24th September 2018
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Glowing reports for rural primary schools

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Ollaberry and Fetlar primaries have both been held in high regard by school inspectors.

Ollaberry Primary School received the highest accolade following an inspection by Education Scotland, with all five of the quality indicators rated as “excellent”.

Fetlar, meanwhile, received a “very good” in its five indicators.

The inspection report describes Ollaberry as “a dynamic school that is continually improving” and the head teacher as “an outstanding leader”.

Children were making “excellent progress” in their learning and achievement and staff met children’s needs “exceptionally well”.

The report concludes that, under the head teacher’s leadership, a “strong culture of team working” has been established. All staff, parents, children and community members, it says, are involved in evaluating and improving the school.

Key strengths were:
• Confident, happy children.
• Opportunities for pupils to play a key role in the school.
• Effective support for learning which takes account of each child’s specific needs.
• Self-evaluation focused on improving outcomes for children.
• Outstanding leadership and effective teamwork of all staff.

The inspector recommended teachers continue to self-evaluate for the school’s positive performance to be maintained.

Meanwhile, the inspector who visited Fetlar primary praised the school for providing “a high standard of education in a caring, family atmosphere.”

Children were making very good progress in their learning and were developing their skills in a wide range of areas, she said, including information and communications technology, research, mathematics, and the application of their knowledge.

The children were very well supported in their learning, and the school successfully provided a broad range of experiences.

Recognition was also given to staff who “involve the local community well in developing children’s skills and confidence”.

The inspection report recognises Fetlar staff as ambitious, reflective and hard-working.
It found the school offered the following key strengths:
• A caring, family atmosphere and high quality of support.
• Exciting learning experiences based around children’s interests.
• Children’s confidence, ambition and skills as independent learners.
• The use of assessment to plan for individual children’s learning.
• Strong partnerships with parents and the community.

The report suggests that the school could improve by making innovative use of technologies. It also recommends the school continues with plans to broaden the curriculum to ensure children become “effective global citizens”.

SIC education and families committee chairwoman Vaila Wishart said: “These latest reports underline the fact that our schools are of the highest standard and are testament to the hard work of teachers and staff, pupils and parents in both schools.”

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About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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