Ranelagh Multi-denominational School

Ranelagh Rd

Dublin 6

Roll no. 19998Q

Summary School Self-Evaluation Report and Action Plan

Theme: e-learning

Evaluation period: 2014/15

Action plan period 2015-2018

Report issue date: June 2015




1. Introduction

A school self-evaluation of e-learning in RMDS was undertaken during the school year 2014/15.  This is a report on the findings of the evaluation and progress made on previous evaluations of learning in literacy (2014-2017) and numeracy (2013-2116).

1.2 School context

RMDS is a multi-denominational NS with 234 (comprising 112 girls and 122 boys) pupils in 8 mainstream classes from Junior Infants to 6th class. Attendance is excellent, with a very small number of exceptions. There are fourteen teachers, including four resource teachers and an administrative principal. Standardised testing in Mathematics and English reading is carried out in all classes from Rang 1 to Rang 6 annually.

The NCTE provide a restricted/protected broadband service to RMDS. Parents sign an AUP Acceptable Use Policy in Junior Infants. In third class, the children take responsibility for their own behaviour online by signing the AUP with their parents. Each classroom has access to a  media station in line with the DES recommendations.

There is currently an e-learning budget of €10,000 per year, in addition to e-learning consumables (inks, paper for printing etc).

Training for the staff is supported if suitable courses are identified.


2. The findings are summarized as follows:

Teachers held a number of meetings on this topic during the school year 2014-15.  An e-learning audit was completed.  In summary, attitudes to the role ICT can play in teaching and learning were very positive, although e-learning activities remain to some degree dependant on the proficiency of the teacher or staff member.

A meeting was held with parents in May 2015. There was a small attendance at the meeting.  Most parents present held a quite cautious view of technology in school.  Others were excited by the opportunities ICT provided for learning.  It was a very useful meeting in terms of developing a shared understanding of the role of e-learning and ICT here in RMDS and helping parents to understand what ways we use technology in school and also the difference between teacher led activities (i.e. whiteboards) and children actually on screens.

All children from Rang 3 to Rang 6 were surveyed in May 2015. Most had a positive view of the use of technology in the school and a good understanding of the issues related to technology, including internet safety, over reliance, being circumspect about information online. Almost every child surveyed saw technology as positive for learning.


Regular updates were provided to the Board of Management, who had set the development of an e-learning strategy as a priority for their term of office (2011-2015).  Overall the outcome of this process indicated that we fall in the category strengths outweigh weaknesses.



3. Progress made on previously identified improvement targets

3.1 Numeracy

The numeracy plan is progressing well. We set out over the period of the plan (2013-2016) to increase the percentage of pupils performing in the Well Above Average range in standard tests in numeracy to 55% over the period of the plan. In 2014, the percentage of pupils falling in the Well Above Average range was 57%. The scores for this year (2015) indicate that 67% of pupils are performing in this range.


A second target was to ensure that those performing in the Below Average range and Low Average range of standard tests in numeracy would score closer to the Average range. Test scores this year (May 2015) indicate that 3% of pupils fell in the Well Below Average range, compared with 2% in 2014 and 4% in 2013.


The staff consider there are a number of factors that have contributed to this success:


  • The collaborative approach to planning.
  • Team teaching of maths from rang 3 to rang 6.
  • In-class support for maths in the junior classes.
  • The use of pupil conferencing and regular assessment of learning from rang 3 up.


We remain concerned about a small number of pupils who have not gained mastery of the mathematics objective in the senior classes, despite intensive and ongoing learning support. We feel that a greater emphasis on manipulatives (concrete materials) and very targeted early intervention may help this group of children. More systematic implementation of the Aistear programme will have a benefit in this area.


Secondly we have agreed to carry out a detailed analysis of standard test scores in maths to help in the diagnostic process on a class wide basis. This will be coordinated in the autumn by the SEN team working with the principal.


The introduction of the Aistear programme has been slower than expected and will be reprioritized for September 2014.


3.2 Literacy

Standardised test results in English reading carried out in May 2015 showed that 69% of pupils in first to sixth class were performing in the Well Above Average range on standard tests in English reading. A further 15% performed in the Above Average range.

