Riccarton School - 12/01/2010

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Riccarton Primary School is a full primary school in south west Christchurch. It caters for students from Years 1 to 8. The students come from diverse backgrounds including New Zealand/Pākehā, Pacific, Mäori and Asian. Recent innovative changes to the design of some of the existing classrooms have provided more light and better teaching spaces for students and staff.

The principal was appointed after the previous ERO review in October 2006. The appointment of number of new teachers has created a good mix of experience and gender. The board, principal and staff have high expectations for learning and teaching. They have maintained a culture of positive, caring and respectful relationships.

Since the 2006 ERO review, the board, principal and teachers have successfully addressed the recommendations. These include:

  • a stronger knowledge of and focus on student achievement and progress;
  • effective self review of the curriculum, teaching, planning and assessment practices; and
  • consultation with the Mäori and Pacific communities.

The principal and teachers have been involved in ongoing professional development in numeracy, written language, science and the implementation of the New Zealand Curriculum.

Other strengths identified during this review include:

  • teachers’ use of a range of practices that engage and interest most students in their learning;
  • students’ involvement in a variety of learning opportunities;
  • strong professional leadership that has developed an effective process for reviewing and implementing new curriculum initiatives; and
  • a close partnership with parents, particularly with the Pacific community and the local high school.

ERO and the board identified that the school’s next steps are to embed a shared understanding of the vision and curriculum changes, and extend leadership capacity to support the ongoing developments in the school.

The board makes good use of high quality reports on student learning and achievement. Since 2007, these reports show that most students who have been at the school at least two years achieve at, and some above, national and school expectations in aspects of literacy and numeracy. New Zealand Pākehā and Mäori students achieve at similar levels in literacy and numeracy followed by Asian, Pacific and other European. The principal and teachers identify students at risk of not achieving and provide them with effective and ongoing support.

Trustees have well-established systems for providing a safe and healthy environment for students and staff.

Future Action

ERO is very confident that the board of trustees can govern the school in the interest of the students and the Crown and bring about the improvements outlined in this report. ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four to five years.

2. The Focus of the Review

Student Achievement Overall

ERO’s education reviews focus on student achievement. What follows is a statement about what the school knows about student achievement overall.

Since 2007, reports to the board show that most students who have been at the school at least two years achieve at, and some above, national and school expectations in reading and numeracy. Students come to school with few early literacy understandings. The majority of these students progress to achieve at and above the school’s expectations after their first 18 months at school. This includes Mäori, and English Speakers of other languages (ESOL) students. The students who fall below expectation are included in the school’s support programmes.

Some students achieve at and a few above the school’s and national expectations for writing. However, students who do not have English as their first language are not yet meeting these expectations.

Māori and New Zealand Pākehā are making similar progress followed by Asian, Pacific and other European students.

School Specific Priorities

Riccarton Primary SchoolBefore the review, the board ofwas invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the school to contribute to the scope of the review.

Riccarton Primary SchoolThe detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the board of trustees. This discussion focused on existing information held by the school (including student achievement and self review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to the achievement of the students at.

ERO and the board have agreed on the following focus area for the review:

  • the quality of learning and teaching.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

3. The Quality of Learning and Teaching

Background

Since the 2006 ERO review, the teachers have been fully involved in ongoing professional learning and development in numeracy, written language, health and physical education and inquiry learning. The teachers’ professional learning and development programme is closely linked to the values, principles and priorities of the New Zealand Curriculum. It is also aligned to teaching practice, students’ learning and the achievement of the school’s strategic goals.

Areas of good performance

Teaching practices. Teachers use a broad range of strategies that engage and interest most students in their learning. They have high expectations for students’ learning, are well organised and use consistent planning and assessment procedures. In examples where good practice was observed teachers effectively used strategies that encourage students to think deeply and used the established school inquiry model and information and communication technologies (ICT) to support learning and teaching.

Range of learning activities. Students are actively involved through a variety of opportunities in their learning programmes. These experiences include a wide range of cultural, sporting and education outside the classroom (EOTC) activities. Students are often able to exercise choice within rotations of activities.

Self-review practices. The board and senior managers have developed a comprehensive strategic plan for the review, development and implementation of the curriculum and National Administration Guidelines (NAGs). The principal and senior leaders provide ongoing evaluation and feedback on teaching practice through professional observations and discussions.

Professional leadership. The board and principal provide strong strategic leadership, focused on improving student achievement. The principal and the senior managers develop comprehensive planning for all aspects of school development including practices to manage changes to the curriculum.

Community partnership. The school works hard at involving the community in students’ learning. A detailed and ongoing consultation process involves a number of ways of informing and consulting with students, parents and staff. There is strong liaison with the local high school. Students are well prepared for the transition to high school. Parents are welcome in classrooms. The principal meets parents daily at the gate and in the grounds.

