19 January 2016 Dear Parent/Carer ’s school. During

19 January 2016
Dear Parent/Carer
Edinbarnet Primary School
West Dunbartonshire Council
Recently, as you may know, my colleagues and I inspected your child’s school. During
our visit, we talked to parents and children and worked closely with the headteacher
and staff. We wanted to find out how well children are learning and achieving and how
well the school supports children 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 the reciprocal reading programme,
transitions, health and wellbeing and the learning environments the school has set up
to help children develop literacy and numeracy skills. As a result, we were able to find
out how good the school is at improving children’s education.
How well do children learn and achieve?
Across the school, almost all children are highly motivated and engaged in their
learning. They are developing a very good understanding of themselves as learners.
Children can talk with confidence about what they are good at and what they need to
do to improve. Children use their personal learning plans well to identify individual
targets to help them improve. Thinking circles give children opportunities to identify
the skills they are developing in their learning. Relationships between children and
staff are very positive and this creates a supportive learning environment. Children are
highly motivated by learning in a range of contexts such as Forest Schools and the
STEM hub. At the early stages, children have very good opportunities to learn within
well planned play activities. Children are gaining an understanding of leadership roles
through their involvement in Pupil Council and Eco School committees. We have
asked the school to provide further opportunities to enable more children to develop
leadership skills. Children are proud to have achieved accreditation for their learning
through the John Muir Award and the Scottish Arts Dance Award. They are
encouraged to share their achievements and these are celebrated at assemblies.
Children are very aware of the skills they are developing through their successes.
The school has taken positive steps to raise attainment in literacy and numeracy.
They have developed a comprehensive approach to reciprocal reading at all stages.
This is successfully improving children’s skills in comprehension. Children have good
opportunities to apply their reading skills across other areas of learning. The school
should ensure children’s spelling and punctuation is consistently good across all
stages. Children in P5-P7 stages would benefit from the opportunity to write across a
wider range of contexts. Children are able to talk confidently about their work and
listen well to each other. The school should now track children’s progress in listening
Education Scotland
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Transforming lives through learning
and talking in order to build on prior learning. Across the school children are
developing a good understanding of a range of mathematical concepts. Active
learning approaches in mathematics are helping children learn in relevant and
enjoyable contexts. The school has identified the need to ensure that active learning
approaches result in improved attainment for all children. Children have a good
understanding about what it means to be healthy. They talk confidently about aspects
of health and wellbeing such as what they can do to keep safe and the importance of
exercise. Some children are benefiting from specific programmes to improve their
wellbeing such as nurture groups and mindfulness training. Children across all stages
are developing very good skills in modern languages. Children in P1 are able to
respond to simple questions in Spanish. As they move through the school, they are
becoming increasingly confident in Spanish as well as developing skills in French and
How well does the school support children to develop and learn?
The school has an inclusive ethos in which staff have a shared understanding that it is
everyone’s responsibility to contribute to a supportive learning environment. Staff
have a very good understanding of the learning needs of pupils and plan effectively for
those pupils who require more challenge or more support. Tasks and activities are
very well matched to the needs of children and provide very good opportunities for
children to develop skills within active learning contexts. Processes for identifying,
planning and supporting children who require additional support are effective.
Individual programmes are in place for those children who require further help. For
example, the school has recently introduced a rapid reader programme to raise
attainment in literacy across the school. The school works well with a range of
partners to support pupils and continues to build positive partnerships with parents.
Transitions for children who have additional support needs are managed very well.
Children starting school are very well supported by the school and there are very good
working partnerships with early learning and childcare settings. Enhanced transition
programmes are in place for children who require extra support when they are moving
to secondary school.
The curriculum provides children with good opportunities to learn within a broad range
of contexts. In developing the curriculum, staff have taken appropriate account of the
context of the school within the local community. There are good opportunities for
children to make links in their learning. Programmes and courses have been devised
to ensure progression through the Curriculum for Excellence levels. The recent work
to improve learning through play from early learning and childcare settings to Primary
1 is ensuring greater continuity of learning for children. The school now needs to
further develop the curriculum and as they do so, ensure better attainment in literacy
and numeracy. Curriculum improvements should continue to focus on the skills
children are developing and include clear approaches to assessing learning.
How well does the school improve the quality of its work?
The headteacher and staff are strongly committed to improving outcomes for learners.
Together they have identified areas for development that have led to positive
outcomes for children such as active learning and improvements in teaching and
learning. The headteacher has recently introduced approaches to monitor the quality
of the work of the school such as classroom visits, analysis of attainment data and the
tracking of children’s progress. These approaches are beginning to help the school
identify good practice and areas for improvement. The school should now ensure that
they use information more effectively in order to raise attainment in literacy and
numeracy. The school’s professional learning programme offers staff good
opportunities to visit other schools and share practice. Parents are encouraged to take
part in school events and the ‘Find out more days’ help keep parents informed about
the work of the school. The headteacher and staff are well placed to continue with
their plans for improvement.
This inspection found the following key strengths.
Confident and enthusiastic children who are highly engaged in their learning.
The school’s approaches to modern languages and the impact on children’s skills
in Spanish, French and Gaelic.
The quality and range of well-planned learning experiences that ensure that
children are engaged and motivated.
The commitment of staff to creating an inclusive and stimulating learning
The strong and effective leadership provided by the headteacher and senior
leadership team.
We discussed with staff and West Dunbartonshire Council how they might continue to
improve the school. This is what we agreed with them.
Raise attainment in literacy and numeracy to ensure that children achieve
appropriate levels within Curriculum for Excellence.
Further develop approaches to self-evaluation including the tracking of children’s
progress to ensure all children make very good progress in their learning.
Continue to develop the curriculum including a clear assessment strategy.
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. As part of its arrangements
for reporting to parents on the quality of education, West Dunbartonshire Council will
inform parents about the school’s progress.
Monica McGeever
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
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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: [email protected]
or write to us addressing your letter to the Complaints Manager, Denholm House,
Almondvale Business Park, Livingston EH54 6GA.