The Education Scotland inspection at St Mark’s Primary evaluated the school across a wide range of areas, identifying particular strengths and areas for improvement.
The school has received one evaluation of Very Good for ‘Ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion’ and three Good evaluations for ‘Leadership of change’, ‘Raising attainment’ and ‘Learning, teaching and assessment’.
One of the strengths particularly highlighted by the inspection team was the school’s approach to encouraging parental engagement and supporting the needs of families sensitively.
A wide range of strategies have been implemented in this area which resulted in the Very Good evaluation for ‘Ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion’.
Other areas of strength included:
· The school’s commitment to the professional learning of staff, which includes providing staff with leadership opportunities to enable them to contribute fully to the life of the school.
· Children are achieving well in the school and are benefitting from the many varied experiences which staff and partners are providing for them.
· The headteacher and other senior leaders, in collaboration with partners, have established and developed a strong and caring community of learning and faith.
Councillor Paul O’Kane, Convener for Education and Equalities, said: “Well done to everyone at St Mark’s Primary for achieving such a positive report. It is particularly pleasing that inspectors highlighted the leadership of the Head Teacher, who works extremely hard with the staff and wider school community to drive forward improvements within the school. This inspection was carried out under Education Scotland’s new inspection framework, which places higher expectations on schools and nurseries. So for St Mark’s to receive such a strong report is testament to the hard work which goes on every day by all the pupils, staff, parents and wider school community.”
St Mark’s Primary Head Teacher Natalie Fitzsimmons added: “I am delighted that this report is so positive and highlights the work we have done to support families’ wellbeing. A lot of effort has been put into this area and we are pleased that it is having a significant impact on the school community. Our pupils are a credit to the school and their families and the recommendations which are made in the report will help us to continue to make improvements as we strive to improve the learning opportunities available to all.”
The inspection team also identified three areas for improvement, which includes ensuring that high-quality learning experiences are provided more consistently and extending the range of assessment approaches used to allow children to demonstrate their learning more effectively.
Staff have also been tasked with using self-evaluation evidence more systematically throughout the school to drive forward improvement which leads to better outcomes, including raised attainment, for children.
An action plan has now been set out by the school to address the agreed areas for improvement.