Greenmeadows Intermediate - 07/11/2011

1 Context

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

Student learning at Greenmeadows Intermediate is enhanced by the strong sense of whānaungatanga and manaakitanga that exists throughout the school. Students and their parents are valued as genuine partners in students’ learning. This partnership contributes to the feeling of belonging by parents, students and teachers to the school.

A change in school leadership occurred shortly after the school’s previous ERO review, with the board appointing a new and experienced principal in April 2008. Her collaborative and considered approaches to managing change throughout the school are resulting in improved teaching, learning, and student achievement. She works in partnership with the board, senior leadership team and teachers to promote a school environment centred on students and their learning.

Students benefit from respectful, positive relationships with their teachers and each other. In line with the school’s motto: piki ki te rangi – reach for the sky, teachers have increasingly high expectations for student learning and for students to manage their own behaviour.

A significant feature of the school is its attractive and carefully designed learning environments. The board’s continued focus on improving the physical space shows the value they place on teaching and learning.

2 Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Students are well supported to make good progress and achieve during their time at school. The school gathers, analyses and reports to the community on the progress and achievement of diverse groups of students. The school has information to show them that:

  • most students make very good progress during their time at Greenmeadows Intermediate
  • student progress and achievement in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics, is closely monitored
  • targeted groups of students are making accelerated progress in writing
  • achievement information is used purposefully to cater for students in class programmes.

The board, senior leaders and teachers set strategic targets for student achievement. These are focused on increasing the achievement of students who are not yet achieving at National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Teachers regularly review progress that students make against the school’s targets allowing the principal to inform the board of progress towards achieving the targets.

Students are well supported to understand and use their achievement information to set and reflect on meaningful goals. They share this information each term with their parents. Parents receive useful written information about how well their child is achieving in relation to National Standards.

Students are highly engaged in their learning throughout the school and attendance levels are high. There are many opportunities for students to participate in co-curricular activities and student achievement and success is celebrated in various ways. Students fulfil their leadership roles and appreciate the increasing opportunities the school provides for them.

Twenty five percent of the school student population identify as Pacific and their achievement is well monitored and closely tracked. Senior leaders and teachers work closely with families of Pacific students and have effective programmes and initiatives in place to promote student’s learning and engagement. Many Pacific students are either achieving at or above National Standards or are expected to achieve the standard by the end of the year in reading and mathematics.

Teachers have a specific focus on accelerating the progress of a group of students who are yet to meet the National Standard in writing. Current information shows that this group of students has made considerable progress towards attaining the standard.

How well does the school promote Māori student success and success as Māori?

Māori students have many opportunities to celebrate their identity, culture and language throughout the school. They are well represented in leadership roles, proudly participate in kapa haka and are highly engaged in their learning.

The school has a strategic focus on raising the achievement of Māori students. Many Māori students are achieving at or above National Standards or are expected to achieve the standard by the end of the year in reading and mathematics. Teachers have a specific focus on accelerating the progress of a group of students who are yet to meet the National Standard in writing and current information shows that they have made considerable progress towards attaining the standard.

The board, senior leaders and teachers are increasingly promoting bi-cultural approaches and practices. The principal, in partnership with a group of teachers and parents, uses a strengths-based approach to support Māori students to succeed within a Māori dimension. This includes consultation with parents and whānau, and the use of Ka Hikitia- Managing for Success: The Ministry of Education Māori Education Strategy and other relevant research.

The increased focus on raising Māori student engagement, progress and achievement is enhancing student pride and sense of belonging in the school.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. It is broad and provides opportunities to cater for the diverse learning needs, interests and strengths of students. Senior leaders acknowledge that curriculum development could now give greater consideration to student’s interests and backgrounds when designing programmes of learning. Elements of the school’s curriculum design that support student learning include:

  • effective specialist teaching and learning in Technology and The Arts
  • an inquiry approach to learning that promotes student’s critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • programmes that support students to become competent and confident users of information and communication technologies
  • regular opportunities for students to participate in sport and in self-selected activities that extend their interests.

Teachers are hard-working, enthusiastic and committed to improving outcomes for students. They participate in regular professional learning that supports them to reflect on their practice and focus on student achievement. Teachers use approaches and plan programmes that show respect and value for students as capable and competent learners. They appreciate the principal’s leadership and the school’s student-focused vision.

Senior leaders offer programmes and strategies that benefit the needs of individual students. They have established a carefully considered approach to supporting students with special needs that includes a partnership between parents, students and their teachers. Senior leaders have plans to review the effectiveness of approaches to cater for students with special gifts and talents.

Senior leaders provide good pastoral care and support for students. They are responsive to individual student needs and are proactive in ensuring the emotional safety of students. This includes regularly surveying students.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The principal is a strategic, professional leader. She uses an effective approach to managing change that is focused on students and promotes a community of learners. Successful elements of the approach include:

  • recognising and promoting teacher strengths
  • growing teacher leadership
  • using external expertise and models of effective practice
  • having high expectations for teachers to improve their practice

Multi-levelled self review is a key component in the significant change promoted since the 2008 ERO review and in the identification of priorities for further development. Senior leaders consider and respond to the views of staff, students and parents. They also respond positively to external review.

Trustees are representative of the school’s diverse community and promote the philosophy of “Many cultures, One School”. They are knowledgeable about students’ strengths and areas for development, and maintain an ongoing focus on raising student achievement.

The board and senior leaders engage well with the community and continue to build partnerships with parents. Parents/whānau have many opportunities to participate in decision-making about school direction.

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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

7 November 2011

About the School

Location

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1300

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

Decile

3

School roll

432

Gender composition

Boys 52%, Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Indian

South East Asian

Tongan

Cook Island Māori

Chinese

Niuean

Fijian

other

36%

19%

13%

9%

6%

5%

4%

2%

2%

1%

3%

Special Features

Provider of technology education to local schools

Review team on site

September 2011

Date of this report

7 November 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

June 2008

May 2006

March 2005