Deis Action Plan

 

SCHOOL DEIS ACTION PLAN

2015 – 2016

POBALSCOIL IOSOLDE

 

DEIS:  Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools

 

Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS), the Action Plan for Educational Inclusion, was launched in 2005 and remains the Department of Education and Skills policy instrument to address educational disadvantage.  The Action Plan focuses on addressing and prioritising the educational needs of children and disadvantaged communities, from pre-school through second level education (3 – 18 years).  Pobalscoil Iosolde joined the DEIS scheme in

DEIS provides a standardised system for identifying levels of disadvantage and an integrated School Support Programme (SSP).

The action plan is, therefore, one element of continuum of interventions to address disadvantage, which include second chance education and training and access measures for adults to support increased participation by under represented groups in further and higher education.

 

The action plan is grounded in the belief that:

  • every child and young person deserves an equal chance to access, participate in and benefit from education
  • each person should have the opportunity to reach his/her full potential for personal, social and economic reasons
  • education is a critical factor in promoting social inclusion and economic development

 

The plan will both complement and support efforts at national and European level to bring about social cohesion and economic progress.  The Lisbon Strategy, The Agreed Programme for Government, The Social Partnership Agreement sustaining progress, The national Anti-Poverty strategy and the National Action Plans against poverty and social exclusion are all catalysts for a new approach.

 

 

Priorities which are directly linked to the School DEIS Plan

 

Retention

 

  • To improve student retention in the school

 

Attendance

 

  • To improve student attendance

 

Literacy

 

  • To promote a whole school approach to literacy

 

Numeracy

 

  • To promote a whole school approach to numeracy

 

Educational Attainment and Progression

 

  • To encourage all students to achieve their academic potential
  • To continually strive to raise student expectations
  • To ensure that all students receive and complete homework appropriate to their level of ability
  • To acquire an adaptable attitude to learning
  • To continue to develop Assessment for Learning

 

Partnership with parents/guardians and the community

 

  • To promote the involvement of parents /guardians in the education of their children
  • To promote the involvement of the community in the education of the students

 

Other priorities linked to the DEIS areas

 

  • To uphold the principle of respect throughout the whole school by continuing to embed a very structured Code of Behaviour and by continuing to review same
  • To promote a happy and secure learning environment
  • To continually strive to ensure the mental and physical wellbeing of all our students
  • To promote the use of technology in all areas throughout the school

 

 

Aims, Objectives and Action Plan

 

Retention

 

Aim:  To ensure all students complete second level education

 

Objectives

  1. Every student will complete junior cycle
  2. At least 99% of students will complete senior cycle

 

Action Plan

  • Provision of a comprehensive transfer programme to all incoming students
  • The Attendance Officer will inform all relevant staff and parents/guardians regarding any student deemed to be at risk or other issues related to attendance
  • Provision of the most comprehensive curriculum possible
  • Provision of all second level educational programmes ratified by the Department of Education and Skills
  • Provision of initiatives under school programmes (e.g. J.C.S.P.)
  • Provision by the HSCL Co-ordinator of initiatives that promote parental involvement in their children’s learning
  • Involvement by the HSCL Co-ordinator in the provision of initiatives for the purpose of improving school retention
  • Provision of targeted home visits by the HSCL Co-ordinator and School Completion Officer to students deemed at risk
  • Provision of counselling to students deemed at risk
  • Provision of necessary educational assessments that NEPS are unable to provide

 

Attendance

 

Aim:  To increase the attendance and punctuality of students

 

Objectives

  1. To decrease the percentage of students absent for more that 20 days (currently 5.3%) by 2% (certified absences not included)
  2. To decrease that percentage of students absent for more that 8 days (currently 37.2%) by 2% (certified absences not included)

 

Action Plan

  • An award system will be put in place to recognise, commend and encourage excellent attendance
  • The award system enable students with excellent attendance to win awards during and at the end of the school year. Also the class with the best attendance will be awarded
  • Tutors will contact parents/guardians of a targeted number of students regarding a persistent lack of punctuality

 

Literacy

 

Aim:  To improve the level of literacy among students

 

