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Programme Self-Evaluation St. Leo’s College, Carlow . SDPI Summer School DCU 20 th August 2008 Sheila Coady. Outline of presentation. Introduction Overview of St. Leo’s College’s TY Curriculum Evaluation of Transition Year St. Leo’s College’s experience Evaluation templates (handout)

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Programme Self-EvaluationSt. Leo’s College, Carlow

SDPI Summer School


20th August 2008

Sheila Coady

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Outline of presentation

  • Introduction

  • Overview of St. Leo’s College’s TY Curriculum

  • Evaluation of Transition Year

  • St. Leo’s College’s experience

  • Evaluation templates (handout)

  • Conclusion

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School based

Student focused






DES Support

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School context

  • All girls Voluntary Secondary School

  • Founded by Sisters of Mercy in 1839

  • Carlow Town

  • Comprehensive intake

  • 900 students

  • 77 teaching staff

  • Senior Cycle Programmes

    • TYP, LCAP, LCVP, established LC

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St. Leo’s College TY programme

  • Introduced in 1979 as a response to students’ needs

  • 2 class groups in 1985

  • 5 class groups in 2008/mixed ability

  • 137 participating students

  • Optional

  • Approximately 80-85% uptake annually

  • External Evaluation in April 2002.

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Programme Co-ordination

  • Programme Co-ordinator

  • T.Y. Co-ordinators

  • Activities Co-ordinators

  • T.Y. Year Head

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Evaluation of Transition YearTransition Year Guidelines 1994-95 Department of Education

  • "The programme should be regularly reviewed and evaluated internally by the co-ordinating team in close co-operation with school management, staff, students, parents, work providers and community interests. As part of this process, schools should attempt to develop appropriate quantitative and qualitative indicators as the means of raising and assuring the overall quality of the programme provided in the school. Regular monitoring and external evaluation of Transition Year will be a responsibility of the Department's inspectorate and psychological service."

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Evaluating the Transition Year Programme

What is evaluation ?

  • The process of determining the quality of the service offered to students and charting ways to improve that service.

    Transition News No. 7 1997

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Why should a school evaluate its Transition Year programme ?

  • Mandatory part of “Writing the TY Programme”

  • Affirmation of staff

  • Data for co-ordinator and core team

  • Transition Year programme improvement

  • Diagnosis of student problems

  • Diagnosis of staff difficulties

  • Planning for the year ahead

  • Support for administrative decision-making

  • Public relations

  • Data available for external evaluation by the Inspectorate

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What might be evaluated ?

  • Overall effectiveness of the programme

  • Relevance of original goals of the TYP

  • Breadth and balance within the programme

  • Teachers' levels of satisfaction with their modules/subjects

  • Application of active learning approaches

  • Learning resources

  • Student induction programme

  • Allocation of resources

  • Communication flows

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What might be evaluated ? Cont’d

  • Students' progress and motivation

  • Communication with parents

  • Assessment procedures

  • Image of the programme

  • Use of external learning environments

  • Links with employers

  • Community connections

  • Staff co-operation and teamwork

  • Decision making procedures

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Who might be involved ?

  • Co-ordinator and core team

  • Teachers of Transition Year students

  • The whole staff

  • Employers providing work experience

  • Other ‘community' interests

  • Students

  • Parents

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When might it take place?

  • Weekly

  • End of Module/Course

  • During/after Work Experience

  • Following a specific event

  • End of term

  • Parents Night

  • Towards end of school year

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St. Leo’s College Evaluation of TY

Whole staff programme evaluation

  • External evaluation report 2002

  • Re-writing of TY programme in line with “Writing the Transition Year Programme” (SDP 2003-2004). Carried out by subject departments with internal facilitation

  • Meeting of all TY teachers chaired by TY co-ordinators

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Outcomes of TY programme evaluation

  • Updated written Transition Year Programme

    • Introduction to programme

    • Discrete subject programmes

  • Improved effectiveness of the programme

  • Assessment procedures further developed

    • Project work, Student self-assessment

  • Wider certification

  • Community links and external learning environments

  • Formal and frequent communication with parents

  • TY graduation night (format developed)

  • Ongoing TY curriculum evaluation

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Ongoing TY curriculum evaluation

Subject departments, teachers, students, external partners

  • Calendar layer

    • Evaluation of musical, work experience

  • TY specific/modular layer

    • Evaluation of Social Skills programme/KAS, Young Social Innovator

  • Subject sampling layer

    • Evaluation of French, German, Art & Heritage

  • Core subject layer

    • Evaluation of RE and Maths

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Evaluation Instruments

  • Students

    • Specific event evaluation

    • Individual subject evaluation

    • Mid-year self-evaluation

    • End of year evaluation

  • Teachers

    • Evaluation of teaching styles

    • Subject/module evaluation

    • Self-evaluation

  • Parents

    • End of year evaluation

Developed by TYCSS and adapted by subject departments and individual teachers

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Role of co-ordination team in programme evaluation

  • Initiates and manages the evaluation process

  • Selects areas of programme to be evaluated

  • Defines success criteria

  • Assists in the provision of evaluation templates

  • Collation, analysis and interpretation of data

  • Extracting recommendations

  • Negotiating and implementing changes

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Benefits of TY programme self-evaluation

  • School culture of self-improvement

  • Further promotion of collaboration/collegiality

  • Whole school ownership of and commitment to the Transition Year Programme

  • Improvement in aspects of programme planning, delivery and management

  • Enhanced teaching and learning

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Benefits of TY programme self-evaluation

  • Increased programme coherence and clarity of purpose

  • Utilisation of in-school expertise

  • Provision of structures for listening to staff, pupil and parent needs

  • Generates confidence in relation to external evaluation/WSE