Frankley School - 02/03/2015

Findings

Most students achieve well. The curriculum places priority on supporting students to become lifelong learners. Digital technologies are increasingly integrated into teaching and learning. To improve and sustain the school’s performance, trustees and leaders have developed an action plan to address aspects of operation related to planning, quality assurance and management.

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

1. Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Frankley School is situated in a semi-rural setting on the outskirts of New Plymouth. It caters for the education of 235 students in Years 1 to 6 and 17% identify as Māori.

Since the March 2012 ERO report, the school has undergone some staffing changes.

Significant curriculum development has taken place over the past two years, with a focus on key attitudes, competencies and skills across learning areas. Digital technologies play an increasing role in teaching, learning and communication.

Some progress has been made towards addressing areas identified for development in ERO’s previous report. The board and senior leaders recognise that their priority for continued, sustainable improvement school wide is to fully implement and embed frameworks for change.

2. Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The use of achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement continues to develop.

Students are increasingly engaged as active, self-directed learners who know how well they are doing and what they need to do to improve. Their learning goals are based on what they know from test results, self assessment, conferencing with their teachers, and reflection on their own skills and attitudes. Students lead discussions with their parents and whānau about their successes and challenges.

The school gathers an appropriate range of reliable achievement information, which is collated and analysed for trends and patterns. Parents and trustees are well informed about students’ progress and achievement in relation to National Standards.

Teachers systematically record students’ assessment results as evidence of learning. They use this information for grouping and to contribute to their knowledge about learners’ progress. Deep analysis and effective use of achievement information for personalised teaching is developing throughout the school.

School leaders and teachers use the information well to identify students who need targeted support to reach expected levels of achievement. The progress of many of these priority learners is accelerated, through use of strategies and interventions that reflect their needs. An important next step is to strengthen the coordination and evaluation of support for students with specific learning needs.

The school has developed criteria for identifying students with special abilities, gifts and talents, and plans to trial a new approach to challenge and extend the learning of this group.

Senior leaders recognise that they need to refine target-setting. Specific targets and deliberate teaching strategies are recommended for all students who are not reaching expected levels of achievement. Sharper targets should also enable teachers, leaders and trustees to monitor more closely the quality of planning and tracking. Improving these processes is likely to provide them with a robust evidence base for evaluating the impact and effectiveness of strategies used to improve outcomes for all learners.

In 2013, most students achieved at or above expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students were less successful than their peers, although there is some improvement for this group in 2014. The school needs to give urgent consideration to increasing their rates of progress.

Moderation is an area of ongoing development, to ensure the consistency and reliability of teachers’ overall judgements about students’ progress.

3. Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school is implementing a revised curriculum that is well aligned to a clearly articulated vision and values.

The key focus is on developing students as lifelong learners, supported by attitudes, competencies and skills that promote independent, active learning across the curriculum. A staff focus group is leading the implementation of this ‘learn to learn’ approach to teaching. Teachers are at different stages of understanding and confidence with the new curriculum.

The use of digital learning technologies to enhance teaching and learning is a work in progress. Some highly effective practice in this area is evident.

Students are enthusiastic learners. They talk confidently about the school’s learning model and what this means for them.

Relationships and interactions between teachers and students and among students are positive, warm and respectful.

ERO observed highly effective teaching that reflects curriculum priorities. Students in these classes are engaged in meaningful, purposeful, self-directed learning. They ask questions, set goals and reflect on their progress. Teachers need to continue to consolidate and embed improved teaching practices school wide.

Teachers demonstrate a collegial approach to building the quality of teaching. Their collaborative partnerships are highly valued as support for ongoing professional growth and development. They inquire into the impact of strategies they use to engage learners and accelerate their progress. The next step for teachers is to ensure that these inquiries are based on evidence of students’ achievement. This is likely to increase the consistency, quality and usefulness of teacher inquiries.

Greater priority needs to be given to increasing the school’s response to the Treaty of Waitangi curriculum principle and raising the profile of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori school wide. The principle is explicitly outlined in the curriculum framework and board expectations, but is not yet well integrated into class and school programmes.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

Along with other students, Māori have many opportunities to succeed. The learning environment, however, does not sufficiently reflect or celebrate their language, culture and identity.

Increasing the engagement and achievement of Māori students, in partnership with their whānau, hapū and iwi is identified by the board and leaders as an area for improvement.

4. Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The board has clearly articulated its strategic priorities. To support progress, trustees have funded external facilitators, who have guided and informed the review and development of the school’s vision for a future-focused curriculum.

A robust action plan is in place to sustain and improve the school's performance in the following key development areas:

  • annual planning and reporting against goals and targets
  • establishing well-understood processes for evaluating the effectiveness and impact of initiatives and programmes to improve outcomes for students
  • appraising staff against the Registered Teacher Criteria and ensuring ongoing improvement in practice
  • aligning appraisal and professional development to strategic and annual priorities
  • managing change effectively to ensure that it is underpinned by shared understandings
  • continued strengthening of staff capability and professional leadership.

The board is working with the senior management team to monitor the implementation of the action plan.

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:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

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

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

ERO’s investigation found two areas of non-compliance, which the board and senior leaders must address with urgency:

  • develop and implement procedures for appraisal of staff [s 77C State Sector Act; New Zealand Gazette and Collective Employment Agreement]
  • comply with the requirement to adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once every two years, after consultation with the school community. [s 60B Education Act 1989]

Conclusion

Most students achieve well. The curriculum places priority on supporting students to become lifelong learners. Digital technologies are increasingly integrated into teaching and learning. To improve and sustain the school’s performance, trustees and leaders have developed an action plan to address aspects of operation related to planning, quality assurance and management.

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

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Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

2 March 2015

About the School

Location

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

2168

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

235

Gender composition

Male 53%

Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

17%

73%

10%

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

2 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2012

January 2009

December 2005