FAIRVIEW Primary received top marks from inspectors following their recent visit to the Ballyclare school.
Inspectors from the Department of Education’s Education and Training Inspectorate visited the school in March this year.
They focussed on the three main elements of the children’s achievements and standards in literacy, the quality of provision for learning and the school’s leadership and management.
In all three areas the inspectors awarded a ‘very good’ grade. Only an ‘outstanding’ grade is higher on the inspection scale.
The inspectors found that the children were highly motivated and had a very positive approach to learning. The report said they worked well in groups and each child took their turn within the group with willingness and confidence.
In terms of English, the report said most children read with very good fluency and had a high level of interest and were able to convey their ideas confidently and competently and most pupils could produce writing of a “very high standard”.
Inspectors said the children were enthusiastic in mathematics lessons and had a good understanding of the subject.
Inspectors also met with a group of the children in year six who said they felt happy in school and were aware of what to do if they had a problem.
“They also spoke positively about school life,” said the report.
On the staff, the inspectors said the quality of the planning, teaching and assessment was “consistently high”.
The report said most of the teaching observed was good or better and in almost two-thirds, it was described as “good and outstanding”.
It said teachers set high standards for the pupils and they responded well to the demands placed on them.
The report said: “In the most effective teaching, the teachers’ skilful questioning develops the children’s thinking skills, facilitates extended responses from the children, and includes appropriate challenge for the more able children.
“In the foundation stage, most of the teachers provide the children with excellent opportunities to develop their problem-solving capabilities, greater independence and connected learning through play.”
Inspectors also issued parents with questionnaires to gauge their feelings on the school’s teaching and management.
Almost all of the responses from the parental questionnaires indicated a high level of satisfaction with the provision in the school.
In particular, the inspectors found, parents acknowledged the “high level of professional commitment of all staff and the supportive learning environment for the children”.
Principal Paula Matthews, who has been at the school for over 18 months, was praised in the report for providing leadership and management to a high standard.
The report said she had placed the “education and personal development of each child at the centre of school improvement”.
Mrs Matthews welcomed the report, saying: “The staff, governors and I are really delighted with our recent report.
“To have received an endorsement of being ‘Very Good’ at all levels from the Education and Training Inspectorate gives us the confidence to continue to develop everything we do at Fairview.
“I am most fortunate to have a very hard working and dedicated staff team.”
She continued: “Our pupils respond to all aspects of their learning with such enthusiasm and a real sense of enjoyment of school which was evidenced during the inspection.
“As a school we have highly supportive parents who work in partnership with us to ensure all our children achieve their full potential.
“We now look forward to building on our strengths in the coming years and ensuring a high quality education for all.”