Published 28 November 2019

Teachers, pupils and parents at Gartocharn Primary School are celebrating after receiving an excellent report following a recent inspection.

Inspectors from Education Scotland and the Care Inspectorate highlighted a number of areas where the school was performing at a high standard, following a routine inspection in September.

The report said that pupils at the school were confident and articulate and engaged in their learning, and also praised their exemplary behaviour.

Inspectors called the extensive outdoor education opportunities children are given in the local environment ‘outstanding’, with particular mention to the school’s vegetable patch for ensuring pupils learn about what they eat, and the introduction of a daily mile walk three years ago.

The report also highlighted positive relationships between staff across the early learning and childcare centre and the school, as well as the children’s caring and considerate approach to each other.

Inspectors noted the high level of attainment for children in the primary school, with almost all children achieving the expected level, some exceeding it and those with additional support making appropriate progress.

The report credited Head Teacher John McDonald for his outstanding leadership, and praised staff teamwork which has led to better outcomes from children and improvements across the school.

Councillor Karen Conaghan, Convener of Educational Services, said: “I am absolutely delighted to see the excellent work by students and dedication of our staff recognised in this very positive report
“The inspectors very clearly recognised the fantastic job being carried out by the Head Teacher and his staff.

“Their enthusiasm and dedication to the quality of their children’s education, both inside and outside the school building, is to be commended.”

Councillor Ian Dickson, Vice Convener of Educational Services, said: “I would like to congratulate everyone at the school for their part in achieving this great report.

“Under the leadership of the Head Teacher, the pupils at Gartocharn Primary School and Early Learning Centre are thriving. It is great to hear of the different opportunities available to them to ensure they each get the most out of their early education.”

Laura Mason, Chief Educational Officer, said: “Congratulations to everyone at Gartocharn Primary School on this excellent report.  This highlights the strong teamwork within the school and its community to ensure each child is given the guidance, support, and confidence to grow and achieve at school. I am pleased to hear that both staff and pupils show a great deal of kindness, respect and compassion for each other, and that staff are continuing to put pupils’ attainment and wellbeing at the forefront of everything they do.”

The school and Early Learning and Childcare will now continue to work through planned improvements with the local learning community and Educational Services, and including taking forward plans to raise children's’ awareness of active citizenship.