Objectives

  1. To ensure that student both know and understand all key words
  2. To ensure that student both know and understand all key words
  3. To encourage students to write more expansively, logically and clearly
  4. To ensure that all students from 1st year onwards apply a more structured approach to paragraph formation
  5. To encourage students to think and argue more logically
  6. To encourage students in 1st year to read and review at least two novels (outside the school curriculum) in class during the school year
  7. To improve students’ oral literacy skills
  8. To improve literacy levels by 2% in the first two years

 

Action Plan

  • Key words will be pre-taught and recorded by students
  • The questions, who, what, when, where, how and why will be used by all teachers in all subject areas to encourage students to write more expansively, logically and clearly
  • The literacy policy will be regularly reviewed
  • DEIS initiatives such as reading week, literacy policy, storytelling initiative, reading challenges, paired reading programme, visiting librarian session, visiting writer, book club initiatives, creative writing club, parent practical session will be used to improve reading, general literacy skills and oral literacy skills and oral literacy skills. These initiatives will be reviewed on an ongoing basis
  • A new state of the Art school library will be made available to students as soon as possible

 

Numeracy

 

Aim:  To improve the level of numeracy among students

 

Objectives

  1. Every teacher will integrate numeracy strategies into their teaching
  2. To improve numeracy by at least 2% between 1st year and 4th year
  3. To demonstrate to students that numeracy skills have an application in everyday life

 

Action Plan

  • The numeracy level of every incoming 1st year student will be assessed using the Cognitive Ability Test CAT 4 Level E. The numeracy levels of these students will be tested again in 4th year using CAT Level G.  Parents will be informed of the result
  • Using the CAT 4 results from 1st and 4th year, it will be ascertained if numeracy levels have increased by 2% in that time span. There will be an annual review of same
  • DEIS initiatives such as Maths for Fun, the numeracy programme, the numeracy club, maths week, Applied Maths, and practical sessions for parents/guardians will be used to improve skills in numeracy. These initiatives will be reviewed on an annual basis
  • Students will be required to convert examination results into percentages in all subjects on an ongoing basis
  • Teachers will avail of every opportunity to include numeracy in their teaching

 

Educational attainment and progression

 

Aim:  To maximise student academic potential

 

Objectives

  1. To identify students’ learning styles and inform students and parents/guardians of the results
  2. To ensure that an increasing percentage of the student cohort will sit the state examinations at higher level and gain at least a grade D
  3. To ensure that there is a 2% increase in the number of students achieving A, B, and C grades at higher level in state examinations
  4. To promote the attainment of higher grades in state examinations
  5. To block as many subjects as possible to ensure that an increasing number of students receive the opportunity to sit the highest level in these subjects
  6. To expand students’ higher order thinking skills by encouraging use of the questions who, what, when, where, how and why in all classes at every opportunity
  7. To provide the widest possible subject choice in order to maximise the students’ talents and abilities
  8. To provide the widest possible range of school programmes so as to ensure placement of all students in suitable recognised DES programmes (Junior Certificate, Junior Certificate School Programme, Transition Year. Leaving Certificate, Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme and Leaving Certificate Applied)
  9. To ensure cross-curricular targets are met
  10. To ensure that students with special educational needs are supported in their learning by providing each student with an individual educational plan, including a review at the end of every academic year

 

