The Process so far.
For the past two years school self-evaluation has been on-going in RETNS. Our first area of focus was literacy, and after gaining information from questionnaires to staff, parents and pupils, analysing standardised test scores, looking at children’s work and talking to staff and children, we arrived at three main conclusions:
- That pupils’ extensive oral vocabulary needs to be reflected in their writing.
- That pupils need to communicate clearly and confidently in writing and pupils’ writing should reflect the high reading attainment levels in the school.
- That pupils need specific teaching in a range of different genres.
We outlined our actions and detailed how we might achieve our targets over a three-year period. This work is on-going.
Last year our focus was on Numeracy. We looked firstly at how well our pupils were doing in numeracy. We then gathered information from staff, pupils and parents, looked at pupils’ work in class, analysed standardised test results, talked to pupils and teachers and gathered information from a problem-solving rubric given to pupils, to identify areas of need. We identified a need to look at pupils’ problem solving in maths, specifically:
- to develop pupils’ ability to discuss ways of solving problems and
- to teach pupils a range of strategies that they can use in problem-solving.
Again, we detailed the actions required to meet our targets over a three year period.
Reports on these two areas of school self-evaluation are currently available on the website, under Information/SSE.
Parents can help at home by giving problems and challenges for children to solve or by allowing them to challenge you!!
A range of websites is listed on the website under Daily Life/ICT. An additional, highly recommended, website is Khan Academy, which has a parents’ section entitled, Help Your Child Learn Anything.
Third area of focus
This year we are required to take a third area of focus, of the school’s choosing. After some brainstorming with staff we have decided to review our teaching of Visual Arts. Our reason for choosing this is because we know that we are doing some things very well, but feel that there are some areas of art in which we are not so strong. We gave the children a comprehensive questionnaire, which they completed online, and analysed the results in conjunction with the results of a teachers’ survey. Our main findings were:
- Children and teachers enjoy art.
- Teachers feel that we are good at teaching drawing and painting; pupils feel these are the areas they are most confident in.
- Children identified printing, construction and working with fabric and fibre as areas they would like more help with. Teachers feel less confident in teaching printing and construction.
- Children enjoy when ‘real artists’ and parents work with them in art lessons. Teachers also value having parental support for art lessons.
As a result of the findings we have agreed that our aim is to build confidence for children in working in the areas of print, construction, and fabric & fibre, to ensure that teachers are upskilled and confident in teaching in these areas, that those who have skills in particular areas get an opportunity to share their skills with colleagues, and to give children lots of experiences where they are working with different adults so that they can avail of a range of expertise.
Initially we will be working on construction and fabric & fibre as we prepare our new corridor display, based on a biodiversity theme, and there are ample opportunities for parents to help out, either in the classrooms or at home. If you would like to help out at home you can provide experiences for the children in any of these areas of visual arts by allowing them to design and make, work with different kinds of fabrics and materials and use simple methods of printing.
We will work on the area of printing on a whole school basis next term. If any parent has a background in printing and would like to become involved in school with this area of art, either ‘hands on’ or to give a talk on the art of printing, please let us know.