Ridgway School - 05/09/2016

1 Context

Ridgway School is a full primary school catering for students from Years 1 to 8, situated in the Wellington suburb of Brooklyn. At the time of this review it had a roll of 236 students, of whom 15% identify as Māori.

The current principal was appointed soon after the July 2013 ERO report. The deputy principal is on study leave for 2016.

The school has participated in a range of Ministry of Education (the Ministry) initiatives, including Accelerated Learning in Maths (ALiM), Mathematics Specialist Teacher (MST) and Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L). In 2016 the school focus is involvement in Accelerated Learning in Literacy (ALL).

All trustees are newly elected and there is a new board chairperson.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to be respectful, responsible, resilient and resourceful. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning in order to become confident, connected, lifelong learners.

The school’s achievement information shows that most students are achieving at or above National Standards expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. The reported data indicates a trend of overall improvement between 2013 and 2015. Over this time, more students experienced accelerated progress in mathematics, where more equitable outcomes were noticed for boys and Māori students.

School data identifies that there continues to be disparity in progress and achievement for Māori learners in literacy. Boys are not achieving as well as girls in reading and writing. Māori students and boys feature more often in the at risk groups. The school continues to focus on literacy as an area that requires improvement.

A suitable range of assessment tools is used to assist teachers to make judgements about student achievement. Strengthening the moderation of overall teacher judgements and shared expectations for assessment should improve the accuracy and consistency of decisions.

Achievement information is gathered and analysed so that teachers have a clear picture of students' strengths and learning needs. This informs strategic goals and planned actions that respond to learners whose progress needs acceleration. Making these plans more specific and targeted to at risk students should better promote desired improvement.

Although data identifies that some students have made accelerated progress over time, the school needs to increase the rate of progress for Māori students to match that of their peers. Outcomes for these students indicate that the curriculum and teaching need to be more effective in responding to Māori learners.

The principal identifies that the school must respond more effectively to achievement information that highlights students' successes and gaps in learning. Teachers should improve how well they adapt their practice to provide for students' changing needs. Strengthening and embedding teachers' use of data to promote engagement, achievement and accelerate progress is a next step.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

Māori students whose progress requires acceleration are appropriately identified and monitored at classroom level. Those who are at risk of not achieving the National Standards expectations are targeted for additional support and planned interventions.

Ministry initiatives and professional development, based on withdrawing students from the classroom for additional mathematics teaching, have had a positive impact on learning outcomes. Some students have experienced accelerated progress to achieve at levels comparable with their peers. The next step is for teachers to incorporate the successful intervention strategies into their classroom teaching practice to sustain improvements.

Teachers have been less effective in responding to the needs of Māori learners in literacy. The school knows that not all Māori students have had their achievement sufficiently accelerated. Leaders recognise that knowing more about what makes the biggest difference to learning, will support teachers to better respond to individual student learning needs and better promote equity for Māori students.

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

Pacific student achievement has improved overall since the previous ERO report, particularly in writing and mathematics. They now achieve at comparable levels with other groups within the school.

Pākehā students' achievement levels have risen in mathematics and literacy. The curriculum and teaching has had a positive impact for many of these students whose progress needed acceleration.

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?

The curriculum provides students with a broad range of learning experiences. Parent and whānau aspirations have been sought in the development of shared vision and values. A leavers profile articulates the desired outcomes for Year 8 students. Ongoing curriculum review responds to identified areas for improvement emerging from achievement information. Content knowledge and effective teaching practices are being developed through a wide range of professional learning opportunities.

The school curriculum needs to better support the achievement and progress of all students. Leaders recognise that they must work on and improve how well it responds, particularly to the needs of Māori learners and boys.

Teachers have begun to consider the effectiveness of their teaching through collaboratively inquiring into their practice. Building capability and collective capacity to inquire into practice to improve outcomes for all learners, is an ongoing next step.

Systems have been introduced to support teachers to improve their practice. A suitable performance management process is in place, with valuable professional dialogue and reflection. Fully implementing a more rigorous framework that includes stronger goal setting and next steps for development will better promote improvement. Further consideration of Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners should strengthen response to students' culture, language and identity. School leaders continue to guide teaching staff to use the systems and processes effectively.

Parents, families and whānau are welcomed into the school. They participate in a variety of activities and their views and aspirations are sought for decision making.

The whānau group established at the end of 2013, provides opportunities to communicate Māori parents' aspirations and goals for their children. Information gathered should inform decisions about strategic planning and curriculum review.

Parents receive reports about their child’s progress in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to National Standards. These include next steps and how parents can further support at home. Students take more responsibility for their learning and successfully share their goals and achievements at consultation meetings involving their parents.

Succession planning has supported transition of several trustees to the newly elected board. It is important for all new board members to build their capabilities to learn more about their roles and responsibilities as stewards of the school.

Internal evaluation occurs and leads to some improvements. Data provides useful information about student achievement and should provide a firm basis for evaluating the impact of programmes and practices. However, knowing what makes the biggest difference for targeted learners is unclear. Leaders agree that building capability in using evidenced-based evaluation should improve the school's capacity to sustain and continue to improve its performance.

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
  • 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, ERO exemplars of good practice and the School Evaluation Indicators to address the findings of this evaluation and develop a Raising Achievement Plan 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 Raising Achievement plan 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.

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that the school continues to develop and implement:

  • a curriculum that responds to all students learning and cultural needs, particularly Māori learners.
  • plans for achieving equitable and excellent student outcomes
  • processes that promote the use of data to inform effective teaching strategies
  • systems that support teachers to improve their practice
  • processes for building capability to evaluate effectiveness in order to sustain and continue to improve performance.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

5 September 2016

About the school

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2980

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

236

Gender composition

Male 50%, Female 50%

Ethnic composition

Maori

Pacific

Pākehā

Asian

15%

3%

71%

11%

Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

5 September 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

July 2013

March 2011

February 2010