Norma Prentice: Castlebrae High puts its troubled past behind it

Castlebrae Community High School. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Castlebrae Community High School. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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CASTLEBRAE High School is putting its troubled past behind it and looking with confidence to the future, says Norma Prentice

WE are very pleased to say that the latest Education Scotland engagement visit resulted in a positive report for our community. The report – published in February – highlights the improvements being made across the school, to both the learning experiences and to the environment, creating “a more positive climate for learning”.

The report refers to recent statistics which show improvement in both our attendance rates and in the attainment of our young people.

Following the SQA diet of exams in 2015, the data on results was published and there were significant improvements in attainment for many important benchmark areas. The report notes the “improving trend in numbers achieving level 4 by the end of S4” and that in 2015 “the number of young people in S5 achieving five or more awards at levels 4 and 5 improved, as did the number achieving one or more Highers”.

We are particularly proud of our recent track record in ensuring our young people move into positive destinations when leaving school and the report again highlighted improvement through the “very good work of school and community staff in this area which is a significant strength”.

Partnership working was also identified as a key strength and in particular the innovative and exciting three-year partnership with the Edinburgh International Festival, which has provided amazing opportunities for enhanced learning across the curriculum. We look forward to the Festival in 2017, when Castlebrae will become a fully-fledged venue, managed by our young people.

The Education Scotland report states that the permanent appointment of the headteacher and two deputes has given much-needed stability to the leadership of the school at senior management level. As a result the school was beginning to have a clearer direction and a clearer sense of shared purpose.

We know that there is still work to do, but with the commitment from our young people and with the support of the community and our partners, we are confident these improvements will continue to be made.

• Norma Prentice is headteacher at Castlebrae High School