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Parents’ Questionnaires

During December 2012, as part of the process of Self-Evaluation in the school, we asked both parents and pupils of the school to take part in a questionnaire. We received a 62% response from our parent body to the questionnaire.

We thank you all very sincerely for taking the time to complete the questionnaire and for offering us your feedback. We are delighted to share the overall feedback with you in terms of the responses to the questionnaires. Many of the comments were also very constructive and we offer you some responses to some of the issues raised in the comments. This exercise has been very useful to help us engage in the process of School Self Evaluation in a meaningful way as we continue to strive for improvement in our school.

School Organisation

Part 1 of the questionnaire asked questions relating to the organisation of the school. The following are the responses received to the individual questions on this part of the questionnaire:

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Comments on School Organisation

The final two questions in this part of the questionnaire sought responses/comments from parents to two questions:

  • Is there a particular aspect of the school in which you are pleased?
  • Is there anything that you think we could do to make school life better for your child?

Overall, the comments from parents in this section were overwhelmingly positive. Repeatedly, positive feedback specifically highlighted the following aspects of our school life:

  • School musicals
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • The Pantomime
  • Choir
  • Friendship Squad
  • Use of Technology
  • High Standards of Reading and Literacy
  • Excellent Learning Support Help for children who may be experiencing difficulties
  • Competent Staff
  • An overall Positive School Climate of respect for all and positivity

In this section, some parents expressed a wish to have more regular feedback from the class teacher on progress of their child/children. We wish to invite parents to feel free to make an appointment with the class teacher at any stage throughout the year for feedback on progress of children and such requests will be facilitated.

Literacy in the School

The second part of the questionnaire sought responses from parents in relation to the teaching and learning of Literacy in the school. As part of the national Literacy and Numeracy Strategy which was published by the Minister for Education and Skills, we are focusing on the area of literacy in the school at the moment. The following are the responses received to the individual questions on this part of the questionnaire:

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Comments on Literacy in the School

The final two questions in this part of the questionnaire sought responses/comments from parents to two questions:

  • Is there any way the school could help you or your child with English (spoken English, reading, writing or spellings)?
  • Any other comments or suggestions in relation to literacy?

A small number of comments in this section sought clarity on the role of supplementary readers and expressed concern that, at times, these readers were not matched closely enough to children’s reading ability. In response to that concern, we would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge that it can be very difficult at times, especially in large classes, to always accurately match the supplementary reader to the child’s reading ability. Supplementary reading is designed to ensure that children get ample practice at reading, and develop a love of reading. If a book is too difficult, parents can read with and prompt the child. In the case where a book is too easy, it is the practice and enjoyment that should be the focus. We do, however agree that this is an area for further development in the school, and it is prioritised in our school plan. We plan to purchase more supplementary reading material, specifically graded at each class level, with a wide range of books at each level. Unfortunately, this requires significant funding, which is not possible within this year’s budget. Purchases such as these may be made possible with help from Parent’s Association.

There were requests for a list of apps and websites for educational use. A list of educational websites is currently available on our school website HERE We hope to also make a list of suitable mobile apps available on the website soon.

There were a small number of comments suggesting more creative writing in the school. This is also an area that we have prioritised as part of our School Improvement Plan. Our Learning Support teachers implemented a creative writing programme in the last term of 2012 in senior classes, which proved very successful. It is envisaged that this programme will be further implemented this year. Teachers are taking writing samples from children each term and assessing the development of the children’s writing over the course of the year.

The Learning Support team is also implementing a Comprehension Programme in all classes called “Building Bridges of Understanding”. Further information on the teaching of this programme in the classroom is available on the school website HERE We’ve also moved into the second phase of the programme which is Group Work in the classroom. You can read about this phase of the programme HERE Ask the children about this, as they are learning excellent skills with this programme. The Learning Support Team have also been doing “Station Teaching” in various classes with the focus on literacy. You can read about this teaching strategy on the school website HERE

There were a small number of comments on “Gaeilge” in the school and questions about the possibility of a “Drumcondra Test” in Irish were also raised. This test is already carried out in 2nd, 4th and 6th classes at the end of the year and the analysis of the results are showing that our school is performing above the national norms in Irish in the school. There is a general feeling, however, among teachers that standards of Irish appear to have dropped in recent years.

We hope that parents have found this feedback informative and that we have provided comprehensive responses to feedback offered. Many thanks for engaging in this process with us as we continue to strive to improve our school.