Inspectors praise Avonbridge Primary

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Avonbridge Primary school and nursery class won praise from school inspectors for having a warm and welcoming ethos and positive relationships between staff and children.

The team of inspectors from Education Scotland visited Avonbridge in February 2019, and spent a week talking to parents/carers and children as well as working closely with the headteacher and staff.

They found that staff work well as a team to create a supportive learning environment and that they know children and families well.

They also praised the headteacher, Caroline Sweeney, although they noted the school had experienced a prolonged period of unsettled staffing, which the headteacher was working with the local authority to resolve.

The report stated: “The headteacher is supportive and approachable. She is working to ensure that all members of the school community are valued, respected and nurtured. She is keen to listen to the views of all children, parents, staff and partners in bringing about improvement.”

The children also won praise as inspectors said they are  “friendly and understanding of each other and they are eager to learn and take more responsibility for their own learning.”

The nursery, too, was praised for its range of attractive and interesting play spaces for children.

It was noted that the priority now is to continue to improve children’s access to outdoor play.

The inspectors found that the primary school children are keen to be further involved in improvement and they have told staff this is to be encouraged.

The report stated: “We ask that they continue to build children’s leadership skills across the school and involve children more in identifying areas for school improvement.

“Children are capable of playing a much larger part in school leadership, self-evaluation and improvement.”

The inspectors have asked the school and nursery to improve and develop ways that evaluate how well they are doing and suggest they continue to ensure there is appropriate pace and challenge for all children.

Senior leaders should review approaches to positive behaviour in the primary school which will enable all children to engage fully in learning.

The leadership team and staff should work together to improve how they track children’s progress and monitor the work of the school and nursery.