Inspector's Repor...

  • CBS Primary School, Wexford

Inspector’s Report

An Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna
Department of Education and Skills
Whole School Evaluation
Management, Leadership and Learning
REPORT
Ainm na scoile /School name                           Scoil na mBraithre

Seoladh na scoile /School address                 Christian Brothers Primary School,
Green Street,
Wexford.

Uimhir rolla /Roll number                                    17217T

Date of Evaluation: 31-01-2017
WHAT IS A WHOLE-SCHOOL EVALUATION: MANAGEMENT, LEADERSHIP AND LEARNING?
Whole-School Evaluations – Management, Leadership and Learning report on the quality of teaching
and learning and on the quality of management and leadership in a school. They affirm good practice
and make recommendations, where appropriate, to aid the further development of educational
provision in the school.
HOW TO READ THIS REPORT
During this inspection, the inspector(s) evaluated and reported under the following headings or areas
of enquiry:
1. Teaching and learning
2. Support for pupils’ wellbeing
3. School leadership and management
Inspectors describe the quality of each of these areas using the Inspectorate’s quality continuum
which is shown on the final page of this report. The quality continuum provides examples of the
language used by inspectors when evaluating and describing the quality of the school’s provision in
each area.
The board of management of the school was given an opportunity to comment on the findings and
recommendations of the report; the board chose to accept the report without response.
INSPECTION ACTIVITIES DURING THIS INSPECTION
Dates of inspection    31-01-2017
Inspection activities undertaken
 Meeting with principal and deputy principal
 Meeting with representatives of the board of
management
 Meeting with teachers
 Review of relevant documents
 Analysis of parent, pupil and teacher questionnaires
 Observation of teaching and learning
 Examination of pupils’ work
 Interaction with pupils
 Feedback to senior management team and teachers,
and to parent and board of management
representatives
SCHOOL CONTEXT
CBS Primary school is a twelve-teacher, co-educational, vertical primary school with a current
enrolment of 215 pupils. The school is under the patronage of the Catholic Bishop of Ferns. The school
population includes a number of pupils for whom English is an additional language. The school
transitioned from an all-boys school to a co-educational school in 2014, a change that has been
embraced by all members of the school community. This transition also included accepting pupils from
infants to first class for the first time in the school’s long history. As part of the plan to enhance the
school’s facilities there is currently a joint building project on-going for C.B.S. Primary School and C.B.S.
Secondary School, which is due for completion in 2018.
SUMMARY OF MAIN FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
FINDINGS
 The overall learning achievements of the pupils are high and they demonstrate positive levels
of interest and participation in learning.
 The quality of teaching is of a good to a very good standard with teachers working
industriously and enthusiastically to ensure good outcomes for their pupils.
 The quality of leadership and management is very good, with the board, principal and postholders
all working collaboratively to ensure the smooth running of the school.
 The quality of support for pupils’ well-being is very good and it is evident that the care and
support of the pupils is central to the work of the school.
 A range of high quality assessment approaches is promoted in the school and further use could
be made of this assessment information.
RECOMMENDATIONS
 The data generated from assessment should be used more fully to differentiate provision for
some pupils in the mainstream settings.
DETAILED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
1. THE LEARNING ACHIEVEMENTS OF PUPILS
 The overall learning achievements of the pupils are high as demonstrated by their
achievement in summative assessments including standardised tests. Across the school the
pupils demonstrate positive levels of interest and participation in learning. Pupils are able to
work both independently and collaboratively in a purposeful manner. In the questionnaire
responses most pupils reported that they enjoy their lessons and learning and that it is a good
school.
 In Mathematics the pupils demonstrate a good understanding of key mathematical concepts.
They engage meaningfully with concrete materials and they are supported in linking their
learning in mathematics with real life situations. Commendable emphasis is placed on the
development of mathematical language and problem-solving across the school.
 In English the school places suitable emphasis on the development of pupils’ oral skills and
the pupils are expressive and can effectively engage in discussion. A strong emphasis is placed
on the teaching of comprehension strategies across the school and a number of reading
initiatives are in place to support pupils’ reading skills. In some settings there is a need for a
wider range of resources to support the full range of pupil abilities. Pupils give due
consideration to the conventions of grammar, punctuation and spelling in their writing and
write competently in a variety of genres.
 Léiríonn na daltaí tuiscint mhaith sa Ghaeilge. Glacann siad pairt go fonnmhar i gcluichí teanga
taitneamhacha as Gaeilge agus tá rainn agus dáin de ghlanmheabhair acu. Tá muineadh na
mbriathra, na gramadai agus na foclóir go heifeachtach. Moltar níos mó deiseanna a thabhairt
do na daltaí an teanga a labhairt go nádúrtha.
The pupils demonstrate good understanding in Irish. They participate willingly in enjoyable
language games and they have learned off rhymes and poems. The teaching of verbs,
grammar and vocabulary is effective. It is recommended that more opportunities be provided
to the pupils to speak the language naturally.
 Visual Arts is a strength in the school with a wide variety of the children’s work on display. In
Social, Environmental and Scientific Education suitable emphasis is placed on the
development of skills and the celebration of knowledge. The pupils produce interesting
projects individually and in groups.
2. QUALITY OF TEACHING
 The overall quality of teaching in the school is good with some very good practice observed in
a number of classes. Teachers effectively deploy a range of teaching methodologies in an
industrious and dedicated manner and they demonstrate very good enthusiasm for teaching.
