HMIe inspectors full of praise for 
Clovenfords in first inspection

Clovenfords Primary School head teacher Allison Sutherland .
Clovenfords Primary School head teacher Allison Sutherland .
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THE Borders’ newest school has received a glowing first inspection report.

Clovenfords Primary School, formerly known as Caddonfoot before its staff and pupils moved into a new £6million building in April, was commended in a number of areas of its teaching.

Clovenfords Primary School

Clovenfords Primary School

The school and its nursery received ‘good’ ratings in each of eight key evaluations, apart from meeting learning needs, which achieved the top rating of ‘very good’.

Head teacher Alison Sutherland said: “I am delighted that the report recognises the commitment of the staff team and their contribution in moving the school forward and in ensuring that learners’ needs are met.

“We look forward to working with pupils, parents and the wider community in order to implement the recommendations of the report.

“Our new school at Clovenfords will enable us to do this effectively.”

The HM Inspectorate of Education’s (HMIe) team visited Clovenfords in June.

In a letter to parents last week, inspector Donald Macleod noted that the move to the village – after 137 years at its Caddonfoot base – had allowed teachers to make better use of new technology to help children learn.

Mr Macleod said the majority of nursery and primary children were making good progress in language, literacy and numeracy.

He added: “They read with fluency and expression. They have a good understanding of what they have read and of the use of language. Children plan their writing well and have a good awareness of what they need to do to improve.”

The inspectors were impressed by the pupils’ learning of the Scots language.

And Mr Macleod also praised the curricular experience at the school, yet noted time dedicated to physical play and education needed to be extended.

Overall, the inspector said the school’s strengths were in its positive environment for learning, support for children requiring additional help, staff teamwork and leadership, and its partnership with other schools to share skills.

Mr Macleod called for a strengthening of the school’s partnership with parents and the community, as well as the development of courses in a few areas. He also said Clovenfords could further take advantage of its new location and facilities, while improving stakeholders’ engagement in the school’s work was another priority identified.

Kara D’Agrosa of Clovenfords Parent Teachers Association said: “I am delighted that HMIe observed that the children at Clovenfords school are enthusiastic, keen to learn and have a positive attitude.”

Heather McNair, also of the CPTA, added: “The inspectors feel that the evaluations are fair, giving a fantastic platform from which the school can grow and develop, taking advantage of the school’s new location and facilities.”

An SBC spokesperson said: “The education authority and the school are now working together to take forward the recommendations made in the report.”

Clovenfords Primary was opened after a long campaign for a replacement school for Caddonfoot. The former Victorian building had a capacity of just under 80, while the new facility, with its own games hall, dining area and library space, can accommodate 125 pupils.