Deerpark Primary School Sauchie Clackmannanshire Council

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Deerpark Primary School
Sauchie
Clackmannanshire Council
25 May 2010
HM Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) inspects schools in order to
let parents1, children and the local community know whether their
school2 provides a good education. Inspectors also discuss with
school staff how they can improve the quality of education.
At the beginning of the inspection, we ask the headteacher and
staff about the strengths of the school, what needs to improve,
and how they know. We use the information they give us to help
us plan what we are going to look at. During the inspection, we
go into classes and join other activities in which children are
involved. We also gather the views of children, parents, staff and
members of the local community. We find their views very helpful
and use them together with the other information we have
collected to arrive at our view of the quality of education.
This report tells you what we found during the inspection and the
quality of education in the school. We describe how well children
are doing, how good the school is at helping them to learn and
how well it cares for them. We comment on how well staff,
parents and children work together and how they go about
improving the school. We also comment on how well the school
works with other groups in the community, including services
which support children. Finally, we focus on how well the school
is led and how staff help the school achieve its 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 from children, parents and staff. We will
not provide questionnaire analyses where the numbers of returns
are so small that they could identify individuals.
1
Throughout this report, the term ‘parents’ should be taken to include foster carers,
residential care staff and carers who are relatives or friends.
2
The term ‘school’ includes the nursery class or classes where appropriate.
Contents
1. The school
2. Particular strengths of the school
3. How well do children learn and achieve?
4. How well do staff work with others to support children’s learning?
5. Are staff and children actively involved in improving their school
community?
6. Does the school have high expectations of all children?
7. Does the school have a clear sense of direction?
8. What happens next?
1. The school
Deerpark Primary School is a non-denominational school. It serves
the eastern part of the village of Sauchie. The roll was 128 when the
inspection was carried out in March 2010. Children’s attendance was
below the national average in 2008/2009.
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2. Particular strengths of the school
•
Children are confident and happy in school and are keen to learn.
•
Teamwork of all staff in creating an inclusive and supportive ethos.
•
Children’s life opportunities are being improved by stimulating
learning experiences both in and out of the classroom.
•
Children’s attainment and wider achievements.
•
Transition arrangements from nursery to P1 ensure children get off
to a very strong start at school.
•
The impact of the headteacher’s leadership on school
improvement.
3. How well do children learn and achieve?
Learning and achievement
Across all classes, children are enthusiastic about learning and work
hard on tasks and activities. Almost all work well independently and
cooperate well in small groups. They take appropriate responsibility
for aspects of their learning and are benefitting from planning and
evaluating aspects of their own work. At all stages, children are active
in their learning. Almost all can talk about their progress and their
strengths as learners.
Children’s achievements across the curriculum are consistently high.
At all stages, they show a strong understanding of environmental
issues and have helped to achieve a green flag from Eco-Schools
Scotland. Children are stimulated by the exciting work they are doing
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in health and can talk about a range of ways to keep safe and healthy.
They are developing positive skills in information and communications
technology and use these well in their learning. Across the school,
children are developing very good skills in art and can express
themselves well in a variety of styles. At P7, children have been
successful in an animation project which ended with their own ‘Oscars
Ceremony’. Children are developing purposeful skills in enterprise and
they use them regularly in their learning. They participate very
successfully in a range of sporting events such as basketball and
running. At all stages, children develop confidence through performing
in the Christmas Concert, which is well received.
Over the past three years, standards in English language and
mathematics have consistently improved. Most children are attaining
appropriate national levels in mathematics, reading and writing. A
significant number of children are attaining these levels earlier than
might be expected. Almost all children listen well and respond
appropriately to instructions. They talk clearly and confidently when
giving presentations. Across the school, children show a positive
interest in reading and most read with fluency and expression.
Children enjoy using the library and can talk about their favourite
authors. They write for a range of purposes and can use their writing
skills to express themselves well across the curriculum. In
mathematics, most children across the stages are developing
confidence in mental and written calculations. Children carry out
surveys well and present their information on charts and graphs
skilfully. By P7, children sort information carefully using spreadsheets
and databases. Across the stages, children have an appropriate
knowledge of symmetry and shapes. They are developing good skills
in identifying and using strategies to solve mathematical problems.
Curriculum and meeting learning needs
Staff have made a very good start to implementing Curriculum for
Excellence and are beginning to use the experiences and outcomes
very well. The well-planned curriculum is helping children to develop a
wide range of knowledge and skills. Teachers plan relevant and
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motivating tasks and activities which develop children’s skills in literacy
and numeracy across their learning. This also helps children to see
links in their learning across subjects. Staff take account of children’s
interests and backgrounds when planning learning for them. Teachers
make good use of the school’s well-developed grounds and the
surrounding area for learning outdoors. For example, staff regularly
use the school grounds for activities in art and numeracy. Staff create
a very purposeful ethos for reading which stimulates children to read
regularly. The school provides all children with two hours of
good-quality physical education each week. Staff offer additional
opportunities to develop skills in a wide range of sports. At P7,
children’s social skills and personal development are enhanced
through the residential visit to Dalguise Outdoor Centre.
