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Towering success for nursery

Bonnybroom Nursery School and Family Learning Centre sits in the shadow of Glasgow's famous Red Road flats.

Now, HMIE has heaped praise on the centre, almost as high as its towerblock neighbours, deeming it excellent in three categories and very good in two others.

With 160 children attending the centre, aged from nought to five, some from asylum-seeking families, it is a busy environment.

Inspectors picked out as examples of good practice Bonnybroom's assessment for learning, implementation of A Curriculum for Excellence, and ability to meet the learning needs of all its children.

"Learning experiences for children aged three to five are excellent ... They are independent, responsible and successful learners who are able to cooperate with one another and share and take turns," said the report, published this week.

Headteacher Christine Robbie said staff tried to incorporate literacy and numeracy into the everyday tasks of all children. Storytelling is a big part of the nursery's activities, from the baby room upwards. Children have a story read to them daily - in groups or individually - and additional funding has been used to provide a story-bag for every child, an initiative now run by the parents.

Depute head Clair McLaughlin has been praised for her dissemination of what A Curriculum for Excellence means in practice - to parents and Bonnybroom staff initially, and now to pre-five staff in other centres in Glasgow.

A key strength is parent involvement: the centre runs a class for people with English as a second language; from next week, it will hold a class on behaviour management; it plans to start a first aid class in the near future; and its parents' action group raises funds through events such as a Christmas fair.

Staff from Glasgow's culture and leisure literacy service have worked with parents to create a poetry corner in the parents' room. Two of the mothers were recently invited to read out personal poems at a major event, something Mrs Robbie described as "big stuff for them".

- Meanwhile, in a follow-up report on Loirston School and nursery class in the Cove Bay area of Aberdeen, inspectors found little improvement since their inspection last year. They said staff morale was low, there was no clear guidance and leadership, and the senior management team made insufficient use of self-evaluation to improve the school's work. HMIE wants Aberdeen City Council "as a matter of urgency" to support Loirston to manage effective change and improvement.

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