Early Years
Quality Improvement Team: Taking a Closer Look Series
Moving from Good to Great: 5.1 The Curriculum Self-evaluation toolkit and
5.9 Improvement through Self-evaluation toolkit
Adapted from Education Scotland - Curriculum for Excellence National Expectations: Self-evaluation resource
August 2013
Quality Improvement Team: August 2013
Impact Statements illustrating Level 5 + (Very Good and Excellent)
Quality Improvement Team: Taking a Closer Look Series
Moving from Good to Great: 5.1 The Curriculum Self-evaluation toolkit (Early Years)
2
Contents
•
QI 5.1 The curriculum : Updated Level 5 illustration
Page 4
•
Self-evaluation resource QI 5.1 The curriculum
Page 5-8
•
5.1 The Curriculum Evaluation
Page 9
•
5.1 Focus Group Questions
Page 10
•
1.1 The Curriculum – Key Documents and Resources
Page 11-12
•
QI 5.9 The curriculum : Updated Level 5 illustration
Page 14
•
Self-evaluation resource QI 5.9 The curriculum
Page 15-17
•
5.9 The Curriculum Evaluation
Page 18
•
5.9 Focus Group Questions
Page 19
•
5.9 The Curriculum – Key Documents and Resources
Page 20-24
•
Highly Effective Practice from Ed Scotland
Page 25-37
•
Cowgate
3
•
Castleview
QI 5.1 The curriculum : Updated Level 5 illustration
KEY FEATURES:
This indicator relates to the curriculum as the totality of learning across curriculum areas and subjects, interdisciplinary learning, the life of the school as a community, and
opportunities for personal achievement irrespective of where the learning takes place. It focuses on the quality of the curriculum as experienced by learners across stages
and transition points. It highlights the need for the curriculum to be dynamic to take account of innovation, and flexible to meet the needs of all learners.
Theme 1: The rationale and design of the curriculum
 Our curriculum has a clear rationale based on shared values and learners’ entitlements and develops the four capacities. We have a clear and shared strategy for the
development of literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing across the curriculum. The curriculum is based on the design principles of challenge and enjoyment, breadth,
depth, progression, relevance, coherence and personalisation and choice for all learners. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all learners and takes account of
our local circumstances and of local and national advice, and reflects the views of parents and carers. It is designed to deliver the entitlements. We ensure coherence and
progression in learning with well - planned, joined up learning across the four aspects of the curriculum.
Theme 2: The development of the curriculum
 We develop and refresh the curriculum on a regular basis and effectively manage curriculum change and innovation. Staff plan carefully and in consultation with
stakeholders in making curriculum change, innovations and adaptations to meet the needs of learners, and provide opportunities for choice and, where appropriate,
specialisation. We work with a range of partners to ensure the curriculum provides a coherent experience for learners. Staff and partners clearly identify the benefits to
learners from planned curriculum change and innovation including improving the range and quality of outcomes for learners.
We involve our parents and carers to help them understand how changes will benefit their child. We monitor and evaluate the impact and outcomes of changes in the
curriculum in an on-going way. Staff and partners take any necessary action to ensure that curriculum planning and structures evolve progressively over time to deliver
the entitlements of CfE for all young people.
Theme 3: Programmes and courses
 We are designing and refreshing programmes and courses using the experiences and outcomes and in qualifications and awards to plan a coherent approach to learning,
teaching and assessment. We have a clear rationale for change and the expected outcomes for all learners. We respond to and meet the needs of all learners and are
4
delivering the CfE entitlements. We are developing programmes and courses to effectively balance the progressive development of knowledge and skills as well as the
attributes and capabilities of the four capacities. We have flexibility in determining the content to be covered to provide stimulating, challenging, relevant and enjoyable
experiences. We are planning for progression through the Curriculum for Excellence levels and into the senior phase with a range of provision and flexible pathways to meet
the needs of all learners. We provide a range of progression routes to meet young people’s needs allowing young people to progress at different rates and in different ways
at a good pace appropriate to their prior learning in line with the highest aspirations.
Theme 4: Transitions
 Curriculum transition procedures and programmes are designed to meet the needs of all learners, including those with additional support needs, to ensure continuity and
progression in learning. Shared activities, experiences and placements are effectively planned to support progress and achievement. Arrangements for universal and
targeted support and induction into the next phase of learning, including preparation for the world of work and future careers, ensure our learners are creative, enterprising
and prepared for positive and sustained destinations. We are taking steps to improve the curriculum in providing a range of opportunities for support and induction to the
next phase of learning for all children and young people. We are improving the curriculum to support children and young people in developing an increased awareness of
themselves as learners, including through further developing profiling.
Self-evaluation resource QI 5.1 The curriculum
BGE
expectations
K
e
y
Evidence/Commen
ts
q
u
e
s
t
i
o
n
s
5
Theme 1: The rationale and design of
the curriculum
 The curriculum has a clear rationale based
on shared values and learners’
entitlements and develops the skills and
attributes of the four capacities.
 Staff have a clear and effective strategy for
the development and assessment of
literacy, numeracy and health and
wellbeing to ensure smooth progression
across the curriculum.
 The curriculum is based on the design
principles of challenge and enjoyment,
breadth, depth, progression, relevance,
coherence and personalisation and
choice for all learners.
 Staff are developing the curriculum to
ensure coherence and progression in
learning using the Es and Os to provide
well-planned and joined up learning
across curriculum areas, interdisciplinary
learning, personal achievement and the
life and ethos of the school/centre.
 How well do our school’s/centres approaches to
planning, developing and assessing literacy,
numeracy and HWB across the curriculum provide a
coherent experience and ensure smooth progression
for all?
 In what ways are interdisciplinary learning (IDL)
experiences and opportunities for personal
achievement planned to provide the entitlement to a
BGE?
 How well does the range, variety and depth of IDL
support coherence and progression in learning linked
to the Es and Os?
 How well are children involved in planning and
identifying opportunities for personal
achievement?
 How well does IDL contribute to providing breadth and
depth in learning? In what ways does our
school’s/centres ethos and approaches to IDL
contribute to raising achievement for children?
 In what ways do planned opportunities for personal
achievement ensure coherence and progression
linked to the Es and Os?
Self-evaluation resource QI 5.1 The curriculum
BGE
expectations
K
e
y
q
Evidence/Commen
ts
6
Theme 2: The development of curriculum
 Schools/centres, along with partners, are
further developing the curriculum to
improve planning for progression through
the BGE across all curriculum areas to
meet the needs of all learners.
 Staff have planned opportunities to
collaborate across schools/centres and with
partners and to share resources and
evolving practice.
 Achievement pathways are increasingly
informed by realistic and manageable
tracking and profiling of learners’ progress
through the BGE so that the curriculum is
under review and evolving to better meet
learners’ needs.
 How well do staff develop the curriculum to
provide different progression routes through the
BGE to
support children in progressing at different rates?
 How well does planning support progression
by providing challenge and application of
learning
(moving away from focus on just covering Es and
Os)?
 How well do we ensure planning is as streamlined
and effective as possible and not overly bureaucratic
or time-consuming?
 How well do we work with partners to ensure
opportunities for shared experiences in the BGE are
of high quality?
 How well do we work with a range of
partners, and with stakeholder, including
learners and parents, in curriculum change
and innovation?
 How well do we use information on learners’
progress and achievements to plan different
achievement pathways through the BGE to better
meet their needs?

How well do we help parents understand how the
BGE meets the needs of learners and prepares them
for Life long learning?
