School Self Evaluation


Summary for Parents

For the next part of our School Self Evaluation this year we decided to focus on SPHE (Social Personal and Health Education). As educators we know it is essential that each child feels safe and cared for in school and that all children learn to manage their behaviour and feelings and to recognise the needs of others.

All the children from first to sixth filled out a questionnaire.

The main results of the questionnaire were as follows:

  1. 92% of pupils are happy in school.
  2. 88% of pupils are happy when in the yard.
  3. 92% of pupils feel safe in school.
  4. 10% of pupils do not feel safe in the yard.
  5. 17% of pupils have some worries about school. Main worries listed were – fear of getting into trouble, getting hurt or falling in the yard, tests, speaking, reading or singing in front of others, friends, homework and Maths.
  6. 12% of pupils worry about the yard.
  7. 74% of pupils think that the children in the school are kind to each other.
  8. 59% of pupils have seen others being unkind in school. Examples given: pushing and being rough, lying to others and to the teachers, excluding others in the yard, teasing, calling names, fighting, arguing over the rules for tag.

What we implemented and why?

We introduced a ‘Kindness to Others’ Programme. The main purpose of this programme is to encourage the children to become more aware. Many of the incidents in school are caused by lack of awareness. Children are naturally focused on themselves and want they want. The children need to train themselves to look ‘outwards’, to be aware of others and to develop empathy for those around them and to recognise that showing kindness brings happiness to both themselves and others.


The whole school was divided into 7 groups and each group was allocated a teacher.

(A photograph of each group and their work is on show in the main corridor.) All the groups sat and discussed the best ways to show kindness in school to friends, to class mates, to children in other classes, to teachers, to visitors, to family and to themselves.

Now the children are implementing the programme by showing kindness wherever they can. The children are to watch and be aware of others and to report back acts of kindness that they have witnessed. From these lists a pupil from each class is chosen by the teachers each week and presented with a ‘Kindness to Others Award’ badge. The chosen children wear the badge for a week and then a new set of children receive the badges.


How can you help?

  • Expect your child to be kind and encourage it.
  • ‘Catch’ your child when he/she is being kind and acknowledge it.
  • Be a good role model by being kind and speaking kindly of others.
  • Talk to your child/children about the Kindness Programme and listen to their stories.





Summary for Parents

For our School Self Evaluation this year we decided to focus on Maths and in particular on Problem-solving in Maths.

The children from first to sixth filled out a survey last June and the main findings were as follows:

  • 81% of pupils stated that they like Maths.

9% do not like Maths.

10% were undecided.

  • Nearly 90% of pupils said that they get frustrated trying to work out problems.
  • About 30% of pupils do not like solving Maths problems at all.
  • 58% of pupils feel that if they are presented with a Maths problem different from the examples in the book that they cannot figure it out on their own.
  • Almost 100% of pupils said that talking over Maths problems with a friend or in a group helps with solving problems.
  • Only 30% of the pupils from 3rd – 6th class said that they take time to estimate what the answer to a problem will be before attempting the problem.
  • Over 55% of pupils stated that they experience difficulty getting started on a problem that is new to them.

What we implemented and why?


  • As almost all children struggled to get started when faced with a new maths problem and almost all children stated that they preferred to work in pairs/small groups it was agreed that the children needed to get ample opportunities to work together solving maths problems.
  • The Prim-Ed. Maths Boxes for 1st – 6th were purchased as they provide 75 different activity cards dealing with all areas of the Maths curriculum and also provide 2 of each card to facilitate the children working in pairs. The children are encouraged to talk out loud about how to solve the problems and discuss together any alternative ways of doing the same problems.
  • In order to make this activity more appealing to the children it was decided that the children would not use their copies but use white board markers and plastic folders that can be wiped clean.
  • Each class gets a 30-minute session for this Problem-solving each week and the two special education teachers help the class teacher with the organisation and running of this new programme.


How can you help?

Watch your child doing their Maths homework and encourage your child to do the following:

  • Read the problem twice before attempting to begin.
  • Estimate the answer before starting.
  • Talk out loud and ask the following questions: What do I know? What am I looking for? How am I going to do it?
  • Draw pictures or write number sentences to try to clarify what’s needed.


Progress to date:

We are very pleased with the programme and will continue with it next year as most children are showing the following:

  • A reduction in anxiety around Maths and in particular problem-solving
  • An improvement in their use of Maths language and vocabulary
  • An increased ability to link different areas of the Maths curriculum

All of this is helping the children to experience more success with problem- solving in Maths.


The Prim-Ed Maths Box for Infants has also been recently purchased and so the work will begin in the infant rooms this term. These activity cards differ in that they come in groups of 4 and need to be teacher-led so again the special education team will go into the classrooms to facilitate this.