David Street School - 01/02/2017

1 Context

David Street School is located in Morrinsville and caters for children in Years 1 to 6. There are currently 450 children at the school, 98 of whom identify as Māori. Many of these Māori children whakapapa to Ngāti Hauā, the local iwi. The principal and senior leaders are experienced and the recently elected board contains a mixture of new and experienced trustees, including a newly appointed chairperson.

The school, after consultation with students, staff and the community and in conjunction with the completion of a refurbished modern learning space, has reviewed the school vision, values, and learner assets. In addition, over the past three years, the school strengthened its strategic approach to leading learning.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are captured in the school motto - Kia Maia - have courage. Children are supported to strive for excellence and to develop and display the values of honesty, curiosity, respect, excellence and responsibility. Learners are to develop as confident investigators, creators, communicators, be self aware, and team players.

The school’s achievement information shows that between 2013 and 2015 the disparity between the achievement of Māori and other children in reading, writing and mathematics reduced. This is the outcome of a targeted approach that incorporated school wide professional learning, 2014 and 2015 in mathematics, 2015 and 2016 in writing, and 2016 in reading. School data for 2016 shows that in mathematics 87% of Māori children were achieving at or above the Nation Standard. In reading it was 74%, and writing 76% at or above the National Standard. The results for other children in the school were comparable.

Teachers moderate their judgements about children's progress and achievement in relation to National Standards using assessment information from a range of sources.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has taken the following actions to improve outcomes for children and accelerate learning and achievement:

  • reviewed the leadership structure to strengthen collaboration and inquiry into teaching practice
  • undertaken targeted professional development in mathematics and writing
  • established systems for gathering information that provide a deeper understanding of individual children in order to identify authentic and meaningful contexts for each child's learning
  • implemented a strategic and collaborative approach to collating and analysing data to identify individual student learning needs, and respond with deliberate acts of teaching to accelerate their learning
  • enhanced partnerships for learning with parents, whānau and Ngāti Hauā, the local iwi
  • developed innovative pedagogy and practice in the newly refurbished modern learning environment.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is effectively responding to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Achievement data indicates the school's approach is having an impact on the acceleration of Māori children achieving below expectations.

In 2016, the systems for effectively identifying Māori children at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes were further strengthened. Teachers collected relevant personal information about Māori children, their whānau, iwi, marae connections, interests and strengths and use this to engage with students on an individual level to enhance learning. The school's relationship with early childhood centres identifies the early identification of Māori children at risk of underachieving in order for relevant support systems to be put in place.

Trustees have set appropriate targets aimed at accelerating the progress of Māori students and increase the number of Māori achieving at national expectations. In 2016 this target is focussed on writing. Progress towards meeting these targets is reported regularly to the board.

The school's monitoring of achievement in June 2016 showed that 60% of Māori children below and well below the National Standards in writing have made accelerated progress since the beginning of the year. In reading 37% of Māori children made accelerated progress, and 36% in mathematics.

There is a collaborative approach to the collation and analysis of assessment data through regular team meetings. This is creating a collective responsibility for those Māori students requiring acceleration. All Māori students who are well below, below and just at the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics are target students for classroom teachers and there is regular and systematic monitoring and tracking of their progress. These children are also referred to the teacher in charge of intervention programmes for children at risk and with special needs, which gives further opportunities to revisit and consolidate learning.

The school also responds to Māori children whose achievement needs acceleration by having high expectations and a strong focus on the positive potential of Māori children. Senior leaders and teachers have also researched Māori children's preferred ways of teaching and learning and are in the process of implementing these to further enhance and accelerate their achievement.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is responding effectively to other children in 2016 whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Teachers use the same effective systems it uses with Māori students for identifying other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Teachers take responsibility for promoting and monitoring the accelerated progress of identified priority learners. They systematically use evidence to monitor student progress in team meetings using data walls and reflect on the effectiveness of their practice. Leaders are working alongside teachers to build teacher capability through modelling and ongoing professional discussions with an emphasis on improving educational outcomes for students at risk of underachieving. There is a more effective delivery of learning support programmes within classrooms to target individual children's specific needs.

