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School inspectors have reported they are ‘not confident’ that Gigha Primary can continue to improve the quality of education it provides for the island’s children.
The school and its pre-five unit were visited by representatives from Education Scotland in April and the watchdog has now published its findings, indicating that the school’s ability to raise achievement and potential are ‘weak’.
However, the team of inspectors who carried out the visit found several strengths in the school, including that pupils are kind and respectful to each other, responding well when engaging with visitors.
There is also a strong sense of teamwork across the school, and staff and practitioners in the pre-five unit were praised: ‘school staff and practitioners in the pre-five unit provide a wide range of interesting and stimulating experiences to promote children’s curiosity and creativity’.
Learning, teaching and assessment were marked as ‘satisfactory’, while the nursery class was given a ‘good’ mark for its two performance indicators.
Areas for improvement were identified and discussed with the head teacher, along with a representative of Argyll and Bute Council.
Ms Fisher said: ‘During our visit, we talked to parents/carers and children and worked closely with the school staff.’
The report by HM inspector Lorraine Fisher ends: ‘We are not at present confident from our visit that the school has effective arrangements for ensuring continuing improvement in the quality of education for all learners.’
She adds: ‘We will return within one year to explore this further. After the return inspection we will report our findings.’
The report said that the school should ‘develop further approaches to planning, learning, teaching and assessment ensuring an appropriate level of pace, challenge and differentiation’.
It added: ‘Children should be given opportunities to lead their own learning and be more involved in evaluating their own progress and next steps.
‘[The school should] ensure that there is a sharp focus on raising attainment and achievement for all children. This should include robust tracking and monitoring of children’s progress in learning and achievement.’