THE pupils and staff of St Ninian’s RC School in Newton Stewart have got a ringing endorsement for the latest HMIe inspection. The report shows that the school has turned the corner from a disappointing report in May 2011.
A statement from the school read: “The parents and staff at St Ninian’s RC Primary School in Newton Stewart are delighted to have received a follow-up from HM inspectors full of praise for the significant and widespread improvements that have come about since the appointment of their new head teacher, Lynn McEwan, in April 2011, just a few weeks before HMIe’s initial visit.
“In little over a year the school has recovered from the disappointment of its reported weaknesses and is now well on its way to fulfilling all the requirements for excellence expected by the Department for Education.”
In his report, Peter Gollogly said: “The curriculum is broad and balanced, bringing about improvement in the quality of children’s learning across the school. Staff have worked hard to develop a whole school approach to the teaching of reading and writing. The children are now being challenged in their writing and standards of writing across the school have improved significantly.”
He went on to say that “the children are noticeably enjoying their learning more. They are now involved more in the planning and evaluating aspects of their own and each others’ work. This is helping them take greater responsibility for their own learning. Children are also making very good use of the information and communications technology to support this”.
The school has worked hard to keep parents and carers informed of the reasons for changes to the curriculum. Children now have good opportunities to apply their literacy and numeracy skills across all fields of learning.
The school said: “St Ninian’s was always praised for its caring and nurturing environment, created by having Gospel values at the heart of school life, where the children learn the importance of caring for those around them as well as finding the best in themselves, and this has been maintained throughout.
“HM Inspector Mr Peter Gollogly states that Mrs McEwan was said to be ‘held in high regard by the school community, with staff now feeling well supported. They are committed to school improvement and are confident that under her leadership and direction, the school will continue to improve’.”
Mrs McEwan said she was delighted with the positive report and would like to thank pupils, staff and parents for all their support and hard work.”