A primary school voted the first Scottish recipient of UK Literacy School of the Year has been given a glowing report by inspectors.
Staff from Education Scotland visited St Anthony’s in Spateston, Johnstone in April and spoke with pupils, staff and parents.
Photo: St Anthony’s Primary School, Johnstone has been awarded the UK Literacy Association title of UK Literacy School of the Year
The school received ‘very good evaluations’ over all four quality indicators and was praised by inspectors for its ‘literacy rich’ environment.
Head teacher Jacqueline McBurnie’s ‘clear strategic direction’ and ‘strong personal and professional commitment to meeting the needs of all children’ was also picked up.
The school was praised with helping to close the poverty related attainment gap and the report noted: “Children facing barriers in their learning, including those facing socio-economic challenge are making good progress.
“There are positive signs that the work of the school is having an impact on closing the attainment gap.”
The school’s welcoming ethos was also praised, as well as it’s ‘supportive culture’ for learning.
Head Teacher Jacqueline McBurnie said: “I am delighted that our school community has received such a positive inspection report. This is testimony to the strong team spirt we have built in St. Anthony’s where our values are at the core of what we try to achieve, every day in every way for everyone.
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The inspection report also detailed how children are benefitting from being part of an inclusive learning community in which issues of poor behaviour are rare.
Inspectors said: “Children behave very well in classes and are eager and motivated to learn. Staff have a strong commitment to creating a purposeful learning climate for children. In addition, there is a strong and shared focus from all staff to build children’s resilience in learning and communication skills. The impact is that children feel nurtured, cared for and are keen to learn.”
Another significant strength identified by inspectors was the ‘strong collegiate culture and professional engagement’ which enables staff to work well together and to feel valued and supported.
Ensuring children’s wellbeing is another strength of the school, with children valued, cared for, respected and included.
The school also houses a unit for children with communication disorders such as autism, and children with additional support needs are well supported.
The 35 children there benefit from the ‘warm, nurturing ethos’, with the overall environment for learning and teaching showing a commitment to children’s well-being and development.
Inspectors deemed the overall quality of teaching as very good and added: “Staff have a strong understanding of the individual strengths and needs of children and use this well in their teaching. Overall, teaching is motivating and interesting and engages learners well. “
Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson said: “We are committed to ensuring that all our children and young people are supported to reach their full potential by providing the best learning environments possible.
“It’s wonderful to see the hard work and drive of the head teacher and staff at St Anthony’s being rewarded with such a positive inspection report.
“As well as making strides in closing the attainment gap and providing access to high quality teaching, it’s also clear that the school’s nurturing and caring environment is benefitting pupils.”