 How well do we monitor and evaluate the impact
and outcomes of our curriculum?
Self-evaluation resource QI 5.1 The curriculum
7
BGE
Theme 3: Programmes andexpectations
courses
 They are planning for appropriate
progression through breadth, challenge and
application in learning and further developing
realistic and manageable approaches to
assessing progress and achievement across
all curriculum areas at early to fourth
curriculum levels.
 The BGE promotes young people’s
independence, responsibility and collaboration
in learning engaging them in applying their
learning and developing their skills.
 Staff provide a range of progression routes
through the BGE to meet young people’s
needs allowing young people to progress at
different rates and in different ways at a good
pace appropriate to their prior learning in line
with the highest aspirations.
K
e
 How well do we provide a long-term overview
of planned
y
Evidence/Commen
ts
learning within the early level in each curriculum area
that can be used flexibly to plan for a consistent and
progressive learning experience to meetqall our learners’
u
needs?
e
s designed to
 How well are our programmes of learning
use a range of learning and teaching methodologies
(eg
t
active learning, open-ended problem solving,
i
collaborative challenges, outdoor learning
o and using
technologies) to support progression and
n meet a range
of learners’ needs?
s
 How well do our BGE programmes of learning
develop skills, including higher order thinking skills
and the attributes and capabilities of the four
capacities?
 How well do our programmes of learning build in an
appropriate range of assessment approaches including
periodically providing opportunities to draw together
and link and apply learning?
 How well do our programmes of learning provide
opportunities for learners to revisit, extend and apply
their learning in new and more challenging contexts?
8
Self-evaluation resource
QI 5.1 The curriculum
Transitions: BGE and senior phase
expectations
Theme 4: Transitions
• Staff across early years centres, primary, special
and secondary schools collaborate in planning
learning to ensure smooth transitions for learners
across all curriculum areas
•
Schools/centres further develop and embed
approaches to profiling, including where
appropriate using e portfolios and improving the
quality and impact of the profiling process. This
involves a clearer focus on skills development,
discussions informing and improving future learning
and using profiling to inform and improve future
learning.
Key questions
•
How well do we ensure that when learners
transfer between stages in our school/centre
or transfer to and from our school/centre and
another, they are supported to ensure
continuity and progression in their learning?
•
How well do we plan the curriculum with
partners to support smooth transitions for
learners?
How well do we use assessment
information to inform transition planning?
•
How well is the curriculum designed to
provide universal support that provides
opportunities for all learners to discuss
progress and achievement across all their
learning with an adult who knows them well?
•
How well do our approaches to profiling
develop learners’ awareness of themselves
as learners and the skills they are developing
to inform planning future
learning?
•
How well do we ensure our learners are
creative, enterprising and prepared for the
world of work and their future careers?
Evidence/Comments
1
2
3
4
5
6
9
Overall Evaluation of 5.1
5.1 The Curriculum
School /Centre...................................................
The rationale and design of the The development of the
curriculum
curriculum
Programmes and courses
Session ..............................
Transitions
What are we going to do next?
10
1
2
3
4
5
6
Overall Evaluation of 5.1
5.1 Focus Group Questions
Focus Group Questions for Learners
Focus Group Questions for Staff
1.
In what ways are you challenged to think about and take your learning further and that
expectations of your attainment and achievement are high?
1.
In what ways have learners’ experiences and achievement improved through your
planning of courses and programmes?
2.
Can you give examples of learning that you have found very relevant and why?
2.
What opportunities have you had to collaborate across schools/centres to improve
transitions and sharing of expertise?
3.
What variety is there in your learning over the course of a lesson, day, or a week?
3.
4.
How well does the balance of whole-class direct teaching, questioning and discussion, group
work, thinking time and other approaches meet your learning needs?
In what ways has your planning for breadth, challenge and application improved
progression in learning for young people?
4.
How does personalisation and choice feature in the broad general education?
5.
How well do the teaching approaches encourage you to take responsibility for organising your
learning with others, work collaboratively in groups and teams, and give presentations to / share
learning with your peers?
5.
What has been the impact of planning, tracking, recording and reporting practices for
young people?
6.
Can you give examples of when you have choices in what and how you have been learning?
6.
In what ways are you evaluating the quality of broad general education? What has
improved for children a result of this evaluation?
7.
How well do your learning experiences build on your prior learning and how do you know how
much progress you are making?
7.
How involved are learners in the planning of their learning across the broad general
education? How has this improved outcomes for children?
8.
What has been the impact of interdisciplinary learning for children? How could this be
improved?
10. In what ways have you used learning from one curricular area to another and how often does
this happen?
9.
How well have you involved all stakeholders, particularly learners and their parents, in
exploring the benefits of CfE?
11. What interdisciplinary learning opportunities have you experienced eg ...In what ways did this
10.
How well have you used flexibility to design pathways for all groups of learners that fully
8.
How do people at home know how much progress you are making?
9.
Can you give examples of what learning you have gained from your last lesson?
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help your learning?
meet their entitlements and increase their achievement?
12. How much opportunity do you have to apply your literacy , numeracy and health and wellbeing
skills across your learning experiences?
13. What opportunities do you have to learn and achieve in the life and work of the school as well as
in other curricular areas and interdisciplinary learning? Can you give an example of what
learning you gained?
14. What do you want more of / less of in your learning experiences at this school?
1.1.
The Curriculum – Key Documents and Resources
1.Inspection Advice note 2013 – 2014
This paper provides additional advice about our updated expectations in relation to QI 5.1 (The curriculum) and QI 5.9 (Improvement through self-evaluation). It replaces the illustrations of ‘very good’ for
these QIs in HGIOS3 and CATC to reflect developing best practice and national expectations of progress in implementing aspects Curriculum for Excellence. This represents a further adjustment of expectations
from August 2013 in line with the Implementation Plan Priorities 2013-14.
http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/resources/i/genericresource_tcm4809752.asp?strReferringChannel=inspectionandreview&strReferringPageID=tcm:4-682614-64&class=l1+d147692
2.Education Scotland Self-evaluation Resource for 5.1 and 5.9 in line with Increased Expectations: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/Images/CfESelfEvaluationResourceQIs5_1and5_9_tcm4813827.pdf
3.Curriculum for Excellence Implementation Plan: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/Images/CfEImplementationLetter2013to14_tcm4-810945.pdf
4.CfE briefing papers http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/thecurriculum/whatiscurriculumforexcellence/keydocs/cfebriefings.asp?iPage=1&strSubmit=True&strSearchText=&id=&bSortCD=0
In particular :
CfE Briefing 1: Broad General Education in Secondary Schools
CfE Briefing 2: Assessing Progress and Achievement in the 3-15 Broad General Education
CfE Briefing 4: Interdisciplinary Learning
CfE Briefing 5: Personalised Learning
12
CfE Briefing 6: Progression from the Broad General Education to the Senior Phase part 1
CfE Briefing 7: Progression from the Broad General Education to the Senior Phase part 2CfE Briefing 8: Progression from the Broad General Education to the Senior Phase part 3
CfE Briefing 12: Planning for Learning part 2: Further learning, training and employment beyond age 16
CfE Briefing 11: Planning for Learning part 1: Through the Broad General Education
1.
Professional learning resources
Monitoring and tracking progress and achievement in the broad general education: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/Images/Monitoringandtracking270313_tcm4-754310.pdf
Further professional learning resources re Assessing progress and achievement
:http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/learningteachingandassessment/assessment/progressandachievement/professionallearningresource/index.asp
2.
