Gleniti School - 11/07/2014

Findings

Students receive a good quality education. A high number of students achieve at or above National Standards in literacy and mathematics. They are well supported with their learning. Students benefit from a wide range of learning opportunities across all subject areas. School leaders and trustees have the knowledge and skills to continue to sustain what is working well and to make further improvements.

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?

Most students stay at the school for all of their primary Years 1 to 8 education. An increasing number of students come from other cultures, including several international students.

The school has carried out a comprehensive survey to gauge parent satisfaction. This shows that parents are very positive about the school, especially their relationship with teachers. They consistently comment that their children enjoy coming to school. Many parents help in the school in a variety of ways.

The board is in the process of upgrading the classrooms to better support modern approaches to teaching and learning. One block is completed. The school is well resourced. Students make frequent use of their large, attractively presented library and multi-purpose hall.

Since the 2009 ERO review, the school has a new principal and a new leader in the senior school. The board has made good progress in addressing the recommendations of the last ERO report.

2 Learning

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

Leaders and teachers make good use of achievement information to support students to progress in their learning. School-wide achievement information shows that levels of student achievement are particularly high in reading and mathematics.

The board receives well-analysed information on student achievement against the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Trustees use this information well when making resourcing decisions. The board also receives useful curriculum reports showing student achievement in other learning areas. This gives trustees a good understanding of the breadth of student learning.

Teachers have significantly lifted student achievement in mathematics. They can show that their strategies and systems have led to accelerated progress. Teachers confidently assess students’ progress and achievement in mathematics.

There are useful school-wide systems in place to identify students who are not making expected progress in literacy and numeracy. Students benefit from extra in-class support and intensive small-group work with a specialist teacher.

The learning support team effectively coordinates a wide range of well-planned programmes to support students needing extra help with their learning. Students with medium and high needs are also very well supported. The learning support team closely monitors student progress and whether or not the learning interventions are effective.

Students have useful opportunities to reflect on their learning and to assess their own work. This is more obvious amongst older students. Student ‘record books’ are regularly shared with parents. These books give parents a good overview of what their child is learning.

Areas for review and development

The principal and senior teachers need to provide teachers with clearer guidelines on making overall teacher judgements against the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Making expectations clearer will strengthen consistency of understanding across the school.

Following professional development in mathematics significant shifts in student achievement were noted. School leaders should inquire more deeply into why this occurred, so they can apply similar effective strategies to other subject areas such as written language.

Senior school leaders and ERO have identified that reports to parents need to be reviewed so that:

  • messages about achievement against the National Standards are clearer
  • reports consistently include next steps for students and describe how parents can support learning at home.

Teachers need to help students to better understand and reflect on their learning goals. Ensuring students have a good understanding of what achievement should look like at their level will help them understand what they are aiming for.

3 Curriculum

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

Teachers provide students with a wide range of learning opportunities across all subject areas. Teachers work well within strongly collaborative teams to plan interesting units of work. Students are well supported by their teachers.

Teachers are skilled at including meaningful literacy and numeracy learning across all subject areas. Students are benefiting from a well-balanced curriculum.

The school's ‘ARCHER’ values are known by students and very evident in the caring, respectful and inclusive way students relate to one another. They know how to work well individually and with their peers. Classrooms are calm, settled and visually attractive.

Students' understanding of the inquiry-learning process for topic studies increases appropriately as they move through the school. Within inquiry topics, students have some choice about what and how they learn and share their work.

Senior students have many opportunities to take on leadership roles and responsibilities.

Areas for review and development

The board, principal and senior leaders have identified that review of the school’s curriculum guidelines is needed. ERO agrees this is an urgent priority.

There is a strong culture within teaching teams. The principal and senior leaders need to develop clear expectations for teaching and learning to further strengthen consistency of practice between teams.

Teachers would benefit from a more structured process to support them to inquire more deeply into the effectiveness of teaching strategies used.

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

The board recognises a need to gain a better understanding of Māori success as Māori in its school’s context. Trustees have set a strategic goal to make better use of the government’s plan for accelerating Māori success and to strengthen tikanga Māori.

School-wide data shows that Māori students are achieving highly against National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. They are achieving above their school-based peers in literacy and mathematics. Those who are not making expected progress are identified and well supported to improve.

There are some very good examples of how teachers have integrated a Māori dimension into units of work. Students also have opportunities for specific teaching of te reo Māori.

Areas for review and development

Next steps for the principal and staff are to:

  • develop an action plan, in consultation with the Māori community, to support the board’s strategic goal
  • build teachers' understanding of Māori success and Māori within the school’s context
  • provide professional development to increase teachers’ understanding and capability in te reo and tikanga Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

School leaders and trustees have the knowledge and skills to continue to sustain what is working well and to make further improvements. It is important that they work together to address areas for review and development in this report with some degree of urgency.

Since the 2009 ERO review, there have been changes within the board, including a new chairperson. Trustees have sought and benefited from relevant professional development to understand their governance roles.

The principal keeps the board well informed about student achievement and school operations. The board uses this information appropriately when making resourcing decisions.

The principal has worked with the board, staff and an external expert to review the school’s charter. The new charter clearly identifies priorities for the school over the next three years. The principal and board have developed some useful guidelines about how the school will review its practices.

Teachers work collaboratively. They share resources and ideas with each other and work constructively in a number of cross-syndicate groups.

The board has provided the principal with a high quality appraisal process. The principal values the opportunity for external appraisal and has benefited from the useful feedback received.

Areas for review and development

The strategic and annual plans need to more clearly show how the school’s identified priorities will be implemented. The annual plan should specify what will happen, how, and when. This should help ensure that things happen in a timely way.

Some aspects of the teachers’ appraisal system need to improve. Presently, appraisals do not provide critical feedback or next steps for teachers. Best practice is that these become goals in future appraisals.

Senior leaders and trustees need to continue to build their understanding of effective self review. It is especially important that all aspects of teaching and learning, including how well each curriculum area is resourced and taught, are reviewed over time.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review, there were two international students at the school. These students were well supported in their learning.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

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

Students receive a good quality education. A high number of students achieve at or above National Standards in literacy and mathematics. They are well supported with their learning. Students benefit from a wide range of learning opportunities across all subject areas. School leaders and trustees have the knowledge and skills to continue to sustain what is working well and to make further improvements.

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

11 July 2014

About the School

Location

Timaru

Ministry of Education profile number

3347

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

297

Number of international students

2

Gender composition

Boys 51%; Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

European

Samoan

Other ethnicities

79%

6%

7%

1%

7%

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

11 July 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2009

May 2006

October 2001