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Mallaig Primary School
, PH41 4QX, UK Mallaig
+44 (0)1687 462420


Mallaig Primary School is a two level building with infant classrooms and nursery in the upper level and junior classrooms and staff rooms in the lower level.

I am pleased to have this opportunity to explain how we, as a staff, operate our school.  Our aim is to provide a happy and caring environment, where your children will be able to work to the best of their ability.  At all times we strive for good standards and hope to assist pupils in developing an enthusiastic attitude to their work, in preparation for the important time ahead in Secondary School.

The school is housed in attractive premises, built in 1981, is of semi-open plan design, and situated near the centre of the village.  There are seven class bases, a multi-purpose hall with adjacent canteen, music room/computer lab and learning support base.  In addition, there are the usual offices, staff room and toilet facilities.  A fenced tarmacadam playground is sited adjacent to the Nursery building.  The school is non-denominational and has a current roll of 104 including nursery children.  It serves the catchment area of Mallaig village, although a number of pupils from Morar and Arisaig attend.

The English and Gaelic nurseries are an integral section of the school and are situated adjacent to the school Hall with easy access to toilets, gymnasium, outdoor play area and the Primary 1 classroom to which most children will transfer on completion of their year in Nursery Education.



To provide a curriculum in both English and Gaelic which illustrates breadth and balance in all areas, is in accordance with 3-14 recommendations and ensures continuity and progression for all levels of ability during their period in Nursery and Primary education.


To organise/ reorganise as appropriate, accommodation and resources in accordance with needs relating to class size/composition and school roll, in order that both pupils and staff can fully and effectively utilise facilities available.


To raise pupils' attainment, and establish high standards in attendance and behaviour.


To be specific with regard to particular areas to be developed within a session, and ensure that these proposed developments are carefully monitored (in line with How Good is Our School 2002) as they progress, that targets are met


To ensure classroom organisation and methodology allows for account to be taken of the talents/ needs of individual pupils, providing challenges and support as necessary.


To provide a happy and caring environment where the team spirit (staff, pupils and parents) encourages children to achieve their full potential, develop an enthusiastic attitude to their tasks and generally aim for a feeling of security in their relationships with all concerned.


To celebrate success, create an ethos of achievement, and equal opportunities for all pupils.


To ensure sound links are established between Nursery, Primary and Secondary sectors and with the wider community.


To ensure that all members of staff have opportunities for continuing


   professional development.


To promote links with parents as partners in their children’s education.


To ensure the health and well being of all members of the school




In line with government recommendations, the Curriculum is divided into 7 main areas:


MATHEMATICS- Matamataigs

EXPRESSIVE ARTS – Ealain Faireachail: including Art & Design, Music, Drama and Physical Eduation.

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES – Foghlam Arainneachd: including Social Subjects (History, Geography), Science and Technology.

RELIGIOUS AND MORAL EDUCATION- Foghlam Crabhaigh’s Moraltach



ICT- Obair-Coimpiutaireachd: this is embedded in the main areas of the curriculum and is also taught as a discrete subject to ensure progression and continuity in the acquisition of ICTskills


This 5 - 14 Programme has been designed to help schools to

J      plan what to teach at each stage

J      decide how much time to give to each subject

J      improve methods of assessment

J      assist in keeping records of pupil progress

J      communicate more easily with parents

J      ease the transition to S1 in Secondary School

J      As in previous years ASSESSMENT will be carried out by a variety of methods:

J      day to day observation by the teacher

J      marking of class work

J      testing of a particular area (including National Testing)

J      specific strategies and approaches as appropriate


Levels at which pupils are expected to work are detailed below.

Tables for EM pupils in Reading, Writing and Mathematics and for GM pupils in Mathematics only:

LEVEL A  Should be attainable in the course of P1 -3 by almost all pupils.

LEVEL B  Should be attainable by some pupils in P3 or even earlier, but certainly by

most in P4.

LEVEL C  Should be attainable in the course of P4 -6 by most pupils.

LEVEL D  Should be attainable by some pupils in P5 -6, but certainly by most in P7.