Examples of highly effective practice : 5. 1 The curriculum
http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/inspectionandreview/reports/examplesofpractice/index.asp
3.
Journey To Excellence : improvement guides
Planning the outcomes of learning :
http://www.journeytoexcellence.org.uk/learningandteaching/improvementguide/planningtheoutcomesoflearning.asp
Monitoring, recording and tracking success:
http://www.journeytoexcellence.org.uk/learningandteaching/improvementguide/monitoringrecordingtracking.asp
List of all improvement guides:
http://www.journeytoexcellence.org.uk/whatisexcellence/improvementguides.asp
4.
Learning together resources
Professional Development Pack - Developing literacy and numeracy across learning
http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/resources/p/professionaldevelopmentpacks/genericresource_tcm4645078.asp?strReferringChannel=journeytoexcellence&strReferringPageID=tcm:4-556930-64
Professional Development Pack - Health and wellbeing across learning
13
http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/resources/p/professionaldevelopmentpacks/genericresource_tcm4645080.asp?strReferringChannel=journeytoexcellence&strReferringPageID=tcm:4-556930-64
List of all Learning together resources
http://www.journeytoexcellence.org.uk/resourcesandcpd/cpdresources.asp
5.
Improving our curriculum through self-evaluation
This guide (2008 ) from HM Inspectors focuses on the use of Quality Indicator 5.1: The curriculum, to help schools and centres to evaluate and improve their curriculum.
http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/resources/i/genericcontent_tcm4747804.asp?strReferringChannel=educationscotland&strReferringPageID=tcm:4-615801-64
Source of Questions for 5.1: Adapted from Learning Together: Opening up learning http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/Images/ltoul_tcm4-712892.pdf
And informed by Briefing paper 1 : Broad General Education http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/thecurriculum/whatiscurriculumforexcellence/keydocs/cfebriefings.asp
14
Quality Improvement Team: Taking a Closer Look Series
Moving from Good to Great: 5.9 Improvement through Self-evaluation toolkit (Early Years)
15
QI 5.9 Improvement through self-evaluation: Updated level 5 illustration
KEY FEATURES:
This indicator relates to the school’s arrangements for improvement through self -evaluation. It highlights the importance of leadership of self-evaluation,
including effective support for career- long professional learning, and evaluating its impact on the work of staff and the progress and achievement of
learners. Ensuring shared self-evaluation with partners is especially important.
Theme 1: Commitment to self-evaluation
 We work with partners, learners and stakeholders, including parents and carers, in self-evaluation and are aware of resulting strengths and development
needs and are committed to take action to effect improvement. Effective systems are in place to monitor and evaluate the quality of provision, including with
partners, and to gather and respond to views of stakeholders. We have strong leadership at all levels with a vision for the outcomes of change. This vision
gives direction to self - evaluation. High quality support for career-long professional learning is in place to support improvement. This is founded on effective
arrangements for professional review and development of staff. We take ownership of professional learning, including reflection and enquiry on practice as
individuals and with others, in order to engage more deeply and meaningfully with Curriculum for Excellence. We are aware of the impact of our professional
learning on our work and on the experiences of learners. We use the GTCS Professional Standards as a starting point for personal reflection and selfevaluation. We are ensuring a continued focus on support for leadership development, including leadership for learning. We ensure appropriate mentoring
and support for students and newly qualified teachers.
Theme 2: Management of self-evaluation
 Self-evaluation focuses on key aspects of learners’ successes and achievements. It draws on a wide range of advice and evidence and is rigorous,
systematic and transparent. We reflect on current practice and evaluate any new initiatives, ideas and changes which have been introduced. Selfevaluation gives a high priority to the quality of learning and teaching. We also focus on the impact of changed methodologies on outcomes for learners.
We identify important strengths and areas for improvement through self-evaluation from a range of evidence. This includes using effective arrangements to
assess and track progress and achievement in the BGE and senior phase. We have clear knowledge and understanding about how learners are
progressing and
achieving at department/faculty and whole school level across all curriculum areas and subjects. We
use self-evaluation to help share good practice. We use self-evaluation and work collaboratively to develop a shared understanding, consistently apply and
improve standards and expectations including through moderation, sharing best practice and benchmarking with other establishments.
4
Theme 3: School/centre/learning community improvement
 Our school and partners take a joined-up approach to improvement across all that it does. We act on the results of robust and rigorous self-evaluation and
can show clear evidence of improvement based on actions as part of our self-evaluation. We focus particularly on continuing improvements
16
to learning and teaching, our curriculum and the achievement of all learners. We work with partners
to focus on eliminating barriers to achievement and progress of different groups of learners and their characteristics.
Self-evaluation resource QI 5.9 Improvement through self evaluation
Theme 1:
Commitment to
self-evaluation
Self-evaluation
expectations
a) All staff, partners, learners and
stakeholders are involved in selfevaluation, are aware of resulting
strengths and development needs
and are committed to take action to
bring about improvement. Effective
systems are in place to monitor and
evaluate the quality of provision,
including with partners, and to
gather and respond to views of
stakeholders.
b) The school/centre has strong
leadership at all levels with a
vision for the outcomes of
change. This vision gives direction
to self-evaluation.
c) Good quality support for
career-long professional
learning is in place to
support improvement


Staff are engaging in joint
professional learning with
partners.
Staff are engaging in a range of
professional learning to support
Curriculum for Excellence
implementation including using,
sharing and developing good
practice in assessment and
profiling
Key
questions
Evidence/Commen
ts
 How well do we use evidence from selfevaluation to work with partners in
informing improvements?
 How well do those of us with specific
responsibilities (HT/Manager, Depute,
Pupil Council, Parent Council) lead
improvements?
 How well do we engage parents and carers
in self-evaluation and improvement
planning?
 How well is evidence from self-evaluation
used to provide leadership and direction
for improvement?
 How well do PRD systems and individual
staffs self-evaluation support career-long
professional learning?
 How well are staff in their early phase of
their career supported?

How well do we promote
leadership development at all
levels to support improvement?
17
Self-evaluation resource QI 5.9 Improvement through self evaluation
Self-evaluation
expectations
Key
questions
Evidence/Commen
ts
18
Theme 2: Management of self-evaluation
a) Self-evaluation gives a high priority to the quality of
learning and teaching. Staff maintain a strong focus on
evaluation of practice to ensure a high quality of
teaching, consistent with the Es and Os. They also
focus on the impact of changed methodologies on
outcomes for learners.
 How well are we using a range of evidence
to evaluate the impact of curriculum change
and improvements in methodologies to
monitor improvements in outcomes for
children?
b) Schools/centres use a range of evidence to monitor and
evaluate the impact of curriculum change to inform ongoing improvements to provision.
 How well do we analyse and use
information on learners’ choices to ensure
they make appropriate progress and to
inform developing the curriculum?
c) Staff identify important strengths and areas for
improvement through self-evaluation from a range of
evidence. This includes using effective arrangements
to assess and track progress and achievement in
the BGE. They have clear knowledge and
understanding about how learners are progressing and
achieving at whole school level and across all
curriculum areas. The school/centre has robust
evidence of standards of achievement across all
curriculum areas and trends over time.
d) Staff use self-evaluation to help share good practice.
Staff use self-evaluation and work collaboratively to
develop a shared understanding, consistently apply and
improve standards and expectations including through
moderation, sharing best practice and benchmarking
with other establishments.
e) Staff are increasingly engaged in a range of quality
assurance and moderation activities within
schools/centres,
between schools/clusters and other centres to develop
their
skills and confidence in assessment approaches.
