Portstewart Primary School has, following a recent inspection, received an excellent report from the Education and Training Inspectorate. The Portstewart school was awarded the highest grade available to schools.
The inspection focused on the children’s achievements and standards in literacy and numeracy; including how the school is addressing low attainment and underachievement where applicable, the quality of provision for learning in the school including the nursery unit and the quality of leadership and management.
The report said that the parents indicated very high levels of satisfaction with all aspects of the life and work of the school. In particular, the parents highlighted the quality and breadth of learning experiences available to the children, expressed confidence in the staff and principal and commented positively on their children’s progress. The report stated: “The children are motivated and enthusiastic learners who engage readily with their peers and adults. From an early age they take on roles and responsibilities confidently and maturely and they demonstrate a strong sense of identity with, and pride in, their school community.”
Throughout the school, “the children articulate their ideas and opinions with confidence, display high levels of interest in reading and across all year groups the children write enthusiastically and with increasing independence across the curriculum for a wide variety of purposes and audiences.” The inspectors commented also on the fact that, “at all key stages, the children’s writing is enriched by highly effective and meaningful talking and listening and reading experiences,” and, “that the library is used very effectively to encourage further the children’s interest in reading.”
The inspectors found that the children enjoy mathematics and as they progress through the school grow in mathematical competence and confidence, have a very good knowledge of the key concepts across all areas of the mathematics curriculum and demonstrate flexibility in their mathematical reasoning. The report found that “well-planned mathematical experiences are stimulating and varied and have an appropriate emphasis on exploring the use of mathematics in real and relevant contexts.”
Full report online!
The inspectors also praised the school for the way in which children use information and communication technology (ICT) creatively, independently and purposefully to support and enhance their learning.
The Inspectors went on to note that the provision for pastoral care in both the Nursery Unit and school is outstanding and that excellent working relationships are evident at all levels with the staff highly committed to the academic and pastoral needs of the children. The children were praised for demonstrating confidence in their learning, empathy in supporting each other and for working in partnership with the staff to create a positive and welcoming ethos. The inspection team commented, also, on how the children’s views are sought and acted upon and how they are involved in decisions on aspects of school life that are important to them.
In relation to the Nursery Unit the report stated that the children display very good levels of independence and confidence and engage positively with the learning activities.
In assessing Leadership and Management the inspection team found the Senior Leadership Team to be highly effective, setting a positive and collegial tone for school improvement. “Through a culture of encouragement and appropriate challenge the Senior Leadership Team continues to build the capacity of all staff in monitoring and evaluating the quality of learning and teaching and the standards attained by the children in the school and Nursery Unit.”
The principal of the school, Mr Millar, commented, “The excellent report highlights the dedication and expertise of the hard working staff and the highly effective working relationships which exist between staff, children, parents and governors at Portstewart Primary School.”