An Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna Department of Education and Skills
Whole School Evaluation Management, Leadership and Learning
Bishop Murphy Memorial School, Fermoy, Co. Cork
Uimhir rolla: 16683U
Date of inspection: 2 March 2016
Whole-School Evaluation – Management, Leadership and Learning Report Introduction
A Whole-School Evaluation – Management, Leadership and Learning (WSE – MLL) was undertaken in Bishop Murphy Memorial School in March 2016. This report is based on a selection of lessons observed in a range of learning settings in the school, interaction with pupils and review of their work, meetings with the principal and with board of management and parent representatives on the board, completed parent and pupil questionnaires, and a selection of school documents. The board accepts the report as the final inspection report available for publication and wished to respond formally to the report. The Board agrees that the response submitted will be included as an appendix to the published report. The board’s response is submitted below.
Bishop Murphy Memorial School is a Catholic School under the patronage of the Bishop of Cloyne. There are four mainstream class teachers. The special education needs (SEN) team is comprised of two full-time and two part-time teachers. The school caters for boys from second to sixth class and has a current enrolment of ninety-eight pupils, a significant minority of whom are learning English as an additional language. The attendance levels of most pupils is good.
The evaluation has found:
- The pupils’ overall learning achievements are good and learning outcomes in Scienceare very good.
- Information and communications technology (ICT) is used to good effect in supportinglearning.
- There is scope to improve upon the pupils’ attendance levels.
- The pupils’ listening skills require further development.
- The teachers are successful in their efforts to create a positive and affirming schoolclimate.
- I múineadh na Gaeilge, tá gá le béim sa bhreis a leagan ar an gcur chuigecumarsáideach. There is a need to place additional emphasis on the communicativeapproach in the teaching of Irish.
- Pupils for whom English is an additional language are making significant progress in their learning.
- The pupils’ skills in comprehension in English require further development.
- The quality of support for pupils’ well-being is high.
- Provision for pupils with additional learning needs is very good.
- Formal mechanisms for incorporating parental perspectives into whole-schoolplanning should be developed.
- The principal provides strong curriculum leadership and successfully manages acollegial working environment.
- The following main recommendations are made:
- To ensure better engagement in lessons, pupils’ listening skills should to bedeveloped further.
- The school should increase its efforts to promote improved pupil attendance.
- Renewed emphasis should be placed on the implementation of classroom initiatives to advance the pupils’ skills in comprehension, in English.
- Sa Ghaeilge, tá gá le béim sa bhreis a leagan ar an gcur chuige cumarsáideach agusle tuilleadh deiseanna a thabhairt do na daltaí an Ghaeilge a úsaid go cumarsáideach agus go neamhfhoirmiúil. In Irish, there is a need to place additional emphasis on the communicative approach and to give pupils more opportunities to use Irish communicatively and informally.
- The board should establish formal mechanisms for incorporating parental perspectives into whole-school planning.
1. The learning achievements of pupils
- The pupils’ overall learning achievements are good. They are appropriately motivatedand are provided with a wide range of learning experiences. Very good achievement is noted in some aspects of learning, which include the attainment of pupils for whom English is an additional language and overall learning outcomes in Science and in Visual Arts. ICT enhances the quality of learning for all pupils.
- Many pupils display a good level of competence and confidence when speaking in English. In the classes observed where pupils read, most did so in an effective manner. The development of pupils’ comprehension skills has been identified as a priority in the School Improvement Plan (SIP). It is recommended that agreed whole- school actions on comprehension be implemented consistently and developed incrementally at each class level throughout the school. A mechanism to monitor the impact of this work on pupil learning outcomes should also be established. Sa Ghaeilge, tá gá le béim sa bhreis a leagan ar an gcur chuige cumarsáideach agus le tuilleadh deiseanna a thabhairt do na daltaí an Ghaeilge a úsáid go cumarsáideach agus go neamhfhoirmiúil. In Irish, there is a need to place additional emphasis on the communicative approach and to give pupils more opportunities to use Irish communicatively and informally. The pupils are making steady progress in their learning in Mathematics. This work will be enhanced by the recent introduction of structured in-class support. The pupil learning in Science is very good. They engage in regular investigative activities and display very good capacity to employ scientific skills in a range of contexts.
