Freyberg Community School - 29/01/2016

Findings

Freyberg Community School provides high quality education for all students underpinned by the school’s vision of ‘life-long learning’. The importance of care, and creative and critical thinking supports learning. Students learn and achieve well in an inclusive environment that values diversity, student leadership and high expectations for all.

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

1 Context

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

Freyberg Community School is located in Te Atatu South, Auckland. The school has a positive ERO reporting history and provides high quality education for students from Years 1 to 6. The school’s curriculum has a noteworthy focus on local, national and global issues.

A sustained feature of the school is the inclusive and welcoming culture that it provides for students and their whānau. Community education is strongly embedded within the school ethos. A vision of ‘life-long learning’ is actively promoted by the board of trustees, staff, students and whānau. The school's core values emphasize the importance of care and creative and critical thinking and underpin an holistic approach to learning and pastoral care.

The school is led by an experienced, long-serving principal. High quality professional leadership is founded on a strong research base. The school is participating in professional development opportunities through a Ministry of Education Community of Learning (CoL) initiative. The board has a very good understanding of governance and is committed to developing and sustaining high quality school practices.

ERO’s previous review of the school in 2012 identified many areas of good performance. The ERO report also recommended some developments to improve aspects of performance. These included strengthening reflective practices to help teachers further raise student achievement, continuing to consolidate school-wide systems for supporting Māori students to succeed as Māori, and further improving outcomes for Pacific students. The school has responded very well to these recommendations.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information very well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. The board of trustees makes very good use of analysed achievement information provided by the principal to make carefully considered decisions aimed at improving outcomes for students.

A school culture of high expectations promotes student progress and achievement. Teachers work collaboratively and have robust processes in place to set targets and review how well they are meeting them. Comprehensive analysis of achievement information is evident and informs effective teacher practice.

The school’s National Standard achievement information for reading and mathematics compares favourably with other schools locally and nationally. Effective processes are helping to accelerate achievement for some students in writing. School information shows that strategies to support Māori and Pacific achievement are monitored and reviewed, and are producing significant progress and lifting achievement over time.

High importance is placed on ‘knowing the student’. Senior staff and teachers are proactive in identifying and addressing student needs. Students are highly engaged in their learning and are supported by respectful relationships with teachers.

Students are curious and critical thinkers. They are motivated and active participants in classroom programmes. Students have opportunities to lead their learning. They work with others in a variety of ways in real life contexts. The care and support shown by students for their peers is strongly evident both in and out of the classroom.

Parents are given a range of opportunities to discuss the engagement, learning and progress of their children. Very good reporting gives students and parents a clear and comprehensive indication of how students are achieving. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) seven principles of learning have been introduced across the school and are contributing positively to student and community engagement.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum is highly effective in promoting student learning. It responds well to diverse groups of students in inclusive ways. Students who need support or extension are well catered for. A focus on equity and excellence informs the delivery of the school curriculum.

The curriculum builds on the notion of life-long learning. The aim is to give students a strong foundation for developing as future global citizens within a local community context. Students clearly display a strong sense of self belief and are confident to explore, question and ponder.

High quality and informative learning environments provide students with opportunities to extend their learning. Programmes strongly support a student-led approach. Students' enthusiasm for learning is evident and can be observed in meaningful conversations with peers and teachers. Tuakana-teina relationships contribute to a positive and respectful school tone.

Pacific students are very well supported in their learning. They have a strong sense of identity and are represented in many areas of school leadership. The school is currently engaging Pacific students and fanau in a project based trial. The board and principal could consider further ways to improve school initiatives for Pacific students.

Senior leaders foster a school culture of high expectations for teachers and students. They encourage teachers to continually reflect on, and make improvements to, their practice. The school's focus on collaboration and high quality teaching programmes underpinned by current theory helps teachers to deliver the school’s curriculum effectively to all learners.

Senior staff agree that appropriate next steps for curriculum development include:

  • finding more ways to increase student voice in the school
  • strengthening student transitions into and out of the school.

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

Māori students have a strong sense of identity. They are confident and have high aspirations to succeed. They benefit from respectful relationships and the inclusive school culture where te reo Māori is a regular feature of the curriculum. Māori whānau regularly meet to discuss their aspirations for the school and how these aspirations might be achieved. A recently established parent-led group Te Roopu Whakamanawa, supports partnerships between Māori whānau and the school community.

The kapa haka group is well attended by students. This group is ably tutored and supported by students from a local high school. Students show enthusiasm and commitment to this group.

The teacher in charge of Māori success at the school has continued to have a positive influence. Good progress has been made with Māori initiatives identified in the Freyberg Community School Strategy. Senior leaders agree that it is now timely to review this strategy.

The board, senior leaders and teachers have a strong commitment to Māori success. Senior leaders and ERO agree that a next step is to consolidate and formalise the school’s approach in this area. The board could give consideration to how they might use Hautū: Māori Cultural Responsiveness Self Review tool for Board of Trustees to foster ongoing improvement and to explore Māori representation on the board.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Freyberg Community School is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The principal provides strong professional leadership. She is influential in strengthening professional capability and collective capacity across the school. She is assisted by experienced and very able senior leaders who guide staff leadership development. Senior leaders continue to strengthen partnerships between the school, parents/whānau and the local community.

The school has a well-developed and consistent process for teacher appraisal. The process promotes high expectations for teachers to continually improve their practice. Meaningful professional development is well aligned to the strategic direction of the school. A reflective school culture helps leaders to monitor the effectiveness of ongoing initiatives. Sound processes for documenting self review are evident.

The board’s governance is strategic and improvement focused. Trustees know the school and wider community very well. They have a good knowledge of school policies and procedures and are also highly reflective. Very good reporting processes ensure that trustees receive well analysed achievement data to inform their decision-making.

The school’s involvement with the Community of Learning (CoL) initiative is enhancing leadership opportunities across the school. It also provides opportunities for wider community engagement. Freyberg Community School acknowledges the positive impact that this is having for their staff, students, parents/whānau and community.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review there were no international students enrolled at Freyberg Community School. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigation confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

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.

Conclusion

Freyberg Community School provides high quality education for all students underpinned by the school’s vision of ‘life-long learning’. The importance of care, and creative and critical thinking supports learning. Students learn and achieve well in an inclusive environment that values diversity, student leadership and high expectations for all.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

29 January 2016

School Statistics

Location

Te Atatu South, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1280

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

413

Number of international students

0

Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

Pacific

African

Latin American

Middle Eastern

other

23%

34%

23%

13%

2%

1%

1%

3%

Special Features

Arohanui Satellite Classes

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

29 January 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2012

September 2009

June 2007