Johnsonville School - 19/12/2014

Findings

Trustees, leaders and teachers set high expectations for students’ learning and wellbeing. The senior management team has sound knowledge of effective practices and uses robust self review to inform school development. Partnerships with families are promoted and highly valued. Students learn in a welcoming, inclusive environment. They are actively engaged in their learning and are progressing and achieving well.

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?

Johnsonville School caters for students from Years 1 to 6 from an ethnically rich community. At the time of this ERO review, half the roll identified as New Zealand/Pākehā. The remainder came from diverse backgrounds, with 9% identifying as Māori, 6% as Pacific, 12% Indian and 23% from other cultural groups. About 10% of students were English language learners (ELLs).

Important features of the school that impact on student learning include:

  • schoolwide professional learning and development. Teachers are participating in learning related to written language, mathematics, the use of digital devices in the classroom and sports
  • the development of a new vision ‘Learning and Growing Together-Akoranga, Whakatipurangi, Ngatahi’ and values, such as courage, inclusion and perseverance that underpin future direction
  • a whānau-based house system that helps students to get to know each other
  • a special education unit for students with high needs
  • the employment of specialists to teach music, te reo Māori and kapa haka.

Johnsonville School has a positive reporting history with ERO. Since the December 2010 ERO report, there have been changes of principal, deputy and assistant principals, trustees and some teachers. Good performance has been sustained.

2. Learning

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

Achievement information is used effectively to make positive changes for learners. Leaders and teachers analyse the information to:

  • group students according to needs
  • identify priority students who require additional support
  • inform teaching and learning
  • report to parents and to the board of trustees about students’ progress, engagement and achievement.

The majority of students achieve at and above in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Robust data analysis helps to establish emerging schoolwide trends and patterns. Annual achievement targets are set to accelerate the progress of groups achieving below the Standards. Interim data for 2014 indicates performance is trending upwards for targeted groups.

Students are actively engaged in their learning and progress well. Senior leaders report increased rates of progress for most students below the Standards, including Māori, Pacific and those with special needs. Continuing to look closely at achievement information at class level and sharing best practices across the school should further support accelerated progress.

Transition to school is well managed. Useful achievement information is gathered and shared with families. Early intervention is provided for ELLs or those who require extra support. Careful thought is given to transitioning students with high needs in partnership with parents, whānau and personnel from outside agencies. Senior leaders plan to evaluate the effectiveness of the early interventions.

Parents have many opportunities to hear about and celebrate their child’s learning. Written reports are informative and include next steps. Teachers talk with parents and whānau about how they can help at home. Education evenings are held for families and students’ work is often shared through digital media.

The board makes good use of achievement information to allocate resources to support learners. Trustees receive regular, well analysed reports about overall student engagement, progress and achievement, target groups, ELLs and those with high needs. Senior leaders are highly responsive to needs that emerge during the year.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. Priority is given to literacy and numeracy. Students engage in rich learning experiences across the curriculum. High achievers participate in enrichment programmes. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are integrated into the curriculum with support from a specialist teacher.

Leaders are reviewing the curriculum in partnership with teachers, students and families. New, comprehensive guidelines outline clear expectations for teachers based on best practices. The approach to student inquiry has been further developed. Leaders agree that including indicators of success would strengthen the review process.

Teachers use high quality teaching practices to enhance learning in literacy and mathematics. They are transferring these to other curriculum programmes. Digital devices are being used as a tool to support and enrich teaching and learning. Teachers know the students well.

Student leadership is deliberately promoted. Senior students are good role models for younger ones. Māori and Pacific students enjoy leading and sharing aspects of their cultures through special performances.

Programmes for students in the special education unit are high quality. Partnership with families is strong. Teachers, educational support workers, family members and personnel from outside agencies work collaboratively to contribute to each student’s learning. Comprehensive records show their individual engagement, progress and achievement towards goals. The unit is valued as an integral part of Johnsonville School and careful thought goes into mainstreaming these students on a needs basis.

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

Leaders and teachers are committed to promoting educational success for Māori, as Māori. Recent developments encourage teachers to reflect on and discuss the principles of Ka Hikitia - Managing for Success: The Māori Education Strategy 2013-2017, and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, to consider implications for teaching.

Māori families make positive contributions to the curriculum and decision-making. Leaders acknowledge the need to continue with promoting success for Māori, as Māori, in partnership with whānau.

Monitoring and achievement information indicates that Māori students are making good progress. The 2013 data showed that they were not achieving as well as their non-Māori peers in aspects of literacy and mathematics. The 2014 mid-year information indicates they are on track to reach the board’s achievement goals, with most targeted students making accelerated progress.

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.

Trustees have a wide range of knowledge and skills that support effective governance. They consult with parents, whānau and aiga to gain insights into the school’s future direction. Trustees are committed to targets and providing resources for improving outcomes for students.

Leadership is highly effective. The leadership team is improvement focused, knowledgeable and reflective. They work well as a team and value and appreciate each other’s strengths. Leadership opportunities for teachers are distributed through the school to support schoolwide development.

Trustees, leaders and teachers actively foster positive working relationships with families. They regularly explore different ways to engage families in the daily life of the school. They are developing processes to strengthen partnerships with whānau and aiga to continue promoting success for Māori and Pacific students.

Robust self review guides schoolwide development. Trustees acknowledge that aspects of board planning can be strengthened by including measures of success in addition to annual achievement targets. This should assist them to evaluate the effectiveness of ongoing developments.

Students learn in an inclusive culture where diversity is appreciated and valued. School tone is positive and classrooms are settled learning environments. Students are friendly, respectful and enjoy their learning.

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers set high expectations for students’ learning and wellbeing. The senior management team has sound knowledge of effective practices and uses robust self review to inform school development. Partnerships with families are promoted and highly valued. Students learn in a welcoming, inclusive environment. They are actively engaged in their learning and are progressing and achieving well.

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

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Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

19 December 2014

About the School

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2866

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

356

Gender composition

Female 50%

Male 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Indian

Other ethnic groups

9%

50%

6%

12%

23%

Special Features

Special Education Unit

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

19 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2010

September 2007

February 2005