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Canna Primary School
Isle of Canna, PH44 4RS, UK Mallaig
+44 (0)1687 462471

Canna Primary School



* to create an ethos of achievement by providing stimulating experiences with    encouragement and praise, where children will be able to explore their full potential.

 * to teach the pupils to know and understand the diversity of society, to create equal opportunities by making all pupils feel they are an integral and valued part of the school and that they have an important contribution to make.

 * to provide a balanced curriculum as prescribed by the Scottish Office 5-14 National   Guidelines, using a variety of appropriate teaching and learning approaches and to encourage pupils to take responsibility for their learning.

 * to maintain the high standards of pupil attainment, attendance and behaviour.

 * to value continuing staff development as a positive contribution to the school.

 * to maintain and develop links with Mallaig High School and its feeder primary schools  in order to make transfer to high school a positive experience.

 * to foster good relationships with parents, the School Board and community members so that the school can be a place that we can all be proud of.

Canna Primary School accommodates pupils from the Isles of Canna and Sanday. The school is located within croft land on Sanday, on the shores of Canna Bay.

Sanday is connected to the larger island of Canna by a wooden bridge. The original footbridge was built in 1905 to allow children on Canna to get to school whatever the state of the tide and was upgraded by Highland Council in 1998 to allow the first nursery child safer access. The new bridge was completed in March 2006 and allows vehicular access. 

The school, built in 1874, is within a traditional granite house, which until October 2001 was both the teacher’s home and the school.

The building now comprises a main classroom and a Nursery room on the ground floor, which can also be used as an Art/Science room.

Upstairs an office and a resources room can be located, and also the school toilet.

A recent addition of a concrete slabbed area in front of the building allows the pupils to skip and play ball games.

The school building is surrounded by a grassed garden which includes a sandpit, a football net, and concrete base for rounders. A swingframe and slide has recently been installed.

Daffodils have been planted around the garden and the small flowerbeds are planted up and maintained. To the rear is a small concrete area and a small fenced area for the pupils to grow plants.


Canna Primary school endorses the 5-14 National Guidelines issued by the Scottish Office which aim to provide opportunity for the all round development of each pupil. These documents provide a sound basis for a broad and balanced curriculum, ensuring a progression of knowledge, understanding and skills for pupils in the five main curricular areas, namely: English Language, Mathematics, Environmental Studies, Health Education, ICT, Expressive Arts, Modern Languages and Religious and Moral Education.

Balance of the Curriculum

As advocated by the Scottish Office Revised Guidelines as set out in “The Structure and Balance of the Curriculum” 2000, each subject merits a percentage of the total time spent at school as follows:

Language (including a modern language) - 20%

Mathematic - 15%

Environmental Studies (Society, Science and Technology) - 15%

Expressive Arts - 15%

Religious and Moral Education (with Personal and Social Development and Health Education) - 15%

In addition to the core curriculum there is a  20% flexibility element of time allocation to be used at the teachers discretion.

At Canna Primary School this time may be used for:

  •   An annual Small Isles Expressive Arts week in Fort William for P4-P7.

  •   Educational visits to the mainland and to the other Small Isles, to complement Environmental Studies, Religious and Moral Education and Personal and Social Development.

Otherwise the flexibility element is used for:

  • facilitating practical/investigative activities in Mathematics and Environmental Studies

  • structured play activities in the Early Stages

  • additional teaching and learning in an area where a pupil requires extra support

  • local environmental projects

Class organisation and learning methods

In delivering the curriculum, restrictions are encountered because of pupil numbers and limited access to certain resources and facilities.

Pupils are exposed to as wide a variety of learning situations as possible, however children work on their own for a large proportion of the time.  Programmes of work are designed to challenge the child at an appropriate level. Subject areas maybe taught in isolation or integrated with other subjects when appropriate.

Activity based learning is considered meaningful for all ages of primary school pupils, and resources will be built up to accommodate this approach at every level. Opportunities to apply skills and processes in a meaningful context and to practical situations relating to everyday life give children a purpose for learning and will be accommodated where possible. It is intended that children will be motivated and thus adopt a responsible attitude to their learning


Dress code is dark trousers and top with a white shirt. Children are asked to bring separate indoor shoes for use in the classroom. When weather permits PE will be held outdoors and for these shorts, T-shirt and gym shoes are required. Pupils are asked to bring an unbreakable water bottle or hydration pack.


Your child is at a very important stage in his/her development.  It is accepted that children learn more rapidly in the first seven years of life than at any other time.

It is therefore important that children are presented with every opportunity to fulfil their potential.

In the Nursery class we endeavour to provide your child with a variety of activities and experiences which are designed to enhance the development process.

We hope that your child finds out that learning can be a worthwhile, enjoyable and lifelong process.

The Nursery aims to provide a caring, happy, secure and stimulating environment so that your child will be guided at an early stage in the process of developing into thinking caring and responsible member of the society.

Nursery education is about the development of the whole child as an individual .We aim to promote the child’s ability to:


develop strategies for learning


seek out and respond to learning opportunities


choose and plan their own activity and take control of their own learning


collaborate and reflect with others


think and share ideas

acquire knowledge, skills and understanding for use in new situations

communicate with peers and adults


express themselves through the medium of art, craft, music, drama and movement


develop self-esteem and be more tolerant of others


have fun and enjoy themselves

The Nursery class promotes equal opportunities for all regardless of race, gender, disabilities or religious beliefs.

primary schools in Mallaig, secondary schools in Mallaig, schools in Mallaig

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