Positive ethos of Mearns

IN his address to the annual prizegiving, Mearns Academy rector Ian Parkin referred to the postive ethos of the school and said he seeks to transfer that positive ethos into the opening of the new building in 2014.

Mr Parkin said: “This session has seen great progress in steps towards the new school becoming a reality. I’m convinced the building will be an excellent whole-community facility – sadly no swimming pool, but a great asset to all. The move to making the new building based on a core of 840 pupils was very significant and the support of officers and the provost and councillors to this end was vital. Nonetheless we are continuing the process of pushing to ensure learning and teaching accommodation is sufficient to meet our needs – it is critical we get this right. Certainly, confidence in the team of architects couldn’t be higher and although this development has taken up a great deal of our time – the importance of this development justifies this.

“Very much, the new school must be able to accommodate the demands of the new emerging model of curriculum delivery in Scotland – namely A Curriculum for Excellence. This initiative has also been a significant addition to the usual school programme. Our new S2 cohort are the first group to pursue the programme, this against a backdrop of certain continuing concerns - especially regarding the detail, status and arrangements for the emerging new qualifications.

one other unexpected extra came our way. Two large white boxes and a letter confirming imminent inspection of the school by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate was not quite the Christmas present for which I had hoped.

The inspection itself went well and it is important to confirm that we found the HMIe team both personable and approachable. The findings of the inspection were generally very positive. For a head teacher to see cited in glowing terms the pupils, the staff and the relationships with the wider school community, is very pleasing. With regard to pupils, the inspection found them well-behaved, mature and responsible – the managing inspector even took the rare step of confirming such publicly at a senior school assembly, even during the inspection. Growing up is not easy, but it’s gratifying to see others confirming that most of the young people here are making a pretty good job of it. Staff too were commended for many aspects of their work including raising attainment, supporting vulnerable learners and commitment towards improving the work of the school. This recognition is thoroughly deserved. Especially comforting were comments confirming the commitment to young peoples care and welfare.

Equally pleasing were comments pertaining to our successful partnership working – especially with parents and our very strong parent council, and with other providers including Community Learning and Development, colleges, local employees and other agencies.”