Long Bay School - 24/03/2017

1 Context

Long Bay School, on Auckland's North Shore, caters for children in Years 1 to 6. The school is adjacent to a regional park and beach, which is referenced in the school environment. The school is located in the centre of a major urban housing development. The board is aware of the impact this will have on future school growth and is strategically planning for this outcome. Assessment for Learning (AFL) has been a significant focus of the school's professional development in recent years. The school has a positive history of ERO reporting and has had steady increase in roll growth, since ERO's 2011 review.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to become confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners, through high quality whole-child education. The focus on these overarching goals reflects the school community's commitment to providing a nurturing learning environment.

The school’s achievement information shows that reading, writing and maths results have remained high overall, with the majority of students achieving at or above the National Standards. School literacy data show disparities between boys' and girls' achievement over time, with girls performing particularly well in reading.

School-wide moderation systems support teachers to make consistent achievement judgements against the National Standards and have been refined across the school through external professional development for teachers. This has enhanced the dependability of student achievement data across the different year levels.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has focused on improving learner outcomes through:

  • continuing to strengthen assessment for learning (AFL) practices across the school
  • targeting individual learners needing support with their learning
  • improving student writing through a 'Progression Trains' strategy that informs teaching and learning
  • developing te reo Māori in classrooms, and establishing a kapa haka group
  • distributing leadership roles across the school
  • improving the school's information communication technologies (ICT) infrastructure and use of digital technologies.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school is increasingly effective in responding to children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

Leaders closely analyse data within cohorts of students, to establish trends and patterns, recognising the need to identify variation that may occur and helping to pinpoint students who require support and learning acceleration. School leaders agree that a next step is to now analyse patterns in achievement data over time and to identify trends emerging for particular groups.

School leaders agree that charter targets could be stated in a more specific manner within the strategic plan to accelerate children's progress. This specificity could also enhance team and classroom target setting, and guide resourcing and professional learning decisions. Leaders have identified boys' literacy achievement and girls' mathematics, as specific targets for improvement. Consideration should also be given to raising Māori children's achievement.

The principal and leadership team collect student achievement data to support the identification of those children who are at risk of not achieving and whose progress needs acceleration. Teachers use this information to develop class profiles and action plans to target children's progress. A next step in this process is for teachers to develop more explicit internal analysis and evaluation of achievement data and evaluation of their teaching practices. This deepening of practice will support teachers' ongoing consideration of their next steps and improve the outcomes for students.

The board resources a number of interventions to support children who are below the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Good leadership from the special needs co-ordinator (SENCO), and highly engaged teacher aides, support learners across the school. Specific programmes support student engagement and learning progress. In some cases these lead to accelerated learning progress. A next step for leaders is to implement a more strategic and evaluative approach to analysing the outcomes of these interventions. This would provide more rigorous information for the establishment or dissolution of intervention programmes dependent on their effectiveness. This will support resourcing and learning decisions, and is likely to enhance outcomes for students to become increasingly equitable and sustained.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The school's curriculum, processes and practices are increasingly effective in promoting equity and excellence for children. Trustees, school leaders and staff have high expectations for all children to experience and celebrate success. Children benefit from a positive, respectful school culture, they enjoy learning in classroom environments that reflect their ownership and show pride in their learning.

Children experience a range of learning opportunities. A broad curriculum fosters interest in specialist art, music, drama and dance lessons. Older children can participate in a Waterwise programme, and a peer mediation initiative. Relationships between children are supportive, tuakana teina practices are evident and teachers are focused on improving outcomes for their students. Teachers support children well, to know what skills they are learning and why. Learners set their own goals in key curriculum areas and increasingly know their next steps. Children see themselves as capable and competent learners.

The school's bicultural journey is in the early stages of development. A designated teacher supports teachers to promote the learning of te reo Māori in all classes, and leads kapa haka for older children. The board and leaders acknowledge their commitment to progressing the schools journey in te ao Māori, through the school's vision and values. They articulate a desire to see te āo Māori fully embraced by the school. Whānau are seeking to develop a genuine bicultural partnership with the school to enable opportunities for dialogue and participation, in order to support their tamariki.

The school curriculum is largely integrated and areas for inquiry are identified at syndicate level. Leaders and ERO agree that it is now time to develop a school wide inquiry process that enables students to take their thinking and learning to a higher level, and integrates reading, writing and mathematics into other learning areas.

Teachers participate in a regular appraisal process and the school has adopted Education Council processes to guide the school's revised appraisal system. Senior leaders have indicated that teachers' appraisals will continue to be strengthened through the introduction of an online appraisal tool in 2017. They agree that the inclusion of the Ministry of Education Resource Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners would also be appropriate.

To further support positive outcomes for children and the school community, the principal's leadership now needs to extend to leading aspects of professional practice in the following areas:

  • growing bi-cultural understanding
  • building internal evaluation capacity
  • refining charter targets
  • building professional capability through teacher appraisal.

The principal has scheduled a review of the 'Long Bay Way', which underpins the school culture, values and behaviour management. This is a positive move, as both the board and principal recognise that bicultural practices and the school's increasingly multicultural context could be better reflected in the school's guiding documents and practices.

Parents and whānau appreciate many aspects of the school and seek to have closer communication and partnership with the school. Leaders recognise that they need to create new ways to hear the voices of Māori whānau. As the roll increases, the many different migrant groups within the school community will also need to be consulted.

Trustees are committed to the school and forward thinking. The new board understands its stewardship role and is open to new directions and opportunities to improve school operations. The board wants to become more responsive to whānau and the aspirations of the school community, and recognise that as the community changes, further consultation is important. Trustees are keen to seek guidance with regard to building the board's bicultural practices and competence.

5 Going forward

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

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how teaching is working for these children
  • need to systematically act on what they know works for each child
  • need to have a plan in place to build teacher capability to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it.

The board and school leaders have identified and agreed that to support the school moving forward they should:

  • act on the board's commitment to building bicultural partnerships, promoting te reo Māori me ōna tikanga at Long Bay School
  • implement anniversary reporting for all students in their first three years at school
  • further develop understanding requirements of the Education Council
  • undertake professional development to build the internal evaluation capacity for all professionals in the school.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should use the findings of this evaluation, the Effective School Evaluation resource, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to develop more targeted planning to accelerate student achievement. Planning should show how processes and practices will respond effectively to the strengths and needs of children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s planning and the progress the school makes.

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

6 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 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014
  • provision for international students. 

Provision for international students

At the time of this review there were three international students attending the school.

The school is making good progress in aligning its policies and procedures to meet requirements for the 2016 Code.

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that the school continue to develop its internal evaluation capacity and address the areas for development identified in this report, to achieve excellence and equity in outcomes for all children. 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

24 March 2017

About the school 

Location

Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1342

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

370

Gender composition

Girls 54% Boys 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

South African

British

Pacific

other European

other Asian

6%

60%

12%

8%

5%

2%

4%

3%

Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

24 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2011

June 2008

June 2005