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South Primary School, Wick

November 2005 Newsletter

South School Index

Schools & Education

Health Promoting Schools

School: South Primary School, Wick

Head Teacher: Pat Bowers
Telephone: 01955 603203
Email: pat.bowers@highland.gov.uk

Date Registered: 
School roll:  132 (plus 10 in nursery)
Date visited: 03/10/05

Accreditation Level: 4



1: Clear Statement of Health Promoting Aims of the School

  • Health promoting statement embedded in the school aims

The aims were reviewed in June 2005; they clearly embody health promoting statements and promote a positive and inclusive learning environment. E.g. Aim 6 “To promote health and well-being for all pupils and staff.”

  • Policy and documentation which demonstrates a coherent strategy towards health promotion

The portfolio contains a range of documents that illustrate a broad and coherent strategy towards health promotion. This includes detailed policies, School and Nursery brochures and the School Development Plan (Projects 2 and 4).

2: Development of Good Relations within School & Active Promotion of Self-Esteem of Whole School Community

  • An effective pupil council

     The school has an effective pupil council, comprising pupils from all classes, with very good staff support. They have well-structured agendas and members are encouraged to communicate directly with the classes they represent. The pupil council helped plan and design the impressive redecoration of the pupil toilets and are currently discussing plans for a large mural and changes in the tuck shop. Pupils are encouraged to put forward their ideas and these are implemented whenever possible.

  • Specific strategies promoted and monitored in Ethos and Learning and Teaching policies and guidelines.

A very positive ethos is promoted throughout the school by staff working closely together and with other partners such as MAASK (‘Morning and after school klub’). The Golden Rules and playground rules encourage consideration for others; parents are encouraged to become involved and are kept fully informed.  Strategies also include the involvement of pupils in groups such as the Pupil Council and as JRSO’s and a wide range of individual duties in class and around the school; pupils, with staff encouragement/monitoring, respond very positively to these responsibilities.

  • Achievement rewards systems which recognise diverse forms of achievement and are valued by recipients.

A variety of reward systems such as stickers, house points, Star Writers and ‘Special Person of the Week’ are in place and valued by the pupils who particularly like the assemblies where the awards are presented. As well as recognising attainment and effort, sporting and musical success, good behaviour, helping others and good citizenship are also recognised. Displays of photographs and a trophy shelf are also prominent.

  • Supportive programmes for individuals and /or groups with particular needs.

The school is a targeted New Community School with additional resources to help meet additional needs. These are very well catered for at all levels from nursery upwards through close partnership working between the class teachers, the Support for Learning teacher and auxiliaries and other services; IEP’s, multi-agency SLG’s  are held regularly; a Children’s Service Worker links with families alto complement the work of the school. The school also hosts an impressive pre and after-school care system through the MAASK project; this provides a breakfast club and after-school club and caters for pupils from other schools as well as South School; some pupils are referred to MAASK by SLG’s.

3: Development of Good Relations with Home & Community

  • Effective parental consultation arrangements

The school has a very good, illustrated brochure. There is an active and supportive School Board and PSA; the PSA is particularly effective in fund raising and runs events such as the well-supported Christmas Fayre and Valentine’s Disco. Parents are also involved as helpers in the school e.g. in running the Book Fair for the benefit of all pupils. In addition to regular Parents’ Evenings other themed Open Evenings are held.

  • Regular communication

Parents are kept very well informed about that is happening in the school through regular newsletters, letters on specific events, a parents’ notice board and personal contact. Congratulations notes are sent home to recognise good progress, good helper, etc. Use is also made of the local web-site and newspaper. Further contact is made through the Pulteneytown Peoples Project of which the Head Teacher is a director.

  • High quality Pupil reports

Good quality reports are provided in line with the HC model, with opportunities for consultation on progress on two formal consultation evenings each session. The reports are positive and encouraging with next steps clearly identified; parents are given the opportunity to respond to reports.

