Thurles C.B.S Secondary School has “good or very good” quality of teaching and learning in the subject of English, according to a new report.
On March 9 this year, a Dept. of Education inspector carried out a Subject Inspection in English in CBS Thurles. The report was published on October 5th. All schools across the State are subject to such inspections, in line with national guidelines.
CBS Thurles is a voluntary secondary school for boys, under the trusteeship of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust (ERST). In recent years, the school’s enrolment has increased considerably, from 420 to 700. The curricular programmes offered by the school include the Junior Certificate, an optional Transition Year (TY), the established Leaving Certificate and the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme.
The key findings of the report are: “Effective practices noted in classrooms included good quality questioning, promotion of pair work, and utilisation of information and communications technology (ICT) as a teaching and learning tool. The quality of teaching observed was good or very good in almost all lessons, with some exemplary practices noted; there was scope for development in differentiation practices. The quality of learning ranged from very good to satisfactory; there was scope for development in formative assessment practices. Subject provision and whole-school support for the subject is very good. At the time of the inspection, the teachers of English had not accessed training for the new junior cycle specification since 2014 and were not implementing the school-based assessment aspects of the specification. While some very good examples of individual lesson planning were observed, the quality of teachers’ collective planning for the subject is satisfactory at present.”
The main recommendations are: “Teachers should agree and implement a wider range of in-class strategies to support differentiation and formative assessment practices. With regard to junior cycle planning and course delivery, the lens of the learning outcomes should be used to structure the teaching of prescribed texts; the framing of in-class, homework, and in-house examinations; and associated scheme improvements. Teachers should implement all aspects of school-based assessment associated with the junior cycle English specification, including Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs) and subject learning and review (SLAR) meetings.”
The draft findings and recommendations arising out of this evaluation were discussed with the principal and subject teachers at the conclusion of the evaluation. The board of management of the school was given an opportunity to comment on the findings and recommendations of the report; the board chose to accept the report without response.