Glowing report for Westruther School

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WESTRUTHER Primary School’s welcoming ethos, clear vision and commitment to helping all of its 43 children achieve their full potential has earned it a ‘very good’ inspection report.

After publication of the report headteacher, Kay Livingston said: “We are delighted that the report reflects the work and commitment pupils, staff and parents give to the school. We are very proud of our children who are very well behaved and enjoy learning.

“We will continue to provide well considered developments in learning, teaching and the curriculum in our pursuit of excellence for all children at Westruther.”

Chairperson of Westruther Parent Council, Michael Stevenson said: “We are delighted with the findings of the latest HMIE report. This report is a true reflection of the commitment and the enthusiasm of our children, our teachers, our parents and the wider Westruther community.

“Even with the challenges that come with being a small school, the children and the teachers have achieved much under the leadership and dedication of our head teacher Mrs Kay Livingston.

“Our challenge going forward will be to maintain these high standards, whilst embracing the Curriculum for Excellence and further developing the health and well being of our children.”

Inspectors looked at improvements in performance, the children’s experiences, how staff were meeting the learning needs of the children, curriculum and self evaluation and found that in all cases they were very good - classification ranges from unsatisfactory, weak, satisfactory, good, very good through to excellent. The only exception from ‘very good’ was the nursery children’s experience which was graded as ‘excellent’.

Inspectors reported: “Children at all stages are developing effective personal and social skills. They are proud of their achievements and talk enthusiastically about successes in festivals, competitions and community events. Their achievements are celebrated and recorded through, for example, photographs and attractive displays throughout the school.

“In the primary classes, almost all children are attaining in line with appropriate national levels in reading and mathematics and most do so in writing. Some display high levels of achievement.

“Almost all children are able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly. They answer well in class and take part effectively in small group discussions.

“Most children enjoy reading and are interested in books and authors.”

Inspectors were impressed by how well the staff knew all the children, and how committed they are to continue to see the school improving.

The report goes on: “The headteacher is very highly regarded by staff, children and parents. She uses her knowledge and experience, including that gained from the shared headship, very effectively.

“All staff are highly committed to doing their best for children. They lead and participate willingly in well-considered developments in learning, teaching and the curriculum. They are taking forward Curriculum for Excellence enthusiastically.

“There is a very strong sense of purposeful teamwork. The school has a very strong capacity to continue to improve and progress further in its pursuit of excellence for all children.”

And the only recommendation from inspectors was for the school to carry on the good work and to “continue to improve and progress further in its pursuit of excellence for all children”.