Devonport Primary School - 31/05/2018

School Context

Devonport Primary School (Auckland) caters for students in Years 1 to 6. There are currently 242 children enrolled at the school. Māori children make up nine percent of the roll.

The school’s stated vision is to develop independent and confident learners who think creatively, reason critically, communicate effectively and learn enthusiastically within a safe and nurturing environment. This vision is underpinned by school values that support learners to be happy, honest, hardworking, helpful and healthy.

Current strategic goals focus on engaging staff and students in a modern learning environment and strengthening community connections through the implementation of the school’s ‘Building Learning Power’ initiative.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets

  • Māori student achievement

  • analysis of progress in relation to targets set for children who are at risk of not achieving

  • students with additional learning needs

  • curriculum and extra curricula areas that align with the school’s charter goals

  • engagement and wellbeing for success.

Staff have participated in professional learning and development (PLD) in relation to Assessment for Learning (AFL) with a focus on enhancing student voice. This is underpinned by the ‘Building Learning Power’ model. The school is extensively involved in using the Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) to support the reliable assessment of children’s progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school is part of the Devonport-Takapuna Community of Learning, which is currently engaged in the development of effective mathematics teaching around collaborative problem solving. In addition, the school has participated in PLD related to te reo me o ngā tikanga Māori, writing and mathematics, digital learning, play-based learning, positive behaviour for learning and teaching as inquiry.

Since the 2013 ERO report, the Board has successfully managed a number of changes in school leadership and within the teaching team.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is very effective in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

School data show that achievement has remained consistently high since the 2013 ERO review. Most students achieve at the appropriate The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels in reading, writing and mathematics. This is evidenced through rigorous and robust data collation and analysis by senior leaders and teachers.

By Year 6, Māori students achieve at high levels in reading, writing and mathematics. School data show some disparity between the achievement of boys and girls in writing. Leaders and teachers have recognised this and have set a purposeful target to enhance boys’ writing.

Students achieve very well in relation to other valued outcomes. Most students:

  • have a high level of understanding of their learning and can identify their goals
  • are inclusive, caring and accepting of others
  • demonstrate stewardship of their school and local community
  • have a strong sense of place and belonging, and of their cultural identity
  • can articulate strategies to ensure that their wellbeing needs continue to be met.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is very effective in accelerating learning for those students whose learning progress needs acceleration.

Student achievement data are very well collated and analysed to identify students who would benefit from accelerated progress. Leaders and teachers know and regularly share information about individual students’ progress and achievement. Teachers carefully track and monitor their progress and achievement over time.

A strong emphasis is placed on professional learning to support teaching practices that will help students whose learning needs accelerating. Appropriate interventions for students with additional learning needs are overseen by the learning support team. Data show that good progress is made for most students.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

High quality stewardship supports the achievement of equity and excellence. The board adopts a strategic approach to succession planning with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Trustees carefully resource initiatives that are designed to promote valued student outcomes for all learners. The board engages in evidence-based decision making and uses internal evaluation well to support ongoing school improvements.

Effective school leadership collaboratively develops and pursues the school’s vision, goals and targets for equity and excellence. Leaders foster learning for all within a resilient and collaborative school culture. There is a strong commitment to improvement through reflection and review.

Students experience a well-designed curriculum that provides them with the breadth and depth of a rich and culturally responsive programme. Teachers inquire into the effectiveness of their own practice. They use this inquiry approach to promote innovations in teaching and learning that encourage high levels of student engagement in learning.

The curriculum places a significant emphasis on weaving Māori concepts into programmes that support a bicultural and environmental focus. Students benefit from an external facilitator who supports the learning of te reo and tikanga Māori across the school. A focus on raising and nurturing students’ confidence and skills in te reo and tikanga Māori is woven throughout this specific programme. This approach aligns very well to the school’s robust methodology regarding student agency, collaboration and leadership.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

To further support the achievement of equity and excellence and acceleration of learning, leaders and teachers should sustain and build on existing good practices, including:

  • developing the structure, roles and responsibilities of middle leadership to help further progress goals and valued outcomes for students
  • enhancing current practices to increase opportunities for involving whānau Māori in the learning and culture of the school.

3 Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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

  • finance

  • 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 and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. At the time of this review there was one international student attending the school.

The school provides international students with a high standard of education. Students experience an inclusive school culture and opportunities to participate in a responsive school curriculum.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • leadership that supports and implements well considered, sustainable practices

  • leadership and teaching practices that empower learners to take ownership of their learning

  • a curriculum that nurtures a strong sense of wellbeing and belonging

  • governance practices that focus on improving outcomes for all learners.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • developing a plan that further supports Māori success and helps to deepen the school’s engagement with the Māori community

  • continue growing middle leadership to support ongoing initiatives that have a positive impact on student outcomes.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in four-to-five years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

31 May 2018

About the school

Location

Devonport, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1260

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

242

Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
British/Irish
Chinese
other European
other ethnicities

9%
82%
2%
2%
3%
2%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

April 2018

Date of this report

31 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

December 2013
December 2010
November 2007