- To ensure better engagement in lessons, pupils’ listening skills should to be developed further.2. Quality of teaching
- The overal quality of teaching is very good. Teachers employ a range ofmethodologies in well-structured lessons. Frequent opportunities to work in pairs and in collaborative groups are provided in some classrooms and this practice should now be extended throughout the school. Teachers are diligent in their classroom practice and monitor the pupils’ progress across the curriculum. The consistent implementation of differentiated teaching approaches ensures that all pupils, including those with additional learning needs, are supported in their learning. Results from the pupil questionnaire indicate that the pupils need more feedback on their progress in reading and in Maths.
- The quality of teaching provided for pupils with additional learning needs is very good. This provision is well co-ordindated and there is very good communication between the support teachers and the mainstream class teachers. Station teaching is well established and the school is now encouraged to develop and extend its practice in team-teaching, through the introduction of a range of models of in-class support.
- In special education contexts, a broad range of needs is catered for in a very inclusive manner. The setting of programmes of work for individual pupils is informed by the outcomes of diagnostic tests and by consultation with class teachers and other professionals. Individual education plans (IEPs) are comprehensive and progressive. It is advised that attainment of targets be recorded consistently on IEPs to inform future plans and to ensure progression in learning.
- Almost all parents who responded to the Department questionnaire, issued as part of the evaluation, reported that they consider that teaching is good in the school.
- 3. Support for pupils’ well-being
• The quality of support for pupils’ well-being is high. The teachers are successful in
their efforts to create a positive and affirming school climate. Positive behavioural management strategies are implemented successfully. This results in most pupils presenting as confident young people, who are both willing and able to describe their learning.
- A significant minority of pupils are learning English as an additional language and these pupils are very well supported in the acquisition of language and in their access to the broad curriculum provided by the school.
- While parents and community members have some involvement in school activities, it is recommended that opportunities for further parental involvement be explored.
- 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.4. Leadership and Management
- The board of management guides and supports the work of the school in a successful manner. Members of the board oversee the administrative and financial affairs of the school efficiently and they demonstrate a keen interest in educational standards. They are aware of overall attainment in literacy and in numeracy and have seen the benefits of investment in reading resources through viewing videos of station- teaching lessons in the school. The members of the board expressed their willingness to continue to support professional development opportunities for teachers. The board should establish formal mechanisms for incorporating parental perspectives into whole-school planning.
- The principal provides strong curriculum leadership and successfully manages a collegial working environment. He is effective in the promotion and development of an inclusive and positive school climate. He has been instrumental in encouraging the use of ICT to support the pupils in their learning and in facilitating on-site professional development in this area for all teachers. He actively encourages and participates in continued professional development and a culture of professional reflection is successfully established in the school.
- The members of the in-school management team play an active role in supporting school development and improvement. Duties pertaining to posts are reviewed regularly to reflect current priorities. It is advised that a future review of duties should reflect recommendations of this evaluation with specific attention directed to the development of the pupils’ listening skills.
- 5. School Self-evaluation
• The teachers engage in ongoing reflection and professional dialogue about their work
and have developed aspects of their practice as a result of this reflection and dialogue. It is now advised that classroom actions pertaining to school self-evaluation be prioritised and that a mechanism be established to monitor the implementation and success of current interventions in literacy and in numeracy.
The school’s capacity to develop further is very good.
Published May 2016
SCHOOL RESPONSE TO THE REPORT Submitted by the Board of Management
Area 1 Observations on the content of the inspection report
The Board of Management of Bishop Murphy Memorial School welcomes this report which affirms the quality of leadership and teaching that exists within our school. The board is particularly pleased that the well-being of the pupils and the commitment of the staff was recognised. The Board of Management is satisfied that the achievements of our pupils is acknowledged and the positive, affirming and inclusive atmosphere that exists within our school was also noted. The Board found the Whole School Evaluation to be a positive experience and welcomes the advice and recommendations given during the process.
Area 2 Follow-up actions planned or undertaken since the completion of the inspection activity to implement the findings and recommendations of the inspection.
The Board of Management and staff acknowledge the recommendations made in the report and we plan to incorporate them in our school improvement plan and implement them as part of our continuous improvement process.