Rata Street School - 12/02/2018

School Context

Rata Street School in Naenae, Lower Hutt, caters for Years 1 to 6 students from diverse ethnic groups. Māori students, at 46%, are the largest group on the roll. There are approximately 20% Pacific and Pākehā students. Many students are English language learners, some new to New Zealand.

The school areas of priority are raising achievement for students who are at risk in their learning in reading, writing and mathematics and accelerating the progress of learners.  Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • reading writing and mathematics
  • attendance and wellbeing. 

There is long serving principal and established leadership team. Teachers have participated in professional learning and development programmes, focused on the areas of priority, including Accelerated Learning in Mathematics and Accelerated Learning in Literacy.

The school is a member of the Naenae Kāhui Ako.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

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

Overall, between approximately half and three quarters of students achieve at or above expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Data for 2014 to 2016 shows that over time there have been some positive gains in achievement.

A significant proportion of students enter the school below expectations. Writing is recognised as the area of greatest need for improvement, including for boys, with reading and mathematics also needing stronger lifts in achievement.

For Māori students, there has been some improvement between 2014 and 2016 in reading and mathematics, but not in writing. The school is working to establish a pattern of equitable achievement for Māori with others in the school across these three learning areas. For Pacific students over this time, achievement in reading and mathematics is approximately equitable with others in the school.

School data shows that students who are at risk make positive gains as they progress through the school. Year 6 students who have been in the school over three years make significant progress in that time. Data indicates higher rates of acceleration in writing for Maori within this group. This is also evident for students who have remained within the school for the whole six years, especially in writing and mathematics.

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

School data indicates that many students who are at risk in their learning, including Māori, make accelerated progress, particularly in writing and mathematics. 

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

School conditions for learning promote a strong sense of belonging through inclusive practices and warm, respectful relationships. This supports students to engage and participate confidently in learning.

Leaders and teachers have a clear vision for enabling students to become successful, lifelong learners and are committed to raising achievement. They take a collaborative approach to supporting children’s wellbeing and learning, and collective responsibility for improving their outcomes. The involvement and participation of families and whānau are valued and promoted. They are respected partners in learning and teachers are exploring ways to enrich and develop these connections.

Leaders focus clearly on accelerating the achievement of learners at risk. There are good systems and processes for identifying and responding to learners’ needs. Collaborative monitoring and analysis of achievement information support teachers to identify successes and target their teaching. Teachers know individual students well and provide differentiated responses. Good practices for transition from year to year assist continuity for students.

Ongoing review of curriculum provides a framework for a cohesive, schoolwide approach to the quality of teaching and learning. The curriculum is learner-centred and fosters students’ ownership, understanding and engagement in their learning. Engagement of whānau and students in significant cultural events and learning activities is highly valued and successfully promoted.

Leaders and trustees undertake their roles purposefully. Trustees are improvement-focused, strategic and ensure their decisions are well informed. They seek to progress school priorities and promote a schoolwide culture of relational trust. Recent exploration of Hautū: Maori cultural responsiveness self review tool for boards of trustees has provided some well-considered planning for improvement. Opportunities for professional growth and leadership are well considered. Leaders collaboratively support teachers to be responsive to learners and improve their practice.
Well-analysed student achievement information is used to review outcomes for learners, and inform decision-making and actions for improvement.

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

Leaders and trustees recognise the need to strengthen the understanding and integration of te ao Māori in the curriculum through knowledge-building and strategic action for improved responsiveness to Māori students and their families, and to better promote Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles. This should be informed by explicitly stated aspirations for the success of Māori students as Māori, established in partnership with whānau Māori and iwi.

Expectations for improved outcomes for learners should be supported by aligned curriculum development, strategic action and deep inquiry into effectiveness of practice for improvement. Further development of internal evaluation should include a more deliberate focus on equity of opportunities to learn and outcomes for students.

A sound appraisal process is consistently implemented to promote shared expectations of effective teaching and learning. Improving teachers’ evidence collection in relation to Education Council requirements, especially cultural competence, is a next step.

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:

  • the collective, responsive approach to meeting students’ needs and promoting achievement, that contributes to their engagement, wellbeing and success
  • collaborative and considered leadership that promotes teacher capability and improvement in the quality of practice.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to ensure improved achievement for movement to equitable in-school outcomes across all groups
  • further strengthening Māori perspectives in the curriculum, supported by teachers’ increased cultural responsiveness, to promote Māori learners’ educational success as Māori.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

12 February 2018

About the school 

Location

Naenae

Ministry of Education profile number

2973

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

390

Gender composition

Male 51%, Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori                                    46%
Pākehā                                  21%
Samoan                                 20%
Other Pacific                          6%
Asian                                        3%
Other ethnic groups             4%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

12 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review              November 2013
Education Review              August 2009