Lessons are well-structured, paced and presented, ensuring pupils’ engagement. In the
questionnaire responses the parents praised the quality of teaching in the school.
 Attractive learning environments are used purposefully to support teaching and learning.
 A range of high quality assessment approaches is promoted in the school. Pupils receive
regular and positive feedback on their work. The school has also undertaken considerable
analysis of data from standardised tests. The data generated from such assessment should be
used more fully to differentiate provision for some pupils in the mainstream settings.
 Support teachers have established very positive and affirming relationships with pupils and it
is evident that they know their pupils and their needs very well. They skilfully employ a range
of approaches to progress individual pupils’ learning. They engage regularly with parents and
also have very good connections with external agencies, particularly the National Educational
Psychological Service (NEPS).
3. SUPPORT FOR PUPILS’ WELL-BEING
 The quality of support for pupils’ well-being is very good and it is evident that the care and
support of the pupils is central to the work of the school. This is an inclusive and positive
school and the teachers have high expectations of pupils’ work and behaviour. In
questionnaire responses parents agreed that there was a good atmosphere in the school, that
their children were well looked after and treated fairly and respectfully.
 Suitable co-curricular activities are organised within the school community which enrich
pupils’ educational experiences and foster their self-esteem.
4. LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT
 The quality of leadership and management is very good. The board is highly supportive of the
school and together with the principal and staff has a clear vision for the school and its future.
It has been a source of great advice and guidance during the transition process and is
committed to ensuring the success, growth and development of the school. The chairperson
is a frequent visitor to the school and is actively involved in school activities. The board
regularly reviews policies and plans.
 The principal demonstrates very good leadership. He has a long association with the school
and is fully committed to the school and its future and to ensuring that pupils experience a
happy and positive learning environment. He has established a very good rapport with the
board, staff, pupils and parents. He cultivates a welcoming environment for all.
 The in-school management team diligently supports the work of the principal and undertake
a range of duties. They drive policy formation and promote collaborative practice in the review
and development of policies.
 Considering that there is a difference of 17 pupils between the smallest and largest classes it
is advised that a more equitable distribution of pupils across the mainstream classrooms be
prioritised in the future arrangement of classes.
 Confirmation was provided that the board of management has formally adopted the Child
Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools without modification and that the
school is compliant with the requirements of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and
Post-Primary Schools.
5. SCHOOL SELF-EVALUATION
 The school has engaged purposefully in the school self-evaluation (SSE) process. School
improvement plans have been developed for literacy and numeracy. All partners have been
actively engaged in the process. The implementation of agreed improvement strategies was
evident in all settings during the evaluation.
CONCLUSION
 The school’s capacity to develop further is very good.
Published March 2017 / Foilsithe Márta 2017
THE INSPECTORATE’S QUALITY CONTINUUM
Inspectors describe the quality of provision in the school using the Inspectorate’s quality continuum
which is shown below. The quality continuum provides examples of the language used by inspectors
when evaluating and describing the quality the school’s provision of each area.
Level Description Example of descriptive terms
Very Good
Very good applies where the quality of the areas
evaluated is of a very high standard. The very few areas
for improvement that exist do not significantly impact on
the overall quality of provision. For some schools in this
category the quality of what is evaluated is outstanding
and provides an example for other schools of
exceptionally high standards of provision.
Very good; of a very high quality; very
effective practice; highly
commendable; very successful; few
areas for improvement; notable; of a
very high standard. Excellent;
outstanding; exceptionally high
standard, with very significant
strengths; exemplary
Good
Good applies where the strengths in the areas evaluated
clearly outweigh the areas in need of improvement. The
areas requiring improvement impact on the quality of
pupils’ learning. The school needs to build on its strengths
and take action to address the areas identified as requiring
improvement in order to achieve a very good standard.
Good; good quality; valuable; effective
practice; competent; useful;
commendable; good standard; some
areas for improvement
Satisfactory
Satisfactory applies where the quality of provision is
adequate. The strengths in what is being evaluated just
outweigh the shortcomings. While the shortcomings do
not have a significant negative impact they constrain the
quality of the learning experiences and should be
addressed in order to achieve a better standard.
Satisfactory; adequate; appropriate
provision although some possibilities
for improvement exist; acceptable
level of quality; improvement needed
in some areas
Fair
Fair applies where, although there are some strengths in
the areas evaluated, deficiencies or shortcomings that
outweigh those strengths also exist. The school will have
to address certain deficiencies without delay in order to
ensure that provision is satisfactory or better.
Fair; evident weaknesses that are
impacting on pupils’ learning; less than
satisfactory; experiencing difficulty;
must improve in specified areas; action
required to improve
Weak
Weak applies where there are serious deficiencies in the
areas evaluated. Immediate and coordinated wholeschool
action is required to address the areas of concern.
In some cases, the intervention of other agencies may be
required to support improvements.
Weak; unsatisfactory; insufficient;
ineffective; poor; requiring significant
change, development or improvement;
experiencing significant difficulties;