The Department of Education and Skills has acknowledged that Scoil na Mainistreach’s school building in Quin is “now deficient in meeting the needs of the current school population” and is likely to become increasingly so in the future.
The department noted this in a in a whole school evaluation report carried out in November 2010 and which was recently published.
While the school received a positive evaluation it was noted by the inspectorate that the school’s board of management addresses the maintenance and improvement of the school building with diligence.
Notwithstanding this, the report noted that “the school building is now deficient in meeting the needs of the current school population. As it is expected that the school population will continue to grow, the current building is likely to be increasingly deficient in meeting the school’s needs into the future”.
Responding to the comments made in the department’s evaluation, the school’s board of management said it is continuing, as a priority, to pursue this issue with the Department of Education and Skills”.
Scoil na Mainistreach School is a co-educational primary school and has nine mainstream class teachers and 253 pupils. The village has experienced rapid growth in population and school enrolment has increased by 70% in the last five years.
In the evaluation, the inspectorate found that the school is managed by an effective board of management and that the principal, Ms Anne Fitzpatrick demonstrates “very high levels of commitment and of capability”.
It noted that extra-curricular provision in the school is very good, staff members contribute willingly to projects and initiatives that support the implementation of the curriculum and in general, the quality of teaching is good and overall, good standards are achieved by its pupils.
Speaking of the students the report noted they “are very well behaved and they engage with interest in all activities designed to promote their learning”.
“Significant progress has been made in the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) as a teaching resource and provision for pupils with special educational needs is, for the most part, very good,” the report outlined.
Among the main recommendations in the report was that mainstream class teachers should develop more effective strategies to differentiate learning tasks to meet the needs of pupils who present with varying levels of ability and that more emphasis should be placed on assessment for learning.
It added that in the junior classes, the provision of early intervention in literacy should be prioritised by the school as a means of boosting pupils’ competences in this area.
“Overall, the quality of teaching and learning ranges from satisfactory to very good and parent questionnaires indicate a high level of satisfaction with overall provision in the school,” it concluded.