Laingholm School - 26/06/2013

1 Context

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

Laingholm School provides education for students from Years 1 to 6 in a small semi-rural community in West Auckland. The school actively promotes the value of community, and plays an important role in connecting parents and families. Many staff live locally and have children attending the school. These connections promote strong local ownership of the school and, as a result, the school is well supported by its local community.

The school has a history of positive ERO reports. The 2010 ERO report identified many continued strengths, including respectful relationships and good use of student achievement information. In particular, ERO noted the positive, student-centred learning environment and the good opportunities provided for teachers to be leaders and to engage in innovative teaching practices. The board, senior leaders and staff have responded well to the next steps identified in the 2010 ERO report, and have been continuing to strengthen school-wide self review.

The principal, appointed at the time of the last ERO review, continues to promote leadership throughout the school. A new deputy principal was appointed in 2012. School leaders promote ongoing developments in teaching practice that support students’ independence and foster greater understanding of their learning.

Since the last ERO review in 2010, the board of trustees has successfully managed significant financial, staffing and property matters. The school is now in a stronger position to continue its focus on promoting positive outcomes for students.

2 Learning

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

The school makes good use of achievement information to create positive changes in student learning. High levels of student achievement in relation to the National Standards are evident. The majority of Māori students achieve well. Robust student achievement information is reported regularly to the board and is used effectively to make resourcing decisions.

Teachers are increasingly using student achievement information data to plan for students’ individual learning needs. Students with special education needs are well supported by their teachers to make good progress and achieve identified goals.

Teachers set appropriate achievement and learning targets for all students. They are particularly focused on raising the engagement, progress and achievement of students who are not achieving the targets set. Teachers and senior leaders use teaching and learning approaches that are appropriate for individual students’ learning needs.

For the past three years, senior leaders have been collecting data on student engagement. As a result of this focus, increasing student engagement in learning has become an overarching focus for the school. Teachers are developing their professional learning and students are becoming more knowledgeable about their achievement and progress and are encouraged to become self managing learners.

Parents are given good opportunities to discuss the engagement, learning and progress of their children. Student achievement information, which includes achievement in relation to the National Standards, enables parents to understand and contribute to their child’s learning and success.

Senior managers have appropriately identified the need for teachers to continue to develop their skills in data analysis.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively. Capable curriculum leaders promote a school curriculum that is designed to reflect the uniqueness of the local context. Curriculum values of promoting ‘creativity, curiosity and community’ support students to follow their own interests through research. The principal and school leaders have high expectations of teachers and students. They encourage teachers to be innovative and to trial new approaches to better engage students.

Leaders and teachers are developing a more flexible and responsive curriculum model that is focused around students’ capabilities and interests. Students have many opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills in reading, writing and mathematics across the curriculum. They are also provided with a wide range of co-curricular learning experiences that complement their classroom programmes. Students have good opportunities to increase their knowledge of te reo Māori me ngā ōna tikanga.

A next step is for senior leaders and teachers is to continue to strengthen the links between the school's curriculum and the New Zealand Curriculum.

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

The school is effective in promoting educational success for Māori students. They benefit from the respectful relationships evident throughout the school and enjoy the opportunities they have to succeed as Māori.

The board of trustees and principal have developed strong relationships with parents and whānau of Māori children. They promote an openness and commitment to continue working with their Māori community to ensure positive outcomes for Māori students. Whānau are encouraged to share with staff the aspirations they have for their children.

The school has used the Ministry of Education’s Strategy, Ka Hikitia: Managing for Success, to promote the potential of Māori students. The principal has appointed a staff member to oversee this strategy. Good progress is being made in this area and includes thorough documentation of the implementation process.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The principal provides effective leadership and is ably supported by the deputy principal and senior leaders. Together they are building the capability of teachers to evaluate the impact that teaching has on promoting student learning. A new performance appraisal system is supporting this development. There is a clear focus on building leadership throughout the school to sustain growth in teaching and curriculum developments.

Trustees bring a variety of experience and expertise to their governance role. Regular surveys of community and staff perspectives are undertaken and these inform strategic planning. Trustees are well informed about student achievement, engagement and school developments through very good reporting processes. The principal and board of trustees have managed staff, funding and property challenges carefully, while keeping the school focus on student learning. A school-wide culture of accountability and professionalism is reflected in board and school operations.

The board of trustees acknowledges the importance of systematically reviewing its own practice and school policies and procedures including regular reviews its processes for financial management and monitoring.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the 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.

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 2013

About the School

Location

Laingholm, Waitakere

Ministry of Education profile number

1338

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

281

Number of international students

0

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Other

93%

4%

1%

2%

Review team on site

May 2013

Date of this report

26 June 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2010

August 2007

May 2004