The school is able to show that in June 2016, 66% non-Māori children below and well below the National Standards in writing have made accelerated progress. In reading 37% have made accelerated progress, and 40% in mathematics.

Leaders and teachers should continue to maintain good practices where they:

  • explore and develop systems and practices that provide greater coherence across syndicates in the use of the learning progressions to ensure smooth transitions for children
  • strengthen the ways children are empowered to take responsibility for their learning
  • explore ways of assessing children's progress and achievement in all of the school's valued outcomes.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The school's curriculum provides students with a wide range of opportunities to experience success and is responsive to the needs, strengths and interests of children as learners. Students participate and learn in a caring, collaborative, inclusive environment.

The enactment of the school's vision, values and strategic goals to improve student achievement is evident in:

  • continually linking learning to the vision, values and desired learner qualities
  • teaching directly targeted to children's identified learning needs
  • collaborative teaching and learning and transparent classroom practice to ensure collective responsibility for all learners
  • effective use of innovative learning spaces that are responsive to children's learning styles, strengths and needs in the senior classes
  • teachers characterising themselves as 'learners' to model and encourage higher levels of risk-taking and problem-solving by children
  • multiple ways of grouping children so that they can learn from one another
  • effective use of digital devices to enhance children's motivation and learning opportunities.

The new school model of collaborative leadership is effective in empowering teachers and creating a culture of learning and inquiry. By working collaboratively, leaders and teachers are working more effectively to achieve equity and excellence for all children.

The board has a strong, well-monitored strategic plan, focussed on supporting and embedding the new structures, systems and classroom practices that are improving the achievement of Māori and other children who are at risk of underachieving. This includes the school charter including more explicit reference to addressing any disparity and equity, and promoting Māori language, culture and identity.

There is an increasing focus on promoting te reo and tikanga Māori, which are increasingly visible in the school. Leaders and teachers have formed strong relationships with kaumātua and kuia from Ngāti Hauā. They advise the school on protocol, local iwi history and broker connections with the wider Māori community. This is having a positive impact on Māori students' sense of belonging and pride in their heritage.

Leaders and teachers need to continue to increase the quality of Māori language teaching and grow Māori knowledge and understandings within the school curriculum. This development is likely to maintain and enhance Māori children's identity and deepen all children's cross-cultural understanding and involvement.

The school is developing more effective partnerships with parents and whānau to accelerate children's learning. Parents receive written reports twice a year explaining their child's achievement in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. These are supported by three way conferences where goals and next steps in learning are identified and discussed. The teacher in charge of programmes for children requiring extra support has developed a number of highly effective specific and targeted strategies for engaging parent and whānau support at home.

There are a number of highly effective strategies in place for evaluating the effectiveness of programmes designed to bring about positive changes for learners. This is because the evaluations are clearly focussed on whether programmes lead to accelerated progress. These include:

  • inquiries undertaken by teachers aligned to the current professional development focus in writing
  • regular tracking and monitoring of the progress of target students using data walls
  • regular reports on children's progress to the board of trustees which enables them to have oversight of overall progress towards board achievement targets.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

The school is working hard to achieve equitable outcomes for all children. An ongoing commitment to addressing the areas identified for review and development above should sustain the reduction in disparity of achievement between Māori and other children and further promote better achievement for all

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

6 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • asset management.

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

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)

  • physical safety of students

  • teacher registration

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

7 Recommendation

The school continue to promote the culture of learning, inquiry and innovative practice. In addition, leaders and teachers should further develop the integration of Māori language and identity in the school curriculum to ensure equitable improvement for all children's progress and achievement continues and is sustained.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

1 February 2017

About the school 

Location

Morrinsville

Ministry of Education profile number

1709

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

450

Gender composition

Boys 51%

Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Other

Pacific

68%

22%

4%

5%

1%

Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

1 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Accountability Review

June 2011

May 2007

May 2004