Fruitvale Road School - 17/06/2016

1 Context

Fruitvale Road School in west Auckland provides education for children from Years 1 to 6. Teachers and children from different cultural backgrounds reflect the diversity of the school community.

The school has a history of positive ERO reports and its growing roll is an indication of both community expansion and the high regard parents have for the school. Children benefit from the settled, inclusive school culture and enjoy positive relationships with adults and each other.

Teacher professional development since the last ERO review has been deliberately targeted to:

  • support children for whom English is not their first language
  • help teachers evaluate their teaching and to help children take a greater role in manage their learning
  • improve the teaching of mathematics and writing.

School leaders have supported teachers to become evaluators of their own learning and to help children take a greater role in managing their own learning.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are that they become lifelong learners who uphold the school values of respect, responsibility, risk taking, resilience and reflection.

The school’s achievement information shows that the majority of children achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. These very good levels of achievement have been maintained over time. Raising achievement in writing continues to be a challenge across the school and is appropriately identified as a focus in school plans and programmes. School data show that Māori and Pacific children as a group achieve at slightly lower levels than children over all.

In addition to achievement data, teachers report to parents on how well their children are demonstrating the school's values. Teachers are developing shared processes to assess children's learning in curriculum areas other than literacy and mathematics and are building their understanding of valid assessment in these learning areas.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has focused on lifting achievement across the school in mathematics, and more recently, writing. Professional development in these curriculum areas has led to teachers having a much better understanding of how to assess writing and they are adopting new strategies to promote learning. There has been a greater emphasis on oral language to support the development of children’s learning. Teachers engage in open professional discussions with their colleagues about their practice.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school responds very effectively to the educational needs of Māori children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. There are very good systems in place to identify Māori children at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes. Teachers identify Māori learners in their classes whose progress needs acceleration. They then closely monitor the impact of targeted teaching on progress to ensure that these children are getting the appropriate support.

Māori children are supported in their learning and in their identity as Māori. All children learn te reo Māori me ngā tikanga within the curriculum. The school is working well with parents/whānau to significantly improve children's learning by building a greater understanding of the ways children learn and how parents can support their child's learning at home.

Trustees have taken part in useful professional development to help them develop governance systems and processes that support acceleration and success for Māori children. This commitment is a good example of responsible school stewardship.

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

School leaders and teachers use the same worthwhile processes and practices as they do for Māori, to respond to other groups of children whose learning needs accelerating.

Teachers are reviewing the impact of their interventions for the targeted learners in their classes. This information is contributing usefully to the ongoing evaluation of school-wide accelerated progress. This enables the board to be better informed about the impact and effectiveness of the good initiatives and interventions being implemented to improve children's progress.

The board agrees it should now set more specific charter goals for Māori and Pacific children who are at risk of not achieving. Trustees could then use principal's reports related to these goals to determine the extent to which the school is accelerating progress for these children to achieve more equitable outcomes.

Children whose first language is not English are well supported to learn. ERO suggests that the school strengthen the reporting of progress for these and other groups of children receiving additional support. This would enable the board to determine the effectiveness of the support.

To continue strengthening the significant progress the school has made to improve student achievement, school leaders agree that the following strategies would be of value:

  • Teachers should further scrutinise achievement information to more consistently and clearly demonstrate the acceleration of progress of groups and individual children.
  • They should use this information to strengthen reports to trustees, and assist in the setting of more specific school targets.
  • School leaders should collate teachers’ information about their children to develop a school-wide picture of accelerated progress so that school leaders can more readily evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies and the use of resources.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence?

The school's curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school's vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence effectively.

The school curriculum is closely aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum and delivered in a way that is highly responsive to children’ achievement levels, interests, cultural background, strengths and needs. The curriculum is reviewed regularly with a focus on ongoing improvement.

New curriculum initiatives are trialled before being implemented school-wide. Initiatives being introduced include new ways of using information and communication technologies to support learning. Building modifications have allowed teachers to make more flexible use of learning spaces and to be more collaborative in their teaching. Teachers value the opportunities to share teaching strategies in a collaborative and collegial way.

To increase the effectiveness of the curriculum school leaders could:

  • monitor the impact of interventions and initiatives for cohorts of children over time
  • regularly evaluate school-wide progress against the Māori and Pacific Achievement Plans

Teachers are strongly committed to making a positive difference for children. Student well-being surveys are conducted regularly to ensure that children' perspectives are included in the school’s internal evaluation. Parents value the ways that the school engages and communicates with them.

Teachers have made children’ learning more visible, enabling children and their families/whanau to gain a better understanding of their progress, achievements, and next learning steps. They are finding ways to display children' progress and achievement in the classroom to encourage greater student knowledge of their learning.

Staff appraisal processes have been strengthened and now form part of a very open, collaborative process between teachers and school leaders. Closer alignment of appraisal criteria to the Practicing Teacher Criteria will increase the benefits of the process for teachers and school leaders.

When the new board is elected it will be important that trustees access professional development that will support them to:

  • develop a shared understanding of the role of the board of trustees and evaluate the effectiveness of the board's performance in its governance and stewardship role
  • seek self review information and reports that clearly demonstrate the impact school initiatives and interventions are having on student achievement.

Trustees should also seek support from the Ministry of Education to ensure that the Croydon Road entrance to the school is safe when children enter and leave the school, as noted in the 2013 ERO report.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

The school is very well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

The board's vision and values continue to be highly evident and well embedded throughout the school and are well understood by children, teachers and families.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

Leaders are effective in leading and managing change and promoting innovation. They have high expectations of professional learning and practice. They have established a school culture where staff collaborate and make changes to improve student learning. School leaders could now consider how they can best report and monitor the progress of groups of children.

The school is an active member of the Kōtuitui Community of Learning. This involvement will provide a useful vehicle for extending the moderation of assessment judgements from in-school to across school moderation.

Teachers are very well supported to evaluate and inquire into their teaching. They are provided with coaching and mentoring programmes and relevant professional development to progress their practice so that student outcomes are improved.

Children benefit from an educational environment where they enjoy engaging in, and managing their learning.

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

6 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 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 children (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment).

  • Physical safety of children.

  • Teacher registration.

  • Processes for appointing staff.

  • Stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions.

  • Attendance.

  • Compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

  • Provision for international children.

To improve practice the school should ensure that:

  • documentation of matters related to health and safety in the school are consistently maintained
  • all communications related to complaints from parents/whanau are documented and filed
  • there are clear processes for appointing new staff that include the confirmation of the identity of the appointee and the authenticity of all related documents, including maintaining an up-to-date database of police vetting.

7 Recommenations

ERO recommends that the board and school leaders further scrutinise student achievement information so that they can better determine the effectiveness of school initiatives and interventions implemented to accelerate the progress of children at risk of not making the required progress.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

17 June 2016

About the school

Location

New Lynn, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1281

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

237

Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Samoan

Indian

Filipino

Chinese

Cook Island Māori

Middle Eastern

Tongan

South East Asian

other Pacific

other Asian

other

26%

21%

15%

11%

5%

3%

3%

3%

2%

1%

3%

2%

5%

Review team on site

April 2016

Date of this report

17 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

January 2013

November 2009

July 2006