Bowhouse Primary’s departing headteacher could not have asked for a better leaving gift than a glowing inspection report for the school’s nursery.
Headteacher Lynda McDonald, who leaves tomorrow (Friday) for a new job in Clackmannanshire, was finally able to share the good news – just one day before she said goodbye to the school for the final time.
The inspectors who visited the Grangemouth early learning centre unannounced found confident children being supported by “dedicated and passionate staff”.
They gave the nursery a grading of ‘excellent’ for the quality of care and support it offers as well as the environment it provides.
Ms McDonald said: “We are just absolutely delighted and bursting with pride!
“We’ve known for two weeks but we couldn’t say anything so for it to be published today has been great.”
Ms McDonald, who has been headteacher for the past four years, said it was a fantastic end to what for her has “been a journey”.
Bowhouse was one of the first nurseries in the Falkirk area to offer the new 1140 hours of early years learning brought in by the Scottish Government.
That involved huge changes, and in August last year a team of three suddenly became a team of 15.
This included the Scottish Government funded ‘pedagogue’ – graduate Gemma Paterson – who was brought in as an equality and excellence leader.
Ms McDonald said: “My vision as a headteacher for the whole school and early learning centre was for it to become a centre of learning – not just for the children but also for the adults.”
So she is proud the school currently has three people undertaking a degree and one early years assistant studying for an HNC.
In a report packed with positives, the inspectors picked up on this, saying: “Children were nurtured by the caring, fun and loving team. Both adults and children alike learned together in this service.
“Staff sensitively supported children who needed a little more guidance whilst protecting their right and love of exploring, playing and trying to interact with others in ways that they were comfortable with.”
Parents who responded to the inspectors’ questions all either agreed or strongly agreed that they were happy with the quality of care on offer.