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Department praise for Castlepollard school

The students of Castlepollard Community College studying metalwork and engineering are getting a good grounding in the subject, it appears.

Department of Education and Skills evaluation on the teaching of metalwork and engineering described the quality of teaching and learning in the lessons observed as being “very good”.

The report stated that the specialist room is well resourced and that whole-school support for the subject is also very good.

“Digital technologies were employed very successfully to support teaching, learning and assessment,” the report noted, adding that “high-quality questioning techniques were employed in the lessons observed”.

While subject department planning was “good”, there were “some areas for development identified” and the recommendations were that teachers should increase the frequency and detail of formative comments on students’ written work and that the subject department should prioritise its developmental priorities, including a review of the current subject department plan.

Clear lessons

The report praised the way that lessons commenced with a clear introduction and review of previous learning.

“Learning intentions were shared orally and visually during lesson introductions.”

The intentions were revisited in a timely manner that enabled the regular review of student learning, it stated, noting that subject-specific terms were introduced and explained clearly and that technical vocabulary was reinforced orally throughout lessons during teacher-student dialogue.

“Questioning was utilised very effectively to engage students, to maintain their focus on tasks and to support and extend their learning. Features of effective questioning strategies included sufficient wait-time, prompting, probing and re-direction.

“In one instance, a student response was linked to a different subject area, the teacher tactfully exploited this co-curricular knowledge connection with further questioning, deepening students’ understanding.

“Digital technologies were used to communicate lesson content in an orderly and developmental manner. The visualizer was used very effectively when conveying procedural knowledge including the use of datum points for marking and measuring purposes.

“The sequencing of marking procedures and the arrangement of tooling was recorded by students on their personal digital devices. This practice is commendable and provides students with a digital log of their activities and an opportunity to revisit their learning periodically.

“Students worked diligently in all lessons and student-teacher rapport was very good.”