Action Plan

  • Students will be informed and understand their preferred learning styles through the CAT 4 test and parents/guardians will be informed of the results
  • The state examination results will be analysed and presented to staff each year by the Deputy Principal. Each subject department will formulate an action plan on how to maximise the percentage taking higher levels in a subject and the number achieving higher grades
  • Every subject department will produce a comprehensive subject plan with common schemes of work and action plans to enable a co-ordinated consistent approach to teaching and assessment in the subject
  • Differentiation will be used in the classroom to enable every student engage in classwork to the best of his/her ability. It will also be used to maximise student potential
  • Revision plans will be prepared with students for each subject prior to all examinations
  • All subjects will continue to be blocked at Leaving Certificate and as many subjects as possible will be blocked in Transition year and at Junior Cycle
  • All subjects. in as far as possible, studied at junior cycle will be available at senior cycle
  • Any student in 5th or 6th year with the appropriate subjects will be given the opportunity of taking the LCVP programme which enables them sit an eight subject in the Leaving Certificate
  • A number of senior students will be given the opportunity to study an additional subject for Leaving Certificate.
  • Students with special needs, irrespective of need or difficulty, will continue to be catered for within the inclusive classroom through a variety of supports such as differentiation of material, access to a Special needs Assistant, team teaching and withdrawal for resource support
  • The school will strive to ensure that any student needing reasonable accommodation will be facilitated in house examinations and in state examinations
  • Teachers will engage in cross-curricular planning and their implementation into the relevant programmes
  • During mock examinations exact examination conditions will be replicated, including the provision of mock practicals and orals
  • All eligible students will be encouraged to participate in the Trinity Access Programme in order to increase their motivation for achieving excellent Leaving Certificate results, which would enable them to proceed to third level education
  • The Board of Management will continue to provide Gaeltacht Scholarships for up to ten students each year and students will be encouraged to avail of these
  • The HSCL Co-ordinator will organise a number of events, programmes and courses for parents and students to enable the students engage better with the academic challenges of school
  • After school supervised study will be provided three days a week for students. Supervised study will be provided at February and Easter break. Priority will be given to 3rd and 6th year students.
  • Study skills will be introduced for 1st year students, thus focusing on student aspirations at a much earlier stage
  • Letters will be sent to parents/guardians regarding study skills, giving information and advice regarding their child’s education and study. Key dates in 2014 – 2015 will be given to all students and parents/guardians
  • Students will be placed in appropriate classes based on the CAT 4 entrance assessment

 

Aim:    To continually strive to raise student expectations

 

Objectives

  1. To provide students with career guidance at key junctures in students’ lives
  2. To develop partnership with 3rd level institutions
  3. To increase student involvement in the Trinity Access Programme
  4. To develop partnership with local businesses
  5. To provide students with role models who took various successful career paths
  6. To provide opportunities for mentoring through the past pupil alumni

 

Action Plan

  • Career guidance will be provided at key junctures in students’ lives to enable them make informed decisions
  • Students will continue to attend 3rd level and PLC Open days
  • The number of students involved in the Trinity access Programme will increase by 2%
  • Student engagement in the Trinity Access Programme will improve
  • Students will continue to participate in work experience in the local and wider community as an integral part of the Transition year, LCA and LCVP programmes
  • The school will continue to arrange visits to businesses in the local and wider community, such as AbbVie and vice versa
  • Presentations will be given to students by representatives of successful entrepreneurs, business people, educationalists and from other careers
  • To develop the database of past students in order to create opportunities for student mentoring

 

Aim:  To acquire an adaptable attitude to learning

 

Objectives

  1. To identify students’ learning styles and inform students and parents/guardians of the results
  2. Teachers will continue to adapt their teaching styles to deal with students experiencing learning difficulties
  3. Teachers will use a variety of teaching styles to cater for the multiple intelligences. To this end, Assessment for Learning techniques, which have already been introduced to staff, will be developed and incorporated into classroom teaching

 

Action Plan

  • Students will be informed and understand their preferred learning styles through the CAT 4 test and parents/guardians will be informed of the results
  • Project work will continue to encourage skills of analysis and reflection at junior cycle. Students will acquire generic learning skills, problem solving skills, research skills, skills of analysis, synthesis and other higher order thinking skills and they will acquire the ability to transfer these skills to the work place and to their personal lives
  • Transition year, Leaving Certificate Applied and Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme will be utilised to develop entrepreneurship at senior cycle
  • All transition year students will complete modules on learning to learn and career guidance
  • The Special Needs Department will give all staff a presentation on the various learning difficulties experienced by specific students at the beginning of the school year. Useful strategies and teaching methodologies will be identified.  Staff will receive regular reminders at staff briefings and at staff meetings about differentiated learning.
  • In-service training will continue to be provided to staff regarding the use of IT and other resources to facilitate Assessment for Learning

 

 

Aim:    To ensure that all students receive and complete homework

            appropriate to their level of ability

 

Objectives

  1. To continue to embed and implement the homework policy
  2. To devise a homework plan for all classes within each subject
  3. To provide students with regular homework appropriate to the subject
  4. To ensure that students are fully informed and understand all homework given
  5. To review our current homework policy

Action Plan

  • Teachers will follow the school homework policy
  • Subject departments will include a homework plan in each subject plan
  • Teachers will include a homework plan for all classes in their schemes of work
  • Teachers will ensure that students write all homework in the journal
  • Teachers will ensure that all students are given regular homework and fully understand how to complete it
  • Differentiated homework will be assigned to students to ensure that all ability levels are catered for and student potential is maximised
  • A staff homework committee has been set up to review the current homework policy
  • A homework club will be offered to a number of targeted students to assist with understanding and completion of assigned homework

Aim:    To improve student learning by the introduction and development

              of Assessment for Learning in every classroom

 

Objectives

  1. To provide students with objectives for every lesson and assess their achievement
  2. To ensure that student both know and understand all key words
  3. To use a variety of AfL resources, such as traffic lights, show me boards, place mats, tarsias and rubrics, to improve student learning
  4. To enable teachers assess and improve their teaching and thus improve student learning through feedback gained through Assessment for Learning

 

Action Plan

  • At the beginning of every lesson objective(s) will be placed on the board
  • At the conclusion of every lesson the achieving of the objective(s) for the lesson will be reviewed with students
  • Key words will be pre-taught to students
  • Feedback will be sought from students at the end of every topic
  • Teachers will use “show me boards” to assess student learning
  • Teachers will use “traffic lights” to assess student learning
  • Pair work and group work will be used with students, where appropriate in order to enable students learn more effectively
  • A variety of tools, such as tarsias, rubrics and placemats will be utilised to involve students in the learning process and improve student learning
  • Teachers will adjust and improve their teaching based on the information received from assessment for learning techniques implemented

 

Partnership with parents/guardians and the community

 

Aim:  To promote partnership with parents/guardians

 

Objectives

  1. To involve parents/guardians in literacy and numeracy programmes devised for junior cycle
  2. To improve communication and transfer of information between the school and the home
  3. To familiarise and engage parents/guardians in their child/children’s education process

 

Action Plan

  • Parents/guardians will be enabled to provide practical support to their children in the areas of literacy and numeracy
  • Parents/guardians will be invited to attend a practical session on how to help their children in English and mathematics
  • All parents/guardians of incoming 1st year students will receive a transfer pack
  • 1st year parents/guardians will be invited to coffee mornings in the school in September
  • All parents/guardians will be invited to attend parent teacher meetings for each of their children annually
  • All parents/guardians will be given the opportunity to participate in a range of courses/classes in the school
  • Parents/guardians will receive information letters and newsletters at regular intervals throughout the school year
  • The HSCL Co-ordinator will make targeted home visits throughout the school year
  • Parents/guardians will be invited attend the PTA meetings and become a member of the committee
  • Parents/guardians will be invited to become members of the local committee
  • Parents/guardians will be consulted regarding school review and development
  • Parents/guardians will engage in consultation with the career guidance teacher regarding their sons/daughters preferred learning style and educational progression

 

Aim:  To promote partnership with others

 

Objectives

  1. To develop partnership with 3rd level institutions
  2. To develop partnership with local primary schools
  3. To develop partnership with local businesses
  4. To develop partnership with members of the local and wider community
  5. To develop partnership with local agencies

 

Action Plan

  • Students will continue to attend 3rd level and PLC Open days
  • The school will continue to operate a transfer programme for 4th, 5th and 6th class students in the local and wider community
  • The school will hold an Open Evening/Information Evening for members of the local and wider community
  • The school will continue to arrange visits to local businesses, such as AbbVie
  • Local businesses will be invited to visit and make presentations to students
  • Students will continue to participate in work experience in the local and wider community as an integral part of the Transition year, LCA and LCVP programmes
  • Members of the community will continue to be invited to attend Local Committee meetings
  • Members of the community will continue to facilitate various initiatives such as talks, classes, courses, workshops and parent book clubs, as a means of promoting the education and development of parents and students
  • The school will continue to disseminate relevant information literature to parents and students provided by organisations in the community
  • The school will continue to invite Ballyfermot Community Guards to provide talks on the subject of substance misuse to 2nd year students
  • Students will participate in Social Inclusion Projects with South Dublin County Council
  • Information will be given to students about youth organisations and support groups within the community
  • The Adult Education Department will continue to offer a range of courses to the local community

 

Aim:  To uphold the sense of respect that already exists in the school and to  

           promote its development

 

Objectives

  1. Teachers will implement the Code of Behaviour in order to instil a sense of respect throughout the school
  2. Community ethos will be promoted through the creation of an environment which includes all students, their parents/guardians and the wider community
  3. To respect diversity
  4. To promote respect for their surroundings and the environment
  5. To develop the student voice through the student council and the local committee

