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HMIe Inspection of Crossroads Primary School

20th April 2010

The report on Crossroads Primary School is based on an inspection visit which was carried out in March 2010 and comments on the quality of education at the school.

In the report HMIe highlighted as strengths the children's ability to reflect and report on their overall achievements; the arrangements made by the school for meeting the needs of children who needed additional support; the active support of parents for the work of the school; and the role played by the school in bringing together the local communities. HMIe particularly praised the school's welcoming and inclusive ethos.

Inspectors noted that in classes, children are settled and work well and that they have a positive learning experience. Children are taking responsibility for their learning and are involved in planning what they want to learn. The school has successfully competed in a range of events and competitions from the small schools swimming gala to the Caithness Music Festival and children in the upper stages won the tug of war at the Junior Highland Games.

Across the school, the majority of children attain the appropriate national levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Children cooperate well on group tasks and listen to teachers and each other well. Children read a range of texts, including novels and P7s read regularly to children in the nursery. They are beginning to write about and demonstrate an understanding of the books they have read. In the upper stages, children write regularly for a range of purposes. Across the school, the majority of children are secure in using numbers and are developing an awareness of patterns and sequences in Maths.

Staff are taking positive steps to make learning active and the school has taken some positive steps in developing the curriculum taking account of "Curriculum for Excellence". The curriculum has appropriate breadth and balance and staff have a good understanding of children's pastoral and health needs as well as clear expectations of children's behaviour.

As in all reports, HMIe:
suggest ways in which the school might sustain its agenda for school improvement;
identified that the school needs to further develop and implement agreed whole school approaches across learning and teaching at all stages to improve continuity and progression in children's learning; and
needs to build on existing approaches to self-evaluation to ensure children's experiences are of a consistently high standard.

Parents are positive about the school and feel that staff are approachable and supportive. An active Parent Council provides very good support to the school and the sharing of topic plans in the upper stages has created good opportunities for parents to be actively involved in supporting and contributing to their child's learning.

Parent Council Chairman Graham Winkle said: "The Crossroads Parent Council is most pleased to see from the report that our children are having 'good, positive learning experiences'. There are areas where improvement is needed but the 'highly skilled' staff together with 'very good' parent support will give our children positive learning experiences and the opportunity to be a success."

HMIe also recognised that the Head Teacher, Christine Sutherland, has worked effectively with staff, children and parents and has clear plans to take the school forward. Christine said: "I am was very pleased with the report and felt it is very positive and reflected the school well. Staff will now move the school forward by acting upon the recommendations made by HMIe."

Councillor Bill Fernie, Chairman of The Highland Council's Education, Culture and Sport Committee said: "We thank HMIe for a positive and fair inspection report that highlights the good work that takes place in Crossroads Primary as well as giving the school clear pointers for how to make further improvements. We have every confidence that the school will rise to the challenge."

The full report can be seen at


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