Leabank School - 24/09/2015

 

Findings

Leabank Primary School provides a caring environment for families and students. Students demonstrate pride in their school. They are increasingly taking ownership of their learning and understanding ways to identify their potential and to support their progress. The board and staff are committed to strengthening collaborative partnerships with their community.

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

1. Context

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

Leabank Primary School draws on a diverse community that is predominantly made up of Māori and Pacific families. The school’s strategic direction is about the board’s high level of commitment to the community and support for ongoing student success. Classrooms are calm and settled and this helps to promote an environment where students have a strong sense of pride and belonging.

Senior leaders know the community well. The largely long serving management team support effective implementation of school systems and the continuity of initiatives to increase student achievement and well being.

Since the 2012 ERO review, the school has participated in professional learning and development focused on improving students’ writing and e-learning skills. This has made a positive impact on progressing student achievement and growing teacher capability. The board of trustees reflects the diverse community. Ongoing board training could further support trustees to build their capacity to promote learning-focused partnerships between the school and parents.

2. Learning

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

The board, senior leaders and teachers use achievement information well to make positive changes for learners. They use this information to set school priorities and achievement targets, evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives, and inform curriculum decisions. Teachers use achievement data to plan programmes that cater for their students’ different strengths and learning needs. Achievement information is also used by senior leaders and teachers to identify suitable professional learning opportunities for teachers.

A recent focus on the use of reliable assessment tools is supporting teachers to make well evidenced judgements in relation to the National Standards. The school has put very good systems in place to measure and monitor the progress of individual students. These tools also help teachers track the progress of students. This ensures that teachers have a strong focus on target students and student achievement.

School achievement information shows that approximately 52% of students are consistently achieving at or above the National Standards in reading, 54% in writing and 50% in mathematics. School leaders and the board are committed to raising student achievement and have good strategies in place to support this.

Teaching practices introduced through the school’s professional learning and development programme are helping teachers to plan programmes for students that help them identify their next learning steps. Senior leaders agree that students have the skills and knowledge to be more actively involved in decisions about how to improve their achievement. Senior leaders are also aware that supporting all teachers to consistently implement the practices in the new Leabank curriculum and further refining their moderation skills, are priority developments for teachers.

The school has inclusive and responsive practices to support students with special learning needs. Teachers and teacher aides have a shared commitment and responsibility for student progress. Students are closely monitored and relevant agencies are involved in supporting these students. This ensures students participate fully in appropriate learning programmes and classroom activities.

Student engagement in learning is evident. Classrooms are learning environments where students are focussed and involved in meaningful and enjoyable learning. Students actively support each other’s learning. School leaders agree that a next step is to seek ways to enable students to become more actively involved in the planning and organisation of their own learning.

Improving attendance continues to be an issue that the school proactively addresses to support students to succeed at school. Senior leaders and the board, in conjunction with local agencies, continue to work to improve this situation for students. A next step for senior leaders could include external moderation to determine how effectively these interventions are impacting on improved attendance.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively.

Students benefit from a broad and interesting curriculum. Senior leaders and teachers have worked with external professional support to implement the school curriculum. There is an appropriate balance between literacy and mathematics, and students have good access to opportunities in other learning areas, including sport, education outside the classroom (EOTC) and the arts. Students are taught computer literacy skills to enhance learning.

The curriculum includes some aspects that reflect the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Senior leaders are considering how these learning experiences can be more cohesive and progressive across the year levels. Senior leaders are aware that ongoing curriculum development should be strengthened by having diverse student, parent and community voices informing Leabank’s local curriculum.

The school has developed a Pacific achievement plan with the intention of enhancing Pacific student success. Collaborative input from Pacific families and students could be used to strengthen this plan and deepen school partnerships with Pacific families.

Teachers are well supported to deliver the school curriculum. Teachers share their approaches and ideas, and access ongoing professional development to continue to learn. Teachers have a growing understanding of the benefits of shifting their focus to students knowing about themselves as learners, and learning how to learn. There are already some very good examples of teachers giving students more opportunities to make decisions about their learning.

A significant percentage of students speak first languages other than English. There is a school-wide expectation that students’ first language capabilities are key to learning English and accessing the curriculum. Teachers and teaching assistants have accessed some professional development to specifically support their provision for English speakers of other languages. Further professional development should improve the use of English Language Learning Progressions (ELLPs) to inform programmes.

School leaders and teachers have worked effectively with some early childhood services and the local college to support smooth transitions for students. This is having a positive impact on students starting school and those students transitioning on to their next school.

ERO and school leaders agree that development priorities include further developing teachers’ understanding of teaching as inquiry and effectively implementing the Leabank curriculum to raise student outcomes.

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

Forty percent of all students at Leabank School are Māori. Senior leaders and the board understand the urgency attached to supporting the wellbeing and achievement of Māori students. The school has devised a Māori achievement plan to positively influence success for Māori students. Senior leaders have identified that collaborative engagement of Māori whānau could be further improved. This will involve deepening school partnerships with Māori whānau. Consulting with individual families about their aspirations for their children and seeking whānau input to Leabank’s Māori achievement plan would be a useful starting point.

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 board of trustees are committed to student success and are supportive of school leaders. Ongoing board training will support trustees to be more active in their governance roles and appropriately have input into and scrutinise school decisions.

Senior leaders have a good understanding of school operations and are continuing to build leadership capability and capacity across the school. The recent internal appointment of an assistant principal to the leadership team should help ensure multiple voices inform the school vision.

Team leaders and teachers are well supported in their roles and reflect a clear understanding of the school’s professional culture. Teacher appraisal processes have improved and leaders are continuing to strengthen the rigour of these. There are high, clear and equitable expectations for student learning, achievement and well being. Further professional development should contribute to strengthening the school-wide emphasis on accelerating achievement for students who are at risk of poor outcomes.

The school has some self-review processes in place. This should be formalised to further strengthen and improve the rigour of school evaluation across the school. Trustees and senior leaders could implement staff and student surveys on wellbeing and inclusiveness as part of increasing the range of perspectives to inform school self 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.

Conclusion

Leabank Primary School provides a caring environment for families and students. Students demonstrate pride in their school. They are increasingly taking ownership of their learning and understanding ways to identify their potential and to support their progress. The board and staff are committed to strengthening collaborative partnerships with their community.

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

 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern 

About the School

Location

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1339

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

396

Gender composition

Boys      51%
Girls       49%

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Samoan
Cook Island Māori
Tongan
Indian
Niue
Vietnamese
other

40%
  2%
25%
15%
10%
  2%
  1%
  1%
  4%

Review team on site

August 2015

Date of this report

24 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

December 2012
March 2009
February 2006