Inspectors' praise for Fife primary school’s teaching and ‘warm, caring community’

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Pupils and teachers at a Fife primary school have impressed inspectors who gave them top marks.

Coaltown of Balgonie Primary came under the spotlight during a visit in September.

And the team of Education Scotland Inspectors left impressed with its learning and teaching.

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High levels of engagement and motivation in learning leading to high attainment of children in literacy and numeracy were highlighted as key strengths. The inspectors also found the school to be “very good” in both categories with a recommendation to share some particularly good practice which takes place at Coaltown.

Coaltown of Balgonie Primary SchoolCoaltown of Balgonie Primary School
Coaltown of Balgonie Primary School

The school’s key strengths were that it was “a warm and caring community” where the learning needs of pupils were “ identified clearly and met well.”

They said staff worked well with children and parents, and made good use of digital approaches to support learning.

Coaltown was “very successful in achieving positive outcomes for children” and attainment was high in key areas such as literacy and numeracy. The inspectors noted: “The achievements of all children are encouraged, supported and celebrated throughout the work of the school. We are confident that the school has the capacity to continue to improve and so we will make no more visits in connection with this inspection.”

The report also delighted staff.

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Kirsty Woodhouse, headteacher, said: “I am delighted that the inspection process has recognised the strong community ethos in Coaltown of Balgonie as our staff, pupils, families and extended community are incredibly proud of this.

“I am particularly pleased that the mutually positive relationships across the school were recognised by the inspectors and also the commitment of staff to provide high quality learning, teaching and assessment. We have a comprehensive programme of professional development and improvement planned for this session which will help us to address the areas for continuous improvement noted by the inspectors.”

There was also praise from Lesley Henderson, Fife Council’s education manager, who said: “The inspectors have noted some key strengths, particularly around staff commitment to planning effective approaches to learning, teaching and assessment, the warm and caring ethos the school provides and the effective use of data to support raising attainment.”

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