Education Scotland acknowledge progress at Eyemouth Primary and Nursery Class

Eyemouth Primary School and Nursery have made a positive start to addressing the areas for improvement identified during Education Scotland’s inspection in 2018.

Thursday, 20th February 2020, 7:05 am
Eyemouth Primary School

During their recent visit, inspectors talked to children and worked closely with the headteacher and her staff.

They found that progress had been made since their initial inspection in December 2018 and that this was ongoing.

The appointment of a permanent headteacher in August 2019 was providing much needed stability to the school. There was also evidence of an overall improvement in the climate for learning. Working with the senior leadership team, Mrs McQueen had put in place a clear action plan and together they were fully committed to ensuring that the pace of development continued to improve.

In the nursery, practitioners had leadership roles that reflected current improvement priorities and the ongoing development of the learning environment. Staff in the primary school felt more fully consulted and included in the process of change. They had started to work well together and were also continuing to explore ways to engage parents further in their children’s learning.

Inspectors also found that the school has made a positive start in developing a curriculum that was relevant to the whole school’s context and which would support children in both settings to make progress and develop appropriate knowledge and skills as they moved through the school.

Practitioners in the nursery had made progress in improving opportunities to develop children’s early literacy and numeracy skills. Access to a wider range of resources including natural materials and everyday items was supporting the development of creativity and curiosity in children’s play. Their daily access to outdoor play was supporting their health and wellbeing as well as their management of risk.

In the primary school, staff were beginning to plan more flexibly and imaginatively to deliver a relevant curriculum which was broader and more balanced, with the aim of enabling children to make the best possible progress. Staff were now undertaking further work to help children understand better the skills they are learning, and how these can be applied in learning, life and work.

Work was underway to ensure improved learning, teaching and assessment across both settings, and an appropriate level of pace and change. In the nursery, children were found to be happy, motivated and engaging in a wider variety of independent learning experiences since the original inspection. Practitioners had started to develop the learning environment better and provide children with more opportunities to sustain their interest when playing.

Senior leaders were similarly working to improve how they plan for children’s learning and provide greater consistency in their experiences of learning, teaching and assessment.

Priority was also being given to raising attainment for all children. Nursery practitioners were beginning to implement improved approaches to assessing and recording children’s progress and provide opportunities for the development of their early literacy and numeracy skills. Senior leaders were more confident in using systems to gather data on children’s attainment across the primary school and were now working to ensure the information was used to track children’s progress in literacy, numeracy and overall learning.

In addition, staff and partners were beginning to increase the range of clubs and activities for children, which was also enabling them to monitor children’s participation and the skills they are developing to ensure they are given opportunities for achievement which are appropriate to their needs and aspirations.

Headteacher, Christine McQueen, said: “Eyemouth Primary is on a journey towards increasing success, with the inspection confirming the school’s own self-evaluation. We have a clear plan, which involves everyone in our school and wider community, giving the children of Eyemouth the best opportunities for them to achieve highly in all areas of their learning.”

Parent Council chair, Carrie Haddow, added: “Eyemouth Primary School is on a journey and it continues to make good progress in this. More recently with the new headteacher starting there have been many changes for the good, the children are settled and the staff are all working towards the same goal.

“Communication between school and home has improved and as parents, we feel part of our children’s schooling. It is good to see again that the children are excited to be at school and are ready to learn. As parents we have confidence in the staff team and that the school continues to move in the right direction.”

Inspectors will return to carry out a further inspection of the school within the next twelve months to ensure that satisfactory progress continues to be made across both settings.