School Self Evaluation (SSE)/ School Improvement (SIP)
CBS Thurles is involved in the School Self Evaluation 2016-2020 Cycle. School self-evaluation is a collaborative, inclusive, and reflective process of internal school review. An evidence-based approach, it involves gathering information from a range of sources, and then making judgements. All of this is done with a view to bring about improvements in students’ learning. Below is the Six-Step Process for School Self-Evaluation.
As part of this process, we completed a few stages in the cycle by gathering evidence during surveys of students, parents and teachers. The school analysed all of the surveys and identified differentiation and active learning methodologies as key areas of focus to bring about school improvement. The school improvement plan is published each year. As part of the 2016 – 2022 SSE process Literacy, Numeracy and Teaching and Learning were specific areas of focus. Click on the links below to view our evaluation reports for 2019 and 2021.
Since September 2022 the Assessment & Reporting Committee (ARC) has focused on the pros and cons of introducing one hour classes from September 2023. The interim SSE report outlining the process can be access below
- Interim SSE report (April 2023) (focused on one hour classes)
- School Self Evaluation Report 2019
- School Self Evaluation Report 2021
Our school promotes literacy throughout the entire school year across all subjects. It is not specific to English alone as new language skills are needed in every subject taken. All teachers encourage students to expand their subject specific vocabulary by reinforcing key words students will come across.
The literacy programme in the school includes the Book Club and several initiatives are run throughout the year including a Book Fair, Book Swap, 6 word stories, and many more. Students are encouraged to take part in poster competitions promoting literacy throughout the school. Reading classes are regularly held in Junior Cycle all year long in conjunction with independent reading projects.
Library and author visits and theatre trips are organised at different stages of the year and all years are included in a variety of these.
Numeracy encompasses the ability to use mathematical understanding and skills to solve problems and meet the demands of day-to-day living in complex social settings. Students are constantly enhancing their numeracy skills in all classes. Several activities take place throughout the year which encourages students to use their numerical ability. Numeracy week takes place each year in the school. During last year’s numeracy week students and staff took part in a range of activities including:
- 1st year quiz
- Scavenger hunt
- Puzzle competition
- Junior cycle poster competition
- Maths Olympiad 1st round
In addition to Numeracy week, we promote numeracy in all subjects by asking students to calculate their percentage in class assessments.
Students are also encouraged to enter a range of Mathematics competitions such as:
- IMTA Maths competitions
- IRMO Maths Olympiad, and
- Applied Mathematics Competitions.
TL21 – Teaching and Learning in the Twenty First century is a research programme led by Maynooth University. Our school, via the Kilkenny Education Centre has been taking part in TL21 for the last number of years. As part of the programme, every school chooses a specific area for research and development. The focus for this school was the use of Learning Intentions in class. Learning Intentions should be shared with the class so the students are made aware of what is expected of them going into the class and what they need to know by the time they leave.
The first step of the research was to survey all staff and students about the use of sharing learning intentions with the class and the result was that they were not being shared. Starting with a pilot group of staff and their classes, the learning intentions were shared with the class and the progress was monitored for several weeks. These classes were surveyed at a later point and they found that it helped them greatly with their comprehension in class. The pilot group stage ended and the programme was opened to all staff and students in school. At the end of the two years another survey was carried out of staff and students as part of the Whole School Evaluation process. The results from this survey indicate that there was a lot of progress made but there was still room for improvement.
While the current research phase of TL21 has ended, the school is committed to continuing with sharing learning intentions in all classes and recapping these at the end, thus confirming if they were achieved or not. This helps to shape the lesson in a clear manner and allows students to clearly measure their progress.
In addition to this initiative the school has a Teaching and Learning committee (TLC) and a Assessment and Reporting Committee (ARC) which actively looks at improving teaching and learning methodologies which can be used for all subject areas.