LEVEL E  Should be attainable by some pupils in P7 -S1, but certainly by most in S2.


Tables for GM pupils for GM reading/writing:

LEVEL A  Should be attainable by December in P3 by almost all pupils

LEVEL B  Should be attainable by December in P4 by almost all pupils.

LEVEL C  Should be attainable by December in P6 by almost all pupils.

LEVEL D  Should be attainable by December in P7 by almost all pupils.


For GM pupils in English Reading and Writing, Level D should be attainable by the end of P7 for almost all pupils.  National Tests will be carried out as and when deemed appropriate by the class teacher.


Annual reports are issued in late April or early May.  Parents meetings are held the week following distribution of reports and earlier in the session, usually November.


The school promotes activities run by the swimming pool, football training run by volunteers, chanter lessons run by Feis nan Garbh Chriochan and activities run in the Mallaig & Morar Community Centre by the Highland Council.  The appointment of our Sports Development Officer, Mrs Pam MacDonald has resulted in extra curricular sporting opportunities for the children including most recently, gymnastics, cross country running and yoga.


NURSERY AIMS- Amasan sgoil arach


At Mallaig Primary School Nursery our objective is to encourage the full development of the children in our care, in line with the recommendations of the 3-5 curriculum and the National Care Standards in such a way that they feel valued and accepted as individuals.


We aim to accomplish this by:


Presenting a welcoming atmosphere for all those associated with Nursery


Providing a secure caring environment within which children can learn successfully through both structured and informal play.


Building relationships built on mutual trust and share with families their child's continuing development


Encouraging the emotional, social, physical, creative and intellectual development of children.


Promoting the health and welfare of the children.


Encouraging confidence, independence and the establishment of self esteem


Ensuring that sound links are established between other departments of the reception schools and the wider community


Encouraging children to explore appreciate and respect their environment.


Ensuring preparation for the introduction of early stages of basic numeracy and literacy


Recognising and catering for the individual needs of all children


Providing opportunities for children to make choices and stimulating interest and imagination.


Extending children's abilities to communicate ideas and feelings in a variety of ways


Promoting awareness and respect for the lifestyles and cultures of others.


Providing opportunities for staff development as part of an ethos of continuous improvement


Providing a Gaelic environment which encourages the children to become involved in the Gaelic language through participation in the nursery curriculum. *


* Gaelic Medium only


GAELIC MEDIUM CURRICULUM-Clàr-oideachaidh tro bhith na Gàidhlig

The Curriculum of the Gaelic Medium Nursery, language apart, is the same as that of all other Nurseries in terms of methodology and content.  Language is the only main area of difference in that not only is a language other than English used, but also the Gaelic Medium Nursery is for most children the beginning of the process of learning a second language.

Gaelic is the sole language spoken in the Nursery classroom by the Gaelic Medium Assistant and Auxiliaries, with the proviso that English may be used to settle children in and to give instructions in matters affecting health and safety.

Children will be encouraged from the beginning to express themselves fully to the Nursery staff and to each other even if they are only able to do this in English.  They will acquire an understanding of Gaelic largely through being immersed in it; in other words, through hearing it spoken in the classroom while they are doing the activities associated with nursery education and through hearing stories - particularly those with a strong story line and lots of repetition.

The staff will use gestures, pictures, mime and any other appropriate actions to convey the meaning of the words being used so that the children begin to associate the Gaelic words in a direct way with objects, actions or feelings.  They should be encouraged to speak Gaelic when they are ready to, but this process should not be forced.  Various means will be used to encourage children to speak in Gaelic, including role-play, games and modelling of correct usage - for example, saying in Gaelic what the child has just said in English. 

When youngsters in the Gaelic nursery first begin speaking the language they will make many mistakes, including basic grammatical errors.  The Teacher will correct such mistakes, selectively and always in a positive, reassuring way: the main method of correction will be by modelling correct usage.

Children will understand a good deal of what is said to them by the end of their year in the Gaelic Medium Nursery and although they may use only isolated words and phrases in largely English sentences, will have laid down the foundations for using the language actively in the early years of primary school.

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