One Tree Point School - 16/06/2016

1 Context

One Tree Point School, located in the Whangarei district, is a well-established school catering for children in Years 1 to 6. The introduction of an enrolment scheme has reduced roll growth. The new home zone has resulted in a change to the school's demographics. Thirty-five percent of the roll is now Māori, and 51 percent are of Pākehā descent.

The school has a history of positive ERO evaluations. Staff and trustees provide a complementary sense of stability as well as new perspectives and skills. The school faces some changes in governance and management with the upcoming board elections and change in principal. Staff have been involved in significant professional development in te reo Māori and mathematics for a number of years. The school is well supported by its community. Staff continue to work closely with local schools and early childhood services to support transitions and share expertise.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are demonstrated well in school practices. The vision is to provide a learning environment where high quality, child-centred teaching and learning programmes cater for children's needs. Children are encouraged, challenged and extended to achieve their personal best and become lifelong learners. The school's motto, 'Ma te mahi ka ora - From hard work comes success', is well known and understood by children and staff. Creativity, being culturally and environmentally aware, caring for others, respect and responsibility are additional valued outcomes. Having fun while learning is also promoted.

The school’s achievement information shows that over the last three years student achievement in relation to the National Standards in reading has improved. Achievement levels in writing have been variable and achievement in mathematics has been static. Over this same three-year period Māori children's achievement has shown some similar patterns.

From the end of 2014 to the end of 2015 the achievement of Māori children improved in mathematics, and increased significantly in reading and writing. During this period Māori achievement progressed at a greater rate than that of non-Māori. However, as a group they continue to achieve below the level of their peers.

Leaders analyse achievement information well to identify children who need additional support. They should now consider using this information to develop more specific achievement targets as part of the school strategy to accelerate achievement for these children. Separately tracking cohorts of children who have attended the school from the start of their schooling, could provide the board and staff with more accurate information about the impact of teaching and learning programmes over time.

Since the 2013 ERO review the school has strengthened assessment and reporting systems so that children at risk of not achieving National Standards are identified earlier. Teachers have reviewed and improved their use of assessment information to individualise teaching programmes. Targeted professional development has supported teachers to reflect on their practice. A new three-classroom modern learning environment has inspired teachers across the school to work more collaboratively and to take on greater leadership roles. These developments have resulted in a more focussed and innovative learning culture and greater staff unity.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school has not yet been consistently successful in accelerating the progress of Māori children. While improved outcomes have been achieved, particularly in 2015, raising Māori student achievement continues to be one of the school's key priorities.

National Standards achievement information is analysed each year and used by the board and staff to identify Māori children at the school, team and class level whose learning and achievement needs to be accelerated.

The board and leadership team use this information to set school-wide goals and targets, and they review children's progress against these. Teachers collaborate to discuss the support needed for individual children. They use a range of information to plan learning programmes that are tailored to meet children's different learning needs. The Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) works with teachers and whānau to facilitate additional support strategies and programmes.

The school uses a variety of approaches to improve outcomes for Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. A recent initiative has been the establishment of a Māori Consultation Rōpu comprising Māori trustees and parents. The function of this Rōpu is to work alongside Māori whānau so that the school can benefit from their ideas and involve them in supporting their children's learning. Ideas contributed at hui are currently being actioned.

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

The school is responding effectively to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration in reading.

Multiple strategies are also in place to improve learning outcomes for children whose achievement needs to be accelerated in writing and mathematics, although progress is not yet showing in the school's achievement data.

Senior leaders and teachers regularly consider their practice to identify further changes that could be made. They work collaboratively and take collective responsibility for the achievement of all priority learners.

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 priorities for equity and excellence?

The school promotes children's engagement and learning well. The charter and strategic plan contain broad goals, targets and actions to improve achievement, including a specific focus on accelerating Māori achievement. The values and actions in these school documents are reviewed annually and have provided a focal point for developing positive conditions for learning.

The school's curriculum reflects the breadth and depth of The New Zealand Curriculum. Teachers have continued to draw on community resources and local knowledge to make the curriculum more authentic and to build on children's prior understandings and experiences. Play-based learning continues to be a feature of the foundation class. Outdoor spaces have been further enhanced to promote children's creativity and problem solving. Teachers ensure that programmes include many opportunities for children to learn through hands-on activities or by being physically active. These approaches contribute to children's positive engagement in their learning.

Positive and respectful relationships are evident throughout the school. Parents and whānau have regular opportunities to be involved in their children's learning. The board and school leaders continue to refine strategies to further engage Māori whānau. The school's reporting processes provide parents with good information about how well their children are progressing and achieving. Staff use a variety of informal and formal approaches to engage in effective communication with parents and whānau.

The school has continued its commitment to biculturalism by extending children's opportunities to learn te reo Māori, and to experience te Ao Māori throughout the curriculum. Leadership and learning extension opportunities support Māori children to achieve success as Māori. After consultation with whānau, teachers are now planning ways for siblings and parents to have time to learn together at school.

Provision for children with special education needs has been reviewed and strengthened. There is now greater focus on supporting children within the classroom programme. Where withdrawal programmes are used, they more effectively reinforce and support the children's learning in class. The SENCO and teacher aides monitor progress and achievement well. Reports to the board and school leaders could now become more evaluative. Using an evaluative approach should help teachers to determine the quality and effectiveness of programmes in improving learning outcomes for children.

Appropriate professional development has supported teachers to make even better use of achievement information. Class programmes now include greater use of multi-level or flexible groupings to meet children's learning needs. Children have opportunities to set personal goals and work with teachers to develop learning goals in reading, writing and mathematics. While children have an opportunity to reflect on their progress and achievement in their portfolio, school leaders have identified the need to include children's ideas more frequently in decisions that influence their learning.

Children now have greater access to digital technologies. Teachers continue to explore how these technologies can be used to enhance learning across the curriculum, and to provide children with more choice and responsibility for how they learn. Some children are now learning in flexible classroom spaces. Teachers are exploring ways to maximise the use of these spaces to enhance learning. It would be useful for staff and leaders to develop a model for evaluating the impact of these changes on learning outcomes to strengthen their self-review processes.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

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
  • do not always or systematically act on what they know works for each child
  • have a plan in place but have not yet built teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children.

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 a Raising Achievement Plan to further develop processes and practices that 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 Raising Achievement plan and the progress the school makes. ERO is likely to carry out the next full review in three years.

ERO is likely to carry out the next 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.

7 Recommendations

ERO recommends that the school sets, monitors and reports on more specific targets to raise the achievement of children whose learning needs to accelerate. A more rigorous approach is needed to ensure equity and excellence for Māori children.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

16 June 2016

About the school

Location

Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

1061

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

220

Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

Australian

Pacific Nations

other European

other

35%

51%

3%

3%

2%

3%

3%

Review team on site

February 2016

Date of this report

16 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2013

August 2010

May 2007