Reporting student achievement. The teachers use effective practices to inform students, parents and the board about student learning, achievement and progress. This information is shared in learning celebrations and an annual written report for students and parents. The principal regularly reports student achievement information to the board.

Learning culture. The school environment and values promote students’ learning. ERO observed collaborative and respectful relationships across the whole school community. Learning is enhanced by effective learning support and pastoral care programmes. Classroom management is focused on learning. Refurbished classrooms provide well-organised and resourced learning environments. Students have choices within active learning opportunities and rotations.

Areas for improvement

Further develop the shared understanding of the school’s direction. The school’s vision is not easily distinguishable from the national curriculum statements and the values. Teaching and learning expectations could be more visible to reflect the core beliefs and values of the school community. [Recommendation 6.1]

Shared leadership. The principal and board should extend the leadership capacity of the staff to support the ongoing developments in the school. This could include identifying school needs and further developing staff leadership, interests and abilities.[Recommendation 6.1]

4. Areas of National Interest

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole to Government to be used as the basis for long-term and systemic educational improvement. ERO also provides information about the education sector for schools, parents and the community through its national reports.

To do this ERO decides on topics and investigates them for a specific period in all applicable schools nationally.

Riccarton Primary SchoolDuring the review ofERO investigated and reported on the following areas of national interest. The findings are included in this report so that information about the school is transparent and widely available.

Success for Māori Students: Progress

In this review, ERO evaluated the extent to which the school was familiar with theMāori Education Strategy – Ka Hikitia: Managing forSuccessand progress made since the last review in promoting success at school for Māori students.

The school reports it has takenKa Hikitiainto account when revising planning documents for this year.

Areas of progress

Relationships. Mäori students have a strong sense of belonging and ownership. ERO observed positive and respectful relationships among Mäori students and among Mäori and students from other ethnic backgrounds. Mäori students benefit from strong, culturally appropriate support from teachers and their peers.

Consultation. The board, principal and staff have consulted with the Mäori community to set plans and targets for improving Mäori student achievement. They regularly report to the Mäori community about student progress and achievement.

Māori initiatives. Students now have more opportunities to take part in activities that celebrate te reo and tikanga Mäori. Visiting tutors provide leadership and instruction in kapa haka and waiata. Students can participate in cultural festivals and visits to other schools. All students are involved in cultural activities during international days.

Area for further improvement

Integration of te reo and tikanga Mäori. Te reo and tikanga Mäori are not yet integrated into learning programmes and the physical environment. Students told ERO that they would like to see more opportunities for activities such as waiata, weaving and carving as part of their learning. The use of Mäori art, symbols and signage would enhance the welcoming and supportive physical environment. [Recommendation 6.2]

The Achievement of Pacific Students: Progress

In this review, ERO evaluated the progress the school has made since the last review in improving the achievement of its Pacific students and in initiatives designed to promote improved achievement.

Areas of good performance

Home-school partnerships. The board, principal and teachers communicate effectively with the families of Pacific students. They provide many opportunities for formal and informal consultation with families. Training and support helps families to build their capacity for supporting student learning.

Professional development. Training for teachers includes awareness of Pacific cultures. This has enhanced the sense of belonging for Pacific students. The next step is to plan for more Pacific content in learning programmes, and in the school physical environment.

Preparing toGive Effect to the New Zealand Curriculum

Schools are currently working towards implementing The New Zealand Curriculumby February 2010. During this review, ERO investigated the progressRiccarton Primary School is making towards giving full effect to the curriculum as part of its planning, organisation and teaching practice. ERO found that school leaders and teachers at Riccarton Primary School are making good progress towards giving effect to The New Zealand Curriculumin their planning, organisation and teaching.

Including Students with High Needs

During this review, ERO investigated the extent to which the board and school leaders of Riccarton Primary School provide an inclusive education for students with high needs. This included collecting evidence about the school’s policies, processes and practices to support the enrolment and induction of students with high needs and to support their participation and achievement at school. The information collected during this review will contribute to information that will be reported in a national education evaluation report.

Prior to a review, a board of trustees and principal attest in the Board Assurance Statement that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal requirements including those detailed in Ministry of Education circulars and other documents.

The board of Riccarton Primary School was asked to attest to whether it had ‘ensured that teachers of students with disabilities, and other contact staff, have a sound understanding of the learning needs of students with disabilities and, where necessary, have put in place support systems centred on each individual with disabilities’. The board was also asked to attest that ‘policies and procedures that relate to students who have special education needs are implemented without discrimination’.

