Quarter Primary School
and Nursery Class
South Lanarkshire Council
16 December 2008
This report tells you about the quality of education at the school1.
We describe how children benefit from learning there. We
explain how well they are doing and how good the school is at
helping them to learn. Then we look at the ways in which the
school does this. We describe how well the school works with
other groups in the community, including parents2 and services
which support children. We also comment on how well staff and
children work together and how they go about improving the
school.
Our report describes the ‘ethos’ of the school. By ‘ethos’ we
mean the relationships in the school, how well children are cared
for and treated and how much is expected of them in all aspects
of school life. Finally, we comment on the school’s aims. In
particular, we focus on how well the aims help staff to deliver high
quality learning, and the impact of leadership on the school’s
success in achieving these aims.
If you would like to learn more about our inspection of the school,
please visit www.hmie.gov.uk. Here you can find analyses of
questionnaire returns. Where applicable, you will also be able to
find descriptions of good practice in the school.
1
2
The term ‘school’ is used to include the work of the nursery
class, where relevant.
Throughout this report, the term ‘parents’ should be taken to
include foster carers, residential care staff and carers who are
relatives or friends.
Contents
1. The school
2. Particular strengths of the school
3. Examples of good practice
4. How well do children learn and achieve?
5. How well do staff work with others to support children’s learning?
6. Are staff and children actively involved in improving their school
community?
7. Does the school have high expectations of all children?
8. Does the school have a clear sense of direction?
9. What happens next?
1. The school
Quarter Primary School and Nursery Class is a non-denominational
school with a nursery class. It serves the village of Quarter and
surrounding areas. The inspection was carried out in October 2008 at
which time the roll was 101, including 12 in the nursery. Pupils’
attendance was well above the national average in 2006/07.
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2. Particular strengths of the school
• The headteacher’s success in establishing a clear vision for the
school and nursery class and sharing this with the community.
• Courteous, well-behaved and responsible children.
• Opportunities for children to achieve during school and
out-of-school hours.
• Approaches to developing children’s citizenship skills.
• Strong partnerships with the community to support children’s
learning.
3. Examples of good practice
• Approaches to enterprise which motivate children.
• Productive links with departments in the associated secondary
school which improve children’s confidence in learning.
4. How well do children learn and achieve?
Learning and achievement
Children in the nursery class are achieving well in their development
and learning. They are learning to speak confidently to one another in
a larger group where they can share their experiences. Children listen
very well to favourite stories and are learning that the words and
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pictures tell the story. All of the children can read their own name and
a few are beginning to write it. Children are good at counting when
playing games. They know how to care for birds as the seasons
change and can describe how to plant bulbs for the spring. They are
becoming confident when using the computer.
Across the primary stages, there has been a steady improvement of
standards in reading. Over the last few years, the school has
maintained a very good level of performance overall in writing and
mathematics. Children did not always make sufficient progress from
early achievement in mathematics as they moved through the school.
Children at the early stages were mostly confident when talking about
their work and their interests. By P7 children were able to discuss
favourite books and authors and give their views on different types of
writing. They make good use of their skills in reading for information to
carry out research for the topics they study. Children involved in
groups such as the eco committee showed good discussion skills and
listened well to each other. In mathematics, almost all children were
accurate in number, money and measure activities. Children in P7
could analyse and discuss different types of graphs and could use
spreadsheets to create them. Across the school, children could
describe and use suitable strategies to solve mathematical problems.
They achieve success across a very wide range of cultural and
sporting activities during and after the school day. Children have
developed confidence through taking part in regular school trips and
meeting a wide variety of visitors to the school. They are developing a
very good understanding of how to live healthily. Their personal,
social and citizenship skills are developing very well.
Curriculum and meeting learning needs
In the nursery class, staff provide experiences which help children
progress across all key aspects of learning and development. They
carefully observe children at play and plan activities which interest
them. They have yet to use this information fully to provide
appropriate challenge to enable children to progress at their own rate.
In the primary classes children experience a very broad curriculum
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with a number of innovative approaches. These include, for example,
planned links between literacy and enterprise and with secondary
subject specialists. These are in line with the national initiative,
Curriculum for Excellence. Teachers increasingly plan tasks and
activities which develop children’s literacy and numeracy skills across
the curriculum. Visiting specialists help to develop children’s skills, for
example, in music and physical education. Children would benefit
from more time being allocated to physical education. Enterprise
activities are well planned and children find them stimulating. Children
need to be given more opportunities to use information and
communications technology (ICT) as part of their learning in all
aspects of the curriculum.
Children’s learning needs are well met. They are happy in the nursery
and are becoming independent learners. Children are learning to
suggest their own ideas for activities and work together. Older nursery
children would benefit from more support to plan their own activities.
In the primary classes, there are good arrangements to meet the
needs of all children. Staff are good at identifying the learning needs
of children. Most teachers share with the class what they expect them
to learn and check for understanding. They now need to provide more
opportunities for children to apply their learning in practical ways and
have a clearer grasp of what they need to do to improve their learning.
Children complete homework well which is linked to their class work.
Higher-achieving children need to be given more challenging tasks.
Children are supported very well to make a confident and successful
move from nursery to P1 and from P7 to Hamilton Grammar School.
5. How well do staff work with others to support children’s
learning?
Staff in the nursery and primary stages have developed effective
partnerships with a range of support services and other organisations.