4: Provision of a Wide Range of Stimulating Challenges for All Pupils

  • Physical and mental challenge in the curriculum

South Primary School provides very good physical and mental challenge in the curriculum for pupils of all abilities with appropriate support provided as required; close team work was evident in all classes visited with teachers, auxiliaries and classroom assistants all helping to meet individual needs of the children. The school is involved in the Highland Reading project with support from the literacy support officers since improving attainment in reading is one of the main focuses for this session. There is also input from visiting teachers of PE, art and music and the Active Schools Co-ordinator to complement the high quality work of the school staff. The curriculum is enhanced by environmental field work such as ‘river dipping’ with the HC ranger and visits from such groups as the ‘Jack in the Box’ puppet theatre and events such as the Fun Maths Roadshow and the Caithness Music Festival. The school is also involved in a community heritage project to develop new iron gates in the harbour area; pupils are producing some excellent artwork based on local themes that will be incorporated in to the design. The school choir is particularly successful and will be singing at a community concert with Michelle MacManus this week; this follows on from their participation in community VE day celebrations.

  • High quality interaction in the classroom, playground and elsewhere, involving physical and mental activity and play

The relationship and interaction between staff and pupils is very good and has created a very encouraging learning and teaching environment. Pupils were observed to be fully involved in their work at levels appropriate to their age and ability during visits to the nursery, infant and upper primary classes. The flexibility of staff and willingness to put in extra effort on behalf of the pupils is a real strength. Very good opportunities for play were available both in the extensive outside play areas and in the school; very good supervision encouraged pupils to be active and to make best use of the play equipment.

  • After school clubs and activities proven to meet pupil needs and interests

Pupils are involved in a range of extra curricular activities such as football, netball, scrabble and chess clubs.MAASK provides a range of after school activities, supported homework provision and healthy snacks. Pupils are enthusiastic about the choices on offer. Additional holiday clubs also run.

5: Use of Every Opportunity to Improve the Physical Environment of the School

  • Provision to enable equal access and opportunity for pupils with special needs and disabilities

All areas are accessible to children with disabilities. An inclusive approach caters for all pupils; pupils are referred to SLG meetings when necessary to enable a multi-disciplinary team to assess their needs. Close partnership working and links with families are very effective in ensuring all pupils are included in the school in an appropriate way. The school has developed a range of support facilities e.g. study units and quiet areas to cater for needs.

  • Provision of a safe, attractive environment including staff and pupils social areas with facilities.

The school buildings and surroundings are kept in very good order with good use made of bright colours and displays of pupils’ work to enhance all inside areas. The Pupil Council led the design and re-decoration of pupils’ toilets and main hall with the assistance of a talented artist on the support staff; their art work has been incorporated in to impressive murals. The staff facilities have also been upgraded and provide a comfortable and welcoming environment; a staff work base provides a good quiet area for preparation. The school grounds are extensive with good tarred and grass areas; these are also kept in very good condition with a wide choice of play equipment available; new goal nets are soon to be provided and the PC is discussing buying more equipment. The pupils’ participation in the planning and the incorporation of their work in to the re-decoration and displays has led to them taking a real pride in the school. The nursery has a good enclosed play area where they enjoy their outdoor play.

6: Partnership Planning and Delivery of a Coherent Health Promotion Strategy

  • PSE and cross curricular programmes fulfil national requirements.

The PSE programme and Circle Time activities encourage respect for others and good citizenship while the Health Programme fully meets national requirements. There is input from the school nurse and other professionals e.g. through ‘Safe Highlander’ as required in the delivery of the programme.

  • Programmes take account of local needs to support pupils achieve personal health targets

The PSE programme and circle time address health targets; free fruit is provided in the nursery and P1-2 class in the afternoon. Nursery have physical exercise every day and there is a commitment to make physical activity available to all both within the curriculum and through extra-curricular activities; staff have had training for ‘Class Moves’ the Active Schools Co-ordinator carries out fitness testing with P7. The school nurse and CSW run a group for P7 girls covering such topics as friendship, healthy living and per pressure as well as preparing them for transition to the High School. Throughout the school posters and pupils work on health themes encourage a high awareness of health. Daily tooth brushing is carried out in the nursery and at the Breakfast Club.

  • Developmental groups include pupils, parents and partner professionals

Pupils, parents, staff and partner professionals are all involved in development groups such as School Board, Parent Staff Association, SNAG and Pupil Council. Close partnership working is a key strength of the school.

  • School has effective links with key groups

The school has developed a wide range of contacts and partnerships over a number of years to meet the needs of the community. In addition to the multi-disciplinary SLG and SNAG groups a range of services such as the CSW, nurse, Educational Psychologist and Speech and Language Therapist and the MAASK team are brought in to support pupils and parents. Links with the Heritage Centre and the wider community are very strong and give pupils the opportunity to learn about their local environment, culture and history.

7: Systematic Arrangements for Assessment that Involve

 Pupils Reviewing their Health Education Needs & Their Levels of Understanding

  • Health review  built-in to regular guidance/PSE interviews

Pupils are very aware of what is meant by a healthy lifestyle through their PSE, health education, environmental topics, circle time, support groups and assemblies. Food diaries are also used to develop this awareness.

  • Assessment arrangements provide good quality feedback to pupils parents and teachers

Assessment arrangements and target setting are in place with pupils involved in self-assessment of their lifestyles through their food diaries and fitness testing in P7. Some have taken part in Save a Life training. IEP’s, review meetings and individual reports from the Support for Learning teacher all inform parents.

8: Active Promotion of the Health and Well-Being of School Staff


  • Health and safety policy and practice meet required standards.

There is a clear health and safety policy that meets all requirements. Staff are very aware of their role and actively seek training to meet pupil needs e.g. all staff have had training from the Ed. Psych. on promoting positive behaviour and training in SPELL by Autism Outreach Worker.

  • Regular health promoting activities made available

Staff are fully involved in planning with weekly staff meetings being held in addition to CAT time. Staff work very closely as a mutually supportive team; a number of social activities also help bond the staff very effectively.

9: Staff Awareness of Their Professional Roles in Health Related Issues

  • School QA procedures demonstrate high levels of expertise and awareness

The Development Plan, audit and review section, shows good awareness of health related issues in the school community and includes strategies to address identified needs. Staff awareness of their role is very high and risk assessments are displayed throughout the school and nursery.

10: School Nutrition Reflects & Supports the HPS Ethos

  • School Nutrition Action Group affects positive change

The SNAG group discussed healthy eating options with the nurse; a competition was run to design mural for wall; duties now incorporated in the Pupil Council.

  • School catering promotes healthy eating/drinking

Free fruit is provided in nursery and infant class. School meals are based on the HC menus; the cook and supervising staff encourage the pupils to try new foods and stickers are awarded to recognise healthy eating.

  • School tuck-shop promotes  healthy eating/drinking

. A healthy snack bar is provided during the morning break. It is operated by P7 pupils. Drinking water is available in all areas of the school.

Overview of School: South Primary School, Wick provides an interesting and varied curriculum, with a real commitment to being inclusive and catering for pupils of all abilities. It has a very positive and encouraging learning environment with pupils benefiting from taking on responsibilities. The school staff are very open to new ideas, flexible in their approach and, under the strong and encouraging leadership of the Head Teacher, are always seeking to improve levels of achievement. Very good partnerships have developed with other services through the NCS approach and parents are encouraged to be actively involved in the school. Pupils, parents and staff all feel a strong sense of belonging to the school.

Partners interviewed on visit:
Head Teacher, class and support teachers, classroom assistants and SEN auxiliaries, school cook, Nurse, Ed. Psychologist, nursery staff, Salvation Army Chaplain, parents and pupils.

HPS development recommendations:

  • Continue to record examples of achievements and developments in the very informative HPS portfolio
  • The school should consider extending tooth brushing for younger classes if time allows

Additional information/best practice etc:

The school has established very close partnerships with a range of other services to meet the complex needs of many members of the school community in a well-structured and inclusive manner.

Very good use has been made of the talents of pupils and staff working together to enhance the appearance of the building and create a warm and welcoming atmosphere in the school.

Colin Ferguson                                                                                                                    5 October, 2005