Room for improvement

EARLSTON Primary School has been told to improve its curriculum following a visit by inspectors.

The HM Inspectorate of Education’s (HMIe) report outlined a number of strengths and weaknesses at the village school with a roll of 210 pupils, following a visit in September.

Scottish Borders Council says its education department will now work with the school to improve its curriculum.

Chief inspector Elaine Merrilees praised Earlston’s children, who she said were confident and well behaved.

And she also approved of pupils’ learning experiences in the nursery as well as the school relationship with community partners.

However, Ms Merrilees added: “Overall, the school has not yet made sufficient progress in introducing Curriculum for Excellence.

“Staff need to make better use of assessments and develop programmes which provide progressive, coherent and challenging learning across all subjects.

“Children have begun to develop and apply their literacy and numeracy skills in other areas of their learning, but need more opportunities to do so.”

The inspector also said Earlston had to ensure classes enjoyed consistently high-quality learning experiences, as well as better monitoring of children’s progress and increasing the impact of self-evaluation on learning.

Head teacher Lesley Munro said: “We are pleased that recognition has been given to the strengths of the school and that our recent developments in reading and writing are improving children’s learning experiences.

“The school was encouraged that the development needs we had identified for ourselves were endorsed by the inspectors.

“We are already taking steps to develop and implement our strategic plan to develop the curriculum as well as the other improvements.”

Chair of the parent council, Kelda Stewart, added: “We are confident that working with the head teacher and staff we can implement an action plan to address the recommendations outlined in the report.”

A total of 14 nursery and primary staff work at the school.