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S.I.P. Report

Blackness Primary School

School Improvement Report

Session 2017-2018


School Aims:

Why are we here?

Blackness Primary School provides staff, pupils and families with experiences that promote a positive mindset, engagement, learning and enjoyment.  This is developed through relationships between home, school and our community whilst drawing on wider expertise and resources.  We operate on a level of mutual respect, with the understanding that “Everyone Here Matters”.

We develop our community through supported challenge and a wide range of opportunities and experiences.


We will nurture positive relationships:

  • where staff, pupils and parents are valued and have a sense of pride in our school

  • where relationships with parents and carers are fostered, involving them in the learning of their child and the life of the school

  • where visitors are welcomed and links with others in the community are promoted

  • working in partnership withthe “Friends of Blackness”

  • developing, supportingand drawing on links with other educational establishments and other providers


We will promote and extend learning

  • providing high quality learning experiences for all our children
  • through having a shared understanding of a child’s strengths and development needs
  • recognising and celebrating achievement and effort
  • providing quality feedback to learners and those who can support them
  • ensuring the progress and attainment of pupils.
  • using School Improvement Planning to identify, develop and evaluate improvement projects
  • continually develop our learning and skills to create a strong school team


We will develop engagement in learning:

  • supporting children to develop positive mindsets
  • supporting children to evaluate and understand their own learning journey
  • ensuring enjoyment of learning experiences which provide challenge and interest
  • ensuring learning is relevant
  • building upon prior learning
  • Providing a broad range of learning experiences
  • Providing opportunities for children to lead and direct their learning


We will include our whole community:

  • celebrating the diversity within our primary school
  • understanding the needs of others
  • valuing the opinions and views of others
  • valuing Learning and experiences out with our school.
  • providing supports to overcome barriers
  • developing a sense of responsibility for our lives and the wider world


       We will promote and support health and wellbeing in our community

  • meeting emotional, physical, social, cultural and moral needs
  • promoting responsible behaviour where pupils exercise self-awareness, responsibility, resilienceand independence;
  • developing the need for interdependence
  • providing a wide range of health promotion experiences


All staff demonstrate ambition to improve and develop our community’s skills and opportunities. We work together to overcome any challenges we may encounter.

Context of the School:

Blackness Primary School is a non-denominational school which serves a wide area stretching Eastwards from the City boundary at ‘The Gows’, and encompasses the Polepark, Hawkhill, Ryehill areas.  The area comprises a mix of local authority, private and rented accommodation and is culturally diverse.  Pupils from the school are mainly in the catchment area for Harris Academy. The school in 2017 -18 supported around 358 pupils from a wide cultural background. The school was arranged into 13 classes 9 Straight classes and 4 composite. There was an allocation of 17.5 teachers, a Principal Teacher, a Depute Head Teacher and Head Teacher. Free school meal entitlement was 11% of the pupil population and 8% of our pupils lived in SIMD1 and 2. Our roll included 5 looked after child. 29% of our pupils are bilingual with 18 home languages spoken.


Attainment Data 2017- 2018





Talking and Listening


Primary 1

(CFE Early Level)





Primary 4

(CFE 1st  Level)





Primary 7

(CFE 2nd  Level)






Review of Improvement Progress for Session 2017-2018


School Improvement Priority 1:

RAISE ATTAINMENT IN NUMERACY from 70% to 80% (related to CFE teacher judgement returns) 

Progress and Impact:

A clear focus on improving attainment in numeracy was established early on in this session. All staff were given an input into the progressive development of Numeracy and Maths being adopted city wide in order to realign learning with individual achievement and need.

A whole school audit tool was developed to assess each child’s individual numeracy ability and identify shared areas for development. This provided valuable information to create targeted support groups to develop numeracy skills for those children who were not attaining to expected levels. A total of 130 children from P2 – P7 were supported throughout the year. The highlighted development areas of focus included, Fractions, Decimals, Addition, Multiplication, Division and Subtraction.

Individual improvement was measured across P3,4, 6 and 7. The table below highlights the targeted groups percentage improvement. All targeted individuals increased their competency within the targeted focus areas.

Percentage improvement of Targeted Group following intervention in highlighted areas.


(no. pupils)



and Percentage





P3 (17)







P4 (23)







P6 (15)







P7 (21)







P5 pupils benefitted from a short numeracy block between October and November          

P2 pupils benefitted from a short numeracy block between May and June


Targeted use of Sumdog’s computer numeracy challenges in P3,5 and P6 have augmented pupils numeracy skills.

All teaching and support staff responsible for supporting numeracy and maths undertook a 9 session course focussed on developing conceptual awareness of numeracy. This has been complemented by the introduction of new resources. A significant investment in numicon concrete materials has been made and teachers are developing its use when teaching numeracy.

The introduction of the Scottish Government’s “Scottish National Standardised Assessments” has also been used to identify further areas of development for cohorts and individuals.

Teachers worked alongside cluster colleagues to develop holistic assessments in numeracy to assess children’s ability to use learned skills in unfamiliar contextualised situations.

Agreement was reached across the whole school on the importance of feedback to children to develop their learning in numeracy, this is being further developed to share achievements and next learning steps with pupils.

These interventions have supported a growth in whole school attainment (related to CFE teacher judgement returns ) in numeracy of 8% from 70% to 78%


Next Steps:

The school will now embark on the implementation of teaching numeracy using the principles of Conceptual Understanding in Numeracy. Further training is scheduled to build teacher understanding of the numicon resources and how these can support children’s understanding of number. A focus on the developmental progression linked to the Fife Pyramids will be explored further across the school.


