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Record Keeping and Assessment

At Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál, assessment is used for two main purposes:

• Assessment for Learning (AFL)

• Assessment of Learning (AOL)

We use AFL to gather, interpret and use information to make children’s learning more meaningful. It is a tool to enhance future learning opportunities and make informed planning decisions.

We use AOL to build up a picture of what the children have already and what skills have been acquired.

Planning Assessment

In Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál we recognise the importance of incorporating formative and summative assessments into the planning process.

• Our Plean Scoile contains an overview of our curricular plans for each class group/groupings, while our yearly plans contain a detailed scheme of work for each subject.

• In addition to this, fortnightly plans are written into “The Folens Primary Teacher Yearbook” and kept in each classroom, and daily plans are kept at the discretion of the teacher.

• A monthly report, the “Cuntas Miosuil” is also kept in the teacher’s yearbook, and a copy of each is made and kept in a file in the staff room. This monthly report reviews topics, skills and subjects covered, while also highlighting areas of strength and success, and areas of concern that may need revisiting, which impacts upon future planning and teaching.

When planning, consideration is given to the strengths and weaknesses of each pupil, and where possible and appropriate, every equal opportunity is given to all pupils to acquire the same skills, knowledge and experiences. A variety of learning and teaching styles are provided where appropriate to enable us to do this.

How we assess

• Teacher designated tasks

• Teacher observation

• Discussion with children

• Children’s own self-evaluation

• Project work

• End of topic assessments

• Children’s own work

• Weekly spelling tests based on the “Spellbound” programme (1st class – 6th class)

• Continual assessment in maths. “Maths Challenge” is currently in use (1st class – 6th class)

• Oral testing in all subjects particularly Irish and tables

• Table quiz testing may be used at end of week to revise areas and topics covered.

• Early Intervention programme in the infant classes

• Class Tests/Summer Tests/Rockwell Tests

• 2nd class Intervention in Literacy

Standardised Tests

At present, there are several types of formal tests being carried out in school:

• Micra T(English: 1st class – 6th class)

• Sigma T (Maths: 2nd class – 6th class)

• Drumcondra Tests (Irish, English & Maths) for 6th class

To the best of our ability all standardised tests are offered to all children at the appropriate times. Micra T and Sigma T tests are usually administered during the month of October for every class group from 1st – 6th class.

Diagnostic Assessment

To help identify the strengths and weaknesses of individual children, diagnostic assessment is carried out.

This is done through:

• Individual programmes of work

• IEP’s

• Target setting

• Checklists

• Specific activities/tasks

• N.R.I.T – 2nd/5th class usually conducted by Learning Support teacher (Jan/Feb)

• M.I.S.T. – 2nd class (Feb)

• Marino – word recognition test

• Get reading right

• Steer

• Young spelling/Young reading test 2nd – 6th class

Recording and Keeping Evidence

The purpose of recording is to help teachers:

• Monitor children’s progress

• Recognise and celebrate children’s achievement

• Note strengths and weaknesses

• Document evidence

• Inform future planning

• Inform Learning Support and Resource teachers

• Form a basis of reporting to different people

Types of Evidence kept

• Children’s books/copies

• Teacher’s observation notes

• Project work

• IEP’s

• Photograpic/visual evidence

• Samples of pupils work

• Class test results

• Record of interviews with parents (not annual parent/teacher meeting)

• Record keeping

• Written annual report

In accordance with the NCCA guidelines, the record sheet of standardised test results for each child are kept in locked storage until the age of 21 and test booklets are kept on a yearly basis and replaced when new tests are conducted. These too are kept in locked storage, in the children’s own file in the office.

Who we report to:

Teachers record and report information to:

• The children themselves

• Other class teachers

• Learning Support/Resource teachers

• Parents

• Inspectors

• Other professional outside agencies

When we report:

At present, we hold verbal parent/teacher meetings in the month of February. At this time the children’s progress; along with their standardised test results are discussed. In June, a written end of year school report will be given to parents containing Summer test results where applicable, standardised test results from 1st to 6th class Micra T and Sigma T and an overall view of the children’s development during that year. Parents have approx. a week to respond if they so wish.

Further verbal or written reports will be given at the discretion of the teachers or at the request of parents.

As of this year – 2008, in compliance with NCCA Directives, it has been decided that the staff of Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál will record standardised test results on the End of Year Report in the form of the Sten results, together with descriptors. A cover letter will be sent to parents explaining standardised testing.

Ratified by: Fr. Michael Kennedy, Chairperson, B.O.M.

Date: 14/4/08