In the Post-Primary School Self-Evaluation Guidelines 2016-2020, the Department of Education and Skills defines School Self-Evaluation (SSE) as ‘a collaborative, inclusive, reflective process of internal school review’, during which school staff, under the direction of the board of management and the patron and in consultation with parents and students, engage in reflective enquiry on the work of the school. SSE is primarily about schools taking ownership of their own development and improvement and is based on a six-step process:

1.       Identify focus 
2.       Gather evidence 
3.       Analyse and make judgements
4.       Improvement plan
5.       Put improvement plan into action
Monitor actions and evaluate impact


Staff identified a focus on literacy and numeracy for our first ever school self-evaluation process. Evidence was gathered through surveys by parents/guardians and students and through open discussion at a staff meeting. Following this process, the Chairperson of the Advisory Board of Studies, Shauna, chaired a meeting where all the information was analysed and judgements were made in relation to the type of plan that needed to improve literacy and numeracy across the curriculum in 2020-2021. An important consideration for staff was to look for practical ways that could be built into the fabric of school life so that the plan could serve into the future and not just be an initiative that lasts for one academic year only. The following targets were set - 


  1. Reading (in every subject, teachers would select 2-3 articles/web pages etc… per term to encourage broad reading access across the curriculum);
  2. Vocabulary Sheets (vocabulary sheets would be created for more technical subjects so that any jargon can be introduced at the earliest stages of the courses and access to the curriculum therefore improved);
  3. Stop and write (all teachers to introduce writing assignments twice per term - these can range from project/report writing to group writing assignments to twenty minute writing bursts);
  4. Time to edit (all teachers agreed that time would be allowed for students to edit written work before handing it in (proof reading wheels would be made available to every student to facilitate this initiative);  


  1. All students to be given their results for class assignments in fractions and then asked to calculate the percentage;
  2. Science, Business Studies and Home Economics to show relevance of graphs and measurement during the courses;       
  3. Statistics and graphs are important real life situations like assessing the Covid-19 Threat - students will focus in mathematics classes on how mathematical concepts link with the real world;
  4. Mathematics Week: Emphasis on fun elements of mathematics e.g. daily Puzzles and Competitions

The plan is now in an action stage and there is a planned review to be led by the Advisory Board of Studies in May 2021 to evaluate the impact of these actions.