In almost all lessons, tasks and activities are set at an appropriate
level. Staff encourage children to be active and to cooperate in their
learning. Teachers explain the purpose of their lessons well. They
involve children in planning their learning and set clear targets about
what they want children to learn. Children are given good-quality
feedback on how well they are learning. Staff know the children and
their families very well. The home-school liaison officer supports
children and families very effectively. Staff provide a high level of
pastoral care to children. They give very good support to children who
need additional help with their learning. Detailed support plans are in
place and reviewed regularly. Homework is regular and varied. Staff
are engaging parents more in supporting their children with homework.
4. How well do staff work with others to support children’s
learning?
All children benefit from productive links with partner agencies which
support their learning. The breakfast club provides valuable support to
the children who attend to help them to be ready to learn. Parents
support the school through fundraising and attending school events.
The Parent Council and school try hard to involve more parents in the
life of the school. Staff keep parents well informed about the work of
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the school through the school’s website and informative newsletters.
They consult parents on sensitive health issues. The school has
appropriate procedures in place to respond to any concerns or
complaints. Staff have developed positive links with the local
community. For example, community police assist the school with
aspects of learning about health and wellbeing. The school works well
with the Council for Voluntary Service and together they have created
a wood in the playground. The school has effective working links with
Lochies School which shares the same campus. Children starting in
P1 are very well supported. Staff prepare children very well for making
a confident move from P7 to Lornshill Academy.
5. Are staff and children actively involved in improving their
school community?
Across the school, children are keen to take responsibilities. They are
developing their leadership skills through taking part in a range of
activities. For example, children at the upper stages act as buddies to
younger children as well as taking on responsibility in the library. At
P6, children have successfully presented features of the life of the
school to parents of nursery children. The headteacher uses effective
strategies to evaluate the quality of education, including learning and
teaching and children’s progress. Staff work well together as a team
and have taken on key areas of responsibility. Their work leads to
improvements in children’s learning experiences.
6. Does the school have high expectations of all children?
Children, parents and staff are justifiably proud of their school.
Relationships are based on mutual respect and trust. Almost all
children are well behaved. Staff have high expectations of children’s
attainment and achievements. They recognise and celebrate
children’s achievements at assemblies and on displays around the
school. Staff are aware of the school’s procedures for child protection
and take appropriate action to ensure children are safe and well
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looked after. Children talk positively about the way their school
promotes healthy living through, for example, the successful peer
mediation scheme. They feel the school deals well with any instances
of bullying. Almost all feel that they are treated fairly and that any
concerns will be acted upon effectively. Staff actively promote equality
and diversity through the very inclusive ethos within the school.
Children have regular opportunities for religious observance. They
learn about different cultures through their work on world religions.
7. Does the school have a clear sense of direction?
The headteacher, ably supported by the principal teacher, leads the
school very effectively. She has a strong focus on teamwork and
improving children’s learning experiences. She encourages staff to
work together and try out new ideas. Staff are very reflective and
know the school well. They have contributed fully to the school’s
success in engaging children in stimulating learning experiences. The
school has shown that it can improve its work very effectively. It has a
strong determination to do even better and continue to improve.
8. What happens next?
As a result of the very good quality of education provided by the
school, we will make no further visits in connection with this inspection.
The education authority will inform parents about the school’s progress
as part of the authority’s arrangements for reporting to parents on the
quality of its school.
We have agreed the following area for improvement with the school
and education authority.
•
Continue to improve the school as planned.
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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 Deerpark Primary School.
Improvements in performance
Learners’ experiences
Meeting learning needs
very good
very good
very good
We also evaluated the following aspects of the work of the school.
The curriculum
Improvement through self-evaluation
HM Inspector: Alan Urquhart
25 May 2010
7
very good
very good
When we write reports, we use the following word scale so that our
readers can see clearly what our judgments mean.
excellent
very good
good
means
means
means
satisfactory
weak
unsatisfactory
means
means
means
outstanding, sector leading
major strengths
important strengths with some areas
for improvement
strengths just outweigh weaknesses
important weaknesses
major weaknesses
If you would like to find out more about our inspections or get an
electronic copy of this report, please go to www.hmie.gov.uk.
Please contact us if you want to know how to get the report in a
different format, for example, in a translation, or if you wish to
comment about any aspect of our inspections. You can contact us
at [email protected] or write to us at BMCT,
HM Inspectorate of Education, Denholm House, Almondvale Business
Park, Almondvale Way, Livingston EH54 6GA.
Text phone users can contact us on 01506 600 236. This is a service
for deaf users. Please do not use this number for voice calls as the
line will not connect you to a member of staff.
You can find our complaints procedure on our website
www.hmie.gov.uk or alternatively you can contact our Complaints
Manager, at the address above or by telephoning 01506 600259.
Where the school has a nursery class, you can contact the Complaints
Coordinator, Headquarters, Care Commission, Compass House,
Riverside Drive, Dundee DD1 4NY, telephone 0845 603 0890.
Crown Copyright 2010
HM Inspectorate of Education
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