Greerton Village School - 25/06/2014

Findings

How effectively is this school’s curriculum promoting student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Students benefit from learning in a purposeful, caring and inclusive school culture. School leaders have high expectations for teachers and students. Students achieve well and benefit from many opportunities to develop academic, sports and performing arts skills. Parents provide enthusiastic support for school leaders and staff. There is a positive culture of continuous improvement.

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?

Greerton Village School is situated in Greerton, which is a southern suburb of Tauranga. It caters for students from the local community in Years 1 to 6. Of the 342 students on the roll, 55% identify as Māori. There are 25 students from Pacific families. Parents and families are always welcome to assist with school programmes and activities. Some families have strong inter-generational links with the school and its local community.

The school has a positive reporting history with ERO. The principal and deputy principal are experienced and long serving at this school. Since the 2011 ERO review, the leadership team has been extended. Teachers have engaged in professional development to improve mathematics, literacy and inquiry learning. There has been a strong emphasis on promoting positive behaviour for learning, and a continued focus on the use of computers as tools for learning. New initiatives include three digital classes, a boys’ only class, classes with specified curriculum emphases, a radio station and a popular, well-developed performing arts programme.

Recent revision of the schools’ vision and values has extended the concept of the Greerton Village Kid into eight models, which reflect the school’s expectations and attributes for learning and behaviour. LEAD expectations have also been developed. LEAD refers to learn with purpose, engage with pride, act with respect, and dare to participate. An unrelenting focus on reinforcing these expectations ensures that they are well understood by students and their families.

School leaders and staff are committed to sharing responsibility for every student’s all-round learning and well-being. Students with diverse needs and abilities are welcomed, accepted and readily included in all school events and activities. The board, with support from external agencies, ensures that there are high levels of support so that special needs students can participate fully in school life.

Students demonstrate a strong sense of belonging and pride in their school. They benefit from many opportunities to extend their interests, strengths and learning. They also demonstrate respect and appreciation for the school’s attractive and well-maintained grounds and learning facilities. A settled, friendly and purposeful atmosphere is evident throughout the school.

2. Learning

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

Assessment information is used very effectively by the board, senior leadership team, teachers and support staff to ensure that teaching programmes are continually extending students’ learning and achievement. The board is very well informed about students’ progress and achievement throughout the year. Trustees use this information to guide decisions about staffing, resources and strategic planning.

Senior leaders, including the experienced special education needs coordinator, use high-quality analysis and interpretation of achievement data to identify individuals and cohorts of students who need to make more than usual progress to meet year level expectations. These students are specifically targeted and monitored within each class to ensure their learning is being extended. All teachers have a strong focus on accelerating student progress, especially for those who enter school with levels of understanding in literacy and mathematics that are below expectations. Achievement information is also used to review the effectiveness of teaching and learning programmes.

Senior leaders and staff work collaboratively to provide a wide range of targeted interventions that support students with special learning, behaviour and English language learning needs. These programmes are designed to cater for special interests and promote social development. Students with special abilities are also identified and provided with learning challenges.

Student achievement overall is comparable with national and regional averages. School records demonstrate that many students, including those from Pacific families, make significant progress in reading, writing and mathematics as they move through the school. At the end of 2013, many Year 6 students were generally at or above National Standards in these subjects. Leaders and teachers have developed robust processes for determining overall teacher judgements in relation to National Standards. Senior leaders agree that there is a need for the continuing development of teaching strategies that promote students’ knowledge and self management of their personal progress and achievement.

Reporting to parents involves written reports, three-way conferences and continual opportunities for sharing up-to-date information about progress and achievement. The school is exploring opportunities for parents to become more involved in their students’ learning through digital access to recent work and achievement records across the curriculum.

3. Curriculum

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

The curriculum is underpinned by the school’s values. There is a significant emphasis on literacy, mathematics and inquiry learning facilitated by computers as tools for research and learning. The school-wide curriculum is continually refined to reflect revised expectations for teaching practice. Learning focuses are developed collegially according to students’ interests and needs. Teachers are continuing to engage in professional development in writing.

Many high-quality teaching practices are evident throughout the school. Teachers have high expectations for learning and behaviour. They are encouraged to continually reflect on strategies for promoting achievement and developing the potential of all learners. They frequently provide students with specific oral and written feedback and next steps about their learning. High-quality classroom displays promote and celebrate students’ learning.

Teachers establish respectful and reciprocal relationships with students. They emphasise positive guidance to build students’ self-esteem as confident, capable learners. Students have many leadership roles and opportunities. Their views and opinions are sought and used to influence positive changes. Students are highly engaged in meaningful learning experiences and there is a purposeful, positive tone throughout the school.

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

The school is effectively promoting educational success for Māori as Māori. Many Māori students make accelerated progress as they move through the school. Overall, they achieve as well as, or better than, other cohorts in the school, and better than national averages for Māori. Those at risk of underachieving benefit from targeted teaching to accelerate their progress.

Whakawhanaungatanga and manaakitanga are continually evident in this school’s family-like culture of care that provides a strong sense of belonging. Bicultural perspectives are evident in wall displays and classroom programmes that include waiata. Māori staff are positive role models who provide very good teaching and natural integration of te reo and tikanga Māori into learning experiences. The school’s radio station broadcasts karakia and himene led by students each morning.

Staff have recently visited a local marae, which is a significant place for many families. Local Māori history and traditions are taught within the school’s curriculum. There is a sequential Māori language programme and students have opportunities for kapa haka, mau rakau, and marae visits. Transitions from Kohanga Reo and Kura Kaupapa Māori are managed by an experienced kaiawhina who is also the student support coordinator and kapa haka leader.

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 because of the following positive factors:

  • Governance is very effective. Trustees are representative of Māori and non-Māori communities and knowledgeable about their roles and responsibilities. They have positive relationships with school personnel and a continual focus on meeting the needs of students.
  • The school’s strategic direction is very clear and provides a sound basis for improvement and self review.
  • The experienced principal is providing highly effective focused professional leadership that is collaborative and improvement focused. She is very well supported by her senior leadership team who bring a range of relevant skills to their positions. There is a focus on continually developing leadership capability for all personnel.
  • Professional learning is continually promoted within a supportive and reflective staff culture, where there are strong quality assurance processes and opportunities for new initiatives.
  • Comprehensive pastoral care systems and processes are a strong feature of the school. These include support for transition from early childhood services, between classes within the school, and to the local intermediate school.
  • Parents provide enthusiastic support for school leaders and staff. They are well informed by newsletters, parent education evenings and community hui.
  • There is a positive culture of appreciative and rigorous self review that results in continuous improvement. Reviews are informed by student achievement, consultation with staff, students and community.

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 benefit from learning in a purposeful, caring and inclusive school culture. School leaders have high expectations for teachers and students. Students achieve well and benefit from many opportunities to develop academic, sports and performing arts skills. Parents provide enthusiastic support for school leaders and staff. There is a positive culture of continuous improvement.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

25 June 2014

About the School

Location

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

1730

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

342

Gender composition

Girls 51%

Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Indian

Asian

Other European

55%

32%

8%

3%

1%

1%

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

25 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2011

March 2008

December 2004