Five Forks School - 12/06/2017

Summary

Five Forks School has a roll of 40 children.

Since the last ERO review (2012), a new teacher has been appointed to the senior room and a new board chair has been appointed.

End of 2016 achievement information shows that a group of children are underachieving. The school’s achievement information shows a decline in achievement in the areas of mathematics and reading from 2014 to 2016.

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

The school is not responding effectively to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. The school does not have the necessary systems and processes in place to make reliable judgements about progress and achievement or to respond in a timely manner to the specific needs of learners.

At the time of this review, this school was not well placed to provide conditions necessary for children to achieve educational excellence or to address the disparity in achievement for the significant group of children in years 4 to 7.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Equity and excellence

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

This school does not respond effectively to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

School information shows a decline in reading and mathematics achievement over the past three years. The school is yet to meet the learning needs of a significant number of children in Years 4 to 7, in particular, for reading and mathematics. 

Teachers can show how children have achieved throughout a year. This data has not been collated or analysed to evaluate if children have made sufficient progress over time.

Assessment practices and procedures need significant improvement. Processes to ensure consistency of judgement are not documented. There are no guidelines to support teachers in making judgements about children’s achievement and progress. Currently, teacher overall teacher judgements in relation to National Standards do not have a satisfactory balance of standardised, curriculum-based assessments and teacher observations. There is an over-reliance on standardised assessments.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school has a limited number of processes and practices in place to support achievement of equity and excellence.

Recent professional development on writing in science has improved teacher knowledge about teaching writing effectively in the science curriculum area.

The school is starting to establish more educationally-based connections with families and whānau. This includes parent-teacher interviews and the provision of resources to support learning at home.

In the junior classroom there are some effective processes in place to identify how well children are learning and their next steps. Clear and specific feedback to children has helped to involve children in the learning process.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

The school does not have good processes in place to evaluate how well programmes and practices are supporting equity and excellence.

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

A large number of school processes that have a significant impact on equity and excellence are either not well developed or are not in place. Processes need to be documented so they become school-wide expectations for practice.

The school does not have robust internal evaluation to monitor its own performance and effectiveness of decision making in relation to improving achievement and progress of children.

Achievement targets do not accurately reflect the needs of students who are at risk of not achieving. Annual planning and the specific actions to accelerate progress for groups of learners are not specific enough.

The board does not receive regular or reliable information about the sufficiency of progress. Therefore, board decisions to support learners are not as effective as they should be and it is not possible for the principal and teachers to evaluate the impact of programmes and planned actions. 

There are no school-wide systems to ensure that practices and expectations for important aspects of teaching, in particular assessment, are implemented consistently. The principal and teachers have not developed school-wide learning expectations to show the progressions as children move through the school.

The appraisal system is not sufficiently robust. It does not support teacher or principal professional growth. There is inadequate accountability in the school for the quality of leadership, teaching and learning.

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.

Actions required

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to the appraisal system in this school. Appraisals are not connected to the Practising Teacher Criteria and are not of sufficient quality.

  1. The board of trustees has not complied with the Ministry of Education requirements for the appraisal of principals and teachers. 

[State Sector Act 1988 s77c, NZ Gazette No 180: Dec 1996]

To improve current practice the board of trustees should annually set the principal’s performance agreement, and appraise the principal against the agreement, practising teacher criteria and the relevant professional standards. 

Going forward

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

At the time of this review, this school was not well placed to provide conditions for children to achieve educational excellence, or to address in-school disparities. The main areas of concern are:

  • target setting and related planned actions for children at risk of not achieving

  • lack of knowledge about the sufficiency of progress for children at risk of not achieving

  • lack of school-wide systems and processes to support high expectations, consistent teaching practices including consistent judgements about children’s progress and achievement (particularly for assessment)

  • inadequate appraisal system

  • limited internal evaluation.

Leaders and teachers:

  • have not yet adequately built their knowledge of the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement

  • are not well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all children who need it.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Recommendations

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education and New Zealand School Trustees Association consider providing support for the school in order to bring about:

  • improvement to school-wide systems for supporting positive outcomes for children in relation to achievement and progress.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

12 June 2017

About the school 

Location

Waitaki

Ministry of Education profile number

3738

School type

Full Primary Years 1-8

School roll

40

Gender composition

Boys: 22

Girls: 18

Ethnic composition

Māori 4

Pākehā 34

Pasifika 1

Asian 1

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

April 2017

Date of this report

12 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

May 2012

January 2009