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Inspectors: North Muirton Primary School has improved since weak report two years ago

Inspectors North Muirton Primary visit
North Muirton Primary School was revisited by inspectors in November.

Inspectors say North Muirton Primary School has improved despite the pandemic since its performance was rated as weak two years ago.

Education Scotland said the Perth school was making good progress in implementing recommendations made in March 2020 to improve quality and consistency of teaching and ensure children make better progress.

Inspectors rated as weak both the school’s record in raising attainment and its learning, teaching and assessment.

Among the criticisms were insufficient pace and challenge in lessons and noise levels causing a distraction for children.

But following a return visit last November, the education authority said attainment in literacy and numeracy had improved under the direction of a new head teacher, even with the challenges created by Covid-19.

In a letter to parents published on Tuesday it noted the head teacher had a ‘relentless focus’ on improving outcomes for children, supported by staff.

Staff were praised for going ‘above and beyond’ during the first lockdown in 2020, including creating ‘together time’ videos to combat social isolation.

Key points from the November 2021 inspection

  • Staff went ‘above and beyond’ during lockdown, making school a focus for community
  • Clear plans and targeted interventions for children who need additional
  • Head teacher ‘very effective’ leader and determined in her ambition for school
  • ‘This is it’ guidance developed by staff sets out clear expectations
  • Literacy and numeracy attainment of pupils improved over last two years
  • Children enjoy taking responsibility for their own learning and talk about next steps with growing confidence

Education Scotland concluded staff remain committed to improving practice and recovery support plans, and it does not need to return to the school.

Perth and Kinross Council lifelong learning convener Caroline Shiers said: “This report from Education Scotland is a credit to the staff and learners at North Muirton Primary School.

“The pandemic has created enormous challenges but I am delighted to see that attainment in both literacy and numeracy at the school has improved over the past two years.”

North Muirton Primary School is to merge with Balhousie Primary School in a new school at North Muirton next year.

Construction is underway on the £20 million school, which will be the first in the region built to Passivhaus environmental standards.

New Perth school may be first primary in Scotland with Passivhaus energy efficiency

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