 How well do we use a range of research
evidence and local, national and
international benchmarking information?
 How well do we use evidence collated from
progress and achievement, in all curricular
areas at whole school/centre level and from
learning outwith school/centre, to support
improvement planning and to plan the
curriculum to meet the needs of all
children?
 How well are approaches to Quality
Assurance and moderation impacting on staff
confidence in assessment and understanding
standards and leading to improved
achievement of all learners?
Self-evaluation resource QI 5.9 Improvement through self evaluation
19
Self-evaluation
Theme 3: School/centre/learning
community
expectations
improvement
Staff are committed to acting on the results of robust and
rigorous self-evaluation and can show clear evidence of
improvement based on actions as part of our selfevaluation. Improvements focus particularly on continuing
improvements to learning and teaching and the
achievement of all learners.
Key
questions
Evidence/Commen
ts
 How well do we draw together a range
of evidence to demonstrate the impact
of improvements?
 How well do we act on the evidence of selfevaluation to prioritise and inform
improvement planning and put in place a
range of strategies to raise achievement?
 How well do we take account of factors such
as disabilities, gender and social
background?
 How well aligned are priorities for careerlong professional learning to priorities in the
school/centre improvement plan and do they
lead to positive impact on outcomes for
learners?
 How well do we take account of issues
arising from diversity and equality?
 How well do we ensure that improvement
planning processes focus on key priorities
and actions to improve outcomes for learners
and not become overly bureaucratic?
1
2
3
4
5
6
Overall Evaluation of 5.9
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1.9. Improvement through self evaluation
Commitment to self-evaluation
School / centre...................................... Session......................
Management of self-evaluation
School improvement
What are we going to do next?
1
2
3
4
5
6
21
Overall Evaluation of 5.9
5.9 Focus Group Questions
Focus Group Questions for Learners
Focus Group Questions for Staff
•
To what extent are you involved in discussing the strengths and
development needs of the school/centre?
•
How often are you asked for your opinion on how to make improvements
in the school/centre?
•
Is your viewpoint listened to and acted upon?
•
Are you involved in leading any school improvements?
•
Do you know what your school improvement priorities are?
•
•
Can you discuss a recent improvement initiative outlining how it was
implemented and organised and what the impact was in practice?
•
•
How often are you asked how well you are progressing and achieving in
different curriculum areas?
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
How well do we use evidence from self-evaluation to work with partners in informing
improvements?
How well do those of us with specific responsibilities lead improvements?
How well do we engage parents and carers in self-evaluation and improvement
planning?
How well is evidence from self-evaluation used to provide leadership and direction for
improvement?
How well do PRD systems and individual staffs self-evaluation support career-long
professional learning? How well are teachers in their early phase of education
supported?
How well do we promote leadership development at all levels to support
improvement?
How well are we using a range of evidence to evaluate the impact of curriculum
change and improvements in methodologies to monitor improvements in outcomes
for our learners?
How well do we analyse and use information on learners’ choices (in curricular areas,
IDL) to ensure they make appropriate progress and to inform development of the
curriculum?
How well do we use a range of research evidence and local, national and international
benchmarking information?
How well do we use evidence collated from progress and achievement, in each
curricular area and from learning out with school/centre, to support improvement
planning and to plan the curriculum and appropriate progression routes to meet the
needs of all our learners?
How well are approaches to Quality Assurance and moderation impacting on staff
confidence in assessment and understanding standards which lead to improved
attainment and achievement of all learners?
22
•
•
•
•
How well do we act on a range of evidence to prioritise and inform improvement
planning and put in place a range of strategies to raise attainment of all?
How well do we take account of factors such as diversity, equality, disabilities, gender
and social background?
How well aligned are priorities for career-long professional learning to priorities in the
school/centre improvement plan and do they lead to positive impact on outcomes for
learners?
How well do we ensure that improvement planning processes focus on key priorities
and actions to improve outcomes for learners and not become overly bureaucratic?
5.9 Improvement through self-evaluation – Key documents and resources
1.
Briefing Note for Head Teachers: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/inspectionandreview/about/secondaryschoolinspections/briefingnoteforheadteachers.asp
2.
Sample Inspection Pupil and Parent Questionnaires: Very useful SE tools for gathering views and can be adapted and used annually as part of the cycle of SE to
identify strengths, aspects for development and to show evidence of progress over time:
http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/inspectionandreview/about/secondaryschoolinspections/questionnaires.asp
3. Inspection Advice note 2013 – 2014: This advice note supports colleagues involved in pre-school, school and learning community inspections from August 2013. It takes account of
progress with Curriculum for Excellence in centres, schools and learning communities. It sets out an adjustment in expectations, in line with national implementation expectations, for
HM Inspectors' evaluation of QI 5.1 (Curriculum) and QI 5.9 (Improvement through self-evaluation): Inspection advice note - August 2013
4. Education Scotland evaluation resource for 5.1 and 5.9: Education Scotland self evaluation resource - 5.1 and 5.9
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3.
Improving outcomes for learners through self-evaluation: Expectations of QIs 1.1, 2.1 and 5.3 are outlined in HGIOS? and CATC. This document provides further advice on selfevaluation of these QIs: Improving outcomes for learners through self-evaluation
Key Documents and Resources
Preparing for Inspection
1.
School Inspection Framework – Arrangements for Inspecting Schools in Scotland (August 2011): http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/Images/SchoolInspectionFramework2011_tcm4-684005.pdf
2.
Being Ready for Inspection: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/inspectionandreview/about/secondaryschoolinspections/beingready.asp
3.
Briefing Note for Head Teachers: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/inspectionandreview/about/secondaryschoolinspections/briefingnoteforheadteachers.asp
4.
Sample Inspection Pupil and Parent Questionnaires: Very useful SE tools for gathering views and can be adapted and used annually as part of the cycle of SE to
identify strengths, aspects for development and to show evidence of progress over time::
http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/inspectionandreview/about/secondaryschoolinspections/questionnaires.asp
24
5. Inspection Advice note 2013 – 2014: This advice note supports colleagues involved in pre-school, school and learning community inspections from August 2013. It takes account of
progress with Curriculum for Excellence in centres, schools and learning communities. It sets out an adjustment in expectations, in line with national implementation expectations, for
HM Inspectors' evaluation of QI 5.1 (Curriculum) and QI 5.9 (Improvement through self-evaluation): Inspection advice note - August 2013
Generic Resources for QIs 1.1, 2.1, 5.1, 5.3 and 5.9
6.
Improving outcomes for learners through self-evaluation
Expectations of QIs 1.1, 2.1 and 5.3 are outlined in HGIOS? and CATC. This document provides further advice on self-evaluation of these QIs: Improving outcomes for learners through self-evaluation
5.1 and 5.9 Self-evaluation resource: Education Scotland self evaluation resource - 5.1 and 5.9
7. Education Scotland Key Documents
This link provides access the key documents including the latest advice notes, terms used, key publications and tools to support self-evaluation. This includes HGIOS?, The Child at the Centre and
arrangements for inspecting schools: Education Scotland: Principles and frameworks: Key documents
8. Examples of highly effective practice
These materials illustrate some of the features of highly effective practice noted during recent visits to schools and centres. It contains examples of practice in each of the QIs – 1.1, 2.1, 5.1, 5.3 and 5.9
Education Scotland: Examples of highly effective practice
9. Journey To Excellence : improvement guides and Learning together resources
List of all improvement guides: Journey to Excellence Improvement Guides
List of all learning together resources: Learning together resources
Three new learning together resources have been added: Enabling young people to achieve Opening up learning: Self-evaluation Opening up assessment
10. Curriculum for Excellence briefing papers: A summary of Curriculum for Excellence briefing papers is attached in Appendix B.
