Lynmore Primary School - 26/01/2016

Findings

Students at Lynmore Primary School enjoy a wide range of sporting, cultural and educational opportunities in an affirming environment. The school explicitly promotes values to provide a positive culture for learning. Significant progress in assessment and moderation processes has been made. Pastoral care, inclusiveness and parent participation are also features.

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?

Lynmore Primary School is a large urban school located in Rotorua. It caters for students from Years 1 to 6. The school’s roll of 701 includes 146 Māori students, many of whom whakapapa to Te Roro-o-Te-Rangi. Since the 2012 ERO review, the roll has slightly increased. The principal has remained the same. However, there has been a significant change in school staffing, including the appointment of a new deputy and assistant principals. Membership of the board of trustees has generally stayed the same.

In response to the areas for development in the 2012 ERO report, the principal has led a significant focus on building a positive culture for learning among the teaching team. Students have benefitted from teachers’ professional learning and development. This has focused on students as active participants in the learning process by understanding the purpose and outcomes of their learning.

As identified in the previous 2012 ERO report, effectively responding to Māori students’ language, identity and culture remains an ongoing challenge for trustees, leadership and teachers. Māori student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics is significantly below that of their non-Māori peers at the school.

Following extensive engagement with the community, the school has reviewed their vision and values statements. These make a strong commitment to providing a place where ‘students care for each other, develop a love for learning and achieve their personal best’. The values of aroha, respect, honesty, perseverance and initiative are well known and promoted, and support a calm and settled environment for learning. Students benefit from having access to extensive and well-maintained grounds and facilities, including a large native bush area, a purpose-built gymnasium and a cultural centre. At the time of this ERO review the school’s library and hall were undergoing extensive remodelling.

Students indicated to ERO that they felt included, cared for, safe and secure at Lynmore Primary School.

2 Learning

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

Students are positively engaged in meaningful learning and are encouraged to work independently. In some classes, students are able to effectively identify and monitor their own progress and achievement particularly, in aspects of literacy. The leadership team has identified the consistent use of these effective practices across the school as a priority for ongoing teacher development.

The principal has had a focus on strengthening moderation processes in supporting teachers to make reliable judgements in relation to the National Standards. This has included the use of the Ministry of Education’s Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT). The use of the PaCT is assisting teachers to increase their understanding of students’ achievement in relation to learning progressions in reading, writing and mathematics.

Parents are well informed about their children’s learning, progress and achievement. They receive two written reports each year, and are welcomed and encouraged to meet with teachers throughout the year.

The school reports that in 2014 approximately 80% of students achieved at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics. Slightly lower levels of achievement were reported in writing. In response to this achievement trend, the school has implemented several strategies to raise the achievement levels in writing.

The effective use of student achievement information to accelerate the progress of students at risk of underachieving needs to be a priority for trustees, leaders and teachers. To support this, consideration should be given to:

  • the board setting specific targets focussed on accelerating the progress of students at risk of under achieving, particularly Maori
  • leaders specifically monitoring and regularly reporting progress and achievement of these students to the board
  • teachers regularly reflecting on the effectiveness of their own practice about raising the achievement of these at risk students
  • leaders and teachers developing reciprocal relationships with parents and whānau, and the deliberate use of strategies to involve them as active participants in their children’s learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school has a broad curriculum that provides many opportunities for students to learn and experience success. Appropriate priority is given to the teaching of reading, writing and mathematics. Students benefit from a well-planned and implemented music programme taken by a dedicated teacher outside of the classroom programme. They also enjoy and participate in an extensive range of sporting and physical education programmes, activities and competitions.

ERO observed some teachers using highly effective strategies that support and promote student learning. In these classes students were able to articulate their learning, progress and next steps, and they experienced a curriculum that accelerated their progress. Digital technology was an integrated part of these class programmes. These teachers were responsive to the language, identity and culture of their students. The leadership team has identified the consistent use of these effective practices across the school as a priority for ongoing teacher development.

Students with special learning needs have access to a wide range of appropriate programmes and initiatives. A new Special Needs Education Coordinator (SENCO) supported by a Resource Teacher for Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) have reviewed the systems and processes to more effectively monitor the progress and achievement of students with identified special needs. This has resulted in the clarification of roles and responsibilities for teachers and support staff so that they are able to better meet the needs of these students.

An important next step for the school is to further refine the school’s curriculum guidelines in relation to The New Zealand Curriculum (TNZC). Particular emphasis should be given to:

  • developing a shared and agreed understanding in partnership with teachers of expectations for teaching and learning
  • developing and implementing a sequential Māori language programme, as well as a focus on integrating identity and culture in all learning programmes
  • establishing clear learning pathways in each subject area, including oral language
  • developing a cohesive focus in incorporating the key competencies across the curriculum.

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

The principal has a strong focus on promoting educational success for Māori as Māori. She has established useful links with the kaumātua of Te Roro-o-Te-Rangi to provide the school with support and guidance. A highly knowledgeable whānau group willingly support the school and work alongside teachers to incorporate Māori language, identity and culture. Teachers should embrace the knowledge and experience of this group to further benefit Māori students.

The principal has actively sought, and been involved in, professional learning for teachers to reflect on their own identity, culture and belief systems. This learning provides them with a good foundation to explore Māori cultural values and identity. This included a noho marae. Many teachers participated in the He Papa Tikanga programme. Staff te reo and tikanga Māori knowledge and understanding has been strengthened by this. This is likely to raise the capability and confidence of teachers to deliver a culturally responsive programme, which values the knowledge and experience Māori children bring.

The school has an experienced teacher responsible for leading kaupapa Māori across the school. She works with whānau involved with kapa haka and provides valuable support for teachers. A successful initiative in 2015 was for a group of Māori students to visit a local marae to learn about history and places of importance for iwi.

The next step is for the board, school leaders and the whānau group to work together to develop and implement a strategic plan that reflects the aspirations of students and their whānau.

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 because:

  • highly skilled and experienced trustees make good use of their individual knowledge and professional expertise
  • the recently established senior leadership team includes experienced and knowledgeable assistant and deputy principals
  • the principal has a strong focus on working towards providing equitable outcomes for students and their families
  • teachers are committed to ongoing professional learning and are working collaboratively in the best interests of students
  • the school continues to benefit from high levels of community involvement.

The next step is to review the structure, roles and responsibilities of the new leadership team to support a more cohesive, strategic approach to address the areas for development identified in this report:

  • raising the achievement of students at risk of poor educational outcomes, particularly Māori
  • implementing a curriculum that realises the vision and principles of TNZC.

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

Students at Lynmore Primary School enjoy a wide range of sporting, cultural and educational opportunities in an affirming environment. The school explicitly promotes values to provide a positive culture for learning. Significant progress in assessment and moderation processes has been made. Pastoral care, inclusiveness and parent participation are also features.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

26 January 2016

School Statistics

Location

Rotorua

Ministry of Education profile number

1791

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

701

Gender composition

Girls 52% Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Pasifika

Other

64%

20%

5%

2%

9%

Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

26 January 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2012

August 2009

August 2006