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You are here Parents Report on Teaching & Leaning (June 2008)

Report on Teaching and Learning June 2008

This year has been a very successful and enjoyable year for the school despite an arson attack at Christmas. Standards in Numeracy have risen dramatically due to changes introduced in October, the school introduced teaching musical instruments to second, third and fourth classes, our new library is now ready for use and the school provides a counselling service in the school for parents and pupils.

Building Self-Esteem:

The school has been quite successful again this year in building up the self-esteem of pupils through a variety of initiatives such as the Pupil of the Week Award, the Gymnastics Programme for Infants, the Bullying Awareness Workshops for all classes run in association with Red Moon Theatre, the Paired Reading Programme for junior classes, the Counselling Programme, the Christmas Concert and in particular through the friendliness, warmth and genuine care shown by all the staff of the school to the pupils and to each other.

Music:

Money raised by the Parents Council funded the introduction of the teaching of musical instruments to pupils in second, third and fourth classes. The musicians played at our Christmas Mass in the school and played in the church for both Confirmation and First Holy Communion and will play at the end of year Mass. The music teacher Mrs. Dunbar will extend the programme next year to include a further two classes and continue to widen the range of musical instruments taught. The Parents Council has donated €4000 from this year's fundraising to support the Music Programme.

Homework Club:

The school's Homework Club was started in October and ran until the end of May. It catered for over 40 pupils immediately after school for an hour. Miss Dunne, Mrs. Ryan, Miss Dee, Miss Quirke, Miss Kelly, Annamarie Maher (SNA) and Bernie Hickey (SNA) and two parents Siobhán Moore and Éilis Healy ran the club. Pupils were given a snack and a drink and helped with homework on Mondays to Thursdays. This was a particularly successful programme and will start again early in September. This programme is coordinated by Mr. Eamonn Scallan the HSCL.

Induction Night for Parents of Junior Infants:

The parents of next year's junior infants came to an induction night during April when they were given activity packs to work with their children. This programme asked parents to work through four different activity packs with their children before the end of June. The packs covered a wide variety of pre-reading activities which would prepare children for school. The response of parents to date has simply been terrific. Parents have expressed their thanks to the school and especially to Miss O'Meara who spent months putting together four different packs for over 35 new pupils.

Paired Reading :

One very successful programme run again this year was called "Paired Reading". Mrs. Edel Kearney worked with the teachers to ensure that all children in the junior classes were listened to read every day at school. This is one of the programmes undertaken to raise literacy standards in the school. The success of this project prompted the school to use FCJ Secondary School students from Transition Year in paired reading with the middle classes. Some of these FCJ students later carried out work experience in the school as they considered teaching as a suitable career!

Upgrade of Library:

The Assistant Principal Mrs. Connaughton has been very busy upgrading the school's library. The school received a grant of over €22,000 to restock the library with a wide range of books. The Bookfair allowed the school to buy a substantial stock of books as Gaeilge. The official re-opening of the Library will take place in September.

Anti-bullying Awareness Workshops:

Red Moon Theatre from Wexford ran anti-bullying awareness workshops in the school in May and June and came back two weeks later to visit each class as a follow-up. The programme was very well received by both pupils and teachers. The programme was tailored to meet the needs of the pupils and covered the topic of bullying by text messages which was highlighted in the news recently. Red Moon Theatre used a puppet show to get their message across for the pupils in senior infants.

Literacy & Numeracy:

As part of the school's policy on assessment the results of the standardised tests in Mathematics and Reading held in May each year were posted to parents recently. This enables parents to closely monitor the progress of their children. It also helps pupils to become more involved in taking responsibility for their own education.

Following substantial changes in the organisation in the teaching of Mathematics in the school every class showed a marked improvement in the standard of Maths as shown by the results of the standardised tests. One example of the dramatic improvement in Maths is the fact that over a quarter of the sixth class pupils scores above the 90th percentile!

