THE Principal of Drumbo Primary School, Miss Mandy White, will be leaving her post on a high note at the end of term after the school received a very favourable report from the Education and Training Inspectorate.
The report, which focused on pastoral care, ICT and Mathematics, was very positive, with a number of areas singled out for particular praise.
On the quality of the children's work, the report stated: "The school provides a caring and supportive environment in which the children are valued and feel at ease. "The designated teacher in charge of pastoral care has helped put in place a comprehensive and suitable range of policies including those for anti-bullying, positive behaviour and drugs education."
The report continued: "The school is characterised by a welcoming, family and community atmosphere. The working relationships within the school are very good and reflect well the efforts of the teaching and ancillary staff to provide a caring environment in which the children are valued."
The school was also recognised for its extra-curricular activities, which include a variety of sports, after-school clubs, cross-community links and educational trips. In addition, emphasis is given to charitable collections and events.
"A strong feature of the teaching is the increasing emphasis given to mental mathematics and to mathematical games designed to improve the children's understanding and enjoyment of the subject.
"The children enjoy their work in mathematics and apply themselves well
to the tasks set. The teachers and the classroom assistant provide suitable
individual support for this work."
The school's focus on the teaching of ICT was recognised in the report.
"A scheme of work has been prepared to guide the teaching of ICT," stated the inspector.
"This scheme indicates the skills which are to be developed and the learning outcomes to be achieved. "The children are developing good skills in the use of ICT. In KSl and KS2 they use word-processing and other software packages to support their learning and the older children make good use of desktop publishing packages."
"The Principal has been in post for just over three years," said the report. "During this time she has contributed much to the development of the school, improving its links with the parents, taking forward a well-focused School Development Plan and enhancing the school's standing in the local community.
"The Principal has also helped to create an effective working partnership with the Principal of Lambeg Primary School and this has been to the mutual benefit of the teachers and children in the two schools."
Miss White's staff, including teachers, caretaker, secretary and classroom assistant were also given a mention, with the report stating: "all contribute significantly to promoting and maintaining a pleasant working environment for the teachers and the children."
While numerous areas of the school received praise, including the strong sense of community, the good quality of teaching and the arrangements for pastoral care, the report did suggest some further improvement.
Improvement was recommended in the further development of structured play and the school was advised to take better advantage of the favourable pupil-teacher ratio and the positive attitude of the children.
School Principal, Miss White, commented: "We are delighted that the inspectorate have recognised the excellent work which goes on here, especially in the areas of pastoral care, ICT and numeracy.
"This is a great encouragement to the staff, governors and pupils.
"Although finance is always an issue, especially in the primary sector, with the support of parents and the community we are able to provide many opportunities for our pupils and give them an excellent all round education which stands them in good stead for the next stage of their school career."