School self-evaluation is a collaborative, inclusive, reflective process of internal school review. During School self-evaluation, the principal, deputy principal and teachers, under the direction of the board of management and the patron and in consultation with parents and pupils, engage in a reflective inquiry on the work of the School. It is an evidence-based approach that involves gathering evidence from a range of sources and making judgments with a view to bringing about improvements in pupils’ learning. Self-evaluation requires a School to address the following key questions with regard to an aspect or aspects of its work:
- How well are we doing?
- How do we know?
- How can we find out more?
- What are our strengths?
- What are our areas for improvement?
- How can we improve?
The self-evaluation process can be used to support the introduction of the Primary Language Curriculum with its new approaches and emphases. The progression of milestones and continua will support teachers as they analyze their current teaching approaches to language learning and make judgments regarding current strengths and areas for improvement. All teachers will begin at the same starting point which involves asking: Where are the children at and where are they going in their language learning? The progression of milestones and continua which are linked to the learning outcomes in the Primary Language Curriculum will help teachers answer these questions. Working collaboratively or alone, teachers can use examples provided in the support materials to reflect on and to introduce the changes in teaching, learning, and assessment that are necessary to meet the requirements of the Curriculum.
The School self-evaluation process
The process is iterative, in that it facilitates repeated cycles of analysis or a return to a previous stage of the cycle as required. The framework below (Figure 2.1) highlights a six-step School self-evaluation process. This supports the building of teachers’ expertise over time in looking at the evidence of pupils’ learning, analyzing it, interpreting it, and acting on it to improve outcomes.
Steps in our self-evaluation policy
Step 1: identify focus
Step 2: Gather evidence
Step 3: analyses and make judgments
Step 4: write, and share, a self-evaluation report and improvement plan
Step 5: put improvement plans into action
Step 6: monitor actions and evaluate the impact
List of evaluation tools
- Teacher reflection Sheet
- School protocol for professional collaborative review of teaching and learning
- Primary Language Curriculum Progression Continua
- Focus group template
- Interview template
- Questionnaires (pupils, parents, teachers)