My visit to Isobel Mair School

By Graeme Logan, Education Scotland Strategic Director for School Years

I visited Isobel Mair School this morning to celebrate their achievements following their recent inspection in August 2014 and to see some of the innovative practice taking place to support the learning and development of children with additional support needs.

The school, in Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire, is a great example of putting the rights of the child at the heart of everything they do and by using this approach to develop their curriculum they are able to offer a fantastic breadth and depth of learning experiences for the children at the school.

As part of the inspection, the school and its practitioners were praised for their use of ICT, which is tailored to suit individual children’s learning needs, and to see that in practice was really inspiring. By using interactive whiteboard and smart table technology, practitioners are able to actively involve children in their learning, and encourage them to participate, which is having a positive impact on them and their skills development.

Learners also used a variety of communication aids to help them communicate independently where they shared experiences of their learning with one another, which really engages the children and increased their participation in learning activities.

Throughout our visit I was really impressed with the level of care and attention given to each individual child, and this one to one support is vital to supporting the children with additional support needs as they move through their school career from nursery age right through to the senior phase.

With it being this time of year we visited a number of classrooms where we saw the children learning about the Christmas story using a variety of different approaches.  We were also treated to a special performance of The Gruffalo by Class Bute at an open morning for parents. It was really magical to see the children have fun and their performance received a huge round of applause which put a smile on our faces.

I’d like to say a personal thank you to all the staff, parents and children we met for giving us such a warm welcome and an interesting tour of the school. Special thanks goes to Headteacher Mari Wallace who has delivered outstanding work at the school over the last ten years, and we’ll be sad to see her go when she retires early next year.