Inspectors praise key strengths at Eyemouth High School

Education Scotland has acknowledged a number of key strengths at Eyemouth High School.

By Ian Smith
Tuesday, 12 March, 2019, 16:46
Eyemouth High School

During their visit to the East Berwickshire school in January, a team of inspectors talked to parents, carers and young people, and worked closely with the headteacher and his staff.

Inspectors found a number of strengths in the school’s work including a very positive climate for learning in all curriculum areas. Almost all young people were motivated to achieve well and were working successfully with their teachers.

Guided effectively by the senior leadership team, staff were demonstrating clear commitment to improving the learning experiences of all young people. They were taking part in considerable professional learning which included working well in a motivated learning and teaching improvement group, and using carefully-selected educational research to develop their knowledge and skills.

Inspectors noted that the school was providing young people with a wide range of opportunities to help them achieve success. Effective partnership working was providing support for targeted groups of young people who face potential barriers to their learning which was leading to these young people engaging more positively in their learning.

The few areas for improvement identified by Inspectors are currently being addressed. These include developing more consistency in the quality of learning and teaching across the school and continuing to develop the senior phase curriculum so that it provides appropriate and varied pathways for all young people, further increasing opportunities for them to attain well.

Staff are also interrogating and using information from regular tracking and monitoring activities carefully to ensure that each young person is placed on an appropriate level of course.

Headteacher, Robin Chapman, said: “This report recognises the significant hard work which has been put in by our pupils, staff, parents and partners to provide the warm, rich and challenging environment which has been our focus over the last few years.

"With a commitment to the very best learning in and out of lessons, we are confident to see the school continue to improve and encourage our young people to thrive, gaining the skills, attributes, knowledge and qualities they need to be successful in their future journeys.

"Inspectors had particular praise is our Chill ‘n’ Chat Café, run by young people, where learners are building their life skills, confidence and self-worth but I am proud of all our achievements which the report highlights and grateful for the significant support Eyemouth High School receives from its community.”

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Eyemouth High Parent Council chair, Wendy Brocker-Penalver, added: “I was delighted to read the summarised inspection findings report, which reflects the hard work and dedication of all the staff and pupils at Eyemouth High School.

“The report highlights, as anyone who has visited our school will recognise, that the school has a positive climate for learning, that our young people are well mannered and well behaved; and that they feel safe at our school and are enthusiastic about the wide range of opportunities afforded them.

“We are aware that the senior management team has been working for some time to develop a culture of professional learning and peer support amongst staff and were pleased to see this highlighted in the report.

“It was heartening that the report acknowledged how fortunate we are to have a highly skilled and caring staff who, whilst encouraging our young people to take responsibility for their learning, are prepared to work with and support every young person to motivate them to reach their full potential. The staff are engaged in ongoing learning themselves to support school improvements in learning and teaching. They strive to ensure equality amongst learners. This is clearly shown in the senior phase, where leavers are attaining good results and moving to a positive destination, with these figures improving year by year.

“The young people at our school benefit from a wide range of learning supports and their increasing achievements indicate that they are benefitting from the additional help available within school and online.

“Inspectors also highlighted participation in school clubs, the enrichment programme, volunteering both within school and also schemes such as Duke of Edinburgh and Saltire and adopting leadership roles, as well as innovative projects such as the very successful Chill N Chat Café. These are helping our young people to learn skills for life, as well as providing opportunities for them to achieve beyond the classroom.

“Where there are areas of improvement, these had already been identified and it was noted that steps are being taken to improve where required, which is very encouraging.

“I would like to commend every member of staff at Eyemouth High for their continued hard work and commitment in making our school a safe and caring environment of excellent learning, opportunity and achievement.”

Inspectors are confident that the school has the capacity to continue to improve and no further visits in connection with this inspection will be made.