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Stress on learning pays off

The educational make-over included a curriculum overhaul with fresh strategies on language and maths, supported by more staff development.

Setting was introduced in maths for primary 5 and beyond. Currently there is a push on writing while all pupils from P4 to P7 have a chance to work independently on reading, spelling and maths via the Successmaker software package in the new computer suite. Every class has three to four opportunities each week with P7 pupils allocated the longest sessions.

"We have noticed considerable gains in reading age because of this," Iain Campbell, the new head, says. "There is strong evidence we are pushing up standards in language and maths."

In the early years, the use of synthetic phonics is speeding pupils' progress in language. Paired reading, involving parents, has also been introduced.

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