Rangiora Borough School - 25/05/2017

1 Context

Rangiora Borough School is a large full primary school with a growing roll and increasingly diverse community. The school is undergoing significant building works and changes to learning spaces. The school leadership has been consistent since the 2013 ERO review. Most of the trustees are new to their role following the 2016 board elections.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are linked to 'Providing the Pathways to Lifelong Learning'. This includes helping children to be positive and resourceful, and encouraging, effective communicators, participators and contributors who are literate and numerate. It also includes an emphasis on creative thinking and knowledge seeking while being respectful and empathetic. The school states its values as excellence, innovation, diversity, equity, community, integrity, respect and resilience.

The school’s achievement information shows that for 2016 school-wide, 82% of children achieve at or above the National Standards (NS) for reading, 73% are at or above the NS for mathematics, and 67% are at or above the NS for writing. Overall across these learning areas, the 2015 achievement data shows that girls tend to achieve more highly than boys.

Since the 2013 ERO review, the school’s achievement information for Māori children shows an ongoing pattern of considerable disparity. Together with boys’ achievement, the achievement of Māori children requires more targeted support to ensure equity of outcomes for these learners.

Senior leaders have some useful systems in place to support assessment practices. They are in the early stages of developing practices for moderating writing within the school. Their next steps are to evaluate the effectiveness and coherence of current practices, and develop the use of external moderation beyond the school.

Since the last ERO review, the school has:

  • focused on improving the consistency of teaching and learning in literacy and numeracy through providing teachers with ongoing professional learning and support in these areas
  • introduced a bilingual class and increased teachers' awareness of and capability in te reo and tikanga Māori.

As detailed further in this report, the school has yet to adequately address some areas for improvement identified by ERO in the 2013 report.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

School leaders and the board need to place greater emphasis on the school-wide monitoring and evaluating of how well Māori children's achievement is promoted and accelerated.

Teachers at individual class and team levels respond well to individual Māori children. They put programmes in place to support learning and raise achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. Teachers and team leaders are using data more effectively to track and monitor student progress over time. Teachers are in the early stages of implementing systems to reflect on the effectiveness of their teaching. As a result, they are becoming increasingly aware of what is working well for children's learning and achievement.

Māori children can choose to learn in a bilingual class environment where they have increasing opportunities to experience and achieve in aspects of te reo and tikanga Māori. One third of the Māori children who attend the school have chosen to be part of this class. Senior leaders now need to use robust internal evaluation practices to monitor the effectiveness of the bilingual unit in raising and accelerating the achievement of children in this class.

School targets need to be more specific in identifying those groups of children whose learning is most in need of acceleration. Senior leaders should further support teachers to develop a shared understanding of accelerating achievement.

Student achievement information to the board is not well analysed in regard to the school targets. Improvements in this area are needed to give trustees a clearer indication of how well the school is responding to and accelerating the achievement of Māori children.

Information provided by the school after the onsite stage of the review shows that the board and senior leaders have increased resourcing to further support educational success for Māori, as Māori. ERO acknowledges the school's commitment to improvements in this area. ERO recommends that school leaders regularly evaluate the impact of these new initiatives on outcomes for Māori children over time.

Other achievement information provided by the school after the on site stage of the review shows:

  • considerable improvement in the achievement of Māori children in mathematics
  • lower achievement for these children in reading and writing, with writing being significantly lower.

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

The school has similar processes to respond to other groups of children whose learning needs acceleration. They are collecting some useful data about the impact of particular programmes to accelerate children's achievement in literacy. Senior leaders now need to use internal evaluation practices more robustly to monitor the effectiveness of all learning support practices.

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 targets for equity and excellence?

Senior leaders need to implement improved school-wide internal evaluation practices to support the effectiveness of the curriculum in enacting the school's vision, values, goals and targets.

At class levels, teachers provide a responsive curriculum that prioritises children's learning in literacy and mathematics. A strong emphasis since the 2013 ERO review has been on building capacity and collective understandings among teachers through targeted professional learning and development. Teachers are working more collaboratively in their planning and teaching. They are supporting children to talk more with their parents about their learning. Relationships have been established with local early learning services to support children to experience successful transitions to school.

The school's curriculum document should be reviewed to reflect current teaching and learning practices and the ongoing involvement of the community, such as in determining school values. This should also include the development of clear expectations for learning across the curriculum and identifying systems for ongoing curriculum review.

Internal evaluation is not yet a well understood process across the school. While the board receives information about some school initiatives and programmes, there is not a comprehensive schedule of internal evaluation to ensure it receives the wide range of information it needs for assurance, such as wellbeing surveying of students and teachers.

The school has not yet addressed all of the areas identified for further improvement in the 2013 ERO report. Senior leaders have yet to establish guidelines for internal evaluation. This has been an identified area for improvement in the last two ERO reviews. The effectiveness of school leadership has not been reviewed, and the use of student achievement data by the senior leadership team remains an area that needs strengthening.

Appraisal practices need strengthening across all roles, including senior leaders, with a greater emphasis on evidence-based processes. Senior leaders introduced a new appraisal system for teachers in 2016. They acknowledge they now need to ensure the appraisal policy is updated to align with this new process.

The board has many new trustees who bring a useful range of skills and experience to stewardship. They are in the early stages of understanding their governance roles but are proactive in seeking training to build their knowledge and understanding.

5 Going forward

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

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • need approaches that effectively meet the needs of each child
  • need to ensure the school is well placed to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should participate in an internal evaluation workshop. They should use this workshop, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to address the findings of this evaluation and develop more targeted planning that includes a significant focus on building teacher capability to accelerate learning and achievement.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s planning and the progress the school makes. ERO is likely to carry out the next full 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.

In order to meet requirements, the board, through the principal and staff, must maintain an on-going programme of self review in relation to its strategic plan, including how the school is giving effect to the National Education Guidelines through its policies, plans and programmes, including those for curriculum [NAG 2 (b)].

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern/Te Waipounamu

25 May 2017 

About the school 

Location

Rangiora

Ministry of Education profile number

3481

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

609

Gender composition

Boys 51%; Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other European

Pacific

African

Other ethnicities

14%

69%

6%

3%

2%

6%

Review team on site

October 2016

Date of this report

25 May 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2013

February 2010

February 2007