Roslyn School - 08/12/2014

Findings

How effectively is this school’s curriculum promoting student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Teachers and senior leaders make sound use of achievement information to identify individual learning needs. Teachers reflect on the effectiveness of their practice. Significant curriculum developments include a new entrant reception class, team teaching and e-learning. Measuring the success of programmes is a next development step.

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

1. Context

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

Roslyn School, in Palmerston North, caters for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this review, 354 students attended the school. Forty percent of students are Māori and nine percent are of Pacific descent.

Since the November 2011 ERO report, significant initiatives have been developed or extended:

  • a reception class has been introduced for new entrant students to target specific literacy and numeracy needs
  • the school has extended the team teaching approach to include all students in Years 1 to 4
  • teachers are working on strengthening their practice and meeting shared expectations to increase student engagement
  • students in Years 5 to 8 now experience many aspects of the curriculum through e-learning and in two classrooms all students have a laptop
  • Years 7 and 8 students now participate in technology classes at Roslyn School.

The school is in the second year of involvement in the Positive Behaviour for Learning Schoolwide initiative. This has contributed to increased consistency of expectations about behaviour and learning through shared understanding of the school’s values of ‘perseverance, respect, integrity, diversity and excellence’.

2. Learning

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

Teachers and senior leaders make sound use of achievement information to identify individual learning needs, plan teaching strategies and track student progress. A well-considered process for reporting student achievement to parents is established.

School targets are appropriately based on National Standards data. These identify specific groups of students requiring additional support. To strengthen the focus on accelerating student achievement, actions and expected outcomes should be more specific and clearly related to the target.

Teachers have a shared understanding about making judgements in relation to the Standards. The 2013 end-of-year data showed approximately two thirds of students were achieving at and above in relation to the reading, writing and mathematics Standards. It also showed that Pākehā, Māori and Pacific students were achieving at similar levels overall. From this data, writing was identified as a development focus for 2014. A schoolwide picture of progress in writing for 2014 is yet to be collated.

The board of trustees receives regular student achievement reports. Reports would be strengthened by:

  • reporting schoolwide National Standard data at midyear
  • collating and reporting the progress of target students throughout the year
  • reporting the progress and achievement of groups of students, analysed by gender and ethnicity, at least twice a year.
  • Appropriate systems for supporting students with special needs are well established. Teacher aides support their learning within classroom programmes.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports learning appropriately. It emphasises literacy, numeracy and information and communication technologies. The key competencies from The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) underpin learning and interactions. A student learner profile, ‘The Roslyn Kid’ is based on the key competencies. The school has made links between Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and the NZC key competencies, to strengthen its local curriculum and to support students’ transition into the school. The principal has a clear focus on working with the community to provide students with a wide range of learning opportunities.

Results from the newly-established reception class show that most new entrant students have made accelerated progress in alphabet knowledge. Teaching and learning in this classroom includes explicit literacy and numeracy instruction through play-based and personalised learning. Transitions into school and on to secondary school are well managed.

Teachers are working collaboratively to develop a team teaching approach across Years 1 to 4. Teachers state that this has increased their opportunities to reflect on practice. Teachers of Years 1 to 2 students have been successfully implementing this approach since 2012. Open-plan classrooms facilitate cooperation between students and teachers and support inquiry-learning in these junior years.

E-learning is useful in supporting the school’s emphasis on increasing student engagement. This approach incorporates connections to students’ lives, experiences out of school and real world contexts.

Students set learning goals and work collaboratively with learning partners. Most students are engaged in their learning.

A next step is to evaluate the impact of all curriculum initiatives on student progress and achievement.

School leaders collate Pacific students’ achievement data annually. Trustees and leaders have included appropriate goals in the strategic plan to strengthen the school’s response to Pacific students’ culture, language and identity. Documented actions to achieve these goals are not specific nor focused on curriculum development. A next step is to develop clear outcome indicators to ensure that progress towards these goals can be measured and evaluated.

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

A wide range of strategies, programmes and initiatives support Māori student success as Māori. These include leadership awards, the noho marae for students in Years 7 and 8 and senior school kapa haka.

Links are established with Rangitāne o Manawatu, who are guiding and supporting many of the school’s initiatives. Whānau hui are held each term and iwi representatives and school leaders attend. Student achievement data is shared and whānau input is sought. School leaders acknowledge the need to strengthen this initiative by engaging more whānau and supporting them to lead the meetings.

Action plans to improve outcomes for Māori learners include appropriate goals. However, actions to achieve these goals should be more specific and supported with clear indicators of success. These changes should assist the measurement of progress.

Senior leaders, trustees and teachers are beginning to build a shared understanding of te ao Māori. ERO recommends continuing to use the strengths of staff to lead this development.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school has appropriate processes in place to sustain and improve its performance.

Sound school governance, identified in ERO’s 2011 report, continues to be evident. Board members are focused on ensuring initiatives have positive outcomes for students. The ethnicity of trustees reflects the school’s community.

Teachers systematically analyse achievement data, reflect on the progress of priority learners and their teaching practice. These processes guide teacher planning in meeting the needs of individual students. The teacher appraisal is robust.

Parents have many opportunities to be involved in the school. Working relationships with parents should be strengthened to ensure that parents, families and whānau participate in decision-making about curriculum and school direction.

A range of information is used well to support self review. Senior leaders develop useful evaluative questions to guide the process. A cycle for annual review of policy and curriculum is established and documented.

ERO recommends that senior leaders develop their evaluative capability and build a shared understanding of evidence-based review. Increased understanding of self review is likely to help with development of curriculum initiatives and promoting positive outcomes for students.

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.

To improve practice, trustees and school leaders should ensure that all students have equitable access to information and communication technologies for e-learning.

Conclusion

Teachers and senior leaders make sound use of achievement information to identify individual learning needs. Teachers reflect on the effectiveness of their practice. Significant curriculum developments include a new entrant reception class, team teaching and e-learning. Measuring the success of programmes is a next development step.

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

Joyce Gebbie National Manager Review Services Central Region

8 December 2014

About the School

Location

Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number

2439

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

354

Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

40%

37%

9%

14%

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

8 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2011

November 2008

September 2005