ducation Scotland has written to parents with children at Whitecraig Primary School and Nursery Class to share the results of an inspection which took place earlier this year.
Inspectors visited the school in June 2019 and spoke to children, parents and carers, the headteacher and staff. Strengths identified in the school’s work included happy, welcoming children who feel cared for and enjoy coming to school. Parents, they added, value the pastoral support staff provide for the children.
The inspection team also highlighted that staff in the nursery and across the primary school have a commitment and enthusiasm for professional learning and improvement.
Areas for improvement identified included developing children’s knowledge of themselves as learners and their skills of working independently, as well as a need to improve approaches to learning, teaching and assessment leading to raised attainment in literacy and numeracy.
The inspectors also identified a need to improve approaches and outcomes for the wellbeing of children and staff and to ensure that planning, tracking and monitoring of learning and teaching leads to planned tasks and activities that meet children’s needs.
East Lothian Council is supporting school staff in taking forward a number of improvement actions in these areas, with significant progress already being made.
Fiona Macartney, Head Teacher of Stoneyhill Primary School, has been appointed Interim Head Teacher of Whitecraig Primary School for the 2019/20 school session.
Staff have developed a School Improvement Plan that addresses the inspection findings while the council’s Education Service is also providing additional resources to the school, including enhanced staffing.
New opportunities for staff to plan collaboratively with colleagues from other schools, supporting their professional learning, have been created. The school has introduced new approaches to the planning of learning, teaching and assessment and is developing strategies to improve the quality and consistency of learning and teaching.
The timetabling of lessons has been restructured to ensure an improved focus on literacy and numeracy learning for all children.
Councillor Shamin Akhtar, Cabinet Spokesperson for Education and Children’s Services:
“We welcome the inspectors’ findings that Whitecraig Primary School has happy, welcoming children who enjoy coming to school. They are supported by staff who have a commitment and enthusiasm for professional learning and improvement.
“This gives the school a strong foundation to build on as the staff team, supported by the Education Service, take forward improvements in the areas that have been identified by inspectors. With additional resources in place, an enhanced focus on literacy and numeracy learning and new opportunities to support professional learning, it is encouraging that significant progress is already being made.”
Education Scotland will return to the school to carry out a further inspection within the next 12 months.