Education Scotland acknowledge progress at Howdenburn Primary and Nursery

Published: Tuesday, 11th June 2019

The Education Scotland follow up inspection report on Howdenburn Primary School and Nursery released on 11 June acknowledges the progress that has been made since their original inspection in 2018.

During their recent visit to Jedburgh, Inspectors spoke to children and worked closely with the headteacher and her staff to find out more about how well children’s learning and achievements were being supported.

Areas of academic progress

Primary School

  • consistency in learning and teaching
  • additional staffing had reduced class sizes
  • staff had engaged well in professional learning within the cluster
  • staff are developing an agreed policy on what makes quality learning and teaching
  • teaching of reading and developing children’s understanding of phonics has improved


  • an improved outdoor area and resources 
  • better opportunities for literacy and numeracy activities through play
  • younger children are having their needs met in a more developmentally appropriate way

Overall improvements

The leadership team have made satisfactory progress in improving the curriculum and assessment.

Yearly overviews and progression pathways have been introduced and focussed lessons on expressive arts are now taking place.

In the nursery, staff have worked hard to improve the content of children’s learning journals to detail progress across a range of learning experiences.

Identifying needs and providing support

There is scope to raise attainment in literacy and numeracy further.  There have been other improvements including the range of diagnostic assessments being used to identify children’s difficulties and more effective use of support staff. Children at the early level are benefiting from an increased pace of learning and a new approach to developing early literacy skills. 

Additional staffing and training sessions have enabled children’s needs to be supported more effectively with the result that their behaviour has improved and they are calmer and more settled in both class and at play.

The way in which staff are recording and reviewing the learning targets for children with additional support needs has improved, with parents and children also more involved in setting these targets.

Morag McCreadie, Acting Headteacher

"I am pleased that the inspection team recognised the hard work of the entire staff team in moving the school forward. Our children continue to make progress across all areas of their learning, but we acknowledge there is still work to be done to enhance that journey for each one of them. As we merge schools in August, we are looking forward to working as a larger team sharing skills and strengths to develop the experiences of all our learners.”

Diana Hickson, Parent Council Chair

“I am glad that progress has been seen by the inspectors, however there is still work to be done. I hope that Scottish Borders Council supports the school and teaching team to ensure that progress continues at an increased pace, especially through the transition to our new school.”

An action plan continues to be in place to ensure that the issues raised by Education Scotland are being taken forward as a matter of priority. Inspectors have asked for a progress report on children’s attainment to be provided within one year of the inspection which will inform any decision regarding further engagement.

Read the summary report

Summarised Inspection Findings