North Lanarkshire primary school praised for top inspectors report

Inspectors were left impressed by St Edward’s Primary School
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Inspectors have commended an Airdrie primary school in a recent report. St Edward’s Primary School, which shares a campus with Tollbrae Primary School in South Biggar Road, was the subject of a positive report published on the Education Scotland website.

The school at time of inspection had a roll of 198 pupils in nine classes including a nurture group plus a nursery, with leadership provided by the head teacher, who has been in post for nine years, and three principal teachers. Leadership was rated as “very good”, with inspectors impressed by the school’s environment and ethos, as emphasised by its motto “children first” and values reflecting its strong Catholic identity including respect, honesty, self-belief and kindness.

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The head teacher’s leadership was described as “highly effective, strong and caring”, and she is respected and valued across the school community. The leadership team as a whole was said to work well together in strengthening continuous improvement for all learners.

The standard of learning, teaching and assessment was deemed to be “good”, with an emphasis on building and maintaining very positive relationships, with the children’s behaviour being well-mannered, friendly and welcoming, showing pride in their school. There was some criticism that lessons were often too teacher-led, which slows the pace of learning, with a recommendation that more opportunities for independent learning be introduced.

Some teachers were noted to make good use of questioning to help develop children’s thinking skills and it is recommended that these practices be adopted more widely. An enthusiastic approach by staff towards play-based education for younger pupils was noted and encouraged. Work is ongoing to improve results in early writing tuition, helping them perform better with regard to creative and independent writing skills.

The approach to wellbeing, equality and inclusion was rated “very good”, with the promotion of the children’s welfare at the core of the school’s activity, including the aforementioned nurturing approach and strong relationships. The children also contribute to a range of charities with some speaking very positively about the importance of this work.

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