Balloch Primary School inspection outcome lives up to its ‘brilliant’ motto

Balloch campus 1

Balloch Primary School, which has replaced Haldane and Jamestown primaries and now shares a campus with St Kessog’s..

By Moira Rodger

Balloch Primary has been praised for having attentive, friendly and confident children who are enthusiastic about their learning.

In its first inspection report for the new school, Education Scotland also highlighted the school’s Head Teacher, Mrs K. Hollern, and her staff for their success in merging two schools – Haldane and Jamestown – and their encouragement in promoting their new motto, Be Brilliant at Balloch.

Inspectors praised the whole school community for their efforts and supporting the new school and promoting its new identity.

Within the school, inspectors highlighted the very positive relationships between pupils and staff with pupils motivated and engaged to learn and committed to completing tasks.

They noted that pupils enjoy  learning Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and teachers are increasing their work with partners to ensure pupils benefit from outdoor learning.

Haldane Primary School which was demolished last month.

Inspectors say the Head Teacher and her staff have worked hard to nurture children to become more confident and resilient in their learning. Staff have worked hard to enhance their teaching through play and developing creativity and as a result, children are responding very well to this approach particularly in literacy and numeracy in your pupils.

Inspectors found pupils confidently using laptops to present work, use software packages and research the internet to give pupils a choice of their preferred learning helping children to develop their use of technology.

Inspectors also saw confident pupils who are making progress in both attainment and numeracy. 

Councillor Karen Conaghan, Convener of Educational Services, said: “I am pleased to see the first report for Balloch Campus and it is particularly pleasing to see how well the two school communities have bonded to form the new Balloch Primary.  The report also recognises the ongoing commitment of the Head Teacher and her staff to reduce the attainment gap and strive to ensure every pupil achieves their best and reaches their full potential.”

Councillor Ian Dickson, Vice Convener of Educational Services, said: “I would like to congratulate everyone at the school for their part in achieving this positive report.  The pupils, under the leadership of the Head Teacher [Mrs Hollern] are confident and enthusiastic about their learning which is a great foundation for the pupils of Balloch Primary to build on.”

Education convener Karen Conaghan and Chief Education Officer Laura Mason.

Inspectors recommended Balloch Primary continues to build on the teaching, learning and assessment and to develop consistency in high-quality learning, teaching and assessment.  In addition the school should use assessments more effectively to ensure that children are clearer on what they are doing well and how they can make better progress. Teachers should continue to build a picture of the progress that children are making across all areas of the curriculum, as well as in opportunities for achievements.

Inspectors also recommended the school should continue to raise children’s attainment by achieving higher standards in reading and writing and pupils be encouraged to read more for enjoyment.

Laura Mason, Chief Educational Officer, said: “It is pleasing to see the Head Teacher and her staff highlighted during inspection for the positive work between the school and the school community who all have bonded well and work together to ensure every child is given the guidance, support and confidence to grow and achieve their best at school. We will take on-board the feedback following the inspection and work with the school to implement the recommendations highlighted in the report.”

Inspectors confirmed they are confident the school has the capacity to continue to improve and will make no further visits to the school.

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