Lomond School Nursery Celebrates ‘Sector Leading’ Status

Following an unannounced inspection by the Care Inspectorate in February, Lomond School is delighted to have been awarded the highest grade of 6, which equates to excellent and sector leading, in all inspection categories across our Early Years offering.


This grading is rarely awarded and is testament to the hard work and dedication of our Early Years staff team who have been developing their practice through a deep knowledge and understanding of child development, implementing inspired practice from around the world to deliver the best outcomes and experiences for our youngest pupils.

Lomond School’s recent authorisation as an IB World School and an associated new concept-based curriculum in the Junior School has led to exciting changes for all areas of the school from a teaching and learning perspective. Central to this has been a shift in mindset across both the school and staff. It is recognised that children and young people are at their best when they are empowered to learn, when they have choice and when they feel that education is something they are part of.  At Lomond School we believe this can be achieved by encouraging independence, critical thinking and a love of learning.

In the senior school, the introduction of inquiry-based learning has allowed the school to integrate different subject areas through ‘big idea’ projects with a global and local context, ensuring that this philosophy of empowerment, curiosity and critical thinking continues. Preparing children for the future must be at the heart of education and this demands agile, versatile thinkers and learners who can succeed in a world where asking the right questions is vital.

Although teaching and learning methods change as children grow, the philosophies which underpin Lomond School’s approach begin at age 3, as soon as their youngest pupils arrive through the door.  At this age, children are curious by nature and the school’s Early Years team have worked incredibly hard over recent years to ensure that this natural spirit of learning is harnessed and encouraged.  Central to this is providing a beautiful, calm and inspiring environment in which to learn and, of course, providing the nurture and care which will allow the school’s youngest pupils to develop into confident and well-rounded individuals.

Ailsa Lawn, Head of Junior School commented: “This inspection marks the first time that an external agency has visited the school since our 2019 consultation on education and, therefore, for the Care Inspectorate to describe the practice in our Early Years as “outstanding” is incredibly meaningful, especially as they identify many of the key philosophies we are working to embed across our school as the strengths of the department.

Specifically, the Care Inspectorate were impressed with the ability of our practitioners to develop natural curiosity, a sense of wonder and progression in children’s play and learning through promoting independence and offering challenge. They identified that our practitioners used rich, descriptive language and promoted and supported the development of numeracy and literacy organically through high quality play and interactions which were designed to meet the needs of each child. We know that our staff are highly skilled and dedicated but it is particularly special to have this acknowledged through the inspection process. I could not be prouder of what they have achieved as team and of what they offer our young people every day”.

The Care Inspectorate reported: “The staff team were exceptional. We observed the impact of their very high quality interactions on children’s self esteem, confidence and independence. Their commitment and motivation was reflected in their continued professional development. Honing their skills and expertise through training, research based practice and study”

As a school, Lomond strives to be forward thinking and progressive, using global research to deliver the best outcomes for all pupils.  Again, the Care Inspectorate recognised the commitment and passion for continuous improvement in delivering the highest quality of learning and care.

A Nursery parent commented: “The staff are so calm, caring and capable and we’ve always felt like they take an openminded look at our child’s individual needs and their learning stage. We regularly receive updates from the nursery staff and my child’s key person about activities which they have been involved in which always blend learning outcomes with fun and tactile approaches. Their approach of allowing children to discover what they would like to learn about and meeting the child where they are to enhance every interaction is so much appreciated.”

Lomond School Principal, Johanna Urquhart had this to say: “To receive a report like this at any time would be wonderful, but given the challenges of the last few years and the impact that the pandemic has had on all of our lives, it feels even more remarkable that in a time of extreme pressure our Early Years team have been acknowledged for not only continuing to deliver the highest quality of care, but also driving forward internationally acclaimed approaches to learning”.

You can read the full report here.