The school has an experienced and dedicated Support Team which in close cooperation with the parents worked with great patience to meet the needs of targeted children. The school is aware that the raising of literacy and numeracy standards of many of these children is a slow and gradual process. Even the smallest steps are significant and worthy of note. This is the second year where the Support Team had access to significant funding and this continued funding is crucial in identifying and targeting children in danger of early school leaving. The school has been able to put in place a number of screening tests to help identify the needs of children as early as possible.

Sporting Activities:

Pupils took part in various sporting activities during the year, pupils from second class to sixth class attended swimming lessons in the Waterfront Pool in Enniscorthy, football and hurling skills were taught by George Rankin, Michael Mahon and Mr. Roberts, tag rugby was taught to fifth and sixth classes by Ken Leech from Enniscorthy Rugby Club, Rackard League Camogie was coached by Miss Brennan and Ann Reddy and a very well supported volleyball league ran during the winter months. A soccer league for the senior classes is currently underway and pupils will compete in the annual swimming gala in Enniscorthy on 19 th June. The highlight of our sporting year was undoubtedly the success of the girls in winning the Rackard League Camogie Final on 12 th June. Well done girls and thanks to all who supported the team.

Language Support:

This year the school again appointed a fulltime language support teacher for the year. Miss Porter has made a significant contribution in helping non-English speaking pupils to acquire English and to settle into our school. The teachers really appreciate the contribution also made by Marzena Szabla who helped to interpret for the school at parent/teacher meetings, the induction night and various times when parents called to the school.

Parents Council:

The teachers appreciate the contribution made by the Parents Council to the school. It has facilitated the passing on of the views of the parents to the principal, helped in the formulation of school policies, helped with preparations for the sacraments, successfully lobbied Wexford County Council to upgrade the safe access routes to the school, ran a successful Book Fair and supported parents in the education of their children. A very profitable Bring & Buy was organised by the Parents Council in May this year and a cheque for €4000 was presented to the school to continue the Music Programme. (Sincere thanks to our wonderful and hard working Parents Council).

Green Schools:

The school was awarded its first Green Flag this year. Members of the School's Green Schools Committee (Jamie Farrell, Michael Rellis, Micheala Gethings, Elizabeth Nolan Hayes, Kevin Morrissey and Robert Weston) and Mrs. Jordan and Mrs. O'Rourke attended an awards ceremony in An Taisce in Dublin where they were presented with the Green Flag. The school held its own ceremony shortly afterwards to mark the occasion. As no doubt you are aware from your children much work has been done in the school to promote recycling and composting and to reduce waste. The school has been quite successful in reducing waste sent to landfill over the past year and we thank you for your support. However, this is not the end but actually the beginning of a programme to make the school as environmentally friendly as we can.

Guest Speakers:

The school once again used the services of Mrs. Therese Fennessey to cover the sexuality section of the RSE programme for 4th, 5th and 6th classes. She met with the parents and pupils at night and spoke to the pupils in fourth class during the day.

Transition Programme:

The Sixth class pupils took part in a mentoring programme called "The MAGIC Programme" - Mentoring, Awareness, Guidance, Information and Consultation - during May and June. This programme was run with the help of County Wexford Partnership. Four trained mentors talked with the pupils once a week for 6 weeks on issues relating to transferring to secondary level. All sixth class pupils spent a day in Bunclody Vocational College where they found out what a day in secondary school was like. Students also attended the FCJ Secondary School 's open day.

Whole School Inspection:

The Department of Education and Science carried out a Whole School Inspection (WSE) in the school in September. Inspectors visited all classes, met with the BOM, Parents Council, ancillary staff and principal to discuss progress in the school. The report is available on the department's website and will shortly be available on our own school's website. The report acknowledged the wonderful work in the school and made several recommendations which the BOM is now actively working on.

Board of Management:

The teachers thank the Board for the continued support of teaching and learning in the school. They thank the Board for the upkeep and maintenance of the school which helps to create an atmosphere favourable to learning.