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Laxdale Primary School and Nursery Class has won praise from the inspectors of Education Scotland.

The following is an extract from the letter to the school on the outskirts of Stornoway after the inspection in May this year which was published today (Tuesday November 28).

It summarised the key strengths of the school saying:

  • The head of school, nursery manager and staff lead change well. They make a positive difference to their own practice and to that of the whole school. As a staff team, they are continuing to develop Bun-sgoil Lacasdail - Laxdale Primary School and Sgoil-Àraich as a caring, inclusive and nurturing school, in which children can be ambitious and creative.
  • Children engage very well with a rich range of experiences that are planned for them in and beyond the school. These raise children’s attainment, support wellbeing, and build children’s performing and digital skills.
  • The staff team’s leadership of total immersion results in most children’s confidence and fluency in using Gàidhlig. Teachers are skilled in using a range of immersion approaches that are delivered in high-quality fluency. They focus well on grammar and local dialect.
  • Staff and children work well with partners to plan activities that focus on health and wellbeing. These are recognised with external recognition.

The following areas for improvement were identified and discussed with the headteacher and a representative from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. 

  • Teachers should continue to close gaps in attainment. Children should be clear of their own strengths in learning, how to keep improving and know the skills they are acquiring.
  • The head of school should maintain a more formal and ongoing strategic overview of the curriculum. This should ensure all key areas of learning are taken forward in a progressive way from stage to stage. A starting point is the further planning of equality, diversity and aspects of the health and wellbeing curriculum.
  • Staff should ensure that total immersion play has sufficient focus on adults leading activities and using Gàidhlig on a very regular basis.
  • Staff should continue to build on their use of Gàidhlig, fluency and professional learning to raise children’s attainment in Gaelic (Learners). 

Education Scotland concluded: "We are confident that the school has the capacity to continue to improve and so we will make no more visits in connection with this inspection. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will inform parents/carers about the school’s progress as part of its arrangements for reporting on the quality of its schools."