A STEVENSTON school has received glowing praise from inspectors for supporting its children to "achieve the best possible outcomes in their learning".

Ardeer Primary and nursery class was visited by a team of inspectors from Education Scotland in December and a report on their findings has been published this week.

The inspection team found that one of the key strengths in the school's work was the "highly effective use of data to inform planning and measure the effectiveness of the strategies used to raise attainment in literacy and numeracy".

'Quality indicators' for the primary school rated the learning, teaching and assessment as 'good', while raising attainment and achievement was graded as 'very good'.

With 151 pupils currently on the roll over seven classes, inspectors found the school's staff "create a welcoming and nurturing environment for all children" and provide "calm, well organised and purposeful learning environments".

It was noted that the Covid-19 pandemic had a "significant impact" on children's attendance, with current attendance levels averaging 93 per cent, and this "impacted on the continuity of children's learning".

The report said children in the school benefit from a newly-refurbished library where "reading for pleasure is encouraged", while staff regularly seek the views of children about their learning and "use this to inform their planning".

It said: "Senior leaders have established a very clear strategy for raising attainment and addressing the identified impact of the pandemic on children’s progress.

"They use Pupil Equity Funding (PEF) well to enhance staffing, including teaching and support staff.

"They ensure financial barriers to participation are removed. For example, all children participate in a wide range of funded educational outings to enrich and extend their learning.

"P7 children benefit from the opportunity to attend a residential experience that develops their personal skills and confidence."

Attainment in literacy and numeracy was said to be good, with children making "very good progress" in mathematics and English.

The nursery class, with 23 children on the roll at the time of the inspection, was also commended for the "warm, welcoming ethos" created by practitioners which helps youngsters feel "safe and secure".

Two areas for improvement were identified and discussed with the school's head teacher and a North Ayrshire Council representative: continuing to support children across the school to become more independent in their learning by providing more experiences that promote curiosity, independence, and confidence, and reviewing the process used to plan learning across the school to enable staff to develop further creative teaching approaches.

Inspectors said they are "confident that the school has the capacity to continue to improve" - meaning no follow-up visits are required in relation to this inspection.

The school's head teacher, Anne Surgenor, said: “School inspections provide an insight into how well you are doing and what areas you can improve on.

"We are delighted with this inspection as it validates the hard work of our entire staff team to provide the best possible environment for our young people.

“We are very proud of our school and early years class and it is great that the work we are doing is being recognised by Education Scotland.

"A huge well done to all staff, pupils and, of course, our parents and carers who are a great source of support.”