ERO’s findings confirm these attestations

Provision for International Students

Compliance with theCode of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Studentsand the Provision of English Language Support

Riccarton Primary School is a signatory to theCode of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students(the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. This evaluation focuses on the quality of education provided for its international students including how well the school is monitoring its compliance with the Code. The school had two international students enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

The schoolhas attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed this attestation.

Areas of good performance

Support for international students. International students are well supported by staff and other students. Students learn in mainstream classes and regularly work with a staff member who supports their welfare and language needs. This staff member has a close relationship with the teacher in charge of ESOL programmes, and the parents of the students. The supportive school environment assists students to develop and maintain good relationships with others.

Provision of ESOL. Students receive good qualityESOL instruction and support. Initial assessment is used to plan for individual and group instruction in ESOL. The teacher uses effective teaching approaches that encourage students from different countries to practise their English. Lessons are provided three or more times a week. Progress of ESOL students is carefully tracked, analysed and used to plan each student’s programme and level of support.

Area for improvement

Review programme. At the time of the review, there were two international students in the school’s ESOL programme along with other students. In order to improve current practice, the senior managers should review the effectiveness of this programme and report to the board how well it meets the needs of international students. [Recommendation 6.3]

5. Board Assurance on Compliance Areas

Overview

Riccarton Primary School Before the review, the board of trustees and principal ofcompleted an EROBoard Assurance StatementandSelf-Audit Checklist. 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; and
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on students’ achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment);
  • physical safety of students;
  • teacher registration;
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions; and
  • attendance.

Compliance

ERO’s investigations did not identify any areas of concern.

6. Recommendations

ERO and the board of trustees have developed the following recommendations to improve outcomes for students. The board and senior managers:

  • extend leadership opportunities for staff and shared understanding of the school’s direction;
  • extend the integration of te reo and tikanga Mäori across the school; and
  • review the effectiveness of the programme provided for international students.

7. Future Action

ERO is very confident that the board of trustees can govern the school in the interest of the students and the Crown and bring about the improvements outlined in this report. ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four to five years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

12 January 2010

About the School

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3485

School type

Full Primary

Teaching staff: Roll generated entitlement Other Number of teachers

9.8 0.2 10

School roll

217

Number of international students

2

Gender composition

Boys 52%;

Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Päkehä 33%;

Mäori 16%;

Pacifica 28%;

Asian 13%;

Other 10%

Review team on site

November 2009

Date of this report

12 January 2010

Previous ERO reports

Education Review October 2006

Education Review November 2003

Accountability Review May 2000

Effectiveness Review February 1996

Assurance Review August 1993

To the Parents and Community of Riccarton Primary School

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Riccarton Primary School.

Riccarton Primary School is a full primary school in south west Christchurch. It caters for students from Years 1 to 8. The students come from diverse backgrounds including New Zealand/Pākehā, Pacific, Mäori and Asian. Recent innovative changes to the design of some of the existing classrooms have provided more light and better teaching spaces for students and staff.

The principal was appointed after the previous ERO review in October 2006. The appointment of number of new teachers has created a good mix of experience and gender. The board, principal and staff have high expectations for learning and teaching. They have maintained a culture of positive, caring and respectful relationships.

Since the 2006 ERO review, the board, principal and teachers have successfully addressed the recommendations. These include:

  • a stronger knowledge of and focus on student achievement and progress;
  • effective self review of the curriculum, teaching, planning and assessment practices; and
  • consultation with the Mäori and Pacific communities.

The principal and teachers have been involved in ongoing professional development in numeracy, written language, science and the implementation of the New Zealand Curriculum.

Other strengths identified during this review include:

  • teachers’ use of a range of practices that engage and interest most students in their learning;
  • students’ involvement in a variety of learning opportunities;
  • strong professional leadership that has developed an effective process for reviewing and implementing new curriculum initiatives; and
  • a close partnership with parents, particularly with the Pacific community and the local high school.

ERO and the board identified that the school’s next steps are to embed a shared understanding of the vision and curriculum changes, and extend leadership capacity to support the ongoing developments in the school.

The board makes good use of high quality reports on student learning and achievement. Since 2007, these reports show that most students who have been at the school at least two years achieve at, and some above, national and school expectations in aspects of literacy and numeracy. New Zealand Pākehā and Mäori students achieve at similar levels in literacy and numeracy followed by Asian, Pacific and other European. The principal and teachers identify students at risk of not achieving and provide them with effective and ongoing support.

Trustees have well-established systems for providing a safe and healthy environment for students and staff.

Future Action

ERO is very confident that the board of trustees can govern the school in the interest of the students and the Crown and bring about the improvements outlined in this report. ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four to five years.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of school performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to student achievement and useful to this school.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region