Douglas Park School - 23/07/2018

School Context

Douglas Park School in Masterton has 350 students from Years 1 to 6. Approximately 30% of students identify as Māori and a small number as of Pacific heritage.

The school’s valued outcomes for students are to develop them as lifelong learners through the Douglas Park School Kid Learner Profile. This promotes collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and agency through flexible learning environments. PRIDE values - Peaceful, Respect, Independence, Dare to Dream and Excellence - continue to underpin schoolwide practices.

The school’s achievement focus is on accelerating the progress in literacy of groups of identified learners, to reduce disparity of outcomes.

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

  • reading, writing and numeracy

  • engagement and attendance.

There have been recent changes to leadership. Trustees and staff are building links to the neighbouring Te Rangimarie Marae.

Ongoing professional learning and development (PLD) has been undertaken to support the review of curriculum and leadership development. Current PLD is supporting the development of collaborative teacher inquiry and culturally responsive practice. Recent property developments and reorganisation have provided collaborative teaching spaces across the school.

The school is a member of the Masterton (Whakaoriori) Kāhui Ako.

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?

A majority of students achieve expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Similar patterns of achievement are evident over time. The school recognises there is persistent disparity for Māori children in the three learning areas, and ongoing disparity for boys in literacy. Outcomes for Pacific learners are variable.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported to access the curriculum through a range of deliberate strategies and inclusive support.

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

There is a clear focus on raising Māori boys’ achievement in literacy. Many of these students and others make accelerated progress.

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?

A shared vision for learning successfully guides school development, operation and improvement. Change is well managed through purposeful and well-considered decision-making. Strategic actions and goals are coherent and clearly aligned to school priorities. There is an improvement-focused, thoughtful approach to development.

Trustees and leaders strategically develop leadership and teacher capability and promote a collaborative learning culture for teachers and students. Their strengths are appropriately recognised, valued and developed. Opportunities to lead are provided and well supported.

Good processes are in place for teachers to share, reflect on and build effective practice. Enhanced systems for using student achievement information assist teachers and leaders to track achievement, monitor progress and inform teaching.

Well-considered, ongoing development of the school’s curriculum supports children’s positive engagement in learning and school life. A number of useful initiatives support teachers to be responsive to students’ learning needs. Environments are thoughtfully organised to support learning. Students have opportunities to develop leadership skills and participate in sporting and Enviro School activities. They work purposefully, confidently and collaboratively.

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

Useful systems have been developed to help leaders and teachers focus on raising the achievement of targeted learners. A next step is to further accelerate the achievement of all students at risk in their learning through specific actions and clearer analysis and reporting of rates of progress.

The school is improving its responsiveness to Māori students and their families. There is enhanced engagement with whānau Māori. Te ao Māori ways of knowing, doing and being are increasingly evident in the school. The board and leaders recognise the need to clearly articulate the school’s vision for success as Māori, in response to whānau aspirations to sustain ongoing improvement.

Leaders and teachers are building their understanding and use of inquiry and evaluation. Continuing to strengthen these processes should support knowledge building of effectiveness and inform decision-making.

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.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should ensure regular appraisal is consistent in application and completion for all teaching personnel.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a shared vision for learning that successfully guides school development, operation and improvement

  • trustees’ and leaders’ strategic development of leadership and teacher capability that is building a collaborative learning culture for teachers and students

  • well-considered, ongoing development of the school’s curriculum that supports children’s positive engagement in learning and school life.

Next steps

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

  • further accelerating the achievement of all students at risk in their learning

  • clearly articulating the school’s vision for success as Māori to sustain ongoing improvement

  • continuing to strengthen inquiry and internal evaluation practice to support knowledge building of effectiveness and inform decision-making.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

23 July 2018

About the school

Location

Masterton

Ministry of Education profile number

1661

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

369

Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 30%
Pākehā 55%
Pacific 6%
Other European 4%
Other ethnic groups 5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

23 July 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, July 2015
Education Review, July 2012
Education Review, June 2009