Education Scotland praise key strengths at Priorsford Primary

Primary school pupils posing for an assembly

Published: Tuesday, 05th March 2019

The Education Scotland report on Priorsford Primary and Nursery Class released on 5 March has acknowledged a number of key strengths across the school.

During their visit to Peebles in January this year, Inspectors talked to children and their parents and carers, as well as working closely with the headteacher and her staff.

Read Education Scotland report

Positive aspects of Education Scotland report

Overall, they found the headteacher to be supportive and approachable, establishing a warm and welcoming family ethos. This was underpinned by positive relationships and mutual respect.

Staff were found to be working well together as a team and engaging enthusiastically in professional learning. This was supporting the process of change in driving forward improvement and securing positive outcomes for children.

Children were well behaved, articulate and engaged in the life of the school and nursery. They were enthusiastic learners who were supportive of each other, proud of their school and setting, and eager to learn and do well.

Inspectors also found evidence of good partnerships with parents and the wider community which was helping to create an enriching learning environment for children. This input was valued by all staff and children who found the support to be effective across both the nursery and school.

Areas for improvement at Priorsford Primary

These include:

  • improving the strategic leadership of the school and nursery to more effectively prioritise and guide improvements that will lead to enhanced outcomes for children
  • developing consistency in teaching and learning, as well as making sure there are more opportunities for children to identify and build on their own personal learning targets
  • developing the curriculum and learning pathways to ensure that children make progress across all areas, as well as a continued focus on raising attainment and achievement
  • developing pathways to track progress in health and wellbeing and work undertaken to improve systems for monitoring children’s wider achievements

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.

Sandra Macgregor, Priorsford Primary Headteacher

“I am delighted that the Inspectors recognised the positive, warm ethos that all the staff have worked so hard to establish at Priorsford. We have a very dedicated and committed team who aim to provide the best possible learning experiences for the children in both the nursery and the school. I am very pleased that this commitment has been recognised as a particular strength.

“The children are a credit to our school and I am delighted that their positive engagement and attitude to learning as well as the pride they have in their school was clearly evident to the inspection team.

“The learning experiences of our children are enhanced by the very positive partnerships we have with our parents, carers and wider community and we thank them for their continued support.

“The inspection process was challenging but also supportive and has given us clarity on our strengths and areas for development. We have a clear sense of where we are, where we want to be and the next steps we will take on this journey of continuous improvement.”

Rachel Beatton and Julie Houghton, Priorsford Parent Council chairs

“The Parent Council would like to thank all the staff for the dedication and hard work they put into the school on a continuous basis.

“We’re delighted the inspectors recognised the children’s communication skills, support for each other, positive approach to learning and pride in their school. We are also pleased the staff teamwork and professionalism has been noted, and agree that partnership with parents and the community produces a family-like ethos within which the children thrive.

“We are fortunate to have a leadership team that operates an environment where change is welcomed and input from new ideas actively encouraged. We are very proud of our school and fully support the Senior Management Team’s strong leadership within the school. We share Education Scotland's expectations of high standards of achievement and attainment for all of the young people at Priorsford and look forward to continuing to work closely in partnership with the school towards this shared goal.”