This compares with standardized test results in English reading in May 2014 which showed that 61% of pupils were performing in the Well Above Average range and a further 12% in the Above Average range.

The analysis of test scores also indicates that pupils are maintaining and improving scores as they move through the school. While these scores reflect the high levels of interest in education in the community we serve, and high levels of parental education and engagement with the school, the continued improvements in literacy scores also reflect high quality teaching, collaboration between resource and classroom staff and close monitoring of pupils at risk of reading failure as well as the provision of enrichment activities for more able children.

Continued attention to written expression will be required in the next school year to bring the levels of written skills from the ‘strengths outweigh weaknesses category to a ‘significant strength’ of the school.  It is intended to discuss this in more detail in the autumn of 2015.

Handwriting in the infant classes (to develop correct letter formation) and in Rang 3 (to ensure development of the cursive script) will be a priority in 2015-16.


4. Summary of school self-evaluation findings

4.1 Strengths:

  1. The numeracy plan (2013-2016) is progressing ahead of expectations.
  2. The literacy plan (2014-2017) is progressing in line with targets.
  3. There are good well maintained resources for e-learning available in the school.
  4. Parental expertise is well utilized in this area
  5. There is a very positive  attitude among staff and pupils regarding the potential of e-learning to enhance teaching and learning
  6. There is agreement on our vision of e-learning as a tool to enhance the teaching and learning process, not as an end in itself.


4.2 The following areas are prioritised for improvement:


  1. The further implementation of the Aistear programme in the 2015-16 school year.
  2. Written expression will continue to be a target for development.
  3. Handwriting skills will continue to be a focus particularly in the infant classes and in rang 3.
  4. We will continue to build our relationship with Rathmines library and try to ensure that all pupils have library cards by the end of the plan
  5. More systematic use of e-learning as a tool for teaching and learning and administration in all classes. An action plan, based on the ICT framework (2007) will be drawn up to ensure this happens.

4.3 The following action plan to improve the use of ICT as a tool for teaching and learning in RMDS was agreed.

Three Year Plan (2015-2018) to improve the use of ICT as a tool for teaching and learning in RMDS





The teachers will use the agreed aspects of the ICT framework in a consistent way in their teaching.  SEE ICT policy (available on school website www.rmds.ie) All staff From September 2015 In place
The mentor system that has been in place for some years will be continued. ICT co-ordinator/ individual staff Ongoing In place
At the class meetings at the beginning of each school year, teachers will outline clearly for parents how they approach ICT in their teaching All staff From Sept 2015 In place
In third class in the first term, the ICT coordinator will distribute and collect the AUP policy updates ICT co-ordinator, Rang 3 teacher From Sept 2015 In place
A system will be developed for passing on good web resources in a more systematic way .i.e. networked file/cloud document ICT co-ordinating teacher and staff group From Sept 2015 In place
All class teachers will include reference to ICT in monthly progress reports  and IEP plans All teaching staff and principal From Sept 2015 In place


The agreed actions will be reflected in the monthly progress report.


The ICT co-ordinator and the principal will meet regularly as part of the in-school management team to review progress.

Success criteria / Evaluation:

Teacher planning will reflect the agreed actions in a consistent way.

Teacher practice in the classroom will reflect the agreed actions in a consistent way

A survey of parents will reflect improved parental satisfaction with information about their child’s opportunities to use ICT in school.

A survey of pupils will reflect satisfaction with the opportunity to use ICT in their learning.

Staff will report increased confidence in using ICT in their teaching

An An audit using the e-learning roadmap will see us describe ourselves as e- confident at the end of the plan (2018).



4.4 There are no legislative and regulatory requirements which need to be addressed: See Appendix 1:  Summary Regulatory and Legislative Check list for 2015.



Appendix 1 RMDS Summary to legislative and regulatory check list for reporting to the school community 2015

Rules and regulations for schools are set out in a number of Education Acts, and in Circulars issued to schools from time to time by the Department of Education and Skills. The list below deals with important areas of school life and tells you what rules and regulations apply to them. You will find the Acts and Circulars mentioned on the Department’s website, www.education.ie.

Which area of school life is involved, and what are the regulations?


Is the school following the regulations fully?

