An official inspection of an Argyll and Bute joint campus has praised all aspects of the education it provides.
The report by HM Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) – published today – found every area of school life at Lochgilphead Joint Campus to be either ‘very good’ or ‘good’.
Among the particular strengths highlighted by the inspectors were:
Motivated and enthusiastic children and young people who achieve very well
- Engagement of all staff in working together to improve the school
- Partnerships with a range of agencies and in the community to support learning
- Stimulating and purposeful learning environment created by staff
- Children’s learning experiences in the Pre-5 unit
- Approaches to including and supporting children and young people who require additional support for their complex needs
When the new-build joint campus opened in October 2007, it brought together Lochgilphead High School, Lochgilphead Primary School, Whitegates Learning Centre and pre-5 unit.
When the inspection was carried out in January 2011 the roll was 750, including 32 in the pre-5 unit.
Councillor Ellen Morton, Argyll and Bute's spokesperson for Education and Lifelong Learning, praised the efforts of everyone at the campus.
“This is a very good report, and I warmly congratulate all those who have worked so hard to make Lochgilphead Joint Campus the successful school that it is. It just shows what can be accomplished through hard work and dedication,” she said.
“Everyone associated with the school - staff, pupils, parents and the wider community - works extremely hard to ensure that Lochgilphead Joint Campus is a happy and successful place in which to learn and teach, and I’m very pleased that these efforts have been recognised.
"The tremendous work being done by principal Ann Devine and her team in ensuring that their pupils have the best possible start in their education will, I am sure, have a major impact when it comes to fulfilling their potential in later life."
Regarding learning and achievement, the inspectors found that ‘across the school, children and young people have positive attitudes and enjoy their learning. They are very friendly, polite and highly motivated’.
The report adds that, in addition to academic achievements, ‘at all stages, children are developing a wide range of skills through sport, health and wellbeing and enterprise activities’.
In national examinations, it highlights that Lochgilphead Joint Campus performs above or well above national averages and better than, or in line with, similar schools on almost all measures.
In terms of the curriculum, the inspectors found that ‘across the school, children and young people benefit from a wide and suitably varied range of experiences’. Staff, they said, ‘act in well-considered ways to improve learning and progress’, and ‘teachers work closely with support for learning and guidance staff to create an inclusive and supportive learning environment’.
The report highlights the fact that the parent council is very supportive of the school, and states that children and young people are keen to improve their school through the pupil and student councils.
Inspectors found the school was ‘welcoming and has a positive ethos, built upon shared values’. Staff ‘are caring and know children and young people as individuals’, and have ‘high expectations’ of the pupils.
‘Children and young people are proud of their school and behave very well. They feel they are treated fairly and equally’, the report went on.
‘All staff have worked very well together and are keen to be further involved in improving the school,’ they continued. ‘They enjoy opportunities for new challenges and to make positive changes for children and young people. Many have used their time and talents to take on additional leadership responsibilities and are keen to develop these further.’
Ann Devine said the report was the result of an outstanding team effort.
“The most pleasing aspect of the report is that it recognises the progress we have made in working together – staff, pupils, parents and the wider community – to become a strong, cohesive 3-18 unit, providing a positive educational experience for young people at all stages and levels,” she added.
“We are very proud of what we have achieved and can now move forward with confidence to continue to build the capacity to secure continuous improvement.”