Education Scotland impressed with improvements at Knowepark Primary

Published: 5th February 2019

Education Scotland has acknowledged the ongoing progress being made at Knowepark since their original inspection in January 2017.

Their follow up report on the school and nursery released on 5 February is the result of a recent visit to the Selkirk school. 

Inspectors talked to children and worked closely with the headteacher and staff about the improvements that have been made and how these are supporting children’s learning and achievements.

Good progress being made

Overall, they found the school to be making very good progress in its approaches to continuous improvement. They had consulted widely to refresh the school’s vision and values, and partnership working is now a key strength. Partners feel valued for their contributions and there is a shared understanding of what the school wants to achieve for children. This is leading to children being more respectful and taking greater responsibility for their behaviour and contribution to the wider work of the school.

The nursery class and practitioners were being included effectively in whole school developments which is ensuring that the early learning provision also supports the school’s aims for all children and their families.

Strong leadership from the headteacher

The headteacher was seen to be demonstrating strong leadership of change, resulting in staff being fully committed to positive outcomes for children and working collaboratively in a range of ways to support the school going forward. They were also impressed with her approach to changing the culture of the school, which was creating both a welcoming ethos and a sense of community for children, parents and partners.

Good progress in relation to learning and pupil wellbeing

Significantly, good progress was being made in relation to improving the consistency of high quality learning, teaching and assessment across both settings with the staff team having worked tirelessly to make achievements in this area.

Most children were making good progress from their prior Curriculum for Excellence levels in numeracy, mathematics, literacy and English. The focus on phonics and spelling was showing early signs of improved fluency in reading and accuracy in writing, while pupils were increasingly applying their skills in numeracy to real life contexts. Mental agility was also developing very well.

The importance of wellbeing was a strong feature with children having a very good understanding of the importance of wellbeing and resilience and the positive impact this has on their readiness to learn, development and relationships. The use of wellbeing buddy characters was supporting the youngest children well and wider achievements were recognised and celebrated through school assemblies and children’s individual ‘learning journey’ jotters. Children were proud of various responsibilities, including their contribution to the bronze award for Rights Respecting Schools and a silver Schools Sports Award.

Significant improvements to environment

Inspectors also highlighted the significant improvements that had been made to the nursery environment, P1 classrooms and the outdoors area. The nursery environment was enabling children to develop their ideas and use their imaginations well, while the improved maintenance of the school’s interior, such as the school hall, had enhanced the learning environment and made for a pleasant place in which to learn and work.

Headteacher, Lynn Hodgins

“I am delighted with this report and that the hard work and effort of our whole school community over the last two years has been recognised. We have worked together to ensure that significant improvements have been made and the wonderful children in our school are testament to this. In particular, I am delighted that Education Scotland recognises that these improvements are leading to improved levels attainment, achievement and wellbeing for our children. I am also grateful for the support and trust of our parents and carers over the last two years.”

Knowepark Parent Partnership, Chair Jenni Borthwick

“The Parent Partnership is very pleased with the progress being made in school and would like to thank all staff for their continued hard work and dedication. A focus on wellbeing has been central to the school’s development and the children have a strong sense of community, respect and responsibility. Pupils are achieving high standards across the curriculum and staff are committed to providing the best possible opportunities for our young people.”

Due to the progress that has been made, Inspectors are confident that the school has the capacity to continue to improve and no further visits in connection with this inspection will be required.

More information

  • The report is available on the Education Scotland website
  • HM Inspectorate of Education is the national body responsible for supporting quality and improvement in learning and teaching from early years to adult and community learning
  • Images from the school available on Flickr