CfE briefings
CfE Briefing 1: Broad General Education in Secondary Schools
CfE Briefing 2: Assessing Progress and Achievement in the 3-15 Broad General Education
25
CFE Briefing 3: Profiling and the S3 Proflie
CfE Briefing 4: Interdisciplinary Learning
CfE Briefing 5: Personalised Learning
CfE Briefing 6: Progression from the Broad General Education to the Senior Phase part 1
CfE Briefing 7: Progression from the Broad General Education to the Senior Phase part 2
CFE Briefing 8: Progression from the Broad General Education to the Senior Phase part 3
CFE Briefing 9: Learning about Scotland
CFE Briefing 10: The role of CLD in partnership working
CfE Briefing 11: Planning for Learning part 1: Through the Broad General Education
CfE Briefing 12: Planning for Learning part 2: Further learning, training and employment beyond age 16
http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/Images/CfEBriefing13_tcm4-809982.pdf
http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/Images/CfEBriefing14_tcm4-813894.pdf
11. Education Scotland Professional resources
Supporting Learners - self reflection resource
Assessing progress and achievement professional learning resources
Professional Development Pack - Developing literacy and numeracy across learning
Professional Development Pack - Health and wellbeing across learning
12. Career-long professional learning
Education Scotland website: Career-long Professional Learning
Education Scotland Guidance (PDF): Career-long Professional Learning: Guidance for teachers on approaches to professional learning
Scottish Government: Framework for Educational Leadership
26
CfE Briefings 1-14
A series of briefings designed to provide practitioners with information and advice to support their implementation of Curriculum for Excellence:
www.educationscotland.gov.uk/thecurriculum/whatiscurriculumforexcellence/keydocs/cfebriefings.asp
CfE Briefing 14: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/resources/c/genericresource_tcm4813895.asp?strReferringChannel=thecurriculum&strReferringPageID=tcm:4-715583-64&class=l3+d148554. This briefing
explores the place of political literacy within Curriculum for Excellence. It relates to all settings where children and young people experience aspects of political literacy, either in an educational establishment
such as a college or school, or more broadly in a wide range of community settings and forums.
CfE Briefing 13: Planning for Learning part 3 - Individualised educational programmes (IEPs):
http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/resources/c/genericresource_tcm4809983.asp?strReferringChannel=thecurriculum&strReferringPageID=tcm:4-715583-64&class=l3+d14855: An IEP is a non-statutory
document used to plan specific aspects of education for learners who need some or all of their curriculum to be individualised. This CfE briefing about IEPs is the third in a series about effective planning for
learning.
CfE Briefing 12: Planning for Learning part 2: Further learning, training and employment beyond age 16: This briefing provides advice for practitioners and can also be used to inform partners, learners and
their parents and carers of developments in Curriculum for Excellence.
CfE Briefing 11: Planning for Learning part 1: Through the Broad General Education: This briefing explores emerging practice in planning for learning through the Broad General Education (BGE) in the early years,
primary and secondary S1-S3 stages.
CfE Briefing 10: The role of CLD and partnership working: This briefing explores the important contribution that CLD is making to CfE outcomes for learners through partnership working in educational
establishments and communities.
27
CfE Briefing 9: Learning about Scotland: This briefing explores the ways in which practitioners across sectors are increasing opportunities for children and young people to learn about Scotland as part of the
broad general education (BGE) and in the senior phase.
CfE Briefing 8: Progression from the Broad General Education to the Senior Phase part 3: This briefing looks at how schools and their partners are developing new curriculum approaches that provide flexible
achievement pathways at the senior phase.
CfE Briefing 7: Progression from the Broad General Education to the Senior Phase part 2: This briefing explores the importance of learning in the senior phase to ensure all learners are prepared well for lifelong
learning, further study and employment.
CfE Briefing 6: Progression from the Broad General Education to the Senior Phase part 1: This Curriculum for Excellence briefing explores the pivotal role of the S3 experience.
CfE Briefing 5: Personalised Learning: This briefing explores the practical implications for staff, learners and parents of personalised learning which resumes a degree of choice and a stronger role for the learner
in making decisions.
CfE Briefing 4: Interdisciplinary Learning: Interdisciplinary learning is a planned approach to learning which uses links across different subjects or disciplines to enhance learning. This Curriculum for Excellence
briefing explores interdisciplinary learning, how it can be planned and how you can take it forward.
CfE Briefing 3: Profiling and the S3 Profile: This Curriculum for Excellence Briefing takes an in-depth look at profiling.
CfE Briefing 2: Assessing Progress and Achievement in the 3-15 Broad General Education: This briefing looks at assessing progress and achievement in the 3-15 broad general education.
Broad General Education in the Secondary School – A Guide for Parents and Carers: A guide for parents about broad general education, the period from age three to the end of S3, covering all of the experiences
and outcomes across all curriculum areas. Question and answer - broad general education in the secondary school: Supplementary information regarding the broad general education in the secondary school.
CfE Briefing 1: Broad General Education in Secondary Schools: Curriculum for Excellence Briefing 1, published on 19 April 2012, covering support for the learner entitlement to a broad general education in the
secondary school under Curriculum for Excellence.
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Appendix 1
Cowgate Under 5's Centre
Inspection Report March 2014
How well do children learn and achieve?
Children’s learning at Cowgate Under 5’sCentre is outstanding. From the earliest
age, children are encouraged to explore and investigate the world around them, both indoors and outside. In all areas of the nursery, highlyknowledgeable staff provide comfort, encouragement and stimulation. Because their work is of the highest quality, children develop secure
relationships with caring and trusted adults and make excellent progress. The nursery has strong and shared philosophies and values. Adults
place trust in children and allow them to drive their own learning. They provide them with stimulating, natural materials to help them develop and
learn. Throughout the playrooms, children’s experiences are designed to foster independence and decision making. By allowing children to
consider hazards and take risks, these skills are developing particularly well. Children’s outdoor experiences are of an exceptionally high-quality.
Here, natural materials provide children with creative and challenging ways to extend their knowledge and understanding, and to develop
relationships with the natural world. In the nursery garden, the forest kindergarten and at Stickland, a natural woodland space on the outskirts of
Edinburgh, children climb, observe wildlife, reflect, play in running water, cook, problem-solve and create imaginary play situations. Younger
children’s early language skills are encouraged by staff who understand how to do this effectively. Almost all children love to share stories and
rhymes with adults and friends, often curling up in a quiet space alone or with a friend to share a book. Many older children create their own
plays and perform them to each other, dressing up or using puppets. Through nursery routines and play, staff encourage children’s pre-writing
skills in relevant contexts. In the Sala Infantil, which caters for children aged three to five, children mark-make during their play, making lists,
writing labels for the playroom, making tickets for their performances or taking charcoal tree rubbings on their hill walks. Commendably children’s
understanding of early mathematics is encouraged through solving real and imaginary problems. For example, children had measured the depth
of a river using sticks to check that the water would not flood into their boots. Older children count in many real-life contexts and daily routines
such as playing games, helping to bake and having snack and lunch. Consequently, almost all have an excellent understanding of numbers.I n
areas such as early science and technology, children’s early skills in inquiry and investigation are developing very well. By observing and
exploring their natural environment they are beginning to understand their place in the world. Children’s creativity is encouraged and promoted in
every area of the centre. Children frequently choose to sing, dance and perform using musical instruments or indeed pots and pans and other
resources they find around the playroom. Children love to use technology to record and share pictures of their friends playing and staff have
begun to share these short films and pictures electronically with parents. Children’s learning is also recorded in personal learning plans and we
have asked staff to consider how these can be further developed so that they demonstrate children’s progress even more clearly. The centre has
29
many awards in recognition of its successes, for example as Investors in Children. It has achieved its fourth green flag award from Eco-Schools
Scotland to acknowledge its work on sustainability.
