Local primary gets HMIE thumbs up

FOLLOWING their recent HM Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) inspection, Tannadice School has received either ‘good’ or ‘very good’ evaluations throughout the report.

At the beginning of the inspection, inspector Ken McAra asked the head teacher and staff what they felt the school’s strengths are and what they felt needed improving.

Then during the course of the inspection he went into classes and joined in with other activities in which the children were involved.

Finally he gathered the views of children, parents, staff and members of the local community to use them in conjunction with other information gathered to make a complete picture of the quality of education offered at Tannadice Primary School.

Mr McAra noted the following as particular strengths: children who are motivated, enthused and engaged in their learning; positive working partnerships across the school’s community; the head teacher’s leadership of improvement and the staff’s leadership for learning.

In the report, Mr McAra said: “In the primary classes, children are motivated and keen to learn.

“Children work very effectively together, providing strong support for each other when working in small groups.

“Children are becoming involved in making decisions about their learning but are capable of taking more responsibility for their own learning.”

He added: “Children are organising activities to raise awareness of environmental issues such as recycling, reducing litter, and establishing a wildflower garden.

“Across the school children exercise responsibility well as playground monitors and sports leaders and by organising some of their own clubs.”

The adjoining Nursery School also received high praise in the report. Mr McAra said: “Almost all children in the nursery are happy and settled.

“They sustain interest in their learning well, particularly when involved in imaginative play experiences, such as in the garden centre area.

“Children’s achievements at nursery are celebrated through discussion, photographs and displays.”

Mr McAra noted that the school was responsive to the Curriculum for Excellence and staff are keen to continue to improve the learning experiences of the children.

The report did note that a few issues needed to be addressed. Mr McAra said:

“Children would benefit from more opportunities to use technology to support their learning.

“The school should also make better use of its outdoor areas for learning experiences.”

Mr McAra also noted that the school was highly capable of meeting the needs of the children. He said: “Nursery staff know children well. Tasks, activities and resources are matched to the needs of most children.

“In the primary classes, learning activities are carefully designed to meet the needs of the children.”

It was also noted that the school has high expectations of all children.

Mr McAra said: “Staff have high expectations of children’s behaviour and manners.

“Children are developing a very good awareness of a healthy lifestyle through a healthy approach to eating, daily exercise and hygiene routines.

“The school chaplains support the school throughout the year, and a range of cultural festivals are celebrated.”

Head teacher Pamela Wallace was praised for developing “a very clear vision and sense of direction for the school in consultation with staff, parents and children. She has the trust of those who work with her and has developed very effective arrangements for further improvement within the school.”

Following the inspection the following areas for improvement were noted: further extend opportunities for children to lead and take responsibility for their learning; maximise the use of the school grounds for learning and continue to develop curriculum planning and provision across all stages of learning.

The school has already been planning a strategy of how best to meet these needs.

These include using a web-based planning and tracking progress tool to familiarise with technology, learning how to use the Junior Librarian System and teaching key IT skills such as manipulating still and moving images, editing, re-sizing, burning and uploading.

They will also explore how best to use all school facilities to their maximum levels.

They will then consider and select improvement ideas democratically throughout the school.

They will also engage with the entire school community and local residents and businesses to support planning, resourcing, financing and implementing the agreed improvements which need to be made.

For more information please visit www.hmie.gov.uk