The headteacher of a primary school on Cumbrae has been praised by inspectors for her aspirations of driving improvement.

Education Scotland sent out a team of inspectors to Cumbrae Primary in January this year and highlighted a number of positive aspects of the establishment including their 'friendly and happy ethos'.

They said: "The well-respected and highly effective headteacher has developed a well-considered improvement plan.

"The priorities celebrate the unique context of Cumbrae Primary and its island location, ensuring a clear rationale for change. The headteacher involves children, staff and parents in reviewing the strengths of the school and deciding priorities for change and improvement.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: The school was marked as very good by Education ScotlandThe school was marked as very good by Education Scotland (Image: North Ayrshire Council)

"Cumbrae Primary School is very much at the heart of the rural island community. Children plan events for the community, including shows and open days.

"The headteacher places high importance on ensuring children have the same entitlement and opportunity for trips as children on the mainland. Resultingly, staff have prioritised providing high quality experiences for children on and off the island.

"The positive impact of this approach is evident in children’s joy and enthusiasm for the wide range of experiences and activities teachers plan."

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The report also commended the learning progress of the 40 children who attend the school on Bute Terrace.

It stated: "Almost all children are highly engaged in learning, particularly when learning is enquiry or play-based.

"Older children naturally support younger learners which helps to consolidate their learning.

"Younger children talk about stories they enjoy and share their favourite characters. Children who are working at first level respond appropriately to questions. Older children enjoy regular opportunities to present learning to others, this includes through reciting Scots’ poems. 

"Children experience regular high quality outdoor learning. This supports them to improve their listening skills, be more resilient, work together better and extend and deepen classroom learning into a new environment."

The primary school was advised to "provide children with further opportunities to lead their learning and recognise the skills they are developing".

Another improvement included continuing to "develop play and learning experiences around the wellbeing indicators".

However, the inspection team said they were "confident the school has the capacity to continue to improve", and so no more visits will take place in connection with this inspection. 

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Headteacher Julie McAleese with pupils from Cumbrae Primary SchoolHeadteacher Julie McAleese with pupils from Cumbrae Primary School (Image: North Ayrshire Council)

Headteacher Julie McAleese said: “I am privileged to work with such a fantastic team, who are devoted to giving our pupils the best start possible in life.

“We work very closely with parents, families and – of course – the children themselves to ensure that all pupils have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

“This positive inspection report is testament to the hard work that is done all year round by the teaching staff, support staff and pupils.”

Andrew McClelland, head of Service for Education for North Ayrshire, added: “I was delighted to read this inspection report. This is a clear reflection of the fantastic work being done by the whole school community.

“The staff, pupils and their families should be rightly proud of the outcome of this very strong inspection.

“I would like to thank our staff teams, under the leadership of Ms McAleese, for their hard work and commitment to improving outcomes for our learners.”

The full report is available on the Education Scotland website.