is the second and last Case Study in the final stage of our
2000-01 series that features pupil participation. The series
has looked at pupils' involvement in their own learning, in
the management and support systems of their schools and now,
finally, in the life of the wider community, all integral to
This issue features Raigmore Primary School, Inverness
in Highland EA. Many of Scotland's schools have transient populations
of children whose personal backgrounds have involved some degree
of educational discontinuity - homeless families, travellers,
asylum seekers and refugees, and international visitors who
come to work or study. About 60% of Raigmore's school roll can
be classified as transient, mainly children of Army families
but also from nearby hospital staff housing. This Case Study
illustrates clearly how all pupils, whether long-term or transient,
can learn from, and contribute to, their wider community. Many
of Raigmore PS's projects and partnerships have ecological and
health-promoting emphases, with human and aesthetic overtones,
but the school views it pupils' involvement in their local community
as 'learning for life' in the broadest and most positive sense.
Case Study was published by the Scottish Schools Ethos Network.
King Duncan's Road
Inverness IV2 3UG
Contact: Moira A Leslie BA(Hons)
Telephone 01463 234971
Raigmore Primary School, built in 1966, is situated in the Raigmore
Estate approximately one mile east of Inverness town centre. The catchment comprises two
distinct areas Raigmore Estate, mixed local authority and owner occupied houses, and Wimberley Way, married
quarters for families of Army personnel currently serving at Fort George. There is also a
small transient population of families working at nearby Raigmore Hospital.
There are about 240 pupils including the Nursery but this
fluctuates often as army families are posted elsewhere. Every 2 - 4 years the roll changes
substantially as Regiments change over. Presently approximately 60 per cent of the school
can be classified as transient.
There are 11 class teachers, two Learning Support teachers,
five Learning Support auxiliaries, one clerical assistant, one janitor, one lunch-time
supervisor, three classroom assistants and a pupil support teacher working in behaviour
support in our school and other schools.
How and why did we start?
Building the foundations in school
We have worked hard to develop a positive ethos within the school but also
outside. The frequently changing school population means that the school must be very welcoming in its
communications with families and physically. A wide variety of pupils' work creates
attractive, lively and informative displays around the school. New pupils and families
must be able to 'settle in' to the school and its community quickly. Although this Case
Study focuses on 'Community Involvement', we in Raigmore have gone through most of the
other stages of pupil participation, encouraging pupils towards greater engagement in all
aspects of school work and
life. This has included the development of an active Pupil Council that allows pupils to
appreciate that staff are sincere in listening and responding to their views and ideas.
gets their say - there's no one saying, 'No, you can't do that', and that's good.
|Pupil Council Member
to our community involvement
The issues of target setting and raising attainment can be problematic for our
school with so many of our pupils coming from, and moving on to, different education
systems. We believe, however, that achievement can be enhanced through our strong
commitment to community involvement. For many years Raigmore has been actively involved
with the wider community. Initially individual classes and small groups got involved
through class topics - sometimes to fulfil criteria for an award or competition - and
although that may seem a relatively shallow reason it was often our best way of boosting
not only our school funds but, more importantly, the school's profile and status in the
Quite quickly we realised that the
benefits of community involvement went far beyond any short term financial or image gain.
These initiatives raised our expectations of pupils who in turn raised their expectations
of themselves and of the school. Pupils became more motivated, better informed and more
capable of putting forward their own views and taking decisions. Parents showed an obvious
pride in their children's involvement in the community, as their comments below indicate:
It's obvious that the kids really enjoy
working outside the school and then being able to tell the others about what they have
done - I wish I'd had the chance to do some of these things when I was at school.
I love coming into school to see what's
new on the achievement board.
I think it's brilliant that the children
have a chance to do all these things outside school.
We started to look for opportunities to become more involved
and gradually moved towards a more proactive approach. Meanwhile, we continued to be
responsive to requests for entertainment and fund-raising still an important part of
our community links programme.
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