Tankerstown NS principal Noirin Ni Mhaoldhomhnaigh.
Tankerstown N.S. in Bansha provides a good standard of education, teachers are “enthusiastic” and the school is led “in a visionary manner” according to a newly published report.
A Whole School Evaluation (WSE) was carried out on Tankerstown National School on April 6th, and the report was published on June 22nd.
All schools in the state are subject to regular WSEs to ensure standards are upheld.
Tankerstown NS is a co-educational, vertical primary school under the patronage of the Catholic Archbishop of Cashel and Emly. The school has four mainstream class teachers and two part-time support teachers, both of whom are based in the school. There are ninety-seven pupils enrolled and pupil attendance is generally very good.
∙ The overall quality of teaching is good and the teachers implement new initiatives in an enthusiastic and effective manner.
∙ The quality of support for pupils’ well-being is of a high standard.
∙ The principal provides highly effective leadership and demonstrates a commitment to high standards in teaching and learning.
The overall quality of pupils’ learning achievements is good and teaching initiatives in literacy and numeracy are impacting positively on learning outcomes; the development of pupils’ oral language skills in Irish requires further attention
∙ While good progress has been made in the development of whole-school approaches to assessment, there is scope to extend the potential of assessment for learning.
∙ School self-evaluation practices are well developed.
SUPPORT FOR PUPILS’ WELL-BEING
∙ The quality of support for pupils’ well-being is very high. An orderly, secure and healthy learning environment is successfully maintained. Teachers demonstrate a commitment to pupils’ well-being. They frequently engage in professional development opportunities to support the schools’ inclusive, child-centred environment. Pupil voice is promoted through the active students’ council. Almost all parents indicated through the questionnaire, that their children felt safe and well looked after in school and all parents agreed that they feel welcome in the school.
Good learning achievements were noted in Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) where the pupils explore social media and examine its influence on their opinions and their behaviours.
∙ Very good communication exists between home and school and a strong sense of community is evident. Parents are kept informed of school activities through frequent email and newsletters. The parents’ association and general parent body play a very active and supportive role. Attendance levels for most pupils are very good and this reflects the positive work that has been undertaken by the school to cultivate a shared understanding of the importance of attendance.
LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT
∙ The quality of leadership and management is very good. The board of management operates efficiently and members demonstrate a keen understanding of their role. Board members give careful consideration to the formulation of school policy and are aware of the teaching and learning priorities in the school.
∙ The principal provides highly effective leadership. Her work is characterised by her commitment to high standards in teaching and learning. She leads the school in a visionary manner and fosters very good relations with parents, teachers, ancillary staff and the broader school community. She promotes and supports the introduction of initiatives to improve learning outcomes on a whole-school basis. The in-school management team works in close partnership with the principal to lead improvements in teaching and learning.
The pupils demonstrate good understanding and they have a good range of vocabulary in Irish. In most classes, effective use is made of poetry and songs to give pupils experience of the sounds and structure of the language. Pupils read capably, accurately and with good understanding and they are able to construct sentences appropriately in their writing. In order to systematically develop the pupils’ speaking skills, the development plan for oral Irish should be implemented systematically at a whole-school level.
The outcomes of assessment should be used consistently to extend the potential of assessment for learning
The Board of Management of Tankerstown National School broadly welcomes the findings in this WSEMLL. To see that 100% of the parent body surveyed feel welcome and that 100% of parents value the emphasis the school puts on the social and personal development of their children is most encouraging, as the emotional wellbeing of our pupils and school community is paramount.
In the past five years, we have carefully chosen a number of teaching initiatives to enhance pupils’ learning achievements but also their learning experiences. The Board concurs that the school is indeed being highly effectively led and wishes to acknowledge this formally. We have developed a spiral incremental progression plan from infants to sixth class in the majority of subjects. Having spent the past number of years developing Irish in the school (SSE), it is satisfying and energising to see pupils’ good vocabulary, understanding, reading and enjoyment of Irish as a living language in the school being acknowledged. We have developed an oral Irish scheme as a whole staff team in the past year. As the new language curriculum (English/ Gaeilge) is being rolled out in the next academic year, we welcome the recommendation to implement this incremental plan, and will do so with enthusiasm.
In response to the publication, The Board of Management of Tankerstown National School also wishes to acknowledge the whole staff: -teachers, SNAs and ancillary staff for their tireless dedication to the pupils and families of this area. Their energy, enthusiasm, generosity of spirit, goodwill and indeed good humour create in the school a very unique, special atmosphere.