Action Plan

  • Efforts will be made throughout the year to embed the Code of Behaviour. The results of these efforts will be regularly reviewed at every staff meeting
  • An award system is in place to recognise and encourage good behaviour
  • A sense of respect will be fostered within the student population through the relevant sections of the RE, CSPE, and SPHE programmes
  • The pastoral care system will promote positive citizenship ideas with a clear understanding of rights and responsibilities
  • Students will participate in our Annual Intercultural Week
  • Parents/guardians will be given opportunities to partake in various courses throughout the year to improve the community ethos
  • Green issues will be addressed in subjects such as CSPE, SPHE, Geography etc
  • Students will be given the opportunity to be democratically elected the student council. Student council meetings will be held regularly and the student voice will be taken into consideration when developing policy
  • There will always be student representation on the local committee. Student representatives will attend local committee meetings and will act as a link between the student council and the local committee

 

Aim:  To provide a happy and secure learning environment

 

Objectives

  1. To deliver an appropriate SPHE programme
  2. To organise a pastoral care system within Pobalscoil Iosolde
  3. To implement the Code of Behaviour
  4. To implement the Anti-Bullying Policy
  5. To implement the Substance Use Policy
  6. To enable staff resolve conflicts with students more effectively

 

Action Plan

  • The SPHE Co-ordinator will arrange the topics to be covered for each term
  • Regular year head tutor meetings to discuss student progress and plan SPHE programme
  • Regular Assistant Principal and senior management meetings will be held
  • Regular care team meetings will be held
  • Year Group Assemblies will take place
  • The Code of Behaviour will be discussed at staff meetings, year head tutor meetings, assistant principal meetings and assemblies
  • Year heads and tutors will discuss the implement the Code of Behaviour with their tutor groups at regular intervals
  • Students will receive regular reminders with regard to the Code of Behaviour over the public address system
  • Regular staff briefings will be held
  • The Non-negotiable standard classroom procedures will continue to be evaluated and reviewed annually
  • The buddy system, which involves senior students mentoring 1st year students in order to help them adapt to second level education, will continue
  • All bullying incidents will be investigated speedily using the school Anti-Bullying Procedure

 

Aim:  To promote good mental and physical health of all students

 

Objectives

  1. To promote a positive attitude to self and life
  2. To promote participation of students in a variety of physical activities
  3. To develop coping skills
  4. To develop resilience in the face of life’s vicissitudes

 

Action Plan

  • The pastoral care system will be utilised in promoting and instilling a sense of wellbeing in students
  • The Care Team will continue to meet on a weekly basis and deal with individual cases
  • SPHE modules will promote good mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing
  • Speakers will deliver talks to students and provide opportunities for open forum discussions on health issues
  • Students will engage in fundraising activities, thus increasing their awareness of people encountering difficulties in life
  • Counselling by members of the Care Team and an accredited Psychotherapist will be made available to students who need it

 

Aim:  To increase the use of technology in all areas throughout the school

 

Objectives

  1. To actively promote the use of IT in the classroom with a particular emphasis on Assessment for Learning
  2. To continue to provide professional development to teachers to ensure the optimal use of all the IT facilities within the school
  3. Staff will continue to share expertise and resources in relation to the use of our new It facilities
  4. All teachers will continue to expand their use of the Eportal system
  5. Teachers will register students for each and every classes using the Eportal system

 

Action Plan

  • Staff will be provided with training in good practice in the use of IT e.g. meeting time will be allocated to IT up-skilling, at subject meetings, resource meetings and at general staff meetings with a particular emphasis on Assessment for Learning
  • Subject folders will provide for sharing of IT expertise, resources and on the use of interactive projectors
  • Teacher will monitor student attendance and progress through the use of the Eportal system

 

Review and Evaluation

 

All priorities, aims, objectives and action plans will be reviewed on an annual basis.  Feedback from students, teachers and parents will be sought to evaluate progress.  The process of establishing policies is ongoing and further work is being done in this area.  Likewise, established policies will be reviewed and updated as indicated.  Review and evaluation is currently undertaken in the first instance by the school Academic Advisory Council and recommendations are brought to the staff, students, parents and the Board of Management.  The Board of management has ultimate responsibility for ratification.