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Planning Based on Pupil Learning Needs
In order to focus on pupil needs a school might wish to address the following areas:
Identification of pupil needs
Are we aware of how well pupils are achieving in relation to their ability and how do we know? Use of formal and informal assessment (examples in curriculum documents and in Assessment in the Primary School Curriculum, NCCA, 2007); Use of data from standardised tests to identify patterns and to highlight areas for improvement in English reading or Mathematics.
Present provision for pupil achievement
What is already happening in our school to enable each pupil work towards the achievement of his or her potential?
Is there a need to adapt the curriculum to meet the different learning needs of pupils? Pupil learning styles Are we aware of individual pupils learning styles and how to adapt our teaching methods to maximise the learning of the individual pupil, Multiple Intelligences etc.? Refer to Primary School Curriculum, Introduction, p. 14-17.
Are we utilising a variety of teaching strategies to meet the needs of our pupils? Use of the environment/ Projects/ Circle time/ Group teaching/ ICT/ Mixed ability teaching/ Integration/ Thematic/Whole class? Refer to Primary School Curriculum Teacher Guidelines for all subjects e.g. Maths p. 30-46.
Does teacher preparation (scéim bliana, scéimeanna coicíse/seachtaine) show evidence of addressing the different learning needs of pupils and comply with whole school programmes of work and whole school plans?
Learning outcomes for students (individual/group)
Do we know what we want pupils to achieve and why? Are aims and objectives clearly stated?
Are sufficient opportunities/funding provided for staff to upskill, to share expertise, to acquire new strategies, skills and knowledge? Is team building and collective responsibility encouraged and promoted? Do we engage in action research?
Deployment and inclusion of available personnel
Are we maximising the potential of staff and community resources? Is there provision for consultation, collaboration and shared planning?
Do the current timetable arrangements allow for maximum access to all areas of curriculum for all pupils? Do the current timetable arrangements unduly disadvantage any pupils e.g. those requiring learning support?
Are parents aware of how best they can support their children's learning?
Communication with second level
Are opportunities for interaction with second level schools pursued in order to ensure continuous pupil learning?
The following questions may prove useful to a school or teacher: