School Self Evaluation

St. Catherine’s Senior Girls’ N.S.

Ratoath Road


Dublin 7


School self-evaluation summary report for school community

Evaluation period: September 2021 to June 2022

Report issue date: September 2021

Summary School Self-Evaluation Report

1. Introduction

St. Catherine’s Senior N.S. is an all-girls senior school. 

  • In the school year 2021-22 we have 170 students.
  • We have 14 teachers including S.E.T. and HSCL.
  • We have three full-time SNAs.

We have a number of programmes operating in the school including (eg DEIS, HSCL, music / running club/ homework club etc).  Our attendance levels are very good. For more information on how we intend to improve our pupils’ learning, please see our School Improvement Plan which is available on this website.   

1.1  The focus of the evaluation

We undertook a school self-evaluation of teaching and learning during the year. In line with Circular: 0032/2021 our focus remains on Numeracy, Literacy and Physical Education.  We chose these because we felt that our pupils could improve their learning outcomes in these areas.  We also chose them in response to the National Strategy to Improve Literacy & Numeracy among children & young people 2011 – 2020 and the D.E.S. Wellbeing Policy Statement and Framework for Practice 2018-2023.

This report summarises the strengths that were identified and the areas that have been prioritised for improvement.

2. Summary of school self-evaluation findings

We collected information from parents, pupils and teachers in preparing this report.  We looked at how well our pupils were doing in Numeracy, Literacy and Physical Education.  We also gathered evidence, analysed test results and had questionnaires completed by some pupils, teachers and parents.

2.1 We found that our school has strengths in the following areas:

All teachers in our school stated that their plans clearly indicated expected learning outcomes and differentiated as necessary to cater for the varying learning needs and abilities of pupils in the classroom.

Pupils in our school have average scores in Drumcondra Primary Reading Tests and Sigma-T Mathematics tests.

Pupils performed best in the strands of Algebra, Number and Shape and Space in May 2018.

The majority of parents of pupils in our P.E. focus group agree that their child is doing well at P.E. and they stated that they are familiar with the various activities in P.E. as per the curriculum.

All pupils in this focus group stated that they like P.E.

Our school report cards reflect the requirements of the standard report cards approved by the NCCA and parents receive information about how their child is doing in all subject areas.

We know these are our strengths because we have analysed test results and gathered evidence from pupils’, parents’ and teachers’ questionnaires.

2.2 We have decided to prioritise the following areas for development:

Areas for development
– Improve pupils’ attainment in the area of measures in Mathematics.

– Improve pupils’ attainment in the area of vocabulary in English.

– Having gained the Active School Flag we will continue with the additional activities taken on during the Active School programme.

– Improve overall fitness by completing a ‘Daily Mile’ in the junior classes and ‘Marathonkids’ in the senior classes.

– All classes to use the Active Walkway once a term.

We have decided to prioritise these areas after analysing the evidence gathered.

Appendix to Primary School Self-Evaluation Report:

legislative and regulatory checklist – reporting to the school community

Rules and regulations for schools are set out in a number of Education Acts, and in Circulars issued to schools from time to time by the Department of Education and Skills. The list below deals with important areas of school life and tells you what rules and regulations apply to them. You will find the Acts and Circulars mentioned on the Department’s website,
Which area of school life is involved, and what are the regulations? Is the school following the regulations fully?
The school calendar and the school timetable Circular 11/95 sets down the length of the school year – minimum of 183 days Circular 11/95 sets down the length of the school day 5 hours 40 minutes (1st– 6th classes)  Yes       
Parent/ teacher meetings and staff meetings Circular 14/04 sets out the arrangements for these meetings  Yes 
Implementation of agreement regarding additional time in school for teachers Circular 0008/2011 requires teachers to do an additional 36 hours of out-of-class work each year, so as not to reduce teaching time  Yes 
Standardisation of school year Circular 034/2011 gives the dates for school holidays  Yes 
Valid enrolment of pupils Sections of the Education Act 1998 and the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, and the Rules for National Schools set out the conditions for pupils to be validly enrolled in a school  Yes 
Pupils repeating a year The circumstances in which pupils may repeat a year are set out in Rules for National Schools, and circulars 11/01 and 32/03  Yes 
Development of school plan Section 21, Education Act 1998 requires all schools to have a school plan  Yes 
Engagement with SSE process Circular 39/2012 outlines the school self-evaluation process and what it requires of schools  Yes 
Time for literacy and numeracy – assessing and reporting literacy and numeracy achievement Circular 56/2011 sets out initial actions required in the implementation of the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy  Yes 
Exemption from Irish Circular 12/96 sets out the circumstances in which children are exempt from studying Irish  Yes
Implementation of child protection procedures
Circular 0065/2011 and the Child Protection Guidelines oblige schools to ensure that: liaison persons have been appointed; the procedures have been communicated to the whole school community; and the procedures are being followed
Implementation of complaints procedure as appropriate Section 28 Education Act 1998 provides for procedures to address complaints about a school.  Yes    Complaints have been resolved or are being resolved
Appeals in the case of refusal to enrol students,
suspension and expulsion (permanent exclusion)
Section 29 Education Act 1998 provides for appeals procedures in these cases, which are dealt with first of all by the school. Where cases are not resolved at school level, an external appeals committee hears the appeal and makes a decision.
 Yes    Appeals have been dealt with or are being dealt with

