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Regional Seminar 2009/10 Planning for School Self-Evaluation and Improvement in Learning Focus on Second Year Students School Development Planning Initiative.

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Presentation on theme: "Regional Seminar 2009/10 Planning for School Self-Evaluation and Improvement in Learning Focus on Second Year Students School Development Planning Initiative."— Presentation transcript:

1 Regional Seminar 2009/10 Planning for School Self-Evaluation and Improvement in Learning Focus on Second Year Students School Development Planning Initiative

2 Planning for improved student engagement and attainment in Second Year Aims of this session:  To identify and prioritise issues of concern  To provide a brief overview of key areas of relevant research  To develop a framework for self-evaluation of current practice  To identify examples of current good practice

3 Research Do Schools Differ? - Emer Smyth ESRI 1999 ESRI / NCCA - Moving Up, Pathways through the Junior Cycle & Gearing up for the Exam Assessment for Learning NCCA &OECD

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5 Research findings – good news The majority of second years say that they like school, get on well with teachers, work hard, and participate fully in school life.

6 Pathways through the Junior Cycle..evidence of a widening gap in student experiences on the basis of gender, ability grouping and social background – with those on ‘the wrong side’ of this gap likely to underachieve, become detached and disaffected with school life, and ultimately to want to leave school before they attain their Leaving Certificate, and possibly even before their Junior Certificate

7 WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A SECOND YEAR STUDENT IN YOUR SCHOOL?

8 Are there specific issues associated with the experiences of second year students? What are they? Where are they coming from? Why are some second year students disengaging?

9 Social Climate The social climate of the school greatly influences student attitudes Positive teacher-student interactions and a challenging but supportive learning environment lead to a more positive academic self-image and higher educational expectations

10 Do Schools Differ? Emer Smyth Factors affecting student outcomes Pupil background Absenteeism and drop-out School effectiveness Class organisation Curriculum and subject choice Pupil involvement Parental involvement Disciplinary climate Teacher-pupil interaction School management Staff development School development

11 Do Schools Differ? Emer Smyth Curricular and non-curricular influences Relationships: Pupil/Pupil. Teacher/Pupil. Teacher/Teacher Class organisation : Streaming, Setting, Mixed Ability Curriculum provision and access Subjects, Access, Levels, Programmes Emphasis on whole-school development

12 Issues to focus a school’s self- evaluation of student learning and engagement in Second Year 1.Curriculum 2.Student Support and activities outside the classroom 3.Teaching and Learning in the classroom

13 Process of Self-Evaluation –key steps Select an area to evaluate: focus Determine what good practice is: indicators Gather reliable data on actual practice Collate, analyse & interpret the data – evidence Compare actual practice with good practice Reach valid conclusions that you can stand over Prioritise for planned improvement

14 Planning Self-Evaluation 1.Why are we doing this? 2.What do we want to find out? 3.What data / information do we need to gather and how? 4.Who would we ask? 5.How do we analyse the data so that it leads to meaningful conclusions? 6.How do we translate the fruits of our discussions into action?

15 Taking Action Acknowledge and strengthen current good practice Amend / change what is not working well Introduce new measures Consider CPD needs

16 Workshop on Self-Evaluation You are reviewing provision for Second Years in one of the following areas: 1.Curriculum 2.Student support and activities outside the classroom 3.Teaching and learning in the classroom  What do you want to find out?  What data / information do you need to gather and how?  Who would you ask and how?  Where would you look?

17 1. Curriculum Organisation Streaming / Banding / Mixed Ability Subject Choice Subject Levels

18 Streaming – Research Findings Streaming may benefit the more able but does not benefit students in lower streams Streaming contributes to lower aspirations, disaffection and disengagement Once streamed there is very little movement upwards In co-educational schools, students in lower streams tend to be male and working class Students in lower streams have fewer subjects, less homework and more didactic teaching Students are streamed on the basis of non- standardised school devised tests The difference in ability between students in ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ bands as measured in standardised tests was found to be “very narrow”

19 Subject Choice - Findings Students in lower streams have more restricted access to the full range of subjects, in particular to practical subjects 58% of students reported there was a subject they would have liked to have taken but could not Students did not feel they were taking too many subjects Students in lower streams tended to take fewer subjects

20 Subject Levels - Findings Lower stream students are more likely to expect to take Foundation or Ordinary Level in English, Irish and Maths There is little or no movement from O.L in Junior Cert to H.L in Leaving Cert even where students took Transition Year The SCHOOL EFFECT: Even in schools of similar social class and similar literacy levels on intake, there was a marked difference in students’ expectations from one school to another “It is arguable that policy and practice regarding access to Higher Level subjects, teacher encouragement and the school’s expectations are likely to contribute to under- performance among students and affect their long term educational and career options.”

21 Questions for Self-Evaluation on Streaming, Subject Choice and Level Questions for Self-Evaluation on Streaming, Subject Choice and Level What is our current arrangement for Second Year students? Why are classes / subject choice and level arranged in that way? What are the benefits of our current system and who does it benefit? What are the disadvantages of our current system? Are there alternatives to our current system? Would it be worthwhile making some changes on a pilot basis and evaluating whether the new system delivered more benefits for a wider range of pupils? If moving to a new system, what other resources need to be put in place? e.g. CPD for staff Other supports…..

22 2. Student Support and Activities outside the Classroom Little evidence of integration of support structures in most schools – few pastoral care meetings for support personnel Different interpretations of the role of class tutor – administrative, disciplinary, pastoral or a combination of all Student councils – only one had a specific focus on second years Bullying tends to increase Need for better provision of support e.g. Psychological support, Guidance and HSCL

23 Student Support and Activities outside the Classroom for Second Years: Prompt questions for self-evaluation Is our school a safe and happy place? How do we know? In what ways do senior students help second year students? Are bullying incidents dealt with effectively? Do second year students have forums for discussing their concerns and problems? Are there places for second year students to go and constructive things for them to do outside class time? How varied is the range of extra-curricular activities available to second years? How are second year students and their parents made aware of these activities? What opportunities are there for second year students to have their achievements recognised?

24 3. Teaching and Learning Research Where the climate of the school and the atmosphere of the classroom is positive, students are more likely to enjoy school and to like teachers. They are likely to be more engaged in their study, have higher academic aspirations and are less likely to misbehave.

25 Assessment for Learning AfL encourages students to become more active and responsible participants in their own learning The achievement gains associated with formative assessment have been described as among the largest ever reported for educational interventions. ( FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT: IMPROVING LEARNING IN SECONDARY CLASSROOMS OECD 2005)

26 Student’s Voice Students have very clear opinions about what makes for effective teaching. The most effective teachers Explain things well Enjoy teaching their subject View learning as fun Encourage students to ask questions Praise good work Don’t give out Pathways through the Junior Cycle

27 Teaching and Learning Prompt Questions for self evaluation To what extent are teaching strategies and methodologies varied within the second year classroom? How are second year students challenged and motivated in the classroom? How are second year students involved in their own learning? What range of assessment modes are used to assess student achievement? What CPD is required by teachers to help them to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom? To what extent do teachers reflect on their current classroom practice? To what extent have teachers been informed about new practices in Teaching and Learning? Is Teaching and Learning on the agenda for staff meetings?

28 Discussion In relation to  Curriculum  Student support and activities outside the classroom  Teaching and learning in the classroom Share one example from your experience of what helps to maintain student engagement in second year.

29 Resources Chapter 12, ‘Do Schools Differ’ Emer Smyth ‘Pathways through the Junior Cycle’ (summary) Prompt questions for self-evaluation SDPI CD Resources for Planning Nov.2009


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