How well does the pre-school centre support children to develop and learn?
The nursery supports children’s development and learning exceptionally well. It provides a rich and supportive physical and emotional
environment for children and their families which is highly appreciated by parents. Partnerships with parents are extremely positive and reflect
the shared vision and values which underpin the life and work of the nursery. The unique ethos of the centre allows children to thrive in a safe,
secure, yet vibrant setting. Children and their families are very well supported at times of transition or when there is a change in routine.
Where appropriate, staff work sensitively and productively with other agencies to provide additional help for children who need support to make
progress. The way adults respond to individual children’s emotional, developmental and learning needs is exceptional. They listen
carefully to children’s wishes and tune in to their interests. They immediately plan for exciting ways to respond to children’s curiosity and to
deepen their understanding. For example, having seen a nearby display of Chinese Warrior Lanterns one morning, adults tookagroup of children
to see these lit in the evening. Almost all learning comes from the children’s interests, but staff ensure that children receive a broad and
challenging curriculum. They provide a very wide and stimulating range of opportunities
in the playroom and outdoors which help children to experience broad, deep, coherent and purposeful learning
How well does the pre-school centre improve the quality of its work?
The nursery has highly effective ways to monitor what it does well and how it can continue to improve.
Parents feel able to influence decisions which affect them and their child and help to support the centre’s priorities for improvement
.
Children’s own ideas generate and drive developments and they enjoy taking responsibility for making changes to their play areas.
For example, having decided that they wanted running water in their garden, they helped design and bring about a water pump in their garden.
The head of centre has successfully engendered a professional learning community amongst staff and parents to provide an outstanding service
for children. She provides very strong, sensitive and very effective leadership of the centre and has successfully encouraged these qualities in
others. Consequently, the highly qualified staff team have a deep understanding of how children develop and learn. They share their own
practice and improve aspects of the nursery based on sound research which they often undertake themselves. For example, following her
own observations and after extensive research and consultation a senior practitioner opened up the baby and toddler rooms to benefit very
young children by allowing them to play together with siblings and friends. This has been an innovative and successful change which reflects the
centre’s approach to improvement.
Overall, Cowgate Under 5’s is an outstanding nursery whose practice will continue to be shared widely.
All grades – level 6 – excellent
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Peek-a-Boo Nursery Fraserburgh Inspection Report January 2014
.
How well do children learn and achieve?
Children are learning and achieving very well. They are enthusiastic about their learning and clearly enjoy being at nursery. Children benefit from
the consistent, caring and nurturing relationships that they have with all staff. Consultation is used extensively to ensure that children’s views are
taken very good account of. It also helps establish what children already know before moving on to new learning.
Children also evaluate aspects of the playroom and staff make changes and improvements, taking account of their views. Recently, children
have created a ‘bug hotel’ in the nursery garden. They are now enjoying exploring the insects it has
attracted. In preparation for Christmas children have created their own cards that are being sold to parents and families. They enthusiastically
rehearse a selection of songs to present at their Christmas party. Children are making very good progress in early language. In discussions they
confidently share their personal knowledge and experiences with others. They listen well during group activities and show interest in markmaking in their play. Children have a very good knowledge of a range of stories including traditional tales.
Through exploring the local area children recognise print, such as street names, in the environment. Almost all children have an awareness of
number including discussing their ages and who is older or younger. When discussing their families
children have gathered information and created graphs to display it. They are confident with a range of measurement including weighing using
scales and using other methods such as bricks and hands to measure their heights.
How well does the pre-school centre support children to develop and learn?
The nursery provides very good support to help children develop and learn. Staff provide a broad curriculum that is firmly based on children’s
interests and what they need to learn next. The curriculum is enriched by visitors into the nursery, including parents, who share their professions
and interests. Staff recognise that children could benefit from greater use of the local community where they could have first-hand experiences.
The nursery garden, which children have extensive access to, provides very good opportunities for learning in all areas of the curriculum. Staff
observe children at play and record information to help them plan for what children
need to learn next. They recognise that children could be even more involved in deciding their own next steps in learning.
Transition arrangements into nursery are very well planned on a personalised basis. Peter Boo, the nursery teddy and the creation of family
banners provide helpful links between home and nursery to help
children settle. All children have a key worker who they have a close relationship with. This helps children feel safe and secure. By using space
in the nursery more flexibly, children would be more independent and have more responsibility in their learning. Staff need to ensure high
standards in hand washing are maintained and best practice in the storage and administration of medicine is followed. A learning
partnership is encouraged between home and nursery. Parents are extremely satisfied with arrangements to support this.
They appreciate the information that is shared through their child’s weekly jotter. This helps them be very well informed about what children have
been learning in nursery and continue this at home.
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How well does the pre-school centre improve the quality of its work?
We are confident that the nursery is consistently improving the quality of its work.
The management team are passionate about the continued development of the nursery to ensure a consistently high quality service for children
and families. They use a wide range of monitoring and self-evaluation activities to help identify aspects
that could be improved further. Actions are then taken to make improvement and further evaluation allows the quality of improvements to be
measured. Parents are extensively consulted with and their views fully acted upon. The management team value the contribution staff make to
the nursery. Staff are supported to continue their development through further training. This helps improve children’s experiences
further. Peek-a-Boo Nursery is well placed to continue to provide a high quality learning experience for children.
All grades – level 5 – very good
Mount Esk Nursery School Midlothian Council
Inspection Report December 2013
How well do children learn and achieve?
Children look forward to coming to nursery and say that they enjoy all of the activities.
32
They show that they have made a close bond with staff and like to talk to them about their learning. Children are motivated and confident.
Overall, they make choices about where they would like to play. Often, they show a preference for playing outdoors where they can explore,
investigate and use the bikes. They play
very well together for extended periods of time and happily include other children who wish to join in. Children are very independent and are
proud of this. For example, they can collect their own materials and make careful choices when designing and making their own models and
cards. When children are ready for snack, they organise this for themselves and take part in extended conversations with their friends as they
eat. Children are very proud of their ‛special books,' which detail their learning. They use their photographs and samples of work to discuss their
achievements and progress. Children and their parents talk to staff about achievements outside nursery and these are celebrated on the
achievement trees at group times. Children are making very good progress in early language and literacy, numeracy
and mathematics. All children are learning new words which help them to talk about their learning and share their knowledge. Most children take
part in extended conversation throughout their session and younger children like to listen to what is said. Staff make effective use of signing and
symbols to aid communication. Children use books purposefully to relax with a familiar story or to find interesting facts.
Older children in particular, show enthusiasm for exploring early writing. A few children use their skills meaningfully across the nursery to make
labels for others. Children demonstrate their understanding of early mathematics through their play and use the right words to talk about size,
shape and quantity. Staff have improved the ways in which they enable children to apply their numeracy skills across
learning and this is working very well. Outdoors, children describe how they have grown plants and have great fun using homemade kites. They
like energetic play and know how this contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
How well does the pre-school centre support children to develop and learn?
