St Nathy’s College is now in the third year of the School Self-Evaluation [SSE] initiative launched by the Department of Education and Skills under Minister Ruairí Quinn in 2012.
In the foreword to the Guidelines for Post-Primary Schools the Minister wrote: “School self-evaluation is simply a structure to enable teachers, principals and the management of schools to have [a] focused conversation about teaching and learning.” The goal of SSE is to empower “a school community to affirm good practice, to identify areas that merit improvement and to decide on actions that should be taken to bring about improvement in those areas.” (SSE Guidelines, p.8) This has been our experience thus far in the process. Having identified three areas of teaching and learning to analyse (Literacy, Numeracy and Assessment) we began looking at strand one (Literacy) in 2012-13 and at Numeracy in 2014-15.
During the 2015-16 academic year, we will look at Assessment for Learning. It has been very beneficial to identify the good practice that already exists in the three strands of literacy, numeracy and assessment for learning and to agree upon three actions in the three strands which we will be working on during this coming year (cf. our School Self-Evaluation Report and School Improvement Plan). Working together as partners in education, we are confident that we will build upon and strengthen the already high levels of numeracy and literacy evident among our students in the years to come.
We will continue to develop approaches to assessment which will further enable our students to actively reflect on their own learning, set and achieve personal goals and think creatively and critically, all the while working with others through digital technology and contributing to making the world a better place (cf. NCCA, Key Skills).
Fr Tomás Surlis