Category Archives: Section 2 – Parental Involvement in the School

Parents Welcome

Our school welcomes parental involvement as research has shown that when parents are involved children do better in school. 

The school encourages parents to be involved in their children’s education by encouraging active involvement in school activities through attendance at parents evenings, curriculum evenings, open days and school events such as concerts etc. Parents are given formal Parent-Teacher appointments twice a year – usually in November and May. Parent-Teacher appointments allow class teachers to meet with parents to discuss their child’s progress and all parents are encouraged to attend at these times.  In addition to these scheduled  evenings, parents are welcome to telephone the Head Teacher to arrange a suitable time to visit the school to discuss any matter which is causing them concern. 

Parents are encouraged to discuss their child’s report with them as children benefit from and are supported by the ongoing dialogue about their progress, both from school and from home.  Such dialogue encourages children as they seek to take the next steps in their learning. 

In addition, the parents of those pupils with Support for Learning Action Plans, Individualised Educational Plans or Co-ordinated Support Plans are given the opportunity to meet much more regularly with teaching and Support for Learning staff in order to review progress, share information and work in partnership with the school. School staff value very much the good relationships that are fostered with parents, and recognise that good working relationships can also be fostered when opinions between staff and parents differ, providing there is mutual respect between parents and staff. 

Parents are encouraged to discuss with the Head Teacher and teaching staff any concerns they have regarding their child’s schooling. The school has an active and committed Parent Council which works  enthusiastically and successfully to organise fund raising events and assists the school in its organisation of events throughout the school year, taking into account  events which are ongoing within the local community, The  Parent Council welcomes parent members to its meetings and encourages parents of all new pupils to the school to get involved. 

The school staff also welcome contact with parents of prospective pupils. 

The school seeks to be open with its parents about learning and teaching activities and staff members are always happy to meet with parents at a mutually convenient time outside of more formal arrangements to discuss their children’s education with them. 

Further information relating to the Comhairle’s Parental Involvement Strategy can be found here:

Education Scotland’s Parentzone website also provides parents with further information as to how they may support their children and become more involved in their education.

The website can be viewed at:

Parental Involvement

Parents are encouraged to become involved in the life of the school. Though this is principally done through  involvement with the Parent Council, parents have in the past been welcomed in to speak to children about  particular areas of the curriculum where they may have an expertise or skill to share. 

All parents are encouraged to support their children’s learning at home and supporting children with homework tasks. Advice on this is often given at Parent-Teacher interviews and via Pupil Reports. Teaching staff welcome approaches from parents who wish to know how else they may support their  children in their learning.

The Head Teacher works closely with the Parent Council and shares in an open and transparent way the work of the school. Parents are encouraged to share their views and to attend parent forum groups within the Learning Community. The Head Teacher also seeks parents views on the life and work of the school by means of a Whole School Evaluation Exercise which is usually conducted once every two years. The results of the Whole School Evaluation which includes the views of pupils, parents and staff are shared with the Parent Council and are used to inform the school’s Improvement Planning process. 

As key stages of a child’s education approach e.g. transitions between Pre-School and Primary 1 and Primary 7 and Secondary 1, teaching staff work with pupils and parents to prepare them for pupils’ next stages of    learning. Further details can be accessed within The Parental Involvement Strategy which is located at:-

Formal Parent Representation

The role of the Parent Council is to: 

¨ Support the school in its work with parents

¨ Represent the views of all parents

¨ Encourage links between the school, parents, pupils, pre school groups and the wider community

¨ Report back to the Parent Forum (all parents are members of the Parent Forum).

All Parents/Carers of pupils within Bernera School are members of the Parent Council and are therefore welcome at Parent Council Meetings. The Parent Council meets at least once a term and approximately six times per school session.  All meetings are open and all parents are welcome to attend. 

