Halsey Drive School - 26/06/2014

1 Context

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

Halsey Drive School, in Lynfield, Auckland, caters for students from Years 1 to 6. The school fosters positive relationships with the community and enjoys strong community support. Roll growth has been managed through the establishment of an enrolment zone. The school roll reflects the cultural diversity of the community. Many students have English as a second language.

The school’s vision of ‘Learners Together in a Learning Community’ reflects the focus on learning and the high expectations that school leaders and teachers have for themselves and students. Stable governance and leadership continue to promote and embed this vision.

The school has a history of positive ERO reports. Areas of strength identified in the 2009 ERO report such as the high levels of student engagement, the quality of teaching practice, and support provided for students and teachers continue to be evident. Progress has been made towards meeting the areas for improvement identified in the 2009 ERO review.

2 Learning

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

Halsey Drive School uses achievement information well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Students are highly engaged in their learning. They benefit from positive relationships with their teachers and peers. Classroom environments across the school consistently foster students’ understanding of the school’s approaches to learning. Students’ work features in classroom displays and they are increasingly involved in managing their own learning. They know about their achievement in reading, writing and mathematics, and make good use of feedback from teachers to set goals and focus their learning.

Teachers use appropriate assessment tools to gather information about student progress and achievement. They use this information to inform their teaching programmes and to group students for learning. Teachers identify students who could make better progress and provide targeted help for them within classroom programmes. The school could now review and further strengthen its processes for supporting new entrant children’s transition into school.

The principal and senior leaders monitor student achievement closely. They support teachers to make overall teacher judgements against the National Standards. Information collected indicates very high student achievement in relation to the National Standards, with almost all students achieving at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The board receives regular reports about student achievement and this information is used to set school targets.

School leaders agree to the continued review of ways that achievement information is collected and reported, including assessment processes to support the implementation of the National Standards.

Strong partnerships between home and school support students well and promote high expectations for achievement. Student achievement is reported to parents through written reports, portfolios and through parent-student and teacher three-way conferences. School leaders agree that they could continue to refine formats for reporting to parents about student progress in relation to National Standards.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning very well.

The school has developed a broad concept-based curriculum that reflects all aspects of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). School curriculum documents provide useful guidelines for teachers regarding NZC learning areas. They also reflect key aspects of the vision, values, principles and key competencies of the NZC.

Appropriate emphasis is given to literacy and numeracy, and teachers promote a range of opportunities in other learning areas, particularly visual art. Extension programmes are provided to enrich learning for students with particular strengths. Support programmes cater well for students requiring additional support with their learning. A specialist teacher provides programmes for students who require help to develop their English.

Teachers provide good opportunities for students to experience and gain knowledge of Māori language and culture. Leaders plan to continue building teacher capability to embed te reo me ōna tikanga Māori within programmes throughout the school. Finding ways to increase bicultural elements in the curriculum could also help to strengthen the school’s implementation of the NZC Treaty of Waitangi principle.

The use of SOLO as a learning framework is a strength of the school. Teachers use a shared language of learning that is well understood by students. This helps students to talk about their learning in different curriculum areas. The well embedded model for inquiry learning provides another useful framework for students’ learning. The consistent use of these frameworks means that the school is well placed to develop even greater student independence and ownership of their learning.

Effective leadership has guided the development of the school’s curriculum. External and internal professional development has been well considered to support school priorities. School leaders have developed a strong collaborative teaching culture. Clear expectations and systems guide the implementation and consistency of teaching practice. Teachers are encouraged to extend their professional knowledge and to take on leadership roles.

To further strengthen the school’s curriculum foundations, ERO endorses the school’s intention to continue developing:

  • classrooms that reflect modern learning environments
  • the use of e-learning strategies and tools to enhance programmes of work and student learning.

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

The school promotes academic success for Māori students effectively. Most achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

Māori students benefit from the positive and respectful learning relationships between adults and children that characterise the school. The cultural group provides opportunities for Māori students to learn and perform waiata.

The board should now define what they consider educational success as Māori to mean for their school and develop more specific goals and strategies to achieve this. Ministry of Education resources such as Ka Hikitia: Managing for Success and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners would provide a useful basis to guide review and development in this area.

The board could also consider ways to further develop consultation with the Māori community so that whānau can contribute to the development of strategic goals aimed at promoting success for its Māori students.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Halsey Drive School is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The school is governed by an experienced board of trustees who bring a range of skills and expertise to their roles. Trustees have undertaken governance training. They work well together, and with the principal and senior leadership team.

Leadership structures and roles are clearly defined. School leaders encourage a culture of reflection and self review at whole school, syndicate, team and teacher level. They promote a collegial school culture and have developed clear systems to help staff and students meet the school’s high expectations. A model of shared leadership provides opportunities for all staff and is building leadership capacity across the school. These strategies effectively support teachers' ongoing development and promote student learning.

The school fosters good communication with the parent community. The board and school leaders use information from staff, parents and students to inform operational decisions. In a recent fono Pacific families considered the Ministry of Education’s Pacific Education Plan. The board could now incorporate this plan into its policy framework and strategic goals, and further refine strategic review processes to strengthen its commitment to ongoing improvement.

School leaders have a considered approach to initiating, implementing and embedding change that results in consistent teaching and learning practices. ERO suggests that the board and senior leaders review the pace, impact and momentum of some planned initiatives and on-going improvements.

ERO and the school agree that to strengthen self-review capability the board could:

  • continue to develop and maximise the use of information gathered through consultation
  • develop a framework to guide board quality assurance processes and governance responsibilities
  • consider using external expertise to support its review and improvement focus.

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.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. Systems are in place to monitor compliance with the Code, provide an appropriate education programme, and integrate international students into the life of the school. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

No international students were enrolled at the time of this ERO review.

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.

In order to improve current practice the board should review its governance processes, including:

  • reviewing policies and procedures to ensure these reflect current legal requirements and best practice
  • strengthening some areas of reporting to the board to provide trustees with assurance about the alignment between school policies and practices.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

26 June 2014

About the School

Location

Lynfield, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1302

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

471

Number of international students

0

Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Indian

Chinese

Samoan

Middle Eastern

Other Asian

Other Pacific

Other

21%

3%

41%

17%

3%

3%

6%

1%

5%

Review team on site

November 2013

Date of this report

26 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2009

May 2006

September 2002