The nursery demonstrates its values very clearly in the way it works with and supports families.
Parents speak very highly of the nursery and value the very positive contribution it makes to their lives. They are impressed with the knowledge
each member of staff has about their own child. Staff make time each day to talk together about how well children are learning. This enables
them to provide activities which offer the right level of challenge for children and to give useful feedback to parents. Staff use skilled questioning
to extend children’s play and enable them to make very positive progress toward their next steps in learning.
Children and families who need extra help are supported effectively by a staff team who are consistent and can be relied upon to listen to what
parents need. The headteacher takes the right action to ensure children have access to other professionals and staff act on their advice.
Their work with partners, for example ‛Positive Steps'
and Community Learning and Development to support families, is an example of good practice. The early intervention project 'Now You Are
Two,' has been recognised very positively by others. Staff provide a curriculum which is exciting and is designed around children’s
interests and next steps in learning. Children influence how the playroom is set up and the play resources which are on offer. Staff are making
increasing use of the facilities and partners within the new Lasswade High School building to extend learning. Health and wellbeing is a strong
feature of the curriculum and staff are continuing to build on and improve how skills in literacy and numeracy are
progressed across children’s play. The outdoor learning environment is very well designed and enables children to observe nature, solve
problems and ask important questions to help them find out how things work. Staff promote creativity by, for example,supporting children to find
out about artists and their work. Children and families who are new to the nursery are given every opportunity to find out about and
33
take part in all of the learning experiences. Staff work closely with local primary schools and provide strong pastoral care when children move
through to P1. Staff use 'Early Level Steps' effectively to ensure progression and strengthen the ways in which children build on their learning
from nursery into P1.
How well does the pre-school centre improve the quality of its work?
The nursery continually improves the quality of its work because staff have children at the heart of their work and want to do their very best for
them. Staff work very effectively as a team
and have adjusted well to recent staffing changes within their team. They share leadership roles from providing an ‛Education Shop’ to support
creativity at home, running the library to developing aspects of Curriculum for Excellence. Through guidance from the headteacher, staff are
improving how they reflect on children’s learning and the actions they take as a result. The headteacher is experienced and knowledgeable. She
is a key resource within the local schools group and community and leads others in promoting the best of early education. For example, she has
developed an approach to tracking children’s progress. She listens carefully to the views of children and parents and acts upon them to enhance
the curriculum and meet children’s learning needs. The headteacher and staff are determined to build on the successes of the nursery and
continue to offer a service which puts play at the heart of learning and ensures families feel included and very well supported
All grades level 5 – very good
Lerwick Preschool Lerwick Inspection Report August 2013
How well do children learn and achieve?
I found that your children are learning and achieving very well. Children are happy, settled and very enthusiastic about learning. They are
confident, and highly motivated by the activities on offer. They freely access a wide range of resources
34
and show very good imagination in their play. They are very well behaved and show consideration for each other. Children are extremely
independent at snack time and when dressing for outdoors. They play exceptionally well together and many show very good concentration and
perseverance. They are developing friendships and learning to share and cooperate well. Children have raised significant amounts of money for
local and national charities. The pre-school has a valued role in the local
community. As a result, children are developing awareness of citizenship and responsibility, for example, by contributing to the Up Helly Aa
celebrations. Children are learning how to care for the environment through regular clean-up activities in the local area. The pre-school has an
award for its work on health promotion. Children are very keen to discuss their activities and their achievements. Staff are aware of the need to
give children more opportunities to talk about, and deepen their
understanding of their learning. Children are making very good progress in early language and mathematics. They listen well and almost all
children talk confidently to each other and to adults. Children enjoy listening to stories and many children choose books independently. They are
learning songs and rhymes, including some traditional Scottish favourites. Children are aware of letters and almost all are beginning to recognise
their name in print. Many can write their name and other words around the playroom.
They explore different mark-making materials and s
how awareness and interest
in how they can use writing for different purposes. They enjoy using notepads and clipboards to record their writing. Children are developing their
understanding of mathematics as they play and take part in activities, for example, measuring their heights or counting out foods at snack time.
They are becoming aware of measurement and shape through pouring sand and
water into different containers, and matching three-dimensional objects. Children have a very good understanding of healthy eating, personal
care and safety. They are developing a range of scientific skills through planting and growing activities, seeking out and identifying
bugs in the nursery garden and releasing butterflies back into the wild garden.
They are becoming increasingly confident in climbing, balancing and using wheeled toys. Many make very imaginative use of props and
costumes to develop role-play activities.
How well does the pre-school centre support children to develop and learn?
The pre-school supports children to develop and learn very well. All staff know children and their families, and staff work effectively in partnership
with parents to help support children. Staff create a calm, nurturing and supportive
environment for children to learn. Parents are actively involved in the life of the nursery by developing the outdoor area and helping with outings.
They feel very well informed about their child’s learning and progress. Staff are using Curriculum
for Excellence very well to plan and record children’s learning. They organise a stimulating and varied range of play experiences which are fully
child centred. Play contexts are richly resourced and encourage children to explore using all of their senses. There are very good opportunities
for children to apply their skills in early literacy and numeracy across the playroom and outdoors. The curriculum is enhanced by high quality
learning outdoors, and an exciting range of visits out into the local area and beyond.
Staff have developed detailed ‘learning stories’ for each child. They are now working to develop their assessment procedures further to track
children’s progress through the early level. Almost all activities are set at the right level of difficulty for children and staff are working to ensure
that older children are consistently challenged by the activities on offer. Staff show skill in asking questions or
35
Offering explanations to extend children’s learning. Those children who need extra help to settle, or help with aspects of their learning, are very
well supported by staff. The centre has very effective links with the pre-school home visiting service and other specialist agencies.
How well does the pre-school centre improve the quality of its work?
The owners and visiting manager are highly
effective in leading a dedicated staff team. All staff show strong commitment to continuous improvement. They have a clear vision for the preschool and readily identify strengths and areas for development. Staff are clear about their roles and responsibilities and are eager to undertake
further training to improve their knowledge and understanding of the curriculum, learning and teaching. They have a clear focus on improving out
comes for children and use well-considered evaluations to help them monitor children’s progress. Staff are working to involve children and
parents more fully in evaluating and improving the pre-school. The owners and visiting manager monitor all aspects of the pre-school
systematically. They are making very good progress with their planned developments. The pre-school has a strong capacity for continued
improvement.
All grades level 5 – very good
Castleview Primary School, City of Edinburgh
36
Castleview Primary.school has a roll of 259 pupils who are currently situated within 10 classes including our Nursery class. The school serves
the community of Craigmillar, Niddrie and Greendykes. The Catchment area is undergoing an intense programme of regeneration and the
neighbourhood has high levels of multiple social deprivation that are being addressed through this change. FME at Castleview is currently at
63%. The Department of Children & Families recognises this and allocates additional funding to support positive action in learning. The school is
co-educational and nondenominational. Castleview opened in May 2003 as part of the City of Edinburgh Council’s, Private, Public Partnership
(PPP) initiative and was built on a green field site next to Castlebrae High School. The school was formed from by the closures and
amalgamation of Craigmillar, Peffermill and Greendykes Primary Schools.
Castleview was inspected in June 2013 and the inspectors noted the following features of the school’s work which contributed to the school
receiving an evaluation of ‘excellent’ for Quality Indicator 5.1.
