1.1 The focus of the evaluation
A school self-
1.2 School context
2. Test Findings
8% are performing between the 3rd and 16th percentiles and this is above the national norm of 14%.
26% of pupils are scoring above the national norm of 34%, with scores between the 17th and 50th percentiles.
66% of pupils are achieving scores above the 50th percentile, well above the national norm of 50%.
11½% achieved standard scores of 115 and above, thereby being placed in the top ⅙ of pupils, in the well above average range.
8⅓% scored between 108 and 114, in the high average range.
40½% scored between 93 and 107, in the average range.
18% scored between 85 and 92, in the low average range.
21% scored below 84, in the well below average range.
It is clear that improvement needs to take place regarding spellings on a whole-
3. Teacher observation
4. Pupils’ and parents’ responses
A questionnaire regarding attitudes and practices in literacy was filled in by parents and students alike.
85% of students from 1st to 6th class reported that they like writing English stories. 23% find learning spellings difficult. 26% prefer to learn spellings in sentences. 27% find it difficult to remember spellings after the test.
Among the suggestions from students, they would prefer spellings to be printed for them, they would like spelling games on the computer and are happy to continue with the look, say, cover, write, check method.
Infants’ parents: 90% like learning letter sounds. 81% require some help at home learning letters and sounds. 4½% are struggling with learning letters and sounds.
Parents from 1st to 6th class: 78% like learning English spellings. 90% are happy with the information they receive from school regarding their children’s progress in spelling. 81% know their child’s strengths in spelling. 4% feel their child is struggling with spelling.
Among their suggestions are:
Keep parents informed.
Make spelling fun, i.e. spelling games and bees.
Give out all spellings on a Monday.
Learn spellings in context.
Emphasise cursive writing.
Recommend additional reading for home.
5. Progress made on previously identified targets identified in the current SIP
N/A for year one as SIP not yet in place.
6. Summary of school self-
6.1 Our school has strengths in the following areas:
Presentation of work and cursive writing has improved in recent years and is still being developed.
6.2 The following areas have been prioritised for improvement:
School Improvement Plan – English Spelling
Standardised assessment data for English spelling was collated and analysed. A SCOT analysis was completed at a staff meeting. Questionnaires were given to parents. A survey of the children’s spelling habits and preferences were conducted. Further areas for concerns were highlighted. All of their data was analysed during Term one of the 2013-
academic year and detailed findings can be found in the School Self – Evaluation Report.
A strong support structure is in place for pupils.
A strong foundation in phonics is implemented in the school.
11½% of pupils achieved spelling scores in the well above average range.
78% of pupils from 1st to 6th class like learning English spellings.
No pupil is performing below the 2nd percentile in reading.
There is a strong pupil participation in the Reading Buddy Scheme, which enhances standards in recreational and personal reading.
Parents are happy with the information they receive from the school regarding their child’s progress in English spelling.
Areas for Improvement
Develop the children’s ability to spell accurately and transfer these skills to independent writing.
Develop vocabulary with particular emphasis in senior classes.
Make spelling fun.
Emphasise free writing.
Develop the writing process through various writing genres.
The school will continue to work towards and maintain an improvement in the school spelling scores when the Drumcondra Spelling Test is re-
These improvements will include:
13% of pupils achieving standard scores of 115 and above, over the 84th Percentile.
11% scoring between 108 and 114, 70th Percentile and above.
45% scoring between 93 and 107, 32nd Percentile and above.
15% scoring 85-
16% scoring below 84, the 14th Percentile and below.
• A whole school approach to the teaching of spellings will collaboratively agree following relevant research and discussions.
• The teaching staff will use a variety of strategies’ to effectively teach spelling.
• Independent writing will be further developed and encouraged at a whole -
In Junior Classes, this will be implemented through shared writing and the development of emergent writing projects, (pre-
In Senior Classes, through the implementation of the writing process and the extended inclusion of writing genres.
The children will use the following strategies in the junior classes to aid the development of independent writing and spelling. Senior Classes will also use a variety of spelling strategies to spell and learn new words in the context of Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check. Spellings will be learned individually and in context. Children will also benefit from fun spelling activities to reinforce classwork.
The children will use the following strategies in the junior classes to aid the development of independent writing and spelling.
Onset and rime awareness
Writing simple captions
Senior Classes -
Principal to arrange teachers to engage.
Review in March 2014
The Drumcondra spelling test was readministered to Classes 1-
These are the results shown:
1. Well above average: (S.S. 115 and above)
2. High average: (S.S. 108-
3. Average: (S.S. 93-
4. Low average: (S.S. 85-
5. Well below average: (S.S. below 84)
As regards the improvement targets set out in September, a target of 13% was set for pupil results above the 84th percentile. This achieved a 25.4% result.
11% was set for the 70th to 83rd percentiles. A result of 19.9% was achieved.
45% was set for the 32nd to 69th percentiles. A result of 37.5% was achieved.
15% was set for the 16th to 31st percentiles. A result of 9.5% was achieved.
16% was set for pupils at the 14th percentile and below. A result of 7% was achieved.
These results show a marked improvement in the spelling standards of Scoil Gharbháin pupils for the 2013-