Dannevirke South School - 14/03/2016

Findings

Relationships are positive, supportive and affirming. Classes are on task, with students engaged in learning. Students enjoy success in academic, sporting, artistic, cultural or leadership activities. The majority of students achieve at or above in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.  Leaders continue to review and develop curriculum and assessment processes.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Dannevirke South School caters for students in Years 1 to 8. There are currently 324 students attending the school and 117 identify as Māori. The roll has remained steady over the past three years.

The school’s vision and values underpin strategic direction, school systems and classroom programmes. Staff are involved in ongoing professional development in literacy and mathematics. The school is a member of the newly created Dannevirke Community of Learning that will be aiming to enable the sharing of ideas and resources between schools and provide greater opportunities for students and teachers.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

Student achievement information is well used to promote learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

School leaders report that the majority of students achieved at or above in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics in 2014 and 2015. This information also shows that Māori students, overall, are not yet achieving at similar levels to their peers in the school. Parents, families and whānau receive appropriate plain language reports on each student’s progress and achievement.

The school uses a wide range of appropriate assessment tools to identify students’ progress and levels of achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. This information is well used to inform schoolwide decision making, school targets and identify students in need of additional help or extension. Teachers use data to guide planning, reflect on practice and group for instruction. Appropriate systems and interventions support students with special learning needs. Formative assessment practices are well used to enable students to take increasing responsibility for their own learning.

Teachers are collaboratively reviewing processes related to making overall teacher judgements about students' achievement in relation to the National Standards. Leaders know the importance of regularly reviewing and refining moderation processes to further improve consistency and reliability of assessment judgements.

School leaders recognise the importance of continuing to focus on developing the use of student achievement information to monitor and track the schoolwide progress of target students and groups. Deeper analysis and use of classroom data should enhance teacher planning to accelerate the learning of target students. This should also strengthen teachers’ ability to evaluate the impact of teaching strategies and programmes.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

Students’ learning is well supported by the broad curriculum. There are many opportunities for them to participate and celebrate success in academic, sporting, artistic, cultural or leadership activities.

Leaders are coordinating review and development of the overarching curriculum framework. There is ongoing consultation with staff, students, parents and community. They are refining and clearly articulating expectations for systems and processes to implement and monitor:

  • school values, key competencies and principles of The New Zealand Curriculum
  • local contexts, knowledge and experiences
  • the inclusion of te ao Māori and bicultural practices in schemes and unit plans
  • culturally responsive teaching practices.

Teachers maintain positive, supportive and affirming relationships with their students. A range of appropriate strategies is used to engage students with learning. ERO observed settled classes with students on task and actively involved in their work.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The school values tikanga Māori. A range of strategies is in place to build on Māori students’ sense of belonging. These include kapa haka, marae visits, leadership roles and schoolwide timetabled te reo Māori classes. There is a strong Māori presence and voice on the board. Māori parents are encouraged to contribute to school programmes and future direction. Growing a learning partnership with families and whānau is a school priority.

School leaders are considering Ministry of Education resources Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 20132017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners. These resources are helping with defining school expectations for culturally responsive teaching practices to support Māori students. It is important for key strategies to be given prominence in the school’s planned Māori achievement plan.

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Key aspects in this sustainability include:

  • effective, strategic governance from a well-informed board that is improvement focused
  • a knowledgeable, reflective leadership team that is well supported by the board in growing schoolwide leadership capability
  • collaborative, collegial staff
  • strong links with parents, whānau and the wider community
  • an inclusive school culture and strong focus on wellbeing
  • established reflective practices with a developing evaluative component focused on improving student outcomes.

The newly-refined appraisal system is likely to enhance teacher capability and practice. School leaders recognise the value and importance of effective, targeted professional development in improving student achievement. The recent establishment of the Dannevirke Community of Learning is seen as a key step to support ongoing improvement in teaching and learning.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school completed the ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

Conclusion

Relationships are positive, supportive and affirming. Classes are on task, with students engaged in learning. Students enjoy success in academic, sporting, artistic, cultural or leadership activities. The majority of students achieve at or above in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Leaders continue to review and develop curriculum and assessment processes.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years. 

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

14 March 2016

School Statistics

Location

Dannevirke

Ministry of Education profile number

2553

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

324

Gender composition

Male 56% Female 44%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Other ethnic groups

56%

36%

8%

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

14 March 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2013

December 2009

March 2006