How to use this self-evaluation approach to improve practice:
Schools and centres can use the self-evaluation tools to identify strengths and areas for improvement. Each section also contains a small number of exemplars of practice.
Schools and centres should use the sections as required to meet their improvement needs. This toolkit is designed to be used as a whole or in individual sections as appropriate.
The toolkit provides resources to support continuing professional learning and a whole school approach to improvement.
The tools and exemplars can be used in a range of ways which may include:
- Whole staff collegiate sessions
- In-service days
- Cluster working
- Local authority strategic groups
- Engaging the wider school community
Explore this resource
Video playlist. All videos for these sections are in the playlist - see small menu in the top left of the video display for full list of videos available. There are 16 videos in playlist. The videos are all referenced in the sections below.
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Zip file: Transcripts from videos in playlist (109 KB)
Self-evaluation which leads to effective action is a powerful way of improving children’s learning experiences and achievements. It involves carrying out a range of activities to identify your school’s strengths and next steps for improvement. It is not a series of one off events but a virtuous cycle of self-reflection and evaluation processes involving all members and partners of the school community.
In evaluating and/or reviewing progression in children's learning, it is helpful to use the features of highly-effective practice and challenge questions in
How good is our school? (4th edition). The document below contains challenge questions which are drawn from four different quality indicators. These should be adapted in order to reflect the unique context of your establishment.
See videos (in playlist):
Self-evaluation - Kelty Primary School
Career-Long Professional Learning - Kelty Primary School
Meeting Learners Needs - Kelty Primary School
Self-evaluation - New Stevenson Primary School
Word file: Self-evaluation challenge questions (58 KB)
It is important to ensure that everyone within the school is clear about what they are aiming to achieve through the curriculum. When a school has a rationale for its curriculum, it means that everyone involved with the school can answer the question ‘What do we want for our children and how will we work together to achieve this?’
In evaluating and/or reviewing your curriculum rationale it is helpful to use the features of highly-effective practice and challenge questions in
How good is our school? (4th edition). These can be found as part of quality indicator 2.2 Curriculum in the first theme 'Rationale and design'. There may be other relevant quality indicators. The questions and key features can be adapted in order to reflect the unique context of your establishment.
The document below contains a list of challenge questions and key features of highly-effective practice. This may be useful as part of the process of developing and/or reviewing a curriculum rationale.
See videos (in playlist):
Curriculum drivers example 1 - Zena Richardson
Curriculum drivers example 2 - Carolyn Davren
Curriculum drivers example 3 - Anne Dalziel
Curriculum drivers example 4 - Ginette Henderson
Curriculum drivers example 5 - Gill Whitford
Curriculum rationale workshop - Alison Drever
Curriculum rationale - Our Lady and St Joseph’s Primary and nursery - Ellen Turnbull
Word file: Curriculum Rationale Questions Grid (55 KB)
Word file: Developing a curriculum rationale - one school’s approach (37 KB)
PDF file: Curriculum structure - Diagram (473 KB)
PowerPoint presentation: Curriculum Rationale (4.1 MB)
Monitoring and tracking of attainment and achievement
Effective monitoring and tracking of attainment and achievement of all learners is crucial to the success of a school. Using a range of evidence from day to day learning and teaching, and summative assessments, an overview of children’s progress is provided. The information gathered is used to inform planning so that children’s needs are met and they attain as highly as possible.
In evaluating and/or reviewing your approach to monitoring and tracking children's progress, it is helpful to use the features of highly effective practice and challenge questions in
How good is our school? (4th edition). The document below contains challenge questions drawn from four different quality indicators. These should be adapted in order to reflect the unique context of your establishment.
Word file: Monitoring and tracking - challenge questions (85 KB)
Monitoring and tracking sample overview
Written by a group of primary headteachers, this
monitoring and tracking overview outlines the following: processes and activities that can contribute to monitoring and tracking of children’s progress at what points of the year these might be carried out suggested areas of action and responsibility for class teachers and school leaders; and the possible impact on improving outcomes for children.
The overview is not definitive or exhaustive but should be used as a tool to support the review and development of monitoring and tracking of children’s progress.
The document below provides a few suggested professional learning activities and links to the GTCS Standards that can be used along with the Monitoring and Tracking Overview document.
Word file: Monitoring and tracking overview (335 KB)
This presentation provides more detail on how tracking and monitoring links to school improvement activities.
PowerPoint presentation: Monitoring and tracking (620 KB)
Monitoring and tracking: Livingston Village Primary School
Livingston Village Primary School in West Lothian has developed a range of approaches to monitoring and tracking progress and achievement at different levels centred around dialogue on pupil learning. Within the classroom, teachers regularly engage in discussion with children about their on-going classwork.
Monitoring and tracking in Colquhoun Park Primary
Monitoring and tracking: Colquhoun Park Primary School page on the Hub which includes a video describing how monitoring and tracking processes at Colquhoun Park Primary School in East Dunbartonshire feed into a whole school overview of children’s progress.
Quality assurance to improve learning and teaching in Kirkliston Primary School
Using quality assurance to improve learning and teaching in Kirkliston Primary School page on the Hub which sets out a clear quality assurance overview.
Progression through the broad general education
Curriculum for Excellence learners make progress by:
- continually building on prior learning;
- accessing enriching, stimulating, relevant and appropriately challenging learning experiences and;
- having opportunities for applying, consolidating and reinforcing learning.
Learning is not linear and learners progress along different routes and pathways through the
Experiences and Outcomes (Es and Os).
Note: A number of different terms can be used to describe planning for progression e.g. programmes of study, progression frameworks etc. For the purposes of this document the term planning for progression in children’s learning is used to encompass these.
Planning for progression at Lawfield Primary School
Zena Richardson, headteacher at Lawfield Primary School in Midlothian, explains how a framework to support progression in learning and assessment across the school was created. She talks about the process used which was driven by the need to reduce teacher’s planning and ensure coherence and appropriate progression in learning for all the children.
See video (in playlist):
Progression case study - Curriculum design - Zena Richardson
Word file: Progression - challenge questions (55 KB)
Zip file: Progression Plans (205 KB)
Aberdeenshire Council - Learning pathways from early to second level
Learning pathways from early to second level materials were created by Aberdeenshire primary headteachers and early years staff working in partnership with Education Scotland. They are designed to support a consistent understanding of progression across all schools in the local authority.
Tracking progress in learners' achievement
Headteacher Hilary Thompson and principal teacher Ruth Cubbins from St Michael’s Primary School in Dumfries and Galloway talk about the system they have designed to support and recognise progress in achievement P1-7. The system has bronze, silver and gold sections and is structured around the four capacities.
See videos (in playlist):
Tracking progress in learners' achievement - Rationale - Hilary Thompson
Tracking progress in learners' achievement - Development process - Ruth Cubbins
Tracking progress in learners' achievement - Impact - Hilary Thompson
Tracking progress in learners' achievement - Learning Journey jotters
Zip file: Tracking Wider Achievement (165 KB)