Coláiste Mhuire – Leading the way in Post-Primary Education

School Self Evaluation as part of our school improvement planning

We, like all schools, are embarking on the school self-evaluation process as per the DES draft Guidelines 2012. A school self-evaluation team was set up in May 2012.

The school applied for and is delighted to be accepted onto two separate pilot projects for the academic year 2012/2013, one in Literacy & one in Numeracy. Each pilot project has a link teacher. A Literacy task group & a Numeracy task group will be set up in September to coordinate our implementation of the national Literacy & Numeracy Strategy. These task groups will be subsets of the school self-evaluation team. Literacy Strategies such as Reading Challenges, Word Millionaire, Word banks, Print-rich environment are currently being rolled out in the school.

Learning School Projects

The Learning Schools Projects require a change of mindset involving re-conceptualising the teaching-learning dynamic, focusing on learning, re-imaging the roles of teachers and students in the process and developing a new vision for the school.

In the school year 2010/2011 Coláiste Mhuire undertook an innovative project in phase 2 of the Learning Schools Project on the integration if ICT into teaching & learning in Coláiste Mhuire. The development of the e-Learning Plan was the theme of the project.  To date the introduction of ICT into the classroom has been met with great enthusiasm. The collaboration between the LS2 team and the e-Learning team in drafting the e-learning policy and plan has provided a pedagogically based vision for ICT in the school’s curriculum.

In the school year 2011/2012 Coláiste Mhuire took part in phase 3 of the Learning schools project, focusing on an investigation into how effective group-work strategies can impact positively and productively on teaching and learning and classroom management. This project draws on our experiences of Barrie Bennett’s Instructional Leadership programme and forms an important element of our Literacy & Numeracy strategy. It also fits very well with current initiatives such as the Bridge 21 project and preparations for the introduction of the new Junior Cycle.

Equality of Challenge

Coláiste Mhuire is one of only 12 schools involved nationally in the ‘Equality of Challenge’ initiative which aims to pilot models of educational provision for Exceptionally Able students in post-primary schools.  It aims to provide a framework and examples of practice which can be generalised and used by schools and teachers in developing learning and teaching in relation to students with exceptional ability / dual exceptionality.

Moodle

Coláiste Mhuire has its own Virtual Learning Environment, Moodle. Through Moodle, students can view coursework information and access work outside of school.  They can submit items electronically for marking by teachers. Students can also use “forum” systems where they post and reply to messages.  Moodle is currently used extensively in the Leaving Certificate Vocational programme and its use is now being extended into Transition Year, the PLC programmes and the Equality of Challenge initiative.

An Gaisce: The President’s Award

Coláiste Mhuire has a very active Gaisce programme with Transition Years and 5th years involved in both Bronze and Silver challenges. The four Sections of the Award, Community Involvement, Personal Skill, Physical Recreation and Venture Activity provide a framework to encourage physical activity, mental challenge, individual perseverance, teamwork and interaction with other people.

The President’s Award is not a competition with others but a journey into the self – to a place where young people will encounter their strengths and weaknesses, learn new skills, grow in wisdom and understanding of their community and of the wider world around them.