Self-Evaluation & School Improvement Summary

National Priorities

The Welsh Government have two main priorities that are a focus for all schools in Wales: 

  • Improving pupil progression by ensuring learning is supported by a range of knowledge, skills and experience. 
  • Reducing the impact of poverty on pupil progress and achievement 

These priorities are included in our School Development Plan alongside literacy, numeracy and Welsh 2nd Language development.

Our School Improvement Process and Evidence

We have robust procedures at Abercarn Primary to support us with developing an accurate understanding of what we do well (strengths) and where we need to go (areas for development). 

The School Development Plan (SDP) addresses the areas for development. We collate and use a range of evidence throughout the year. We have a robust monitoring, evaluation and review cycle in place. This consists of, but not limited to pupil voice, parent surveys, governor meetings, learning walks, lesson observations, book and work scrutiny, planning scrutiny, AOLE evaluations (MAIDs) and a termly process called CSSR (Celebrate, Share Support and Refine). Evidence is gathered using all these procedures and more. 

Evidence is analysed and key areas identified to celebrate, share with others, arrange support and refine. AOLE MAIDs identify what needs to be maintained, amended, introduced and discarded within areas of experiences and across the school e.g., Senedd, Criw Cymraeg. Actions within the School Development Plan are detailed and identify who is responsible, the timescale, costs / funding and how it will be monitored. All actions are RAG rated (red, amber and green) every term to monitor progress. 

Progress of pupils is monitored termly. All pupils are discussed individually to ensure appropriate support, progress and challenge. Learner Profiles for each pupil supports our assessment process as well as being a tool for staff to develop a shared understanding of progression and an understanding of the pace of progression. 

The School Development Plan pulls together all stakeholder views and prioritises areas for development. The School Development Plan links to:

  • National priorities: 
  • National Mission: 
  • Regional/Local priorities: Links to EAS and Caerphilly Business Plan 
  • Education Improvement Grant. Early Years Pupil Development Grant and Pupil Development Grant (EIG, EYODG and PDG Grants). 
  • Professional Learning funded through the PL for Teacher Grant 
  • The Community and Cluster of schools:
  • Attendance:
  • Additional Learning Needs (ALN Code 2021):
  • Welsh Government, Estyn and EAS Accountability:

This is in line with the Welsh Governments framework for evaluation, improvement and accountability. The SDP provides an outline over three years. 

Our Strengths

Curriculum and Provision

The Curriculum we have in place is up to date, in line with Curriculum 2022 principles and pedagogical approaches. We have planned, trialled and refined our curriculum over several years.  Our curriculum builds on and promotes the four purposes and pedagogical principles. The school has good provision for RSE and RVE. There is good teaching across the school. All pupils make good progress as a result of good teaching and focussed support. “Staff have worked together effectively to consider the best way to implement Curriculum for Wales. Pupils of different abilities and with differing needs, make good progress over time. The support for pupils with additional learning needs (ALN) is strong”. Estyn 23

Progress of school against national priorities

The school works hard to improve pupil progression by ensuring learning is supported by a range of knowledge, skills and experience. The school works hard to reduce any impact of poverty on pupil progress and achievement. All pupils are treated as individuals and learning planned to address individual needs. In 2024 - 2025 the school will work on an Ant Poverty Strategy with all stakeholders.  

Progress of all groups of pupils

All groups of pupils make good progress from their starting points. All groups of pupils regardless of FSM status, ALN and / or gender make good progress. Progress is demonstrated in Learner Profiles, work, pupil voice and progress against the principles of progression. 

Leadership and Vision

Leadership is strong across the school. All staff have leadership responsibilities. There are clear responsibilities and clear opportunities for all staff to develop professionally. All staff undertake professional inquiries to support their professional knowledge and skills and ultimately impact positively on teaching, learning and progress of pupils.  

Additional Learning Needs and More Able and Talented

The school has made good progress moving to new ALN processes. Pupils are well supported throughout the school with well qualified and experienced staff. Good provision is in place. Early identification and a range of strategies support progress and reduces any impact of poverty on learning / progress. 

MAT learners make good progress recently identified by the EAS Standards of work are very high. There are very high expectations of learners across the school and teacher planning enables learners to be challenged. Pupils can talk about their learning with confidence, and they are enthusiastic about the experiences offered. Progress in learning is very clear. There are good opportunities for learners to apply literacy, numeracy and digital skills across the curriculum. Staff plan these purposefully and these are reflected in learning objectives.  Learner profiles are being used to exemplify standards in learning.

