Clounagh Junior High School say they are taking steps to address the criticisms raised in an inspection report.
The school’s overall performance level was marked ‘Satisfactory’ and areas where improvement is needed were identified following the inspection by the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) in May.
In the other three main categories, Achievements and Standards, Provision and Leadership and Management, it was also rated ‘Satisfactory’.
The inspectors criticised some of the plans for literacy and numeracy. The report said, “Literacy and numeracy are not prioritised within the school development plan (SDP). In order to develop the pupils’ communication and mathematical skills in all subjects and to raise further the standards attained, it will be important to develop literacy and numeracy strategies, underpinned by robust action plans.”
The report praises the pupils as being “courteous, well motivated and eager to learn” and said they “achieve well in music, drama, public speaking and sport”.
However, it noted that the development of pupils’ “wider skills capabilities and dispositions, including their oral skills, creativity and critical thinking, is variable”.
It was noted that the pupils in the Learning Support Centre “make good progress” and “take responsibility for their own learning”. It was also pointed out that in two of the past four years, the “percentage of pupils attaining level 5 or above
by the end of key stage 3 in English is above the average for similar schools; in mathematics the percentage is in line with the average”.
The quality of the learning and teaching observed during the inspection “ranged from very good to satisfactory with the majority being good or better”.
It was pointed out that in the “most effective lessons there are positive working relationships between teachers, classroom assistants and pupils which engender an enthusiasm for learning”.
However, in the “least effective” practice, in just under one-third of the lessons observed, the learning and teaching is overly directed by the teachers and the activities are overly focused on completing low-level tasks rather than on developing skills. In these lessons, the standard of the pupils’ work is not commensurate with their ability”.
The school was praised for identifying at an early stage those pupils who “require additional support with aspects of their learning”. It added, “Appropriate intervention strategies are employed to help the pupils make progress. The individual education plans (IEPs) are very practical, with clear, realistic and measurable targets for each pupil.”
It continued, “The school has a caring, inclusive ethos and shows a strong commitment to the welfare of both pupils and staff. The pupils respond well to strategies which promote positive behaviour and benefit from the range of extra-curricular enrichment activities.
In conclusion the inspectors said that in “most of the areas inspected” the quality of education provided is “satisfactory”.
The report said, “The strengths outweigh the areas for improvement in the provision. The inspection has identified areas for improvement in: the overall standards attained by the pupils; the quality of learning and teaching, and in the school’s processes for monitoring and evaluating the provision.
“The main areas for improvement are the need to: • raise further the standards attained by the pupils through the more systematic monitoring and evaluation of the quality of the provision; and• improve the quality of learning and teaching in a significant minority of lessons.
“The ETI will monitor and report on the school’s progress in addressing the areas for improvement over the next 18-24 months.”