18 June 2013 Dear Parent/Carer your child’s school. During

18 June 2013
Dear Parent/Carer
Lossiemouth High School
The Moray Council
Recently, as you may know, my colleagues and I inspected your child’s school. During
our visit, we talked to parents and young people and worked closely with the
headteacher and staff. We wanted to find out how well young people are learning and
achieving and how well the school supports young people to do their best. The
headteacher shared with us the school’s successes and priorities for improvement.
We looked at some particular aspects of the school’s recent work, including leadership
across the school, approaches to promoting equality of achievement and supporting
young people through partnership working. As a result, we were able to find out how
good the school is at improving young people’s education.
How well do young people learn and achieve?
Overall, young people, including those with additional support needs, learn and
achieve well. Most are enthusiastic, attentive and concentrate well in lessons. They
cooperate well in pair and group activities. Staff increasingly plan lessons which
engage young people actively in their learning. In some lessons, young people benefit
from engaging in high-quality discussion and creative thinking. Young people enjoy
taking responsibility for and leading their own learning. This needs to be a more
consistent and regular experience in lessons across the school. Young people need
more detailed and regular feedback on their progress so they know how to improve.
Young people have their learning enriched through a broad range of local and
international trips and excursions.
Young people value, and benefit from, participation in the school’s wide range of
sporting, cultural and community activities. Across the school and wider community,
they demonstrate the ability to take the initiative and lead. Senior pupils trained as
peer mentors through Aberlour Youthpoint support young people in the community
affected by health related issues. Others bring about positive change to international
communities through building projects and teaching activities in Morocco and
Botswana. They can readily identify valuable life skills such as self-reliance and
teamwork as a result of their experiences. At the senior stages, young people conduct
themselves well in their roles as house captains, prefects, reading buddies and sports
leaders. At S1 to S4, young people would like further opportunities to take on
leadership roles. Staff have made a positive start in supporting young people to
formally recognise their achievements and skills gained within their e-portfolios.
Education Scotland
1 Floor, Endeavour House
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01382 576700
01382 576701
E dundee@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk
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Transforming lives through learning
At S1 to S3, the school is beginning to improve information gathered on young
people’s progress across the curriculum, including literacy and numeracy. Overall,
most young people are making appropriate progress across the curriculum areas. In
recent years performance in S4 in national examinations has been generally in line
with national averages. Performance at Credit level is stronger than in schools which
serve young people with similar needs and backgrounds. Those participating in
programmes, such as Moving Forward and Award Scheme Development and
Accreditation (ASDAN), develop skills which help them into employment or training. At
S5, the school’s approaches to raising attainment is improving the number of young
people achieving three or more Higher awards. Overall, at S6, results in national
examinations are in line with national averages and with schools which serve young
people with similar needs and backgrounds. Young people with more complex
additional needs make good progress from prior levels of attainment. Most young
people enter employment, education or training on leaving school.
How well does the school support young people to develop and learn?
The school supports young people to develop and learn well. Teachers plan
appropriate tasks and activities to meet the needs and interests of most learners.
They need to ensure that tasks and activities sustain young people’s motivation and
interest throughout the duration of the lesson. Teachers’ expectations of young
people’s behaviour are not consistently high enough in lessons. Young people with
additional support needs are supported well with good practical tasks. There is strong
pastoral support across the school, and at key transition points such as starting
secondary school. Specialist staff, including guidance and learning support staff, give
teachers useful information to help support young people. As a result, young people
linked with the support for learning base receive consistent support across the school.
The school works effectively with a range of partners to provide the right level of
support to young people when needed.
Young people benefit from a broad curriculum, which takes account of Curriculum for
Excellence and provides many opportunities to achieve qualifications and skills for
learning, life and work. The school places a strong emphasis on health and wellbeing,
leading to a supportive and caring learning environment for young people. Plans for
developing the curriculum have been coordinated and managed well by staff working
in partnership with colleagues from across The Moray Council. Staff have developed
new courses across S1-S3 and in some cases these are of high quality. As a result,
young people are benefiting from improved progression, increased relevance and
improving opportunities for personalisation and choice. As staff review and develop
the S1-S3 curriculum further, they should ensure all young people receive their
entitlement to a broad general education. Across the school, there are good
opportunities for young people to develop their literacy and numeracy skills. In S4 to
S6, young people can access a wide range of courses and units leading to certification
from Access to Advanced Higher level. An extensive range of partners contribute to
and support the curriculum. For example, the Skillsforce programme supports young
people to develop their confidence, teamwork, communication and problem-solving
skills through a range of certificated awards.
How well does the school improve the quality of its work?
The school has a number of sound approaches to self-evaluation which are
contributing to some improvements in young people’s attainment and achievement.
These approaches are not yet sufficiently rigorous or used consistently across the
school to impact fully on young people’s experiences. Almost all staff are reflective
and committed to improving their practice through leading school development groups,
sharing practice and participating in professional development opportunities. Parents
and young people are beginning to share their views on the life and work of the school.
The recently-appointed headteacher has gained the trust and confidence of staff,
parents and partners and has provided very effective leadership. The depute
headteachers support the headteacher well and now need to provide more direct
support and challenge to their link departments. Young people willingly take on
positions of responsibility and leadership, including through the Student
Representative Council. The school recognises the need to increase opportunities for
young people to contribute to decision-making.
This inspection of your school found the following key strengths.
The positive engagement with a range of partners working extensively to support
learning and achievement.
The caring and supportive environment for learning.
Staff enthusiasm for developing the curriculum.
We discussed with staff and the education authority how they might continue to
improve the school. This is what we agreed with them.
Develop a strategic approach to self-evaluation with a focus on consistency of
learners’ experiences, improved outcomes and success for all.
What happens at the end of the inspection?
We are satisfied with the overall quality of provision. We are confident that the
school’s self-evaluation processes are leading to improvements. As a result, we will
make no further visits in connection with this inspection. The Moray Council will inform
parents about the school’s progress as part of its arrangements for reporting to parents
on the quality of its schools.
Fiona Robertson
HM Inspector
Additional inspection evidence, such as details of the quality indicator evaluations, for
your school can be found on the Education Scotland website at
If you would like to receive this report in a different format, for example, in a translation
please contact the administration team on the above telephone number.
If you want to give us feedback or make a complaint about our work, please contact us
by telephone on 0141 282 5000, or e-mail: complaints@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk
or write to us addressing your letter to the Complaints Manager, Denholm House,
Almondvale Business Park, Livingston EH54 6GA.