Northland School - 25/06/2018

School Context

Northland School is a Wellington suburban school for students in Years 1 to 8. The school has a roll of 329 with 8% Māori and 2% of Pacific heritage.

The school whakatauki provides its overarching vision: Tu mai Te Ahūmairangi, tū mai hoki tātou – As Te Ahūmairangi stands, we also reach for great heights. The school-developed learner qualities programme is an integral part of the curriculum.

The school’s achievement goals are to raise student achievement in reading and writing, and the level of achievement and engagement of boys in writing across the school.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas: achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school has had a major focus on teaching and learning in mathematics since 2016. This has included four teachers participating in Accelerated Learning in Mathematics in 2017.

Since the May 2015 ERO report, the senior leadership roles have been changed to include specific responsibilities for curriculum and pastoral care. A new associate principal and two team leaders were appointed for the start of 2018.

The school is part of the recently approved Wellington West Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

Overall student achievement at Northland School is high, especially in reading. These levels have been maintained since 2015 for all groups of learners.

Most children, including Māori learners, are achieving at and above The New Zealand Curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Pacific children achieve well. More girls than boys achieve at a high level in writing. The percentage of Pākehā learners achieving well in writing is higher than for Māori children.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

Those students whose learning needs acceleration are identified and a range of deliberate teaching strategies and interventions are implemented to promote their progress.

Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) results show that the majority of target students in mathematics made accelerated progress during 2017.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The learning environment is managed in ways that support participation and engagement in learning. Student voice is valued and promoted and children talk confidently about their learning tasks. Purposeful, deliberate acts of teaching and arrangements for learning support student engagement. The development of teacher questioning promotes students’ sharing of ideas and understandings. Leaders oversee the provision of appropriate support for students’ with additional needs. Gifted and talented students in mathematics participate in enrichment programmes and specialised events. External expertise is used to enhance students’ learning programmes. Leadership effectively ensures an orderly and supportive environment that is conducive to student learning and wellbeing.

Relational trust at every level of the school community is evident through respectful, positive interactions. A purposeful approach to promoting and valuing the language, culture and identity of Māori children and their whānau is evident. This has been guided by meaningful connections and regular hui with whānau. Reports to parents, student-led conferences, goal setting and individual education plans ensure that all parents are well informed about student achievement, progress and wellbeing.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The May 2015 ERO report identified the need to develop curriculum documents. This continues to be an area for development. Leaders have begun to unpack and personalise to the school, the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum. Developing and clearly documenting the Northland School Curriculum and pedagogy to guide effective teacher practice will be essential for working in the planned, purpose-built innovative learning environment.

Northland School has a comprehensive appraisal framework that provides leaders and teachers with the opportunity to engage in robust performance management. Continuing to refine the consistency of implementation of the framework should strengthen the effectiveness of this process. Further development of leaders’ and teachers’ knowledge and cultural competencies should be included.

A key next step is to increase the focus on target students and accelerating their progress and include:

  • inquiring more deeply into data, including analysis of information about groups of learners

  • increasing the regularity of analysis and reporting to the board about the ongoing progress of target students

  • aligning the appraisal process and teacher inquiry to this focus.

Trustees are kept well informed about a wide range of school organisational matters. Increasing the regularity of reports about student outcomes to the board should assist trustees with resourcing decisions.

Reflection and a schedule of areas for review are evident. Developing a shared understanding of evidence-based internal evaluation is important for trustees, leaders and teachers. This should support the determining of the quality, effectiveness and value of class programmes, interventions and school processes and practices.

3 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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • leaders, teachers and trustees working together collaboratively to promote student wellbeing and high student achievement.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • clearly defined expectations for teaching and learning

  • sharpening the focus on acceleration of those few students at risk of not achieving

  • internal evaluation processes and practices for development of a shared understanding. [The school has requested and ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

25 June 2018

About the school

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2931

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

329

Gender composition

Girls 51%, Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 8%
Pākehā 77%
Asian 7%
Pacific 2%
Other ethnic groups 6%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

25 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2015
Education Review June 2012
Education Review September 2009