PRESS RELEASE – HMIe report published 15th January 2008

HMIe publishes positive report on Gairloch High School

Gairloch High School has received a very positive report from HMIe Inspectors after a recent visit. The 194-pupil school was commended for:

High overall performance in national qualifications for many pupils.

The very good relationships and positive ethos across the school.

The strong commitment of pupils, parents and staff to the school.

The high quality of support for pupils with a range of specific needs.

Effective and innovative use of information communications technology (ICT) to promote achievement.

In this report, the Inspectors judged that the school successfully raised achievement for all pupils. Staff ensured that pupils could gain the qualifications they needed to progress beyond school. Increasingly, the school was providing stimulating opportunities for pupils to develop personal skills and attributes, such as confidence and enterprise. The school was considered to be well placed to develop a robust Curriculum for Excellence.

Particular features of the school’s provision included:

  • A residential week at Nethy Bridge for pupils in S1 which provided an important opportunity to promote a range of important skills, such as personal confidence and working in teams.
  • A curriculum in S3/S4 that was sufficiently flexible in a small school to enable pupils to study more than one modern language, and up to three sciences.
  • Effective timetabling that had enabled a very successful programme of outdoor education and fitness to be provided for senior pupils.
  • Curricular and vocational guidance that was very effective. Staff provided knowledgeable advice to assist pupils with applications for work and further education.
  • A well-developed work experience programme that effectively developed pupils’ skills for work by giving them opportunities to apply for and record their work experience.

The Inspectors also strongly endorsed the very good partnerships with parents and the community. Particular features included a welcoming and responsive climate in the school and the quality of information available to parents about aspects of school life, pupils’ achievements and reports on their progress.

Action points include improving school security and reviewing the integrated use of the Community Library. The school has also been asked to improve the timetable of S1/S2 pupils and ensure that more rigorous procedures are in place to measure the impact on outcomes for learners. These points are already being addressed by school staff with the support of The Highland Council’s Education, Culture and Sport Service.

Mr John Port, Head Teacher, said: “It is very encouraging that the HMIe appreciated the benefits to learning and teaching provided by the positive relationships across the school community. I am pleased that the report also reflects the very strong professional commitment of all staff and the high levels of academic success achieved by many pupils. At a time when the fundamental design and approach of schools to education and training are being examined, it is reassuring to see that HMIe appreciated the steps that we have taken to introduce increased opportunities for all of our pupils. Most importantly, the recognition that we have maintained, and in several areas, improved pupil attainment throughout ongoing changes.

“I am also heartened that the HMIe recognised the very good teaching in the school and the quality, maturity and enthusiasm of the pupils. I would also like to state my appreciation of the support of parents and other members of the local community. This is a crucial factor contributing to the overall success of the school.”

Susan MacLean, secretary of the Pupil Council said: “It is encouraging that the ECS Service has pledged its support to the school and its staff. Inspections are important in helping us to assess ourselves and when you look at what each pupil has achieved by the time they leave Gairloch High School, everyone has plenty to put on a CV whether it be academic achievements, Duke of Edinburgh’s award, sports leaders’ awards, football, hockey or rugby teams. Every person has the opportunity to achieve their own personal potential. Well done to the school.”

– ends-

The full report is available here.



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