infants won the prize for reading most books during the month long Readathon when a total of 2,994 books were read in four weeks, more than exceeding the target of 1,000 books set for the pupils by Parents Council. The Readathon raised a fantastic €3,500 in sponsorship. The school really appreciates the work of the Parents Council who volunteers to run the computerised administrative side of the library which tracks all readers.
Bullying Awareness Workshops:
Red Moon Theatre from Wexford ran bullying awareness workshops in the school in January. The programme was very well received by both pupils and teachers. The programme was tailored to meet the needs of the pupils and covered the topic of bullying by text messages which was highlighted in the news recently.
Literacy & Numeracy:
As part of the school's policy on assessment the results of the standardised tests in Mathematics and Reading held in May each year are posted to parents. This enables parents to closely monitor the progress of their children. It also helps pupils to become more involved in taking responsibility for their own education. The results are included in the End of Year Report. This report has been modified since last year to give a more holistic view of each pupil.
Following substantial improvements in the standard of Mathematics as shown by the results of the standardised tests last year the streaming of pupils for Mathematics was continued again this year. The improvements made last year were maintained and indeed improved upon. One especially pleasing aspect of the programme was that practically all pupils in Support for Mathematics showed improvements with several pupils achieving well enough to return to their own class level while at the same time our highest achievers continued to excel.
Following upon the success of streaming for Mathematics the school will stream pupils for literacy during 2009/2010. Examination of pupils' reading scores show a very wide range of abilities within any one class e.g. from below a reading age of 9 years to above a reading age of 15 years in one class. This wide range of abilities makes it very difficult to cater for the more able pupils and the weaker pupils in the class at the one time. Streaming pupils into groups broadly along similar reading ages will we hope, allow the school to meet the needs of all pupils.
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. This is the third 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. The Support Team employed the services of an occupational therapist to work with children who had difficulties with hand writing.
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 Hurley, Mr. Roberts, George Rankin and Ann Reddy and a very well supported volleyball league ran during the winter months. A soccer league for the senior classes is currently underway and pupils competed in the annual swimming gala in Enniscorthy on 12 th June. The school also took part in the FAI 5-aside Competitions in Gorey during May with one team getting to the final. A very enjoyable Sports Day was held on Tuesday 9th June. Parents, volunteers from local sports clubs, transition year students from the FCJ Secondary School and friends of the school all helped on the day and medals were sponsored and presented by Joe & Catherine O'Reilly of SuperValu Supermarket, Carrigduff.
This year the school again appointed a fulltime language support teacher for the year. Miss Porter 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 also made by Marzena Szabla who helped to interpret for the school at parent/teacher meetings and various times when parents called to the school.
The teachers really appreciate the very significant 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, helped with preparations for the sacraments, helped at Christmas concert, worked to ensure a safe access route was provided by Wexford County Council to the school, organized the library and supported parents in the education of their children. A very profitable Readathon and Annual Draw raised €6500 for the school.
WOW - 'Walk on Wednesdays' was introduced in the school under the Green Schools Programme where pupils and parents were encouraged to walk to school on Wednesdays. Special green stickers were awarded to pupils who participated in the programme by members of the Green Schools Committee. The school also introduced a wide range of measures to cut the amount of energy used in the school as part of the programme.
Congratulations to the winners of the school's chess competition - Paddy Dunbar, Orlaith Breen and Eli Byrne. Runners up were - Cathal Dunbar, Thomas Tobin and Krystof Machel. The chess club ran after school each Friday. The school sincerely thanks all the parents who ran the very successful club.
The school continued to install interactive whiteboards in classrooms this year. This was possible due to the continued financial support given to the school from the generosity of parents and the local community.
Staff continued to up skill and improve their knowledge during the year. Individual teachers undertook many courses at night in their own time but the staff also received training on the Stay Safe Programme, Peer Tutoring, Reading Recovery, First Steps Writing Programme and the Ready Set Go! Maths Programme.
The school arranged a Drug & Alcohol Awareness Presentation for pupils and parents during April by Tony O'Carroll. The session for sixth class pupils ran during the day and a session for parents was held at night. This is part of the school's Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) Programme. County Wexford Fire Service visited the school as part of the SPHE Programme.
Miss O'Meara began as our fulltime Home School Community Liaison Teacher in October. Some of the projects organised and managed by her included the Maths For Fun, a Buddy System for International Parents, a Gardening Project, an English Language Group for International Parents and a project for parents involved with Preschool. Some of the projects for next year include Maths For Fun, Story Sacks, Homework Help, Gardening, First Aid, an Attendance Initiative, Craft Activities and Social Skills Classes.
Touch, Type, Read & Spell:
This computer aided course started in the school this year and takes a multi-sensory approach to teaching reading and spelling. The pupil hears the words pronounced and sees the words displayed before typing. The course has proven to build confidence, self-esteem and motivation in the pupils whilst teaching typing skills. Ten pupils took part in the programme run by Mrs. Ryan. It is particularly effective for pupils who have Dyslexia.
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.