The Parent Council is called Bernera School Partnership and all parents of children attending Bernera School and Sgoil Àraich Bheàrnaraigh are automatically members of the Parent Council and are  therefore welcome to attend its meetings. If you wish to discuss any matter regarding the school, you can contact any of the Bernera School Partnership office bearers/members listed below:  

Names Role Telephone No
Kirsteen J Maclean Head Teacher 01851 822 892
Mairi Smith Chairperson  
Janet Cameron Joint Vice Chairperson  
June Macinnes Treasurer  
Angela Macdonald Clerk  

Should any parent wish to contact any of the Office Bearers but not have their telephone number, please   contact the school in the first instance and we shall arrange for them to be in contact with you directly.

Pupil Council

The constitution of the Pupil Council states that Membership of the Pupil Council “shall be made up of one  representative from P3-P5 and two representatives from P6-7.”

Pupil Council elections have traditionally taken place at the start of the school session in September. All children from Primary 3 – 7 are eligible for nomination to the Pupil Council and all pupils in the school are eligible to vote. As the school roll has dropped markedly over the last 2-3 years pupils have indicated that it is their preference that rather than having an elected Pupil Council who meet regularly, ALL pupils are consulted on matters which would normally come to the attention of the Pupil Council at Assembly times when they are altogether. In this way ALL pupils have the opportunity to be involved in making decisions and discussing school matters with the staff and the processes of engagement are inclusive.

Our School Aims

In Bernera School, we aim: 

¨ To establish a friendly and trusting relationship between home and school.

 ¨ To nurture a tolerant and caring attitude, showing respect and understanding of others.

 ¨ To provide appropriate support to children in all aspects of their learning and wider achievements.

 ¨ To foster a sense of belonging and heritage in the traditions of their local community.

 ¨ To help all children achieve their full potential.

Teaching Staff do their best to ensure pupils benefit from positive learning environments where they feel safe, included and supported. Our pupils are encouraged to work hard and experience success in their learning. Teaching staff use a range of techniques and strategies to reward good work and to encourage and support individual pupils as and when they need it including certificates and awards. All pupils are encouraged to participate in a range of extra-curricular activities and most do – both in and beyond the island of Great Bernera. Our pupils delight in their successes outside of school and are keen to share these at Assembly times with the school community.

School Ethos

Great Bernera is typical of a small island community with strong and passionate community spirit. Being the only school on the island of Great Bernera the school plays a central role and is at the heart of the local  community being situated in the thriving village of Breaclete. The school has worked alongside and in partnership with the Bernera Community Association on a number of projects over many years to work with, support and serve the community.

The school also enjoys very good relationships with the Community Café, Bernera Museum, Bernera School of Highland Dancing and the Bernera Shop. Many individuals working within Bernera are in regular contact with the school and are supportive of our endeavours—as we are of theirs. 

Highland Dancing classes are held in the dance studio on a weekly basis and these have proved very popular with the children, many of whom have gone on to achieve success at dancing competitions across the Western Isles.

The school is also a member of the Get Set Network which was set up to prepare for the London Olympics. The Network has provided our pupils with a greater sense of Local and Global Citizenship as our pupils have      participated in a wide range of activities alongside of schools right across the country.

We seek to instil in our pupils a heart for the local community and to ensure that they grow up in a safe and thriving community to which they are proud to belong and proud to live and work in.

Spiritual, Moral and Cultural Values

Bernera School aims to develop the spiritual, moral, social and cultural values of its pupils, having regard to the values of the community, and guided by the recommendations contained in national and regional guidelines.

Religious Education is an integral part of the curriculum, offering pupils the opportunity to develop their own beliefs, attitudes, moral values and       practices, through a process of personal search discovery and critical    evaluation. Class lessons deal with a variety of issues and children and staff also meet together for a whole school Assembly each week.

Parents who wish to execute their right to withdraw their child from Religious and Moral Education or Religious Observance should put their request in  writing to the Head Teacher. 

Parents can be assured that should they choose to exercise this right, their children will be appropriately supervised by a member of staff elsewhere at such times.

Rev Hugh Stewart of Bernera Church of Scotland serves as School Chaplain to the school and visits the school regularly to take Assembly and conduct acts of Religious Observance. 

A copy of the Religious Observance Policy may be found at:-