Aberdeen ,

Follow up report sees school make key improvements

An Aberdeen primary school has made good progress since an Education Scotland inspection report identified three key areas for improvement, it has been announced today (Tuesday 17 January 2017).

The key objectives identified in the original Inspection Report in 2015 on Muirfield School and Nursery Class were to:

  • improve the curriculum to ensure children receive a broad, balanced education which allows them to make suitable progress;
  • develop strategies to meet the needs of all children and raise attainment;
  • improve leadership at all levels and develop robust and rigorous strategies to evaluate, monitor and track the work of the school to ensure the necessary improvements are made.

Today’s report is the result of a follow up visit by Education Scotland inspectors to the school in September 2016.

Inspectors found the school has improved children’s experiences across the curriculum in the nursery and primary stages. Staff have worked well together to develop pathways for all eight of the curriculum areas across the nursery and primary stages. The report highlighted that the whole school approach in numeracy and mathematics is having a positive impact on children’s confidence and motivation to learn and has led to emerging signs of improved attainment in numeracy, particularly in the early stages.

Teachers and support staff have also enjoyed a range of professional learning opportunities and appreciate being included with associated school group colleagues in the ‘great teaching great learning’ activities.

Officers found that the senior leadership team has taken steps to ensure that all staff have a clear understanding of everyone’s responsibility in meeting the needs of learners. There is now an improved ethos of inclusion across the school and all children enjoy learning in their own classrooms. The report states that the school has been well supported by local authority officers.

Aberdeen City Council’s Convener of Education and Children’s Services Committee Councillor Angela Taylor said: “Raising attainment is crucial to ensuring all of our children reach their full potential. Congratulations must go to the head teacher and her team at Muirfield School who have shown real commitment and dedication to create a positive educational environment which provides all children at the school the opportunity to thrive educationally and socially.

Gayle Gorman, Director of Education and Children’s Services, Aberdeen City Council said: “I would like to thank everyone at the school for the outstanding work they have done to make great progress to improving opportunities for all pupils at the school. I am confident this work will continue which will enable pupils and indeed staff now and in the future to flourish at the school.”

Head teacher Marion Davidson said: “We are delighted with the report which reflects the commitment of a dedicated staff team who have the children at the centre of all our endeavours.

“We look forward to continuing our journey of improvement raising standards of experience, attainment and achievement for all our learners.”

Primary Seven pupil Danielle Dupitas said: “Muirfield School has improved by being more creative with learning, for example Numicon for maths and Readingwise to help skills for literacy.”

Primary Seven pupil Emma Park said: “Muirfield School is better at dealing with behaviour as we deal with in in a mediating way.”

The report stated that the Ms Davidson and depute head teachers know all of the children very well and are aware of their needs and circumstances. There are now rigorous processes in place to monitor the needs of all children. Targeted support for children is in place across all stages including effective use of nurturing approaches and individual literacy support using digital tools.

During the inspection support staff stated how they enjoyed their in work in classes supporting groups and individuals in their learning. This, along with improved curriculum and more effective learning and teaching, is having a positive effect on children’s experiences.

Muirfield School now has a permanent senior leadership team and the report acknowledged that Ms Davidson and her two depute head teachers work well together and through their commitment, knowledge and skills serve as excellent role models for the staff team

The report states that more staff are now willing to be active participants in leading school improvement activities, which included developing mental maths, improving learning, teaching and bikeability.

Specific programmes of activities such as Readingwise, Talkboost and Accelerated Reader along with a Muirfield specific curriculum centred on the needs of the children have been adopted.

There is now a wide ranging choice of after school activities such as a dance club, jog club, art club, homework club, run jump and throw group, many of which are run by the teaching staff after hours.

The school environment has been refreshed to include a well-resourced library area and there has been a significant increase in partnership working with external agencies such as Adventure Aberdeen.

The school achieved Primary Science Quality Mark at Silver Level in 2016. It has organised several charity fundraising events including its own race for life, which raised over £1,000 for cancer research and a Christmas Jumper Day to raise money for Cash for Kids – Coats for Bairns event.

The report states that the school has been well supported by local authority officers.

To view the latest report from Education Scotland visit: