A Ross-shire secondary school has received an outstanding report from HM Inspectors of Education following a visit to Fortrose Academy.
Key strengths of the school were identified as the excellent culture of achievement, excellent levels of attainment especially in S5 and S6, the “inspirational” leadership of the head teacher, the consistently high standards of teaching across the school, the very positive attitudes to teaching of almost all pupils and the engagement of staff in the life and work of the school, including their leadership of key developments.
The four subject departments inspected, English, Mathematics, Technical and Chemistry/Science, also received high praise for the quality of learning and teaching they provided, with English receiving the rare and much coveted “excellent” accolade. The Support for Learning Department was also warmly praised for its work and its central role in helping teachers to meet pupils’ needs.
The school’s Unicycling Project, the PE Department’s Leadership Award and the English Department’s incorporation of global issues into the curriculum also received special mention in the report
Members of the school’s Senior Management team had been very effective in their key role of establishing an outstandingly positive climate in which all pupils were expected to achieve very highly. This combined with the commendable involvement of pupils in the life of the school had developed a shared ethos and had led to a very high and consistent quality of teaching for effective learning across the school. Pupils responded by being well behaved and keen to learn and achieve.
Approaches to involving parents were also considered to be very good and parents were kept well informed about school life. They found the school to be a welcoming place to come to.
Points for action included increased provision of PE and RME, further strengthening links between SMT and departments, improving aspects of school accommodation and developing aspects of record keeping and communicating by pastoral care staff.
The Inspectors concluded by noting that “because of the high performance, strong record of improvement and the very effective leadership of the school”, HMIe will make no follow up visit’’.
Head Teacher Douglas Simpson said “I am delighted with this Report which recognizes the commitment and talent of an outstanding staff, the enthusiasm and hard work of our pupils and the strong support of our parents and the wider school community.”
Hugh Fraser, Highland Council’s Director of Education, Culture and Sport said: “By any standard, this is an outstanding report. It confirms that Fortrose Academy is a first-class school, with dedicated staff and hard-working and high-achieving pupils. The head teacher’s leadership has been a significant factor in the school’s success. The whole school community – staff, pupils and parents – is to be congratulated.”