Parkvale School - 15/09/2015

1. Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Parkvale School caters for students from Years 1 to 6 and is located in the outskirts of Hastings. The school roll continues to increase. Of the 563 enrolled, 26% identify as Maori and 3% are of Pacific heritage.

Changes to school organisation have occurred to provide more targeted and appropriate curriculum experiences in response to identified needs. Foundation learning is a focus for programmes in Years 1 to 3, and future-focused learning opportunities support students in Years 4 to 6. Students learn in a positive, stimulating and supportive environment.

Well-informed trustees and a stable leadership team provide a clear vision to guide development and improvement. In 2015, there have been seven new teacher appointments. Active involvement of their school community is valued and encouraged.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history. School strengths identified in the 2011 ERO report have been sustained and built upon.

2. Learning

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

Student achievement information is used effectively to bring about improved outcomes for students.

Leaders and trustees analyse and inquire into achievement data to make strategic decisions and set specific targets for improvement. School leaders build teachers’ developing capacity to use data to focus their teaching.

Recently introduced data walls provide opportunities for teachers to discuss and moderate judgements about achievement, monitor individual students’ progress and inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching.

School data shows that most students achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Data for 2014 shows significant improvement for Māori students in reading and writing. Recent improvement in rates of progress and achievement in Years 1 and 2 has been sustained.

School targets continue to appropriately focus on raising achievement for students when transitioning from Years 3 to 4 and improving writing for boys at risk of underachieving. Increasing the achievement of Māori boys in writing should remain a key focus. Further refining of systems for promoting accelerated progress for targeted groups of students is a recognised next step.

A well-planned programme is effectively implemented to accelerate the writing progress of students in Years 1 to 3. They receive daily support to build their writing strategies and skills. The programme is appropriately targeted, well resourced and aligned to the foundation learning curriculum focus for junior students. A next step is to clearly identify the key successful strategies from the programme. These should then be built on as students transition to Year 4, to ensure those at risk of underachieving continue to progress.

There is a well-considered approach to providing support for students with specific learning needs. A range of responsive and targeted interventions promotes learning and engagement for identified students.

A number of useful strategies are in place to promote involvement of students and families in assessment and learning. This includes regular learning conversations and opportunities for information sharing, and shared access to students’ learning through student and classroom blogs.

3. Curriculum

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

A clearly articulated and shared vision provides the basis for teaching and curriculum development. The curriculum supports students, including Māori and Pacific learners, to be successful and confident leaders of their learning. A recognised next step is to strengthen how the curriculum responds to and promotes their language, culture and identity.

Positive environments are well resourced and organised. Students benefit from supportive, respectful interactions. High levels of engagement in learning are evident.

The vision for growing confident, connected, creative, collaborative lifelong learners is clearly visible in the curriculum, and in the ways teachers and students work alongside each other. There are good supports and systems for students to know about their learning. Teachers deliberately support students to be self-managing, and to reflect on and talk about their learning. This continues to develop across the school.

Curriculum implementation is well managed and coherent. There are clear expectations and practices for planning and teaching. Ongoing review of the curriculum is undertaken to align with school priorities and aspirations for learning.

Building a future-focused aspect into teaching and learning is a clear priority for Years 4 to 6 students. Modern learning environments and teaching approaches provide a vehicle for enacting curriculum aspirations for learning. Students demonstrate confident use of digital tools to support their learning.

Processes to support students and their families to transition to school successfully have been strengthened. A well-planned, deliberate approach has been put in place for 2015. This is guided effectively by a clear vision for development and improved outcomes.

The transition programme is well-managed and strategically implemented. It provides a range of opportunities for enriching partnerships between home and school. As these processes are embedded and reviewed, successful practices and relationships should be built on and sustained as students continue through the school.

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

Maori students engage positively and successfully in learning.

The school recognises the need for stronger relationships with Māori whānau and iwi. Recent actions have focused on making families welcome and valued members of the school community. Whānau hui offer opportunities for dialogue and sharing of aspirations for learning and success.

Developing a vision with whānau to lead and drive the promotion of success for Māori is an important next step. This should support schoolwide practices and curriculum design to better respond to and promote the language, culture and identity of Māori students and their families.

Consideration should be given to reflecting the school’s local context and whakapapa within the curriculum and how to build leaders’ and teachers’ understanding and use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Development should be guided by Kā Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013‑2017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.

4. Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. School leaders and trustees have a strategic focus on building schoolwide capacity to use evaluation and inquiry to guide decision-making and improvement.

Senior leaders and trustees seek out solutions from a range of sources and engage actively with their school community and wider educational community. Trustees are very well informed about school operations, curriculum and student achievement.

Senior leaders know their teachers well. They promote innovation, risk-taking and encourage openness to change and improvement. They work responsively and collaboratively to support teachers by:

  • providing well-structured opportunities for collaborative and focused professional learning through sharing of practice and targeted support
  • modelling and strengthening teachers’ capacity for inquiry into teaching practice and evaluation of effectiveness
  • providing support for new leadership to lead change.

There is a strong commitment to supporting student wellbeing. A recent review of the effectiveness of strategies has provided useful baseline information to plan for improvement.

School leaders and trustees are aware of the need to continue to embed new professional development initiatives and curriculum development, then systematically monitor the impact of these on students’ experience and outcomes.

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

A clearly articulated and shared vision for learning guides curriculum and decision-making. The curriculum supports students to be confident leaders of their learning. Students are successful learners. School leaders and trustees support capacity building and innovation and foster a schoolwide culture of inquiry and improvement.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

15 September 2015

About the School

Location

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

2641

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

563

Gender composition

Female 51%,

Male 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 63%

Māori  26%

Pacific 3%

Other ethnic groups 8%

Review team on site

July 2015

Date of this report

15 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2011

Education Review July 2008

Education Review October 2005