School wins praise for students who are articulate and critical thinkers
Mount Temple Comprehensive School, Clontarf, Dublin
Articulate, self-confident, respectful, independent and critical thinkers was how inspectors described pupils at a Dublin school.
The way in which Mount Temple Comprehensive School, Clontarf, promotes the student voice was "laudable", they said.
Students at the 896-pupil co-educational school were "overwhelmingly positive about their school and their learning experiences", according to a whole school evaluation (WSE) report. The recently-published report followed a visit by inspectors last April.
Mount Temple is famous for being the alma mater of rock superstars U2.
Inspectors' positive comments include describing the work of the senior management team as being of an "exceptionally high standard".
There was praise too for the school's "truly comprehensive, inclusive, tolerant and enabling" ethos, with students with special educational needs "very well integrated into mainstream classes".
According to the report there are "very good systems in place for student wellbeing, including a number of support groups, such as one for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students.
A "notable sense of partnership and teamwork in relationships between students and their teachers" contributed significantly to the quality of student engagement and learning.
The quality of teaching and learning was described as "very good" in just over half the cases observed, and good in the remainder, with some excellent examples of practice.
But, in a significant minority of lessons there was an "imbalance between student activity and teacher input, with students mainly listening, reading aloud from the text book or taking notes off the board".
Another concern expressed in the report was that Mount Temple was not meeting its requirement to provide a minimum of 28-hours a week tuition for first years.
Inspectors complimented the principal and deputy principal for promoting a culture of continuous improvement, including supporting initiatives such as action projects in science and geography, as part of post-graduate research by staff.
They also highlight how some departments, such as business, home economics and metalwork, have developed their own innovative curricular programmes, based on the new junior cycle.