The school works closely with the supportive Parent Council. It has
strong links with the nearby Duchess Nina Nursing Home where the
school garden is located. Various local businesses have helped fund
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school improvements including outdoor learning. Staff across the
school work effectively with partner agencies to identify and help those
children who require additional support. Parents whose children have
additional support needs are involved in reviewing progress and in
planning next steps in their learning. A number of staff and visiting
professionals such as a speech and language therapist and a hearing
impairment teacher, work closely with children to help them make
progress in their learning. Primary staff and secondary subject
specialists worked together with P7 children on various topics. At the
end of the experience the children developed confidence by delivering
a presentation to over 200 parents at the P7 parents’ induction
evening.
6. Are staff and children actively involved in improving their
school community?
Children respond well to opportunities to take on responsibilities within
the school. For example, children from P2 to P7 take an active part in
the pupil council. This helps to take forward new developments in the
school. Children in P7 show very good skills in taking responsibility as
monitors to help younger children. They enthusiastically carry out
roles such as house captain and playgroup leaders. Children at all
stages are happy with how the school responds to their concerns.
They would like more say in how learning could be made better.
Children care for their environment and have learned how to recycle
materials and save energy. The school has gained three Eco-School
Scotland green flags and has achieved a Health Promoting Schools
Gold Award. Staff have worked very well together to improve the
school and have enthusiastically taken on leadership responsibilities
such as enterprise, ICT, health promotion and eco work.
7. Does the school have high expectations of all children?
Children work well together in school and show concern for each
other. They behave very well and show respect for others. Children
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reported that they were treated fairly and that they felt safe in the
school. Relationships between staff and children are good. Staff use
praise well to motivate children in their learning. They understand the
school’s child protection arrangements. The school has introduced a
caring and sharing corridor to tell children what to do and who to talk to
if they have concerns. Children find this helpful and reassuring.
Children’s wider achievements are recognised and celebrated through
displays, assemblies, newsletters and in a local magazine. Staff have
high expectations of the standard of written work in jotters. They do
not always have high enough expectations of what children can
achieve in their classwork.
8. Does the school have a clear sense of direction?
The school has recently developed a new vision statement related to
Curriculum for Excellence. This was agreed by staff, parents and
shared with the community. The headteacher, working with staff,
parents, children and partnership agencies has clearly identified areas
in which the school has helped to improve children’s learning and
areas for development. She has provided a strong lead in curriculum
development. A wide variety of methods for monitoring and evaluating
the work of the school are in place which involves all staff. The
headteacher has given staff helpful feedback on their teaching. She
now needs to further apply her monitoring and evaluation
arrangements to improve the learning experiences of all children. The
school is well placed to continue to improve.
9. What happens next?
We are confident that the school will be able to make the
necessary improvements in light of the inspection findings. As a
result, we will make no more visits following this inspection. The
school and the education authority will inform parents about the
school’s progress in improving the quality of education.
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We have agreed the following areas for improvement with the school
and education authority.
•
Ensure that tasks and activities meet children’s learning needs.
•
Improve the pace of learning for children, particularly those capable
of achieving high standards.
•
Continue to develop approaches to self-evaluation to help improve
the quality of children’s learning.
At the last Care Commission inspection of the nursery class there
were no requirements. Four recommendations were made, four
had been addressed
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Quality indicators help schools and nursery classes, education
authorities and inspectors to judge what is good and what needs to be
improved in the work of a school and a nursery class. You can find
these quality indicators in the HMIE publications How good is our
school? and The Child at the Centre. Following the inspection of each
school, the Scottish Government gathers evaluations of three
important quality indicators to keep track of how well all Scottish
schools and nursery classes are doing.
Here are the evaluations for Quarter Primary School and Nursery
Class.
Primary school.
Improvements in performance
Learners’ experiences
Meeting learning needs
very good
good
good
Nursery class
Improvements in performance
Children’s experiences
Meeting learning needs
good
good
good
We also evaluated the following aspects of the work of the school and
nursery class.
The curriculum
Improvement through self-evaluation
HM Inspector: Marie McAdam
16 December 2008
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very good
good
To find out more about inspections or get an electronic copy of this
report go to www.hmie.gov.uk. Please contact the Business
Management and Communications Team (BMCT) if you wish to
enquire about our arrangements for translated or other appropriate
versions.
If you wish to comment about any of our inspections, contact us
at [email protected] or alternatively you should write in
the first instance to BMCT, HM Inspectorate of Education, Denholm
House, Almondvale Business Park, Almondvale Way,
Livingston EH54 6GA.
Our complaints procedure is available from our website
www.hmie.gov.uk or alternatively you can write to our Complaints
Manager, at the address above or by telephoning 01506 600259.
If you are not satisfied with the action we have taken at the end of our
complaints procedure, you can raise your complaint with the Scottish
Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO). The SPSO is fully independent
and has powers to investigate complaints about Government
departments and agencies. You should write to SPSO, Freepost
EH641, Edinburgh EH3 0BR. You can also telephone 0800 377 7330,
fax 0800 377 7331 or e-mail: [email protected] More information
about the Ombudsman’s office can be obtained from the website
at www.spso.org.uk.
This report uses the following word scale to make clear
judgements made by inspectors.
excellent
very good
good
satisfactory
weak
unsatisfactory
outstanding, sector leading
major strengths
important strengths with some areas for
improvement
strengths just outweigh weaknesses
important weaknesses
major weaknesses
Crown Copyright 2008
HM Inspectorate of Education
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Quarter Primary School and Nursery Class South Lanarkshire Council