Learning Environment

The school is a modern and well-equipped learning environment. The school is well resourced for the 21st Century. Most pupils have Chromebooks and access to iPads to support blended learning. The school has an IT Suite, Radio Studio and TV Studio to exploit cross curricular skills. The school has very good outdoor provision including a timber trail, climbing wall, stage, go-cart track, Astro turf, garden and allotments. The learning environment is engaging and supports learning / progress. We continue to improve the learning environment with a focus on early years. 

Our Areas for Development - Priorities and actions 2024 - 2025

As a result of our self-evaluation process and professional discussion we identify actions to address Welsh Government priorities and school / local priorities. The following priorities and actions have been identified for 2024-2025:

To continue to improve Numeracy and Maths progress and attainment across the school.
Priority 1
To continue to improve Language, Literacy and Communication skills, progress and attainment across the school including a focus on MFL.
Priority 2
To continue to improve progress, attainment and the profile of Welsh 2nd Language and Bilingualism throughout the school. (Link with Priority 2)
Priority 3
Ensure that pedagogy in younger classes is in line with effective foundation learning
Priority 4
To improve Leadership, Teaching, Leaning, Assessment and Curriculum 2022 with a focus on improving early years pedagogy and better opportunities for pupils to apply their skills and knowledge independently.
Priority 5
  • Attendance has a separate action plan to improve attendance.
  • ALN has a separate action plan within a MAID document to drive ALN progress. 

Learner Progress and Well Being

Provision for learners is good. The school has well qualified and experienced staff that provides engaging learning experiences to improve skills and knowledge of all learners. The school is well resourced to provide purposeful and authentic learning experiences. All learners have access to 21st Century technology and a stimulating learning environment in order to support and challenge progress. 

All children have a “Learner Profile” that demonstrates individual progress with across the learning experiences and progression steps. 

Key staff are trained in a variety of well-being interventions. Pupil wellbeing is at the heart of our learning organisation. As a result of pupil discussions, pupils believe they are well supported and know there is an adult in school that they could talk to if needed. The school has excellent links with a range of external services to provide fast and efficient advice and strategies to both school’s staff and families in order to ensure pupil well-being and progress remains strong. 

Self-evaluation Summary:

Vision and Leadership

Curriculum, Learning & Teaching

Wellbeing, Equity & Inclusion

External Support and Governors

Every year the school takes part in a professional discussion with Local Authority officers, Education Achievement Service (EAS) staff and School Governors to highlight school progress, areas of strength and areas for development. As part of this process the school identifies what support it would like from the LA and EAS. The following support was requested in 2023-2024: 

  • Attendance – Further support from the Education Welfare Service
  • ALN – Continue with support from cluster and LA to refine ALN processes. 

Every school in Wales has a School Improvement Partner (SIP) provided by the local consortium – the EAS. Our school has a very good professional relationship with our SIP and continues to effectively work with her to ensure we make good progress. Our School Improvement Partner visits at least termly. The School Improvement Partner supports self-evaluation and will concentrate on Local Authority set priorities. For 2023 - 2024 the LA priorities were progress in Welsh 2nd Language and Progress with Digital Learning. 

Governors provide challenge and support to Abercarn Primary. Governors are fully involved in the life of the school and will take part in monitoring, evaluation and review processes. Governors are fully involved with self-evaluation and school development planning.

School to School Collaboration

The headteacher supports three other schools as their School Improvement Partner and helps support each school on their learning journey. This benefits both Abercarn Primary and the other schools by sharing practice and learning from each other. Many opportunities arise for these schools to work with Abercarn Primary and share practice, this will continue in 2024  -2025.

All staff undertake their own Professional Inquiry and are encouraged to visit, share practice and observe other professionals in other schools

School Progress

Progress against 2023-2024 priorities:

To continue to improve Numeracy and Maths progress and attainment across the school.
Priority 1
To continue to improve Language, Literacy and Communication AOLE progress and attainment across the school 
Priority 2
To continue to improve pupil progress, attainment and further raise the profile of Welsh 2nd Language, Bilingualism and MFL throughout the school to impact positively on progress, standards and outcomes. 
Priority 3
To continue to improve Teaching, Leaning, Assessment and Curriculum 2022: To continue to effectively prepare for Curriculum 2022. 
Priority 4
Last modified: Wednesday, 7 September 2022, 4:28 PM