Improvements are being sought following a report issued to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar after the official Inspection and Review of Sgoil Bhàgh a' Chaisteil and Sgoil Àraich by Education Scotland.

It says a very positive start has been made by the headteacher which is improving the culture for change within the school.

She has recently established more effective systems and processes for monitoring and evaluating the work of the school.

Children and young people learning through both Gaelic and English are keen to learn. Their learning is enhanced and enriched from regular and effective use of the school campus and the local community.

Children and young people’s physical wellbeing is supported well through the comprehensive range of sporting and cultural activities provided by the local community.

The partnership work between staff, parents, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and partner agencies has increased the numbers enrolling in Gaelic Medium Education (GME) at the nursery and primary stages. The wider community values the way the school celebrates what is important to Gaelic, the island and culture through whole-school projects.

There is strong attainment in the senior phase where young people achieve success across a range of national qualifications.

The following areas for improvement were identified and discussed with the headteacher and a representative from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

  • Improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment across the school and nursery. Teachers need to provide greater levels of challenge so that children and young people are fully engaged and motivated by their learning.
  • Within the broader framework of reviewing the curriculum, it is important to develop clear progressive programmes and courses for all curricular areas across the school. This will support teachers to plan more effectively so that they build on children and young people’s prior learning.
  • Use national advice and guidance to embed self-evaluation in the practices of the nursery and primary through Gaelic and English. Staff should develop a more outward looking approach. It would be useful to continue to develop a shared understanding of what effective practice looks like in early learning and childcare, including for total immersion.
  • With support from the local authority, the school should continue to strategically develop Sgoil Bhàgh a’ Chaisteil as a Gaelic status school. This should take full account of national advice on GME and Gaelic (Learners) as a second language.

As a matter of urgency, senior leaders, with the support of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, need to improve continuity in the secondary GME curriculum leading to uptake for qualifications and awards.

The report says: “We are confident that the school has the capacity to continue to improve.

“We will ask the education authority for a progress report on the action point for the secondary curriculum for GME.

“This will be within a year of publishing the letter and will be used to decide if further scrutiny activity is required.

“Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will inform parents/carers about the school’s progress on other areas for improvement as part of its arrangements for reporting on the quality of its schools.”