Education Scotland has written to the North Berwick High School community praising the school’s ‘highly effective leadership’ and innovative approaches to teaching and assessment.

The inspectors’ comments are a real testament to the school team’s positive work and ethos.

Inspectors visited the school in February 2020 and assessed the school’s performance across four key indicators: Leadership of change, Learning, teaching and Assessment, Raising attainment and achievement, and Ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion. The school was evaluated as ‘very good’ in the first three categories and ‘good’ in the fourth.

Supportive ethos

Headteacher Lauren Rodger’s leadership style was described as “characterised by openness and by trust, promoting empowerment in a supportive ethos”. Inspectors highlighted the strong leadership at all staff levels and the use of effective research to support creative learning. Innovative approaches to teaching and assessment encourage young people to take responsibility for their own learning. Where young people are facing personal challenges, the report noted that targeted strategies are used to support them, and an open climate exists within the school around mental health. Attainment, particularly at S5 and S6, was also noted as a strength.

As part of the process, inspectors make recommendations for areas of improvement. The letter outlines recommendations that the school continues with its improvements to the planning process for S1-S3 and reviews its approaches for checking on pupils' wellbeing. 

Strong leadership

Cabinet spokesperson for Education and Children’s Services Councillor Shamin Akhtar said: “I’d like to congratulate Lauren Rodger and her team on a very positive report. The inspectors’ comments regarding strong leadership and how this supports pupils’ attainment through creative learning and personal responsibility is a real testament to the school team’s positive work and ethos. This report will provide confidence and comfort for parents and carers, and is much-welcomed good news for the school community.”

Open conversations

Chief Operating Officer for Education, Lesley Brown, said: “I’m sure this report will be welcomed by everyone connected with North Berwick High School. I’m especially pleased to see inspectors recognise the work that staff and pupils have undertaken to open-up conversations around mental health and wellbeing. This will be especially important in the months ahead as we return to school, and is very much in line with our approach to use nurture to help reconnect and recover from Covid. I’d like to commend Lauren Rodger and her team on their achievements and their commitment to creating such strong learning opportunities.”

The report is available to read on Education Scotland's website

Published: Tuesday, 23rd June 2020