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Whole School Evaluation Report

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Department inspectors’ report puts St. John’s top of the class
by
The Sligo Champion






The report presents the findings of an evaluation of the work of the school as a whole and makes recommendations for the further development of the work of the school. During the evaluation, the inspectors held pre-evaluation meetings with the principal, the teachers, the school's board of management, and representatives of the parents' association.

St. John's National School, Sligo, has come through a traumatic period, with a series of high-profile convictions against former teachers commanding extensive media coverage. But this week, the school was back in the limelight for much more positive reasons, with a Department of Education evaluation handing out 'the highest commendation' for the way the school is currently run. JIM GRAY examines the report from the Department's inspectors and discovers an avalanche of praise and bouquets which reflects a new beginning for the Temple Street school.

An evaluation carried out by Department of Education inspectors at St. John's National School in Sligo has conferred 'the highest commendation' on the high academic standards, the quality of supports for pupils, the celebration of the dignity and uniqueness of the child and the commendable dynamic and proactive leadership of the school.

The report presents the findings of an evaluation of the work of the school as a whole and makes recommendations for the further development of the work of the school. During the evaluation, the inspectors held pre-evaluation meetings with the principal, the teachers, the school's board of management, and representatives of the parents' association.

The evaluation was conducted over a number of days during which the inspectors visited classrooms and observed teaching and learning. They interacted with pupils and teachers, examined pupils' work, and interacted with the class teachers. The inspectors reviewed school planning documentation and teachers' written preparation, and met with various staff teams, where appropriate.

Following the evaluation visit, the inspectors provided oral feedback on the outcomes of the evaluation to the staff and to the board of management. The board of management of the school was given an opportunity to comment on the findings and recommendations of the report; the board chose to accept the report without response.

The report found a very positive learning climate was nurtured in the school and many impressive samples of good practice were in evidence during the evaluation.

"High standards are being achieved by a significant number of pupils, especially in the areas of literacy, Mathematics, Irish and Physical Education. Provision for the diversity of needs presented by pupils is of exceptionally high standard. It reflects considerable effort on the part of the principal, the staff and the school board of management to promote inclusiveness in all aspects of teaching and learning in the school and, in so doing, to access and use effectively all available supports. The school's approach in this regard is an exemplar of good practice.

"A warm and extremely empathetic atmosphere is in evidence in the school and a very positive, mutually respectful rapport exists between pupils and staff members. Thus, the high academic standards, the quality of supports for pupils, the celebration of the dignity and uniqueness of the child and the commendable dynamic and proactive leadership of the school, as evidenced in this evaluation, are worthy of the highest commendation", the report observes.

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