Summary school improvement plan for the board of management to circulate to the school community

                                                               St. Peter’s National School
                                                     St. peter’s Road, Phibsborough, Dublin 7
                                                Evaluation Period (September 2014- June 2015)
                                                    Plan Issued                          June 2015
                                               School improvement plan for Literacy (2015-2016)
Summary school improvement plan
1. Introduction
1.1 The focus of the evaluation
As part of our ongoing work in the school, we conducted a school self-evaluation of teaching and learning this year through standardised tests, teachers’ parents’ and pupils’ surveys. We evaluated speaking and listening (with a particular focus on vocabulary development) and reading comprehension skills. For more information on how the evaluation took place, please see our School Self-Evaluation Report which is available on our school website (
This school improvement plan sets out the actions that we will undertake in the school over the next two years in Literacy (2015-2017).The main purpose of these actions is to improve our pupils’ learning.  
2. Summary of school self-evaluation findings
2.1 Our school has strengths in the following areas:
1. Reading attainment is improving as evidenced by our Standardised test scores.
2. Our pupils’ ability to write fluently (under the First Steps programme) while using an expansive vocabulary with correct grammar and punctuation in a wide variety of genres has progressed in most classes over the past year.
3. Comprehension: 64% of pupils surveyed feel that they are competent in answering questions.
4. Use of word banks and individual pupils’ vocabulary copies has proven to be very successful in improving oral language/vocabulary in each class.
5.   A strong emphasis is placed on reading in the school through Shared   Reading/CAPER programmes and as a result the majority of pupils have a positive attitude towards reading.94% of pupils surveyed believe they are good readers.
We know this because we carried out surveys with pupils, parents and teachers and examined standardised test results and (other information-teacher observations, assessments etc.) in the school.  
2.2 Our school has decided to prioritise the following areas of development:
Areas for development (Year 2 (2015-2016))
1.      Further emphasis needs to be placed on the development of reading comprehension strategies (increase the number of comprehension strategies pupils can use independently as per the First Steps Integrated timetable). We will focus especially on the classes which scored poorly in the comprehension aspect of the test.
2. Continued emphasis on speaking and listening skills (oral language) with a particular focus on vocabulary development (improvements were noticed in most classes) but we will still aim to ensure that these standards are maintained in all classes.
3. Our cursive writing system will continue to be strictly adhered to in all classes.
4. Class libraries: Class libraries will be a central area of the classroom. Books will be colour coded e.g. Red (difficult); Yellow (average); Green (easy). Also “least loved books” will be promoted.  
We have decided to prioritise No. 1 and 2 as some of our pupils continue to display significant weaknesses in reading comprehension strategies (a more structured approach to the introduction, modelling and reinforcement of comprehension skills in class will be required). 
In addition a more focused approach to teaching /development of vocabulary will enhance the pupils’ written work and speaking/listening skills.  
2.3 Our school has set the following targets for improvement which are related to pupils’ achievement and has identified the following actions which will help in achieving those targets over the next two years.
Year 2 (2015-2016)
Targets for Improvement                                                                                       Action By Whom Timeframe   
1.To decrease the proportion of pupils scoring at or  below the 16th percentile by 1% in 2016 and by a further 1% in  2017. (Decrease from 10% in 2015 to 9% in 2016 and 8% in 2017 or at least maintain standards).  

All the actions listed below (relating to vocabulary development and comprehension strategies) will be required to achieve targets 1 and 2 (as per the school’s DEIS plan).

By Whom: 

Class teachers,

SEN team, Principal and DP

                                                    Timeframe: May 2016
2.To increase the number of pupils scoring at or above the 60th percentile by 1% in 2016 ( from 50% to 51%) and by a further 1% in 2017. (There was an increase of 7% on the previous year-from  2014 to 2015)

1/2. Pupils within these two bands will be identified and communicated to teachers and support teachers.

1/2. All staff will ensure that they are allocating the allocated time for ‘discrete’ oral language lessons for   ten minutes each day.

3 (a).To increase the pupils’ vocabulary ‘word banks’
Action:- Continued use of ‘Word Walls’, ‘Vocabulary copies/book marks and constant reinforcement on a regular basis. Power Hour sessions will focus on vocabulary development and sentence construction.

 By Whom:        Teachers, SEN team                             Timeframe:     Ongoing

4.To improve the pupils’  overall oral language and reading comprehension skills with a particular focus on improving upon the baseline scale score in the Drumcondra Oral language/Reading  profiles for 3 tracker children in each class.

4. All teachers will be required to adhere to the First Steps integrated timetable.

Parental involvement will play a key role in the development of the pupils’ listening and speaking/Reading comprehension skills. We will communicate effective methodologies and strategies for improving speaking and listening skills. Refer to PDST “Five Components of Effective Oral Language Instruction/Reading book”   for parental recommendations. Power Hour  sessions will focus on developing speaking and listening skills


 By Whom: H.S.C.L., Teachers, SEN, Literacy co-ordinator            


Baseline scores based on May 2015-comparison in Dec ‘15 and June ‘16

5. Reading comprehension strategies-we will aim to improve the standardised test results in reading comprehension this year. Teachers will carry out monthly reading comprehension assessment s (1st -6th classes) from September 2015 All the actions listed below (relating to vocabulary development and comprehension strategies) will be required to achieve targets 1 and 2 (as per the school’s DEIS plan). 

5.Teachers will be required to introduce, model and reinforce individual (some in conjunction with others) reading comprehension strategies across all class levels in a clear and effective manner (as per the First Steps Integrated Timetable). Teachers from 1st-6th classes will carry out monthly comprehension assessments to monitor progress (from September 2015). Power hour sessions will prioritize the development of reading comprehension strategies as per the First Steps Integrated timetable.

 By Whom: All teachers, SEN, Principal, DP             Timeframe:     Ongoing
As a parent you can help us by reading to your child and allowing them to express themselves and their opinions as often as possible. It would also be most beneficial to join a library.
Success Criteria:
2.4 (a)   We know we will have achieved our targets when the average baseline scale score (Drumcondra Reading Profiles) across all levels has improved by one scale score and there is a marked improvement in the pupils’ standardised test results (in relation to reading comprehension/vocabulary). 
(b) Teachers should also notice (through teacher observation/assessments and other evaluations) that pupils across all class levels display a greater and enhanced ‘vocabulary/work bank’ and can utilise vocabulary effectively in both oral and written work.
(c) We will monitor progress with regard to the monthly reading comprehension assessments (from September (1st-6th classes)).

Latest News

School Tour Season!!!

read more

St. Peter's First Holy Communion

read more

Irish weather results in postponing of Sports' Day

read more