Appendix to Primary School Self-Evaluation Report:

policy checklist – reporting to the school community

Schools are required to have certain policies in place as part of their permanent school plan. It is good practice for schools to consult with the school community in forming and reviewing many of these policies. The school board of management has to approve and ratify policies, and should ensure that they are reviewed on a regular basis.
What area of school life does the policy deal with and
what is the aim of the policy?
Has policy been approved by the board of management?
Enrolment policy Section (15)(2)(d) Education Act1998 obliges schools to have and publish an enrolment policy that respects the principles of equality and parental choice  Yes  
Code of behaviour Section 23, Education (Welfare) Act 2000, and the 2008 National Educational Welfare Board Guidelines set out regulations and good practice for schools to
follow in drawing up and implementing a code of behaviour
Anti-bullying policy Anti-bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-primary Schools, 2013 sets out regulations and good practice for schools to follow in drawing up and implementing an anti-bullying policy  Yes 
Attendance and participation strategy Section 22 Education Welfare Act 2000 requires schools to develop a strategy to support high levels of pupil attendance and participation in school life  Yes 
Health and safety statement All schools should have a health and safety statement that is regularly reviewed (see Section 20 Health and Safety Act 2005)  Yes 
Data protection School procedures relating to gathering, storing and sharing data on pupils should comply with data protection legislation – Data Protection Act 1988 Data Protection (Amendment Act) 2003  Yes 
Internet acceptable use policy Schools should have and implement a policy to instruct pupils on safe and responsible use of the internet.See for guidelines  Yes 
Special education needs policy Various pieces of equality and education legislation, especially the Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act (EPSEN) 2004,
require schools to be inclusive of pupils with special educational needs and to provide for them appropriately using the resources available
Relationships and sexuality education (RSE) policy Schools are required to have an RSE policy and to implement it in line with Relationships and Sexuality Education: Policy Guidelines (1997)  Yes 
Substance use policy The National Drugs Strategy and Department Guidelines require schools to develop and implement a policy on substance use, in partnership with
parents and other agencies
Child protection policy Circular 0065/2011 sets out requirements (see above for details of policy and
Parents as partners Circular 24/91 requests schools to set up a parents’ association, and promotes partnership between home and school School has a core group of active parents who help with fundraising etc.; the school promotes partnership between home and school.
Deployment of special needs assistants Circular 71/11 allows for SNAs to be deployed flexibly to respond to the needs of the school  Yes 

School Improvement Plan

Evaluation period: September 2021 – June 2022

Plan issue date: September 2021

Summary school improvement plan

1. Introduction

 1.1 The focus of the evaluation

 As part of our ongoing work in the school, we conducted a school self-evaluation of teaching and learning this year. We evaluated vocabulary as part of our literacy programme.  For more information on how the evaluation took place, please see our School Self-Evaluation Report which is available on this website. This school improvement plan sets out the actions that we will undertake in the school over the next three years in literacy.  The main purpose of these actions is to improve our pupils’ learning. 

2. Summary of school self-evaluation findings

 2.1 Our school has strengths in the following areas:

All teachers timetable one discrete Oral Language lesson per week with a focus on vocabulary development.

Power Hour takes place four days a week in 2nd Class (to resume when Covid restrictions allow).

Each pupil uses a vocabulary dictionary to keep a record of new vocabulary learned.

Teachers use a variety of approaches and strategies in the teaching of vocabulary to cater for differentiation.

Teachers meet and report pupil progress to parents.

We know this because we consulted with pupils, parents, and teachers and examined test results and in the school. 

2.2 Our school has decided to prioritise the following areas of development:

Areas for development
 To improve pupils’ attainment in the area of vocabulary in English. 

We have decided to prioritise these areas following analyses of evidence gathered and staff discussion.

2.3 Our school has set the following targets for improvement which are related to pupils’ achievement and has identified the following actions which will help in achieving those targets over the next three years.

Targets for Improvement Action
To improve pupil’s ability in Vocabulary in the Drumcondra Primary Reading Test.    

To improve pupils’ confidence in using new vocabulary.
Improve pupils’ attainment in the area of vocabulary in English by providing pupils with repeated exposure to new vocabulary and opportunities to use new vocabulary.
One discrete oral language lesson a week in each class paying particular attention to acquisition and use of new vocabulary.

As a parent you can help us by discussing new vocabulary with your child, in particular when hearing their reading, providing them with praise and encouragement when they use newly acquired vocabulary and by providing feedback to your child’s teacher at parent teacher meetings.

2.4 We know we will have achieved our targets when standardised tests are completed at the end of each year and from pupil, parent and teacher feedback.