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Education / Happyhansel school given ‘good’ and ‘satisfactory’ inspection ratings

Education Scotland has also published a letter recognising progress at Sandwick Junior High School

The Happy Hansel Primary School. Photo: SIC

HAPPYHANSEL Primary School and Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) has been graded a mix of “good” and “satisfactory” ratings after a visit from inspectors in May.

The Westside school was ranked satisfactory in the areas leadership of change, learning, teaching and assessment and raising attainment and achievement.

It achieved the good rating for ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion.

The main strengths identified by the inspectors included the positive relationships between staff and pupils, friendly children that are proud of their school and good links with the parent council.

The inspectors found four areas that require improvement: approaches to tracking pupils’ progress, a shared understanding of learning between teachers, more specific targets for children with additional support needs and that the headteacher should ensure that approaches to quality assurance are robust.

No further visits are planned from the inspectors as they are confident that the Walls school and ELC will continue to improve.

Davie Sandison, chair of the SIC’s education and families committee, said: “I want to thank school staff for their hard work and commitment to the children and families at Happyhansel Primary School.

“I have confidence that the staff, led by the headteacher, will prioritise the areas for improvement to ensure the best outcomes for the children.”

Meanwhile Education Scotland has also formally published its letter recognising progress at Sandwick Junior High School which confirms that no further inspection visits are required.

Sandwick Junior High School. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The letter published today (Tuesday) from Celia McArthur, HM Inspector, sets out the inspectors’ findings that identify improvements in the school leadership; in learning, teaching and assessment; and in the progress of children in the school.

Inspectors visited the school in early May 2023 to speak to staff, and children and young people following up on a previous visit in June 2022. These two visits stemmed from a mixed report delivered after an inspection in 2019.

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The letter concludes by saying that the school has made good progress and that Education Scotland is confident that the school has the capacity to continue to improve. Inspectors will make no more visits in connection with this inspection.

Sandison said: “I’m very pleased to see this recognition by Education Scotland inspectors of the progress and improvements made at Sandwick Junior High School.

“This is testament to the work of school staff; Samantha Flaws, acting head teacher; the school parent council; and the support provided by our children’s services staff.

“With a new head teacher also due to take up post in August, the school is now well placed to continue to improve. I am optimistic about the school’s future and its place in the local community.”

Last month Education Scotland confirmed that school had made good progress and that no more visits were required.

Meanwhile current and ex Sandwick pupils, staff and members of the community are gathering at the school today as part of celebrations to mark the school’s 150th anniversary.

Later this morning a time capsule will be dug up. It contains various items from the 1970s onwards and was buried in the school’s garden in 1996.

School photos and memorabilia will be on display and the school’s community café will be open. Pupils will also take part in an afternoon of fun activities.

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