Unicef Gold Award for Beattock Primary

Education Scotland inspected Beattock Primary School in April and have now reported their findings.

The inspectors evaluated as ‘very good’ the leadership of change, learning, teaching and assessment, ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion and raising attainment and achievement.

The nursery class received an evaluation of ‘good’ for leadership of change and learning, teaching and assessment. Securing children’s progress and ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion were evaluated ‘very good’.

This was a very positive inspection with Education Scotland finding strengths in:

• The school’s sustained and highly effective focus on a rights-based approach to improving children’s wellbeing. This has impacted significantly on raising children’s attainment in key aspects of their learning.

• Confident, resilient, happy children who are very well supported in an inclusive nurturing environment by staff who are passionate about providing children with every opportunity to succeed. As a result, children are achieving well both in and out of school.

• Successful partnerships with parents, a wide range of community partners and other agencies, who by working together have built strong community engagement within the village of Beattock and surrounding areas.

• The highly effective headteacher, leadership team and staff and their collective vision, values and aims which reflect the unique context of Beattock Primary School and Nursery Class.

Emma Davidson, Parent Council chairperson said: “We’re delighted to see Beattock Primary and Nursery have received a positive and very promising inspection report. Although we already knew what a great wee school Beattock is, it’s nice to see this officially recognised. We have no doubt that the school will continue to go from strength to strength. We’d like to thank all the staff for their continued hard work.”

Education Scotland agreed with the next steps which the school had identified: to continue with plans to improve attainment in literacy and numeracy, in particular the quality of children’s writing; continue to involve children in setting learning targets, planning their learning and documenting their progress in their learning and continue to involve all nursery practitioners in self-evaluative activities which will inform future improvements to teaching approaches and the curriculum.

Headteacher Lesley Watson said: “I’m delighted that the commitment of our staff, pupils, parents and community partners has been recognised. Staff in the school are dedicated to improving the lives of our pupils and the inspection report reflects their success and the real impact they are having on the school and the wider community.”
Councillor Jeff Leaver, chair of the Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning [CYPLL] committee, said: “Providing the best start in life for all our children is a priority for our Council. So, I’m pleased with Education Scotland’s positive report on Beattock Primary School .Thanks and congratulations are due to all staff and pupils who contributed towards this.”
Ros Surtees, vice chair, said: “Education should open the doors to opportunities that enable children to become successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens, and effective contributors to society. So, it’s pleasing to see this positive inspection report for Beattock Primary School.”

More good news for Beattock is that it is the first school in Dumfries and Galloway to achieve the prestigious Unicef Gold Award in its Rights Respecting School programme.

Unicef is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights. The Rights Respecting Schools Award is granted to schools that show commitment to promoting and realising children’s rights and encouraging adults, children and young people to respect the rights of others in school. Gold is the highest accolade given by Unicef UK and shows a deep and thorough commitment to children’s rights at all levels of school life. Beattock Primary join a list of less than 100 schools in Scotland to have achieved Gold level.

Beattock Primary has been working with Unicef since 2014 and received their Silver Rights Aware Award in July 2015. The school will be awarded with the Gold certificate to mark their achievement at an event after the summer holidays.

The Award recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of a school’s planning, policies and practice. A Rights Respecting School is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted.

Kirsty McConnachie, depute headteacher, said: ‘We are delighted that our passion, commitment and dedication to teaching children in our nursery and school about their rights has been recognised by Unicef with this prestigious award.’

The Unicef UK Rights Respecting Schools initiative is aimed at schools across the UK, including those in an early years setting. This year the programme has received additional support from The People’s Postcode Lottery. This vital funding is helping Unicef UK continue its work with over 4500 primary schools, secondary schools, schools for children and young people with special educational needs and pupil referral units across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Schools have reported a positive impact on pupil behaviour, relationships and well-being by enhancing pupil’s self-esteem, leading to less truancy and bullying, better learning and improved academic standards.


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