Evidence of improvement - but more remains to be done

hm inspectors have said there is evidence of improvement in some aspects of Dales Park School’s work - but more remains to be done.

In a follow-up report following an inspection of the school in May last year, inspectors said that while the school was making steady progress with Curriculum for Excellence, attainment in reading and writing still required improvement.

Dales Park School had a number of wide-ranging areas for improvement to address following the original inspection.

The latest report states: “Children in the nursery class are motivated to learn through exploration and discovery as soon as they arrive each day.

“A range of activities is available for them including seed planting and expressive art activities such as painting and music.

“Almost all children in the primary school are also engaged by the learning experiences which the staff plan for them.

“Children enjoy fun activities linked to events such as World Book Day, where they are encouraged to come to school dressed as their favourite character from a book.

“Overall, although a promising start has been made, the school should continue the work it has begun to improve attainment in reading and writing.

“Children are being encouraged to achieve in a range of different ways.

“The pupil council has been successful in making some improvements to the school and children now take the opportunity to use a suggestion box to propose new activities in the school.

“Staff in the nursery class and primary school have been making steady progress with Curriculum for Excellence.

“The recent move of the P1/P2 class from the nursery area to beside the P2/P3 class has resulted in children making quicker progress in their learning as a result of working beside older peers.

“All children in the school now receive at least two hours of high-quality physical education per week.”

The report continues: “Staff have been involved in discucssions about school improvement throughout the school year and are now more involved in the life of the school.

“The school has been looking again at its vision and values, involving staff, parents and children.

“Children are being encouraged to have a pride in their school and themselves. They are now more directly involved in their learning than they were previously.

“They feel they can now approach teachers at any time to make suggestions about the work of the class.

“More, however, could be done to involve the parent council in improving the school, including taking proposals to them for their comment and approval.

“The school has been working hard to involve parents more in the life of the school other than at parents’ evenings.

“Parents appreciate the recent developments in communication from the school including the sending of text messages to remind them about events and distributing the school newsletter by email.”

The inspectors add: “There is evidence of improvement in some aspects of the school’s work.

“More remains to be done to ensure improvement through self-evaluation and that the school is meeting young people’s learning needs consistently well.

“We will continue to engage with the school and the education authority in monitoring progress and will carry out another follow-through visit within 12 months.”