After seven years of preparation the HMIe finally came into the school in November 2011. Staff went in their droves to get signed off on the sick but the doctors had been forewarned so we had to go through with it all.
The inspectors spent four days in the school meeting staff, pupils and parents and observing lessons. We were confident that at the very least we would be rated good by the inspectors and after giving them each a gift of a nifty wee Mercedes gadabout our confidence soared.
After the final grilling on the Friday a triumphant Mr. Nicholls called a staff meeting. They were impressed. They gave us five “very goods”- the best the authority had ever received and at the time one of the best reports of the new style inspections. All that hard work and commitment had paid off for everyone. Chuffed so we were. Dead chuffed.
The key findings of the report are noted below.
This inspection of your school found the following key strengths:
We discussed with staff and the education authority how they might continue to improve the school. This is what we agreed with them:
This means that they found some variation in what teachers were doing. There is high quality learning going on but inspectors wanted to see more consistency. Again this is not an unusual statement. In every school in Scotland getting everyone to be consistent in all aspects of every school policy and every teaching methodology is a massive, almost unachievable goal. The inspectors were saying that we have got the quality, but we need to spread it round a bit more.