Ladbrooks School - 27/02/2018

School context

Ladbrooks School is a Year 1 – 8 rural school located close to Christchurch, with a roll of 135 children. A small number of children identify as Māori. 

Since the last ERO review a new principal and board chair have been appointed. The board is a mix of experienced and new trustees.

Teachers have participated in professional development to improve learning outcomes for children. This has included a focus on play-based learning in the junior school and collaborative teaching practices.

Trustees and staff are developing partnerships with the local marae and runaka.

The school’s vision is to prepare ‘Ladbrooks Learners’ by developing values, knowledge and competencies to allow them to confidently and actively connect and contribute to their community now and into the future. 

The school states that its valued outcomes are for children to develop dispositions to be:

  • ready to learn
  • willing to learn
  • able to learn
  • learning together.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, school-wide information about outcomes for children in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • progress and achievement in relation to the school’s achievement targets.

The school is part of the Lincoln Ngā Mātāpuna o Ngā Pākihi Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

Overall, Ladbrooks School children experience and achieve excellent educational outcomes.

In 2016, school achievement information shows close to 90% of children achieved at or above the expected levels in writing and mathematics. Reading achievement was 82%, with almost half of the children achieving above the expected level.

Over the last three years, school achievement information shows the school has maintained or improved achievement levels. There has been a significant improvement in writing achievement.

There is some disparity in how well different groups of children achieve in literacy. School results show that boys’ and Māori achievement is lower for reading and writing.

There is no formal reporting on children’s achievement against other curriculum areas. Similarly, the school has no information as to how well its valued outcomes for children’s learning are achieved.

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

The school is very successful in lifting the achievement of children who need extra support with their learning. 2017 achievement targets include all children who are below expected achievement levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

School information shows that most target children make accelerated progress. For example, by Term 3 of 2017 over half of these children had made accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Similarly, most target children made accelerated progress in 2016.

Children with additional learning needs are very well supported.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

Trustees and staff are reflective, improvement focussed and have high expectations for positive outcomes for all children’s learning, achievement and wellbeing. Trustees support this through targeted resourcing. Trustees and staff promote effective relationships at every level of the school community. School leaders and teachers build positive and meaningful partnerships with the children and their families. Community connections and collaborations contribute to enriching learning opportunities for all children.

Children’s learning benefits from programmes that are innovative and responsive to their needs, interests and strengths. Well-considered implementation of play-based learning is an innovative feature of the school’s curriculum. The curriculum is highly responsive. Children are provided with many opportunities to extend their knowledge and understanding of the community and wider world.

Learning environments are settled and well-organised. This contributes to conditions that are highly conducive to children’s learning.

Effective use of teachers’ strengths through collaborative practice is improving learning outcomes for all children. Tuakana-teina relationships are well embedded in the learning environment at this school.

Children are provided with increased opportunities to experience and value te ao Māori. The school uses local experts well to guide and enrich their programmes.

Leaders and teachers effectively use systems for gathering and sharing learning information. Moderation and assessment practices contribute to effective teacher judgements about children’s achievement.

Teachers have very effective practices to support children who need extra support with their learning. They know these children very well as individuals and learners and use a variety of well-considered strategies to lift their achievement. They carefully track and monitor each child’s progress and achievement.

The school’s involvement in the Lincoln Ngā Mātāpuna o Ngā Pākihi Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning is having a positive impact on teaching and learning. 

The board is strongly focussed on serving the community and school in its role. Trustees receive reports about school programmes, practices and student achievement targets. They use this information well to ensure the focus remains on equity and excellence for all children.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence?

Some areas of the school’s processes need to be strengthened and embedded to increase the effectiveness in achieving equity and excellence.

School leaders need to extend the use of learning information. They need to carefully track and monitor the progress of students’ achievement and progress for specific groups (for example, by gender, ethnicity, and year-group) and report this information to the board.

Reports to the board about school achievement targets do not include detail on the progress of groups of students within each target area. This means that it is difficult for the board to see whether some groups, for example boys, have made sufficient progress.

School leaders and teachers need to strengthen internal evaluation. This includes, evaluating the impact of strategies and initiatives to improve learning outcomes for children.

Trustees and leaders need to be better informed about how well children are achieving the school’s valued outcomes. They need to develop valued learner outcome indicators, which can then be measured and reported against.

3 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
  • finance
  • 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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • positive and meaningful partnerships with children and their families that support learning
  • collaborative practice that is building teacher capacity and capability with positive outcomes for learners
  • programmes that are innovative and responsive to children’s needs, interests and strengths.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, development priorities are in:

  • closer monitoring and reporting on progress for those groups of learners who require additional support
  • strengthening internal evaluation to know what is having the most impact for learners
  • developing indicators for the school’s valued outcomes which can be measured and reported against.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Dr Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

27 February 2018 

About the School

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3402

School type

Primary 1-8

School roll

135

Gender composition

Girls 48%
Boys 52%

Ethnic composition

Māori 7%
Pākehā 92%
Other  1%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

27 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2013
Education Review February 2010
Education Review March 2007