Newtown School - 26/10/2017

Summary

Newtown School is a contributing primary school catering for Years 1 to 6 students. A Māori immersion class, Ngāti Kotahitanga, caters for 19 students in Years 1 to 8.

The school is a community centre for a diverse range of ethnicities. Of the 361 students, 131 are Pākehā, 55 Māori, 56 Pacific, 69 Asian and 49 from a range of Middle Eastern/Latin American/African. Approximately a third of the students are supported as English language learners. Many families are new to New Zealand.

School developments have continued to progress and be innovative, despite a major rebuilding programme constraining the site.

At the time of the July 2014 ERO report, the principal was new to the school. Most of the current senior leaders have been appointed since this time and most trustees are new to the board. School leaders and trustees have taken steps to improve the provision of quality of education and successful outcomes.

Trustees have consulted with the community to assist in reviewing the charter, informing school values and gauging opinions related to an enrolment zone.

Newtown School is a member of the Capital City Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

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

Student achievement data over time show the majority of children are engaging in learning, progressing and achieving. Most Pākehā learners achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards in all three areas of reading, writing and mathematics. Other groups do not achieve at the same level, especially in literacy. Girls achieve much better than boys in reading and writing.

Although some children make accelerated progress, the school recognises there is a need to continue with the development of evidence of improvement over time for those achieving below National Standards. Most Māori and Pacific students are below the National Standards in reading and writing. Many achieve in mathematics. Most Pākehā students are achieving at or above in relation to the National Standards.

Almost all Māori students in Ngāti Kotahitanga, the immersion class, achieve at or above in relation to Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori.

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

The school agrees to: develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for all children; monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress; and discuss the schools progress with ERO.

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?

There is a considered approach to developing learning partnerships with families of those students at risk of not meeting National Standard expectation, especially whānau Māori and families of children in mainstream, to support their achievement and success as Māori. However, mainstream Māori children’s achievement remains a key focus, especially in writing.

Most Māori and Pacific students are below in relation to the National Standards in reading and writing and many achieve in mathematics. Most Pākehā students are achieving at or above in relation to the National Standards.

School leaders have identified that an important next step is to further analyse and inquire more deeply into achievement data. This should help identify specific groups for targeting and assist in evaluating the effectiveness of the strategies used for accelerating learning. Overall teacher judgements are informed by standardised assessments. Achievement information is moderated internally and with other schools to promote school-wide consistency. Robust processes enable teachers to clearly identify students at risk of not achieving.

Appropriate targets are set and specific children are identified, supported and their progress is tracked. Strategies and outcomes are discussed at team meetings. There is evidence of improved student achievement. However, there needs to be a sharper focus and shared understanding of acceleration.

The school has taken a range of measures to meet areas for development identified in the previous ERO report, including consulting and collaborating with whānau of mainstream students to support their achievement and success as Māori.

Trustees, leaders and teachers have a strong commitment to continuing to improve achievement by addressing the current inequitable outcomes. Strategic leadership is a strength. Strategies are in place to address these concerns.

Teachers care and have a strong focus on collaboration as they build a shared understanding of effectiveness. They share their learning and successful strategies to improve practice.

Children learning in Ngāti Te Kotahitanga the Māori medium class are very successful. Almost all achieve at or above in Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori. The teacher and support teacher work with other schools for moderation purposes. The classroom is settled and students respond positively to the teachers’ high expectations. For these students equitable outcomes are evident.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

Newtown School is a learning community with a strong collaborative approach to supporting student success. There is a clear alignment from the board strategic plan through to teacher goals and expected outcomes.

The recently developed curriculum framework allows for a meaningful, localised curriculum. Useful guidelines provided for teachers help them to be responsive to diversity and all students’ needs. The revised school values are well integrated into all areas of the school and clearly evident.

Strong leadership and management are in place. Some good systems enable the achievement of equity and excellence to continue to be developed. Professional learning is promoted and leaders have high expectations of teacher practice and student learning. Internal evaluation focuses on student achievement. The performance appraisal is rigorous and supportive and includes appropriate professional development for individuals, including teacher aides and for the staff as a whole.

Stewardship is strategic and strong. The board is well informed about student progress. It scrutinises the data and has developed a robust self-review process that clearly focuses on enabling achievement of equity and excellence. Trustees proactively provide targeted resources to meet the needs of students at risk of not achieving.

Teachers have a strong focus on care for children and collaborate as they build a shared understanding of effectiveness. They share their learning and successful strategies to improve practice.

The school has strong links with a range of external agencies that support children with additional needs. There are comprehensive systems and processes in place for these children. It is an inclusive school with a wide range of ethnic groups working harmoniously together.

A teacher is employed to meet the needs of the many students who are English language learners. This teacher is also responsible for coordinating the Mutukaroa process, which is a deliberate partnership with the parents and whānau of children at risk of not achieving. Both of these programmes are having a positive impact on student learning and family engagement.

Leadership is collaborative. Internal evaluation focuses on student achievement. As part of appraisal teachers collaboratively inquire into their practice. Professional learning is promoted.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

The school’s new governance and leadership teams have a clear direction for improvement, and have established sustainable systems and processes to address inequity of outcomes. A sharper focus on and shared understanding of acceleration is needed for this direction to improve equity of outcome. Inquiring more deeply into achievement data to support more specific target setting and evaluation of actions to address disparity is needed.

A next step is to have a more focused plan to meet specific needs of individual children at risk of not achieving and improved monitoring of progress. In particular, sharpened focus on improving Māori boys’ and Pacific children’s achievement in writing through specific planning, deliberate teaching and closer monitoring and reporting on their progress.

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

  • finance

  • 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.

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 Pacific learners remains.

Leaders and teachers:

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

  • need to develop further teacher capability that effectively meet the needs of each learner

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

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate progress for learners

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

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

26 October 2017

About the school

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2926

School type

Contributing English Medium (Year 1 to 6) Māori Medium (Year 1-8)

School roll

361

Gender composition

Female 52%, Male 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 15%
Pākehā 36%
Asian 19%
Pacific 16%
Other ethnic groups 14%

Provision of Māori medium education

Yes

Number of Māori medium classes

1

Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)

19

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

19

Number of students in Level 1 MME

19

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

26 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2014
Education Review September 2011
Education Review October 2008