School Context

 

St Brigid’s Primary School is situated in the Carnhill Estate which is part of the Outer North Electoral Ward.  This Ward like others within the city has high levels of unemployment, thus impacting on employment opportunities for the community which the school serves. 

 

The school has recently celebrated its 40th anniversary with more than 700 pupils, parents, past and present returning to celebrate this special occasion.  We continuously strive to develop close links with parents and grandparents.

 

In addition to the two form entry from Year 1 to Year 7, the school has a full-time Nursery Class and Nurture Centre and hosts two Special Units for foundation, KS1 and KS2 pupils with additional learning needs.

 

Our school works in close partnership with St Brigid’s Church.  The children are engaged through reading, singing, altar serving and performing dramas for the local parishioners.

 

The school works in close partnership with the Extended Schools Cluster Group which includes schools from within the Greater Shantallow Partnership.  The focus of this work is to enhance and extend community links with an emphasis on healthy lifestyles and involvement with community groups.

 

The school offers a broad and balanced curriculum as well as a range of pre and post school extra-curricular activities funded by Extended Schools.  We promote our school through community involvement, the School Website, the School Prospectus and our Facebook Page.

 

We have recently achieved the IIP Gold Award.  We achieved a very high grade in both of our most recent ETI Inspections.

 

Further information concerning our Ethos and other aspects of school life can be accessed from the School Website.

 

 Challenges for the school

 

  • The social and economic challenges faced by the local community.

  • Raising and maintaining standards in Communication and Using Mathematics across the whole school.

  • The impact of demographic trends in the local area on pupil intake.

  • Improving GL/End of Key Stage Assessment outcomes and implementing the new assessment arrangements when agreed.

  • Providing specialised staff development in aspects of the curriculum where EA support is not available.

  • To continue to offer a high quality education due to reduced budgets, including finance, working with external agencies, accessing formal assessments for special needs children and providing one-to-one specialist support with limited EA input.

  • Uncertainty of Extended School’s Funding to support extra-curricular activities and community initiatives.

  • Engaging parents in school life.

  • Maintaining the building and site, in the present economic climate.

  • The demands of managing and responding to technological change.

  • Providing opportunities to increase language experiences in the early years to close the gap with their peers.

  • The impact of the current union action on monitoring and evaluation practices within in the school.

 

Opportunities for the school

 

We see our challenges as providing us with the following opportunities:

 

  • The effective use of assessment and online GL data to track pupils’ progress and to inform planning, teaching, learning, assessment and target setting.

  • Continuing to embed the Northern Ireland Curriculum with particular emphasis on Creative and Expressive.  Use of motivational strategies to raise standards within Literacy and Numeracy including Accelerated Reading and Mathletics.

  • Build on existing partnerships with parents to support the school ethos and raise standards across all aspects of school life, including attendance, punctuality, homework and reactivate the Parents’ and Friends’ Association.

  • The Investors in People process culminating with the Gold Award, provides an on-going vehicle for the professional development of all staff.

  • To further develop the Leadership and Management roles of staff.

  • The continuation of the PRSD process for all teaching staff and the Staff Review Programme for support staff provides opportunities for professional development. 

  • Continue to familiarise and up-skill teachers and pupils with the new technologies associated with the UICT Curriculum.

  • Further embed the Nurturing Principles across the school in partnership with parents

  • Provide opportunities for pupils to engage with local businesses and services to enhance their learning experiences and improve life skills and opportunities.

  • Continue to develop the Autistic and Learning Support Classes for the Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and 2, to meet the needs of pupils and to provide support for their families through parenting and sibling programmes.

  • Continue to develop transition and links with other primary/post primary schools.

  • On-going development of school grounds through ECO Programme (Green Flag) awarded June 2016.