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Education Scotland hails achievements of Mile End School and Nursery

29/01/13

An Education Scotland report has praised Mile End School and Nursery Class following a recent visit.

Inspectors say they found significant improvements in children's learning and achievements, in curriculum development, and in support for pupils since their previous visits in 2010 and 2011.

During their visit the inspectors found:

   * children's learning experiences are of a much higher quality across the school;
   * staff work well as a team and demonstrate a strong capacity to improve the work of the school further;
   * improved tracking and target-setting arrangements ensure children are well supported and make progress;
   * communication has improved greatly, including within the Additional Support Needs [ASN] provision;
   * parents' increased involvement in the school has helped make it a better place for children to learn and develop.

Mile End Primary School. The letter from Education Scotland to parents and carers says children's behaviour is of a very high standard and that they are highly motivated, independent and engage in innovative and relevant active learning experiences both indoors and out.

Across the school, including within the ASN provision, the pace of learning is brisker and the challenge in learning has increased. Children's successes and achievements, including outwith the school, are very well celebrated and pupils are pleased that they now influence their learning through memberships of numerous groups and committees.

Nursery children's learning experiences continue to improve, particularly outdoors – and at the primary stages, arrangements for involving children, including those within the ASN provision, in planning their learning are now much better. Nursery aged children continue to develop early literacy and numeracy skills across different aspects of their learning.

At the primary stages, children's learning and attainment in language and mathematics is of a high standard.

Inspectors found children who learn mainly in the ASN provision are making better progress and becoming much more involved in an increasing range of mainstream learning experiences. They now have more meaningful experiences through free-flow access to their new outdoor area, and continued development of visual timetables has resulted in children with additional support needs being clearer about the structure and organisation of their day.

The head teacher continues to be held in high regard by staff, children and parents. The inspectors say she has shown strong leadership and focus in managing changes over the last two years and have praised her ability to motivate staff and encourage their own leadership skills.

Inspectors praised staff for their contribution to the schools progress, stating: "Senior managers now lead developments which improve significantly children's learning across all areas of school provision. Staff are working well as a team and now demonstrate a strong capacity to improve the work of the school further."

The letter also acknowledges the positive involvement of parents and carers, adding: "Your increased involvement in school life has helped make the school a better place for children to learn and develop. Taking account of your views and those of children are now a routine part of how the school develops policies and procedures and improves its work. All of these arrangements mean that you can influence and become suitably involved in children's learning. Didn't they do well.

"It is clear from this inspection, that children's learning and achievements have improved significantly in all aspects of provision, including within the ASN provision."

Education Scotland adds that further work should be done to identify children's needs in line with agreed and defined criteria prior to their entry into ASN provision. Inspectors will ask the education authority to address this issue and report to parents on the steps it will take to make the improvement.

Inspectors will make no further visits to the school in connection with the 2010 inspection.

Aberdeen City Council's Director of Education, Culture and Sport Gayle Gorman said: "I am absolutely delighted with the significant progress achieved by Mile End School under the strong leadership of the head teacher. The children are benefiting hugely from the improvements over the past two years and I am confident that the school community – staff, pupils, parents and carers – will continue to work together to ensure they have a school to be proud of."