Fernside School - 20/09/2017

Summary

Fernside School is a full primary school near Rangiora in North Canterbury. It has a roll of 280 children, 30 of whom identify as Māori and 10 as Pacific.

Since ERO’s 2013 external evaluation, the school has sustained its high performance. School-wide achievement information shows that the majority of children achieve the National Standards. Most Māori children achieve at similar levels to their peers.

Leaders and teachers actively contribute to the Puketeraki Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning (CoL). The principal is lead principal and two within-school teachers support staff to achieve the priorities of the CoL.

The school has made good progress in addressing the recommendation outlined in the 2013 ERO report. Children have more meaningful opportunities to become familiar with New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

The school continues to be well supported by its community.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school is very effectively achieving equitable outcomes for all children.

Leaders and teachers have developed highly efficient systems to monitor, track and support children’s progress and achievement. They have high expectations for children’s learning and ongoing progress. Teachers effectively use interventions and strategies that support children’s learning, achievement and wellbeing.

The curriculum provides a wide range of learning experiences in and beyond the school. Moderation processes and practices strongly support the consistency of teachers’ overall judgements about children’s learning within and across schools in the CoL.

At the time of this review, Māori children were achieving at similar levels to their peers.

Learners are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • strengthen internal evaluation by making inquiries more evaluative in nature

  • extend internal evaluation to include how effectively the board is fulfilling its stewardship role.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school is highly effective in responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Most children, including Māori children, have maintained high levels of achievement in the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori children make the same rates of progress in reading, writing and mathematics as other groups of children. Achievement information shows that some children make accelerated progress while others achieve steady progress over time.

Many quality practices in assessment, moderation and teacher inquiries heighten the focus on all children’s learning and achievement. Highly effective moderation practices within and beyond the school assure leaders and teachers of the consistency of teacher judgements.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

School processes are highly effective in enabling the achievement of equity and excellence.

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

School leaders set high expectations for equitable and excellent outcomes for all children. This is consistently demonstrated through:

  • building relational trust at every level of the school community

  • relentlessly focusing on accelerating students at risk of underachieving

  • building teacher capacity in internal evaluation through a culture of critical reflection

  • strengthening learning pathways by using educational networks and collaborative practice within the school and across the wider community.

Children experience a broad curriculum that is responsive to their individual strengths, interests and needs. Teachers identify, track, monitor and plan for priority and targeted learners. Teachers ensure learners are well supported to achieve the valued outcomes of the school. Teachers explicitly focus on building student agency so children understand, engage and know about their learning. Children are actively developing their capabilities to reflect and monitor their individual learning pathway.

Leaders and teachers appropriately focus on ensuring all children continue to make ongoing progress. Teachers actively support children to make accelerated progress towards the National Standards. They effectively plan and provide support to children with additional learning needs. Highly experienced learning assistants ably provide targeted support for children with additional needs.

Leaders and teachers are building educationally powerful connections and relationships with families. Through these relationships Māori learners are well supported to achieve and succeed as Māori. Teachers are continuing to develop their culturally responsive practice, particularly in the use of te reo Māori.

Trustees actively represent and serve their community well. They maintain a strong focus on students’ learning, wellbeing and achievement. Trustees regularly seek the views of all members of the school community and effectively use these to develop well-considered goals and plans to improve outcomes for children.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

The school has good quality processes for addressing equity and excellence that have been sustained over time.

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

School leaders and teachers regularly review school practices and procedures. Reporting the impact of changes to teaching practice as a result of internal evaluation is likely to further strengthen the quality of teaching.

Trustees use their various skills and management experience to carry out their roles and responsibilities. They identify evaluating the effectiveness of the management of these roles and responsibilities in meeting the school’s priorities as a next step.

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

  • 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.

Going forward

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

Fernside School is very well placed to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it.

Learners are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • strengthen internal evaluation by making inquiries more evaluative in nature

  • extend internal evaluation to include how effectively the board is fulfilling its stewardship role.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

20 September 2017

About the school

Location

Rangiora

Ministry of Education profile number

3340

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to Year 8).

School roll

280

Gender composition

Girls 53%

Boys 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 11%

Pākehā 78%

Pacific 4%

Asian 1%

Other ethnicities 6%

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

20 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2013

Education Review October 2009

Supplementary Review October 2006