Kelburn Normal School - 05/05/2017

Summary

Kelburn Normal School is in the inner-city suburb of Kelburn, close to Victoria University. It caters for 300 children. There are currently 12 Māori and seven children of Pacific heritage enrolled. Ten international students attend and most are also enrolled at the Samuel Language Academy.

High achievement outcomes for students have been maintained over time and during a recent period of several changes of principal and senior leadership. There is a strong focus on teaching and learning through the performing arts and an ongoing focus on improving teaching practice through research and inquiry.

Plans are in place for a major rebuild of school buildings that will provide new learning spaces for students. Appropriate consideration for minimising the impact of relocation, especially for the junior school, is occurring.

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

Learners experience high levels of success. Deliberate strategies promote the engagement, participation and achievement of identified children, including those at risk in their learning. Māori students achieve well.

The senior leadership team has a clear vision for effective practice within a creative, integrated curriculum and provides good support for teachers’ professional development. Children experience positive, supportive relationships. Ongoing, individualised learning conversations promote their understanding and involvement in learning.

Key next steps are:

  • improving the cultural responsiveness of the curriculum, particularly for Māori

  • refining the use of achievement information to better track, monitor and report acceleration of progress

  • developing clear processes for internal evaluation at all levels of the school.

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

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

Equity and excellence

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

Deliberate strategies promote the engagement, participation and achievement of identified children, including those at risk in their learning. These are developed and enacted through teachers’ practice-based inquiries and sharing of practice. Regular discussion with students, families and colleagues supports planning and teaching.

School achievement information shows nearly all children achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards. Substantial numbers of students achieve above the Standards in each learning area. A small group of children achieve below the Standard in reading, writing and mathematics and boys feature in writing.

A trend of positive achievement continues to be evident for Māori learners who achieve at or above the Standard in all three areas of reading, writing and mathematics. Regular discussion of their achievement and learning occurs to enrich teachers’ knowledge of these students. There is some evidence of accelerated learning, especially for student movement to above the Standard.

Pacific students generally achieve well. There are some positive outcomes evident in participation, confidence and acceleration through teacher actions.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

Teachers care about the success and wellbeing of students, who experience positive, supportive relationships as they learn. Ongoing, individualised learning conversations promote their understanding and involvement in learning. Students feel well supported and included by their peers.

There is a strong focus on building relational trust and consistent and effective practice across the school. The senior leadership team has a clear vision for effective practice within a creative, integrated curriculum, focused on developing students’ key competencies.

Teachers are increasing their knowledge of and response to their learners through regular opportunities for reflection and sharing practice. A range of well-considered, sustained professional learning opportunities and support for teachers’ inquiry promotes change and improvement. This has resulted in the establishment of shared, key practices to guide teaching and learning.

A wide range of assessments help teachers to make judgements about students’ achievement and progress. Good processes are in place to discuss and moderate judgements internally throughout the year.

Trustees are positive about students’ successful outcomes and focused on building on the school’s strengths. They demonstrate confidence in school leadership and direction. They recognise and value the strong sense of community and the support and participation of families in school life.

Parents engage positively in school life and demonstrate high expectations for school performance and student achievement. Teachers regularly communicate learning information to parents and their children.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

Cultural responsiveness through the curriculum is an area for further development in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for learners. Although there are some opportunities for learning about aspects of te ao Māori, there is limited inclusion of Māori perspectives or reflection of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in school practices and curriculum. Improved focus should enrich learning for all children as New Zealanders, but also promote Māori students’ identity, language and culture. Similarly, further inclusion of Pacific perspectives within the curriculum should be considered.

The school is improving processes for tracking and monitoring the achievement and progress of learners. Further use of achievement information to promote the progress of individuals, groups and cohorts of students over time is a next step. Increasing opportunities for moderating across the school and for regular external moderation, should strengthen the robustness and dependability of teacher judgements about achievement and progress.

Appraisal and inquiry processes are in place to monitor and support the implementation of key practices for learning and teaching across the school. As curriculum documentation is further refined, it will be useful to evaluate the effectiveness of implemented strategies and approaches, especially for learners at risk of poor educational outcomes. Teachers continue to build a shared understanding of evidence that demonstrates they are meeting the Practising Teacher Criteria through the appraisal process.

A recent external evaluation of aspects of school culture has provided useful information from students, teacher and parents for sustaining and promoting improvement. A next step is to develop a shared, schoolwide process for internal evaluation that guides the evaluation of impact and effectiveness of actions and initiatives on student outcomes. This should provide clarity about the impact of actions taken, especially for children with identified needs, or who are at risk in their learning, and give an evidence base for reporting successes and decision-making for improvement.

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. 

School leaders and trustees recognised a number of operational practices and processes had recently lapsed. Evidence shows they are in the process of addressing these and improving alignment between policies, procedures and practices.

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to aspects of community consultation and curriculum.

In order to address these the board must ensure it:

  1. provides appropriate career education and guidance for all students in Year 7 and above, with a particular emphasis on specific career guidance for those students who have been identified by the school as being at risk of leaving school unprepared for the transition to the workplace or further education/training [National Administration Guidelines 1f]
  2. develops and makes known to the school's community, policies, plans and targets for improving the achievement of Māori students [National Administration Guidelines 1e]
  3. complies with the requirement to adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once every two years, after consultation with the school community. [Section 60B Education Act 1989]

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review, there were ten international students attending the school. The school provides good pastoral care and support for these students. They are well supported to participate and be included in school life. Additional teaching to support English language learning is undertaken in small groups with a specialist teacher.

Most international students are also enrolled at the Samuel Language Academy. This is an approved provider of accommodation and language instruction to support international students at Kelburn Normal School. ERO’s audit of the school’s implementation of the Code identified a lack of clarity about lines of responsibility between the academy and the school, for aspects of student wellbeing. Since the onsite phase, these matters have been followed up and clarified with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

Going forward

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

Children 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:

  • strengthen aspects of curriculum responsiveness through
    • building a clear understanding of aspirations for success as Māori in partnership with whānau Māori
    • aligning curriculum development, strategic action and evaluation
    • further building teachers’ cultural knowledge, understanding and practices
  • improve processes to promote accelerated learning
  • develop a shared process for internal evaluation that guides the evaluation of impact and effectiveness of actions and initiatives on student outcomes.

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

5 May 2017

About the school 

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2876

School type

Full primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

298

Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 4%

Pākehā 78%

Asian 16%

Pacific 2%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

Feb/March 2017

Date of this report

5 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, January 2013
Education Review, December 2009 Education Review, November 2006