Hope School - 18/10/2017

Summary

Hope School has a roll of 82 children. Since the 2014 ERO review, there have been significant staff changes, including a new principal and deputy principal. The new principal and the board of trustees are leading the school through a well-managed change process.

The principal identified inconsistencies in how achievement data was reported prior to 2016. This has now been addressed. Trends overall since the 2014 ERO review show achievement levels have remained stable with most children achieving well in reading. There are good levels of achievement in writing and mathematics. The school has identified that there is disparity for boys in writing and for girls in mathematics in relation to National Standards (NS). To address this disparity, the school has participated in a Ministry of Education professional development programme, focussed on accelerated learning in mathematics (ALiM) in 2015 and 2016. It is currently part of an intensive two-year professional programme to improve the teaching of writing. The school is part of the Waimea Kāhui Ako| Community of learning (CoL).

The school has made good progress in addressing the recommendations of the 2014 ERO report.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school is becoming more effective in responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. A number of processes are becoming increasingly effective in enabling the achievement of equity and excellence. The school has a strong focus on improvement and is developing some good systems and practices for enhancing learning outcomes for children. These now need to be embedded.

At the time of this review strengths in the school included:

  • strong leadership and clear direction for the school led by the principal and board
  • high levels of parent and community support and involvement
  • teachers delivering broad and interesting programmes that were motivating and engaging children in their learning
  • the safe physical and emotional environment for children.

Children, overall, are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress towards achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

The next steps for leaders and teachers are to embed and sustain the processes underway to achieve equity and excellence.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school is becoming more effective in responding to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. The learning and progress of all children who achieve below or well below expectations in relation to the NS is closely monitored. Teachers are also beginning to develop ways to ensure they extend the learning of their more able students.

Achievement information at the end of 2016 shows that most children across the school achieved at or above the NS for reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement levels are highest for reading.

The school is aware of the disparities in writing for boys and in mathematics for girls. There is a strong emphasis on building teacher capability in order to address this. Mid-year 2017 progress data shows that most children whose learning needs acceleration in reading are making appropriate progress. Children identified as being below or well below the National Standards in writing and mathematics are also making progress, with some making accelerated progress.

In 2017, most children are achieving well in relation to the key competencies of ‘self-management’ and ‘relating to others’. Children with additional education needs are well supported as individuals and as learners to achieve success.

The school is strengthening the consistency of assessment and moderation practices in order to ensure reliable overall teacher judgements about student achievement.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school has a number of processes that are increasingly effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence.

The board has led the school well through a period of change. The charter provides clear direction for improving outcomes for all children. The appointment of the principal was strategic for the school achieving its vision and goals. The principal’s regular reports to the board clearly show the progress being made to achieve the strategic goals. The board makes good use of this information to improve outcomes for children, particularly those who need their progress accelerated. The Board and school leaders are highly committed to lifting overall achievement levels in this school.

The principal is fostering positive collaborative relationships between the board, teachers and the community. The board, the leaders and teachers are taking collective responsibility for lifting achievement, including strengthening home-school partnerships for learning.

There is a strong focus on building teacher capability and improving the effectiveness of teaching. This includes:

  • an improved appraisal system

  • relevant professional learning

  • building consistency of practice through developing shared understandings of what effective teaching looks like at Hope School.

Children’s motivation and interest in learning is supported by a broad curriculum underpinned by school values, re-envisioned by the children, and the school vision “Where a positive attitude is everything”. There is a growing emphasis on children managing their own learning and developing skills for life (key competencies) through a wide range of authentic experiences.

A noted strength is the commitment to and inclusion of te ao Māori perspectives in all aspects of the school life. This is resulting in a number of families now exploring their Māori heritage.

Internal evaluation within the school is based on the appreciative inquiry model that results in useful recommendations and actions for further improvement.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

There are many useful processes that now need to be embedded and sustained in order to achieve equity and excellence for all learners.

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The board, principal and teachers need to continue to sustain the focus on the effectiveness of teaching and embed and sustain the useful systems that have been established. This includes:

  • further refining systems for tracking progress and analysis of data

  • building the consistency of moderation processes and practices

  • embedding internal evaluation across all aspects of the school curriculum

  • further developing school-wide guidelines to achieve consistency of practice

  • continuing to help children manage their own learning.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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 students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)

  • physical safety of students

  • teacher registration and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Learners are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • build consistency of moderation processes and practices

  • refine systems for tracking and analysis of data

  • embed appreciative inquiry across all aspects of the school curriculum

  • further develop school-wide guidelines to achieve consistency of practice

  • continue to help children manage their own learning.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

18 October 2017

About the school

Location

Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

3196

School type

Contributing Years 1-6

School roll

82

Gender composition

Boys: 46

Girls: 36

Ethnic composition

Pākehā 79

Māori 1

Other 2

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

18 October 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review July 2014

Education Review May 2010

Education Review May 2007