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HMIe Report on Hilton of Cadboll Primary School

Issued: 24 Aug 2010

In an HMIe inspection of Hilton of Cadboll Primary, the following key strengths were identified:

* the welcoming learning environment provided by nursery staff for
children and their parents; and
* approaches to promoting and developing children's health and

Her Majesty's Inspectors stated that children in the nursery were able to make choices in their play and concentrated well on their chosen activity. They felt that they were becoming more involved in planning their learning. They stated that most children in the primary stages demonstrated self-confidence and positive attitudes towards others through engaging in activities which supported the life of the school. Many children took on roles of responsibility which had enabled them to make their school better. They felt that pupils at all stages were developing skills as leaders.

They stated that nursery staff provided activities to develop early literacy and numeracy skills in meaningful play situations and that they met children's learning needs well. Whilst attainment in reading and mathematics in the primary stages had fluctuated over the past three years, attainment in writing had shown an improving trend and most children were attaining appropriate national levels. In mathematics, most children were developing appropriate skills in written and mental calculation.

HMIe also found that staff knew children well and showed care and concern for their welfare. They felt they had high expectations of pupils' behaviour and that children were treated fairly and equally. Children also benefited from staff's positive relationships with a wide range of other agencies.

Inspectors noted that the head teacher and teaching staff were appropriately committed to improving the school's work and that they hadidentified appropriate areas for development.

A number of recommendations were made by the inspectors which include the improvement of ways in which staff monitor and evaluate the work of the school to ensure that all children make appropriate progress in their learning; the improvement of self-evaluation to ensure better outcomes for all learners; the improvement of aspects of the curriculum, taking account of Curriculum for Excellence; ensuring that all children are clear about their next steps in learning and improving arrangements for recording and dealing with complaints and for incidents of bad behaviour and bullying.

As a result of these recommendations, HMIe have decided to carry out a follow-through inspection visit within one year of publication of the report and will report to parents on the extent to which the school has improved.

Commenting on the report Head Teacher, Mrs Marilyn Blackwell said: "We welcomed the HMIe visit at this time of transition from 5-14 to Curriculum for Excellence and saw this as an opportunity to be guided in the areas requiring improvement.

"The staff and I, with cooperation from the pupils and parents, are now determined to implement the recommendations which have been made and which will further enhance the quality of education here at Hilton of Cadboll Primary School and Nursery."

Chairperson of the Parent Council, Mrs Emma Macdonald also commented: "The Parent Council will do everything possible to assist the school in making the improvements suggested by HMIe and will encourage the wider community to be more involved in the childrens' learning."

Councillor Bill Fernie, Chairman of The Highland Council's Education, Culture and Sport Committee, said: "This report has some very positive features and highlights the very caring ethos within the school. As with every report, particularly in these times of significant curricular change, the school has been required to address a number of action points to secure continuous improvement in the school. I am confident that the staff of the school will work with parents, pupils and the wider school community over the next year and beyond to address these successfully."

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme