Category Archives: Section 4 – Support for Pupils

Primary 7 Transition Event at Breasclete School

In order to aid transition from Primary to Secondary school Primary 7 pupils from Bernera, Breasclete and Uig schools are coming together with teaching, Support for Learning and Active Schools staff at planned special events over the next three months. It is hoped that pupils from the three schools will benefit from the opportunity to meet with the other Primary 7 pupils before transition to secondary.

On Monday 23rd February the P7s from the three schools met up at Breasclete School with Jenna Stewart from Active Schools for some Tchoukball practice and play ahead of the Tchoukball Festival at the Sports Centre the following day.  It was a very enjoyable session for all and our P7s expressed the wish that they had more time and that they could do it again.

P7s with Jenna
P7s with Jenna

Additional Support Needs

We aim as far as is possible to educate pupils who have additional support needs alongside their peer group.  When necessary, extra help is provided.  This help is delivered in a flexible manner and the pupils can be seen individually, in a group or class. 

The Additional Support Needs of the Children are identified through a process of Staged Assessment and  Intervention.  The process of Staged Assessment and Intervention provides a structured system for the   identification, assessment, planning, review and record keeping for individual children who receive additional  support of any kind.  The Getting it Right Approach for Children and Young People (GIRFEC) in the Western Isles puts in place a network to promote wellbeing so that children and young people get the right help at the right time. 

All Looked After Children and Young People are considered to have additional support needs.  This is the case unless the school establishes they do not have additional support needs.  The Local Authority must consider whether each looked after child requires a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP).  The CSP is used to ensure a   co-ordinated approach to providing support for children.  The CSP will summarise assessments carried out for the child, explain the nature of the child’s difficulties and outline the difficulties the Authority will take to   support the pupil’s needs.  An assessment service is also provided by the teacher of children with visual and hearing impairment.  The Speech Therapist also visits the school to help any pupils who require support. 

In addition, an Educational Psychologist advises on the varied behavioural and learning difficulties which all  pupils can experience.  He can work directly with pupils and families if required. 

Under the Equality Act 2010, the Education Authority is not allowed to discriminate against disabled pupils. 

Mediation is provided by Resolve in the Western Isles.  It is a non judgemental voluntary process which seems to resolve misunderstandings in the early stages to prevent them escalating.  Parents also have the right to have an advocate present at Mediation and this is available through Advocacy Western Isles. 

Parents should also be aware of the following organisations which provide advice and further information. 

¨ Children in Scotland: Working for Children and their Families, trading as Enquire – a charitable body registered in Scotland under registration number SC003527.

¨ Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance, a charitable body registered in Scotland under registration number SCO33576

¨ Scottish Child Law Centre, a charitable body registered in Scotland under registration number SCO12741

Further information locally can be obtained from the School or Area Principal Teacher of Learning Support. 

The Principal Teacher for Learning Support for Area 3/4 is:

Mrs Anne Wilson

Achmore Old School


Isle of Lewis

TEL:01851 822 696

Pastoral Support Arrangements


Whilst not required to provide a Playground Supervisor in a school with fewer than 50 pupils, it is the practice to ensure that at least one member of staff is present in the playground at all times.

As there are a number of areas within the playground which children can access to play, it is not the expectation that the Playground Supervisor can observe all of the children all of the time. However, every endeavour is made to ensure that pupils do not harm themselves or others in the playground. 

The roles of the Playground Supervisor are:

¨ To interact with the children and to be present and act as a point of contact for them during break times.

¨ To monitor the behaviour of pupils in accordance with the school rules

¨ To identify any risks which may be present in the playground and to remove any hazards

¨ To appropriately handle any emergencies which may arise in the playground which may mean dealing with issues by him/herself or passing the situation on to a more appropriate member of staff to deal with. 


“Getting It Right For Every Child” is a national initiative. “Getting it right for children and young people in the Western Isles” describes the approach taken locally to giving all children and young people the best start in life. This includes the school working in partnership with other service providers using a staged assessment and intervention model. 

The Head Teacher and Support for Learning Teacher have undertaken training relating to GIRFEC and all pupil referrals to other agencies are processed following these guidelines. 

Further information relating to GIRFEC in the Western Isles can be found at:


The Head Teacher is the Child Protection Officer for the school and is trained to Level 2 in Child Protection. 

All new staff members undertake Child Protection Training with the local authority shortly after they take up their posts. 

The Head Teacher leads a refresher course of Basic Child Protection Procedures for all staff members within the school on an annual basis. 

Staff in Bernera School follow the multi agency Child Protection Procedures and Guidelines which have been produced by the Western Isles Child Protection Committee. More information relating to this can be found on the CNES website at:

More information relating to The Children’s Charter—A Framework for Standards can be found at:

 More information relating to Safe and Well—A Handbook for Staff, Schools and Education Authorities can be found at:



Pre School Education enrolment usually takes place in February on a date notified to parents by local press advertisement.  Children aged 2½ can be enrolled in the Sgoil Àraich if there is sufficient space and their  birthday falls before the 28th of February of the current academic year.  If demand for places outweighs supply, priority will be given to children eligible for their pre school funded place.  Children securing a funded place are entitled to 475 hours over 38 weeks and a maximum of 12½ hours pre school education will be provided in any one week.  Children who enrol in the nursery will be invited into the nursery before they begin to experience a little of the nursery atmosphere and to meet the nursery staff. 

More information can be obtained from the Nursery Manager:

Kirsteen J. Maclean

Head Teacher

Bernera School


Great Bernera

Isle of Lewis

TEL: 01851 822 892 

Sgoil Àraich Bheàrnaraigh is amalgamated with a Gaelic Medium Primary 1  and 2 Class and pupils are therefore taught by a Gaelic Medium Teacher. The opening hours of Sgoil Àraich Bheàrnaraigh are as follows:

Tuesday 9:00am – 12:00pm
Wednesday 9:00am – 12:00pm
Thursday 9:00am – 12:00pm
Friday 9:00am – 12:30pm

Transfer from Nursery to Primary

Before leaving nursery, a profile and transition record for each child will be prepared by Sgoil Àraich staff to hand over to Primary School staff to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of education for the child transferring to Primary. There will also be a number of visits to the    Primary Class in the lead up to the child commencing in Primary 1.

Primary School Admissions

Children who will be four years of age by 28th February 2013 are eligible for infant enrolment in August 2013.  Enrolment takes place at the beginning of February, on a date specified by press advertisement. 

In our school, pupils can be taught through the Medium of Gaelic or English and parents should indicate their preference on the enrolment form. At the time of enrolment, parents should bring their child’s Birth Certificate and should inform the school of any medical problems or special needs which their child may have. New entrants are invited into the school in June prior to entry to sample some typical Primary 1 activities. 

Other children, whose families have just moved into our catchment area, should be accompanied by a parent or guardian on their first day of reporting to school if they have not already been in contact with the school.  

Parents who wish to apply for a place at a school other than the local Primary School for new enrolments should apply in writing to:

Mr Bernard Chisholm

Head of Education and Resources,

Education and Children’s Services Department,

Sandwick Road,



Primary to Secondary Transfer

During the Summer term each session, Primary 7 pupils have the opportunity to attend their chosen secondary schools for an induction period.

When pupils complete P7 they will normally transfer to:  The Nicolson Institute

                                                                         Springfield Road


                                                                         Isle of Lewis

                                                                         Telephone Number:  01851 707000

On induction days,  pupils travel on the school bus, meet secondary teachers and sample part of their future weekly timetable. Each year a member of the secondary Guidance Team will travel to the school to meet P7 pupils prior to their transfer to secondary.  In addition, a member of the School Management Team will hold discussions with the Head Teacher each year to ensure that all aspects of a pupil’s work and personality are known in order to assist with a smooth transfer from Primary to Secondary. Every second year a member of the Secondary School Management Team will also visit the Primary School to meet pupils and staff.

The Principal Teacher for Learning Support visits our school in October/November of each year in order to meet those Primary 7 pupils with additional support needs and participate in review meetings with parents and staff. Such pupils may also be offered the opportunity of additional induction days which will be based in the Support for Learning Base. These induction days would follow a similar pattern with time also spent in the Support for Learning Base getting to know the staff.

 Over the last number of years a transition event has been held within the Learning Community for all Primary 7 pupils. This has proved to be most beneficial and has allowed Primary 7 pupils from smaller schools in the    surrounding area an opportunity to meet and engage in learning activities with one another.

 When possible, pupils in Bernera School meet with pupils in Uig and Breasclete Schools for a variety of sporting and other events. The purpose of this is to give our pupils greater opportunities to meet and engage in learning activities with one another prior to moving to secondary.

Placing Requests

As a parent, you have the right to make a Placing Request to be educated in a school other than the local school.  Every effort will be made to try to meet parental wishes but you should note that it is not always possible to grant every Placing Request to a particular school. 

If you wish to make a Placing Request, you should complete the appropriate form (available from school) and return it to:

Louise Smith,

Principal Officer,

Education and Children’s Services,

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar,

Sandwick Road,


HS1 2BW. 

If a Placing Request is successful, parents will be responsible for the safety and transportation costs of their child to and from their chosen school.