Rotherham School - 04/12/2017

Summary

Rotherham School is a small rural school with 43 children of whom 16% identify as Māori. The roll has become increasingly diverse. Some of the children are English language learners (ELL).

Since the 2013 ERO review, there have been some changes within the board and school staff.

Achievement levels have improved with most children achieving well in writing and mathematics. There are continued good levels of achievement in reading and no significant areas of disparity in achievement within the school.

The school has participated in a Ministry of Education professional development programme, focused on Accelerated Learning in Mathematics (ALiM). In response to the impact of the November 2016 earthquake, the school is currently part of a Ministry of Education initiative to improve children’s behaviour and engagement with learning. The school is part of the Tipu Maia Kāhui Ako| Community of Learning (CoL).

Overall the school has made very good progress in addressing the recommendations identified in the 2013 ERO report.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

At the time of this review the school was effectively responding to children whose learning and achievement needed acceleration. The school has a number of processes that are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence. These include:

  • high expectations for all children to experience success in their learning
  • strong support for children’s wellbeing
  • improved teaching and learning practices.

Some processes, such as internal evaluation, need to be strengthened, embedded and sustained in order to achieve equity and excellence for all learners. Some policies and procedures need to be developed or strengthened to meet current best practice and compliance expectations.

Learners are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • strengthen internal evaluation

  • embed the vision and values

  • further develop culturally responsive practice.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school is effectively responding to those Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Those children who are working below the National Standards, including those with additional learning needs and ELL students, are target children. The learning and progress of all children, including target children, is closely monitored. The school uses achievement information well to identify specific teaching interventions and programmes for learners. As a result, children make good progress or accelerated progress in their learning.

The school ensures it extends the learning of more able children. Children with special education needs are well supported as individuals and as learners to achieve success.

Achievement information at the end of 2016 shows that most children across the school achieved at or above the National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics.

The school makes very good use of a variety of assessment tools and processes to make reliable judgements about children’s learning.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school has a number of processes that are effectively enabling achievement of equity and excellence.

A feature of the school is the collaborative relationships between trustees, staff and the community. There is a clear vision and strategic and annual plan to guide the school’s direction. The board, principal and teachers work proactively together in children’s best interests. Teachers know the children well as individuals and learners and have high expectations for children’s learning.

The school provides an interesting and responsive curriculum. Key elements include the:

  • strong emphasis on supporting children’s wellbeing and holistic development

  • wide range of learning experiences that draw on children’s interests and their rural lives

  • range of supports and programmes to provide additional support for those who need it.

The principal and teachers have continued to build their capability and improve the effectiveness of their teaching. There is an improved appraisal system, sustained and relevant professional learning, and a greater understanding of how to use achievement information to inform teaching.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

There are some useful processes that now need to be strengthened, embedded and sustained in order to achieve equity and excellence for all learners.

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The school has recently refreshed its vision and valued outcomes for children’s learning. These need to be embedded within all school processes.

The principal and teachers have made progress in their use and understanding of internal evaluation. They need to continue to strengthen and widen the scope of evaluations, with a focus on outcomes for learners. This includes evaluating:

  • the school’s vision and values, and NZ curriculum principles to better identify strengths in the school’s performance

  • culturally responsive practice

  • student wellbeing

  • engagement with Māori whānau and families for whom English is an additional language.

The school is developing greater awareness of culturally responsive practice. The board and teachers need to continue this work and closely monitor the planned actions to ensure this work is sustained.

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

  • 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.

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to policies and procedures in a number of areas linked to children’s emotional and physical safety, and reporting of finances.

In order to address this the board must:

  1. ensure behaviour management procedures prohibiting the use of force (corporal punishment) are followed
    [Education Act 1989, Section 139a]

  2. develop policies and procedures on surrender and retention of property and searches of children
    [Education Act 1989, Section 139AAA and 139AH]

  3. ensure that the annual report is available to the public on an internet site maintained by or on behalf of the board
    [Education Act 1989, Section 87AB].

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • develop procedures for dealing with smoking, drugs and alcohol [NAG 5]

  • document approaches to preventing bullying and managing bullying behaviour, and how they will ascertain the success of these strategies

  • ensure that policies and procedures linked to the appointment of staff meet the expectations of the Vulnerable Children’s Act and the associated Ministry of Education guidelines.

Since the onsite phase of the ERO evaluation the principal and board have been developing policies and procedures in response to the areas identified above.

Going forward

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

Learners are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • embed the vision and values

  • strengthen internal evaluation to better identify strengths in the school’s performance

  • further develop culturally responsive practice.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

4 December 2017

About the school

Location

Rotherham, North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number

3490

School type

Contributing

Years 1-6

School roll

43

Ethnic composition

Māori 7

Pākehā26

Pasifika 1

Other 9

Gender composition

Boys: 23

Girls: 20

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

4 December 2017

Most recent ERO reports

November 2013

December 2010

February 2008