Evaluations take account of the context of the school and these features are just part of the overall approach the whole school community takes
to improving young people’s learning experiences and their achievements.
Rationale and design of the curriculum
There is a clear rationale for the design of the curriculum which is based on delivering the core entitlements within Curriculum for Excellence. As
a result, the curriculum supports children’s development of skills and knowledge exceptionally well across all areas.
The implementation of Curriculum for Excellence is very well established and all staff are confident and articulate in describing how they have
embraced and implemented curriculum change very effectively. The curriculum is designed exceptionally well to meet the needs of all learners.
There is an excellent range of focused, very well planned interventions to improve children’s progress in literacy and numeracy. These
interventions are tailored exceptionally well to the needs of individuals and groups. Planning for literacy and numeracy is excellent overall.
Overall staff and partners are delivering an outstanding and motivating curriculum which offers a range of experiences designed to improve
children’s life chances and to help address the effects of high levels of social deprivation.
The development of the curriculum
37
There is a clear focus on providing meaningful and challenging opportunities for children to develop skills for learning and skills for life. The
curriculum is exceptionally well developed to take account of the local context and the needs of the pupils. Teachers have been systematically
developing the curriculum very successfully over a number of years, to take full account of all aspects of Curriculum for Excellence.
School staff work closely with a range of partners exceptionally well and are finding different ways to engage with parents and the community.
Overall, the curriculum provides an outstanding range of opportunities to extend children’s achievements and improve their life chances. The
curriculum is enhanced through an excellent range of focused, targeted interventions. Monitoring of the wide variety of programmes are showing
real gains for the children. The entitlements are being delivered successfully for all children.
Programmes and courses
Staff are designing and refreshing programmes and courses exceptionally well using the experiences and outcomes to plan a coherent approach
to learning, teaching and assessment and to ensure the development of the knowledge, skills, attributes and capabilities of the four capacities.
They have a clear rationale for change and the expected outcomes for all children. They have been developing new programmes successfully
and in depth for a number of years, taking full account of the design principles. Working in partnership with the community, staff are supporting
the children to grow as citizens and develop skills for learning, life and work through a range of interdisciplinary topics which provide stimulating,
challenging, relevant and enjoyable experiences. For example, all children in P6 and P7 benefit from excellent opportunities to develop skills in
listening, talking, performing and presenting through working for Historic Scotland at Craigmillar Castle as tour guides. This curriculum initiative
has an outstanding impact on children’s confidence and sense of self-worth. It has won a range of local and national awards. Castleview Primary
school provides an exceptionally high level of support for families, through day to day contact and specific projects and initiatives. For example,
‘Families and Schools Together’ (FAST) has enabled 20 families to work directly with school staff to develop a range of skills and to extend
learning.
The school has arrangements in place to ensure all pupils experience 2 hours of very high quality physical education each week. The school
provides equipment including appropriate clothing to remove potential barriers to participation. For example, purchasing and subsidising bikes
and helmet for children to cycle to school and for children to take part in the Bike-ability programme and outdoor clothing to take part in outdoor
activities.
Transitions
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Transitions are very well organised and there are very well considered activities as part of the induction from nursery to P1. Children have had
productive opportunities to prepare for P1 through a series of planned visits. There are excellent, very well planned arrangements enable smooth
transition from stage to stage and across all levels. Staff are forming very positive relationships with Castlebrae and Holyrood High School.
Children are very well supported when they move from P7 to S1 at Castlebrae and Holyrood High School. Transitions for vulnerable groups,
such as gypsy traveller children, are very well planned.
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Northmuir Primary School, Angus Council
Northmuir Primary School and Nursery Class has a roll of 318 pupils. It serves an area in the north of Kirriemuir and surrounding area. Inspectors
noted the following features of the school’s work which contributed to an evaluation of ‘excellent’ for Quality Indicator 5.9.
Evaluations take account of the context of the school and these features are just part of the overall approach the school takes to improving young
people’s learning experiences and achievements.
Improvements through self-evaluation
Staff have a shared commitment to providing the very best experiences to equip children to be successful throughout their lives. This vision
permeates every aspect of the school’s work and underpins its arrangements for self-evaluation and improvement. All staff, parents and children
are involved in evaluating and improving the school and children’s learning.
Teaching and support staff are reflective and self-critical. They understand the features of good practice. The headteacher and depute
headteacher have established a clear vision and ensured that staff are equipped with the skills and knowledge to put this into action. Staff read
and research, and look outwith the school for ways to implement the required improvements. They regularly work closely together to discuss
teaching and learning and visit each other’s classrooms using innovative ‘Learning Mirrors’ to reflect on what they see there.
There are consistent high quality practices across the school and many effective approaches are embedded. These are personalised by teachers
so each classroom has its own flavour. Rigorous and systematic self-evaluation is embedded in the daily life of the school. Reflective teachers
evaluate every lesson including children’s progress and use this as a basis for planning subsequent learning experiences. Systems for
assessing, monitoring and tracking children’s progress are robust and embedded. Staff plan progressive experiences for classes, groups and
individuals based on drawing learning intentions from the Experiences and Outcomes of Curriculum for Excellence. Very careful attention is
given to assessment results to evaluate the progress children have made over time.
Those children who are not making the anticipated progress are identified and their experiences carefully analysed to identify where
improvements can be made.
The school aims for children to exceed the usual rates of progress. Staff regularly discuss individual children with one another and with senior
managers and work together to plan for challenging learning.
There are very effective mechanisms in place for gathering and taking action on the views of pupils, parents, staff, visitors and partners. The
Pupil Council and Parent Council are actively involved in evaluating the work of the school, in making improvements happen and in evaluating
their impact. A range of pupil and parent focus groups have developed imaginative ways of measuring progress and gathering views.
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The work and contributions of the pupil learning group is shared on wall displays and supported by a pupil improvement plan, displayed in each
class, which is used to monitor and evaluate progress towards their priorities. Pupils have responsibility for leading the process of measuring
impact, gathering evidence via a range of methods including interviews and filming.
Parents have had a good level of involvement in building the school’s curriculum. They have expressed their views on a number of occasions on
what and how learning should be presented and they support learning very well as detailed above.
A range of community, business and social partners play key roles in learning. The impact of their work is maximised by being involved at some
level in planning for learning. They are usually asked to provide feedback and views on what went well during activities.
Classroom learning visits by senior managers focus on a range of aspects pertinent to the school’s improvement priorities or teachers’ personal
developments. They use the information gained to provide further development opportunities and set up learning visits by staff.
All pupils are evaluative and reflect lesson-by-lesson on their success in learning. This means that they are responsible for ensuring they meet
targets they have set themselves and work hard. Teachers regularly use children’s views on how they learn effectively to adapt and plan their
lessons. Recently, a working party of the pupil council have been planning how to evaluate the impact of the school’s improvement priorities and
have come up with some innovative ideas for gathering the views of other children.
The school’s improvement plan contains an achievable and appropriate set of priorities and has been repeatedly successful over recent years in
raising standards. The School Improvement Plan is carefully evaluated and any next steps followed-up before being removed.
The school is constantly striving to raise standards of attainment across all curriculum areas. They have successfully broadened children’s skills
in reading and writing across all stages.
Staff have high standards and identified weaknesses in children’s progress in music. They immediately took action to develop a progressive
programme to compensate for temporary shortage of specialist instruction.
School improvement priorities have had a measurable impact on improving achievements, attainment and wellbeing of learners and the work of
the school.
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Early Years Self Evaluation Toolkit QI 5.1 and 5.9