The recent inspection reported (October 2014) -
'A very positive, caring and inclusive ethos with very good working relationships at all levels.'
The inspection reported the following strengths -
- The very positive, caring and inclusive ethos;
- The very good working relationships at all levels;
- The exemplary behaviour of most of the children;
- The good standard of most of the teaching;
- The leadership, dedication and commitment of the Principal;
- The good progress made in the use of ICT in supporting learning and teaching in English;
- The wide range of extra-curricular activities which enriches the children's experiences;
- The strong support of the parents and the governors and the school's popularity and high standing in the local community
In 2010, following an extensive external assessment, the school received the prestigious ICT mark by Becta, the government-funded body responsible for promoting the use of ICT in Britain’s schools and colleges.
This award recognises the school’s success in developing the strategic use of ICT in both administration and across the curriculum.
The school was delighted to be awarded the ICT Mark. It recognises our positive approach to ICT and the benefits it is bringing to our children. We believe that ICT can be used in every aspect of learning and that it is essential our children are equipped for the modern world. At Cairncastle we will continue to take a holistic approach to using ICT. Our investment in new technology has contributed to substantial improvements in our learning.
Assessment at Cairncastle Primary is an integral part of the teaching and learning process.
Schemes of Work and teachers’ half-termly planners clearly set out learning intentions and the means by which pupil performance will be measured in relation to these intentions.
Various formal and informal methods are used to appraise the performance, rate of progress and degree of understanding of pupils. This information helps in the evaluation of the effectiveness of teaching and learning.
Specific targets are set for pupils and they receive regular written and oral feedback about their work.
Links with parents
The school’s relationship with parents is a priority and has been developed successfully in recent years. There is a very active PTA that organises regular events throughout the year. Parents show a willingness to help when needed and we have a list of parents who have been criminal checked, so meeting the needs of our child protection policy.
Classroom discipline is the Teacher’s responsibility and those who offend may be penalised by the withdrawal of privileges, or by being given extra work. Parental support is essential in maintaining discipline and upholding the teacher’s authority. Parents may be notified of disruptive or uncooperative behaviour. Class contracts are drawn up at the beginning of each school year and children agree their own rules and what will happen if rules are broken.
A friendly, caring environment has been created in the school through an atmosphere of mutual respect, tolerance and support. There are high expectations for all pupils. The school links with the community by taking part in local events as and when asked to do so.
Pupils’ attendance at Cairncastle Primary is very good. Parents are encouraged not to take pupils on holiday during term-time and to make appointments for after school or during school holidays. After being absent, pupils are asked to bring a note to school the first day back, stating why they were off. Absence notes may be e-mailed to the Principal. It is your responsibility to ensure work covered during this period is completed on return. Staff will not prepare work in advance.
Targets for Improvement
The principal and staff work closely on areas for improvement by setting targets to move the school forward.
As a school we aim to play our part in promoting healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. This is encouraged in each class and healthy options are included on school dinner menus. There are two water coolers in school where pupils can refill water bottles rather than drink sugary drinks. A Healthy Eating Policy has been written after consultation with Parents, Staff, Pupils and Governors.