The school calendar and the school timetableCircular 11/95 sets down the length of the school year - minimum of 183 daysCircular 11/95 sets down the length of the school day4 hours 40 minutes (infants);

5 hours 40 minutes (1st-6th classes)



Parent/ teacher meetings and staff meetingsCircular 14/04 sets out the arrangements for these meetings


Implementation of agreement regarding additional time in school for teachersCircular 0008/2011 requires teachers to do an additional 36 hours of out-of-class work each year, so as not to reduce teaching time


Standardisation of school yearCircular 034/2011 gives the dates for school holidays


Valid enrolment of pupilsSections of the Education Act 1998 and the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, and the Rules for National Schools set out the conditions for pupils to be validly enrolled in a school


Pupils repeating a yearThe circumstances in which pupils may repeat a year are set out in Rules for NationalSchools, and circulars 11/01 and 32/03


Development of school planSection 21, Education Act 1998 requires all schools to have a school plan


Engagement with SSE processCircular 39/2012 outlines the school self-evaluation process and what it requires of schools


Time for literacy and numeracy - assessing and reporting literacy and numeracy achievementCircular 56/2011 sets out initial actions required in the implementation of the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy


Exemption from IrishCircular 12/96 sets out the circumstances in which children are exempt from studying Irish


Implementation of child protection proceduresCircular 0065/2011 and the Child Protection Guidelines oblige schools to ensure that: liaison persons have been appointed; the procedures have been communicated to the whole school community; and the procedures are being followed


Implementation of complaints procedure as appropriateSection 28 Education Act 1998 provides for procedures to address complaints about a school.

Complaints have been resolved or are being resolved


Appeals in the case of refusal to enrol students, suspension and expulsion (permanent exclusion)Section 29 Education Act 1998 provides for appeals procedures in these cases, which are dealt with first of all by the school. Where cases are not resolved at school level, an external appeals committee hears the appeal.

Appeals have been dealt with or are being dealt with


Appendix to RMDS summary School Self-Evaluation Report:

Policy checklist – reporting to the school community

Schools are required to have certain policies in place as part of their permanent school plan. It is good practice for schools to consult with the school community in forming and reviewing many of these policies. The school board of management has to approve and ratify policies, and should ensure that they are reviewed on a regular basis.

What area of school life does the policy deal with and what is the aim of the policy?

Has policy been approved by the board of management?


Enrolment policySection (15)(2)(d) Education Act 1998 obliges schools to have and publish an enrolment policy that respects the principles of equality and parental choice


Code of behaviourSection 23, Education (Welfare) Act 2000, and the 2008 National Educational Welfare Board Guidelines set out regulations and good practice for schools to follow in drawing up and implementing a code of behaviour


Anti-bullying policyAnti-bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-primary Schools, 2013 sets out regulations and good practice for schools to follow in drawing up and implementing an anti-bullying policy


Attendance and participation strategySection 22 Education Welfare Act 2000 requires schools to develop a strategy to support high levels of pupil attendance and participation in school life


Health and safety statementAll schools should have a health and safety statement that is regularly reviewed (see Section 20 Health and Safety Act 2005)


Data protection School procedures relating to gathering, storing and sharing data on pupils should comply with data protection legislation - Data Protection Act 1988Data Protection (Amendment Act) 2003


Internet acceptable use policySchools should have and implement a policy to instruct pupils on safe and responsible use of the internet. See www.webwise.ie for guidelines


Special education needs policyVarious pieces of equality and education legislation, especially the Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act (EPSEN) 2004, require schools to be inclusive of pupils with special educational needs and to provide for them appropriately using the resources available


Relationships and sexuality education (RSE) policySchools are required to have an RSE policy and to implement it in line with Relationships and Sexuality Education: Policy Guidelines (1997)


Substance use policyThe National Drugs Strategy and Department Guidelines require schools to develop and implement a policy on substance use, in partnership with parents and other agencies


Child protection policyCircular 0065/2011 sets out requirements (see above for details of policy and implementation)


Parents as partnersCircular 24/91 requests schools to set up a parents’ association, and promotes partnership between home and school


Deployment of special needs assistantsCircular 71/11 allows for SNAs to be deployed flexibly to respond to the needs of the school





Ranelagh Multi-Denominational School,
Ranelagh Road,
Dublin 6.
T: +353 1 496 1722