Nelson Intermediate - 27/10/2017

Summary

Nelson Intermediate School has a roll of 445 children. This includes 77 Māori children and a smaller number of Pacific children. In 2017 the school had a marked increase in its roll. The school has welcomed a number of children from other cultures. The school is a member of the Nelson City Kāhui Ako |Community of Learning.

Since the last ERO evaluation in 2014, there have been several changes to staffing including the appointment of a new deputy principal.

Senior leaders and teachers have participated in the Ministry of Education’s Accelerating Learning in Mathematics, Accelerating Literacy Learning and Positive Behaviour for Learning programmes. These initiatives support leaders and teachers in building their capability in culturally responsive teaching and learning practices, and maintaining their focus on children’s wellbeing.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school has effective practices to enable the achievement of equity and excellence. However, the school needs to make better use of these practices to ensure they continue to respond well to those Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and other learners remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the learners whose progress and achievement need to be accelerated

  • need to sustain approaches that effectively meet the needs of each learner

  • need to build and sustain teacher capability to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement

  • need to strengthen internal evaluation to guide decision-making and planning.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate progress for learners

  • monitor targeted planning, teaching practices, and learners’ progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide feedback and resources to support the development of more targeted planning.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school is not responding well to those Māori and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

Approximately 70% of children who enter Nelson Intermediate achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The remaining 30% do not. In-school disparity in achievement is evident for boys, Maori and Pacific children. This is recognised by senior leaders and teachers. For example, 55% of Maori children and 80 % of Pākehā children achieved National Standards in mathematics in 2016. There is a similar pattern of disparity in achievement in reading and writing. If unaddressed, this achievement gap is likely to impact on children’s learning pathways in this school and beyond.

The school has the capability to accelerate the learning of these children. The board and school leaders have implemented strategies which have been effective in the past. These need to be re-established and sustained. New programmes to accelerate achievement have been introduced this year, but these have not yet been evaluated.

The teaching team structure has also changed in 2017 to re-establish and better support practices to improve outcomes for children. It is too soon for ERO to evaluate the impact of these changes on children’s progress and achievement.

Children with additional special learning needs participate in authentic learning opportunities that provide appropriate levels of challenge. School information shows that many of these children make significant progress against their personal learning goals.

School information shows that the achievement levels for children learning in Te Pitau Whakarei (Māori medium class) have improved over time. School leaders continue to focus on raising achievement for these learners.

School leaders have improved assessment and moderation procedures to better assist teachers in making reliable judgements about children’s achievement. To ensure a consistent approach across the school, further work is required to develop a shared understanding of these procedures by school leaders and all teachers.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school has some processes in place to enable the achievement of equity and excellence for all children.

The board has a vision and strategic focus on learning success and engagement to learn. The board and school leaders have pursued equity and excellence through setting purposeful targets. These targets give leaders and teachers some direction in relation to the board’s strategic goals for teaching and learning.

Children’s engagement in learning is a board priority. The board recognises the importance of attendance for children to progress their learning and achieve outcomes valued by the school. The school has effective practices that have raised and sustained very high attendance rates over recent years.

In recent years, school leaders and teachers have worked collaboratively to raise for groups of priority learners. The school has built professional capability to assist teachers to accelerate learning. Professional development opportunities for teachers have been well supported. This has led to acceleration for some children over the past three years. However, some effective practices introduced over this time have not been sustained.

A culturally responsive curriculum supports and promotes Māori children’s opportunities to learn across all learning areas. This contributes to building children’s confidence in their identity, and knowledge of their language and culture. Te Pitau Whakarei (Māori medium class) is increasingly enabling Māori children to achieve educational success.

The board, leaders and teachers value the diverse cultural backgrounds of children and the positive impact their culture has on the school’s community. Children with English as a second language are well supported to access learning. The English language learners’ programme is effective in ensuring these children have opportunities to learn, and contributes to high levels of engagement for these children across all English medium classes.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

The school has effective practices to support equity and excellence. The school needs to develop and use these effective practices more consistently, in order to raise the achievement of all children, and ensure the learning needs of all children are met.

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The board and school leaders acknowledge the need to develop systems to ensure the sustainability of effective practice for teaching and learning. These include:

Strengthening internal evaluation to achieve equity and excellence

The school needs to strengthen internal evaluation to enable the board and school leaders to measure how well the school is achieving its valued outcomes for children. Strengthened internal evaluation will enable school leaders to make better use of achievement information to monitor and evaluate teaching and learning in this school.

Consistently aligning the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities to achieve equity and excellence

The board’s strategic vision for student achievement is clear and now needs to be supported by greater specificity as to how the board’s strategic priorities will be addressed. Robust annual planning to meet priorities, targets and regular reporting based on analysis of trends, patterns and progress will allow trustees to better scrutinise school effectiveness and to make informed decisions to improve outcomes for all learners.

To achieve greater equity of outcomes, trustees and school leaders must maintain a relentless focus on accelerating the progress of children at risk of underachievement. Teachers and leaders performance appraisal goals need to clearly link to the school’s strategic goals and priorities, promoting the shared expectations of accelerating progress and raising achievement.

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

  • 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.

To improve current practice, the board of trustees need to be assured:

  • that risks are identified for all trips and events beyond the school

  • that school appraisal expectations are consistently followed.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there was one international student attending the school.

The school has good processes in place to ensure student wellbeing. International students have high levels of involvement and integration into the school community.

Going forward

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

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and/or other learners remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the learners whose progress and achievement need to be accelerated

  • need to sustain approaches that effectively meet the needs of each learner

  • need to build and sustain teacher capability to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement

  • need to strengthen internal evaluation to guide decision-making and planning.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate progress for learners

  • monitor targeted planning, teaching practices, and learners’ progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide feedback and resources to support the development of more targeted planning.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

27 October 2017

About the school

Location

Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

3210

School type

Intermediate (Years 7 & 8)

School roll

445

Gender composition

Boys: 55% Girls: 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori: 17%

Pākehā: 60%

Pacific: 3%

Asian 10%

Other: 10%

Provision of Māori medium education

Yes

Number of Māori medium classes

1

Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)

18

Total number of students in Māori language in English medium (MLE)

0

Number of students in Level 2 MME

18

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

27 October 2017

Most recent ERO reports

January 2014
October 2010
October 2007