Today we received the final copy of our HMIe follow through report on the Inspection of the school in 2006. A copy will go home with every child. As a staff we were very pleased with the findings of the inspection team and feel it gives a very fair and balanced view. I include it here for your interest and comment.
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION & CHILDREN’S SERVICES
PROGRESS REPORT ON PINKIE ST PETER’S PRIMARY SCHOOL
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (HMIe) published a report on the inspection of Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School in January 2006. The school, in partnership with the Local Authority, prepared an action plan indicating how they would address the main findings of the report.
The school, in partnership with the local authority, prepared an action plan indicating how they would address the main points for action in the report. Progress on the action plan has been regularly monitored and evaluated by an officer of the local authority. This report evaluates the extent to which the school is continuing to improve the quality of its work and the progress made in responding to the main points for action.
Point for action 1:
· Continue to improve overall quality of teaching
Good progress has been made.
Assessment strategies are well established in all classes. They are making a positive impact on attainment. The school has made a good start to the introduction of the new national initiative ‘A Curriculum for Excellence’.
An independent evaluation of the quality of enterprising approaches learning and teaching rated the school as very good to excellent. Active learning is evident in early years classes. Plans are in place to extend this to all classes in session 2007/8
Staff have attended a range of professional development courses on formative assessment and learning and teaching. They have incorporated some of the recommended approaches into their own classroom practice and shared the impact of the changes with colleagues.
The headteacher and depute headteacher have established links with local businesses, organisations and Queen Margaret University. There is a wide range of extra curricular activities. The depute headteacher has continued to develop health education, eco schools and international education. These partnerships provide excellent contexts for learning and promoting wider achievement.
Senior staff have monitored the introduction and quality of teaching approaches through classroom observation and discussion with staff. There is a collegiate approach to changes in teaching strategies across the whole school.
Point for action 2:
· Further improve the overall quality of learning, addressing issues of pace and challenge, particularly for higher achieving pupils.
Good progress has been made.
The senior management team (SMT) used classroom observation and team teaching to work with classes to enhance pace and challenge.
There is an extensive evaluation and testing programme. Baseline assessment in P1 is informing discussions between senior managers and teachers on their forward planning to ensure an appropriate level of support and challenge for pupils. Overall teachers’ expectations for pupils’ work and pace of learning have improved. Setting is in place in some classes. Teachers target support to ensure children are progressing appropriately. Learning support teachers have identified higher achieving pupils and appropriate strategies that will improve the pace of their learning.
The school has developed an effective system for monitoring, evaluating and supporting children with additional needs. There is close liaison between outside agencies, support for learning teachers and class teachers. Children are well supported.
Teachers share next steps in learning with children as part of the formative assessment strategies. Children are aware of the specific criteria for reading, writing and maths. Core programme target sheets for mathematics are included in children’s jotters and clearly displayed in classes. Children have learning targets, assess their progress and are becoming more independent learners.
A programme for personal writing has been developed and children now work to higher standards. Progression of reading skills has been developed for all levels. This has led to better pace of learning and consistency at all stages.
Action Point 3
Ensure that pupils from the Support Base are effectively included in mainstream classes.
Very good progress has been made.
The Support Base is now called the Learning Zone. It is used as a whole school resource as well as providing an excellent base for those children with severe and complex needs. All Learning Zone children are involved in whole school activities.
Mainstream children access the Learning Zone as part of integration, working alongside Learning Zone children and others from mainstream. Pupils and staff from the Learning Zone are timetabled to support children in class where appropriate. These timetables are sophisticated but well managed and clearly support the needs of the small number of very vulnerable children. Teachers across the school have benefited from partnership with the Learning Zone. They have introduced an increased range of teaching approaches.
Mainstream class teachers are involved in the formation of Individualised Educational Programmes and receive copies of Forward Plans for individual pupils. These plans are evaluated on a regular basis through liaison meetings for each planning block.
An excellent soft play room has been established and well resourced after the school secured funding from a local business.
Teachers and support staff were very committed to the support and integration of pupils from the Learning Zone.
Action Point 4
Improve the use made of the system of tracking pupils’ progress to ensure they consistently attain in line with their capabilities.
Good progress has been made.
This is linked to Action Point 2.
The school introduced additional tests and evaluations to provide more detailed analysis of pupil performance and trends at all stages. Staff plan next steps in learning and ensure that pupils made more appropriate progress. More effective systems for tracking pupil progress were now in place. Pupils’ performance was discussed regularly between teachers and promoted staff and this was helping to improve attainment. Teachers’ assessments were now used to monitor pupils’ progress against predicted levels. Staff used assessment information to inform action where pupils were not making the progress that their earlier attainment had indicated they should. Plans are now in place for staff, with support from SMT, to take ownership of predictions and monitoring of attainment levels.
The school shows very good capacity for continuous improvement. Levels of attainment continue to be good.
Staff have been engaging with A Curriculum for Excellence and have adopted a range of appropriate strategies to improve learning. The Primary 1 & 2 teachers have incorporated more active learning into the pupils’ experiences. This has had an impact on their achievement.
The school has continued to develop the use of ICT across the curriculum. There is a wide range of technology in use and pupils are motivated and engaged by the activities. Some classes used animations, garage band, i-tunes and made i-movies.
The school has achieved level 1 accreditation as a Healthy School and a Bronze Eco-School Award and is currently building on this success.
Plans are in place to further develop active learning, learning teams, links with local businesses and to investigate underachievement of boys in the upper stages.
Working Groups have been established to take forward improvements in, for example, reading and mathematics.
The school has recently refurbished the school library and, after discussion with staff and pupils, invested in new resources that will interest pupils of all ages and boys in particular.
The school is well placed to sustain and build on its current levels of good practice.
Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School has made good progress overall in the points for action set out in the HMIe report and has continued to provide a high standard of education for its pupils. The current Head Teacher took up his post in May 2007 and improvements have continued. There is a strong basis for continued improvement.