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Good enough for our kids...

I then it's good enough for yours. St Mark's teachers use their own children as a barometer

St Mark's Primary in Barrhead has eclipsed all other HM Inspectorate of Education reports to date with a record 11 "excellent" gradings.

The 264-pupil school in East Renfrewshire was judged "excellent" for its teaching, described by the school inspectors as "outstanding" at all stages.

Patricia Kennedy, the headteacher, said: "If St Mark's does have a secret for success, it's simply that everyone on the staff thinks about the sort of education we would want to provide for our own children, which would be the best possible. We then go on to deliver that for all of our pupils."

She believes all teachers have their own particular strengths and encourages staff to use their "McCrone time" to observe each others'

lessons and learn from each other. "Nearly all of them have a principal teacher remit and the principal teacher has more of a deputy head's remit,"

she said.

The school has made considerable use of Assessment Is For Learning, which she believes has made a huge difference.

St Mark's is developing A Curriculum for Excellence with enthusiasm, integrating skills and knowledge across the cur-riculum - science and functional writing are linked, imaginative writing with topic work and maths with technology.

Mary Montague, East Renfrewshire Council's education convener, said: "It is sometimes claimed by outsiders that we can't help doing exceptionally well and caricature us as a leafy suburb. But here is a primary school which serves a mixed catchment area with a wide variety of housing types and social backgrounds, and it has outperformed schools in more affluent parts of our area and elsewhere."

TOP GRADES

Pupils' learning experiences

Teaching

Pupils' attainment in English language

Pastoral care

Climate and relationships

Expectations and promoting achievement

Equality and fairness

Partnership with parents, school board and community

Leadership of the headteacher

Leadership across the school

Self-evaluation

All others were judged "very good".

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