School Improvement Priority 2:


(related to CFE teacher judgement returns) 

Progress and Impact:

Throughout session 17/18 there was an increased expectation related to the children’s learning linked to comprehension of texts. All teachers provided their learners with focussed comprehension activities and opportunities to develop this area of learning.

Moderation exercises took place to support teacher’s understanding of comprehension at different developmental stages and to begin to build a consistent expectation across the school.   

A group of bilingual learners were targeted with additional support in the middle school. They were supported in vocabulary and simple inference throughout the session. 62% of this group showed improvements in their literacy skills.

Whole class sets of novels were chosen and have been purchased to support discussion and extended comprehension across the school.

Early work with information gathered by the Scottish National Standardised Assessments is allowing the school to analyse aspects of children’s comprehension and will be used to plan for a framework to support comprehension in our school.

The senior leadership team carried out professional support visits focussed on the teaching of comprehension. Children were engaged in all classes with this aspect of learning and were able to talk about texts with confidence and knowledge of content.

The school used development time to hold professional discussion on the importance of feedback to support children’s learning and identified expectations within feedback. Feedback in children’s comprehension learning is good in almost all classrooms.

These interventions have supported a growth in whole school attainment (related to CFE teacher judgement returns ) in numeracy of 4% from 82% to 86%

Next Steps:

The school will develop this area further during session 18/19. The use of novel studies across the school will be put into practice. A progressive framework for comprehension skills and experiences will be developed using standardised assessment data to guide areas of specific need.

A focus on the quality of feedback will continue.

Groups of bilingual learners who are showing lesser than expected attainment in reading have been identified for vocabulary building and inference sessions.


School Improvement Priority 3:

Almost all Pupils, Parents and Teachers will be satisfied that we  deliver a curriculum which demonstrates a progressive and broad content which is relevant, enjoyable, challenging and allows specialization to support children in their future learning life and work

Progress and Impact:

Initial professional discussions took place with teaching staff representing all levels of the curriculum. Discussion focussed on the relevance and breadth of our Social Subjects, Science and Technologies curriculum. A framework is currently in place which provides coverage of experiences and outcomes contained in Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence. It was agreed that these areas within our curriculum should be reviewed and developed further. Particular emphasis on science and technologies experiences should be explored.


Almost all children from P1- 4 took part in French lessons and were given opportunities to build upon their previous learning, using our progressive programme.

All children across the school were provided with discreet learning sessions using ICT. Work has begun in providing a framework of progressive learning in this area. All P4–7 children have been given email access and have benefitted from guidance on safe and appropriate use of the internet.

Next Steps:

The school will continue the development of the Social Studies, Science and Technologies curriculum into session 2018/2019. Emphasis on clear progression, challenge, relevance and enjoyment will be integral to this framework.

Further work will be done to ensure teacher confidence in the teaching of modern languages

Our ICT framework will continue to be developed and teachers will be provided with CLPL sessions to build their own confidence and competence in this area.


School Improvement Priority 4:

Almost all our pupils will demonstrate confidence, resiliency and a positive approach to their own health and wellbeing whilst providing support and encouragement for others.

Progress and Impact:

In our continued approach to getting it right for every child all school staff were supported in their understanding and practice through completion of nurture training as part of a cluster development. All school staff benefitted from input on Adverse Childhood Experiences and advice from CAMHS in ways to support children who are experiencing challenges.  Partners from NHS have supported our staff in providing appropriate provision and experiences for our children. All Children with additional support needs are supported in mainstream situations. Additional needs assessments, planning and support is in place for all children who require adaptations to access the curriculum.

 A changing and accessible space has been developed on our lower floor to support our pupils and visitors who benefit from additional support and/or require discretion to enable comfort. Relationships across the school are very good.

Pupils were encouraged to take on additional leadership roles within the school during this session. The Pupil Council was renamed as the Blackness Improvers and provided particular guidance on our playground development as well as sharing views on what life was like as a learner in Blackness. Opportunities for responsibility around the school were increased as senior pupils supported the daily life of the school.

Four classes were trained in play activities which they now share with others in the playground. A group of P7 children developed a “Book Group” which they organised and managed themselves, including requesting titles from the central library. 

Additional extra-curricular clubs were arranged with partners and this provided all age groups opportunities to take part in activities at lunch time or after school. These included, dance (traditional and modern), code clubbing, drama and sports groups. This has resulted in a rise in participation of 15% over all with girls participation overtaking boys participation and rising by 10% from 46% to 56% of those taking part.

Next Steps:

We intend to augment the learning experiences of our children through outdoor learning. Allowing children to experiment, problem solve and build positive relationships whilst encouraging physical activity in the outdoors.


Opportunities to reflect on achievements and understand next steps in learning is to be further explored to allow children to develop metacognition skills


Improvement Priorities for Session 2018-2019


Almost all Pupils, Parents and Teachers will be satisfied that we  deliver a curriculum which demonstrates a progressive and broad content which is relevant, enjoyable, challenging and allows specialization to support children in their future learning life and work


All pupils will experience appropriate Learning and Teaching in order to meet learning and pastoral needs across the school


Raise attainment in Literacy and Numeracy

  • RAISE ATTAINMENT IN NUMERACY by 8% from 78% to 86% (related to CFE teacher judgement returns) 
  • RAISE ATTAINMENT IN READING by 4%from 86% to 90% (related to CFE teacher judgement returns) 




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