Seatoun School - 27/10/2015

Findings

Students achieve success and participate in a rich and varied curriculum that promotes their social, academic, creative and cultural strengths and interests. Leadership and governance effectively promote the school's collaboratively developed strategic priorities. Parents and whānau are highly engaged in school life and supported to actively contribute to the success of their children.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1. Context

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

Seatoun School in Wellington caters for 439 students in Years 1 to 8 with 7% identifying as Māori. There is a small number of Pacific students.

Many learners and their families bring a rich cultural heritage to the school and to their learning. School personnel have strengthened the visibility and curriculum response to acknowledging these many cultures. Planned themes of learning in integrated studies and enrichment activities enable individuals to share and celebrate their unique culture and language with their peers. Extending curriculum practices further is well considered as part of the school's charter goals.

Students use highly functional learning spaces. Classrooms are well organised and inviting, displaying students' learning and inquiry. A technology centre accommodates practical learning requirements for students in Years 7 and 8 and is a valuable resource for all students to engage in design activities.

Environmental sustainability is a priority. Students develop knowledge and participate in recycling and growing food. High quality resourcing, including access to digital learning technologies and the services of a full time librarian, assists students' learning.

Relationships between adults, students and their peers are respectful and positive across the school. Students and parents contribute ideas and opinions. In a 2014 survey, parents, students and teachers were overwhelmingly positive about their school, teaching programmes and curriculum opportunities for students.

Senior leadership has generally remained consistent since the August 2011 ERO report, with appointment of a new principal in Term 2, 2015. An enrolment scheme is in place. The school has a positive ERO reporting history.

2. Learning

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

Systematic analysis and use of data at all levels of the school makes a positive difference to the engagement, learning and achievement of students.

Student entry data at five years of age shows approximately half working below age expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Students make very good progress with the majority achieving at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics by Year 8. Effective tracking and monitoring ensures leaders and teachers know students well. They make appropriate decisions about how best to support and accelerate students' achievement.

Many Māori students achieve well. In 2014, all Pacific students achieved at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Monitoring, analysis and reporting for specific groups of students ensures staff access relevant information to plan and review teaching and learning.

Teachers are highly collaborative when considering needs and grouping students accordingly. Teaching is well targeted to students' next learning steps. Moderation of assessment data ensures that reporting of National Standards' information is valid and reliable.

Many students demonstrate useful knowledge of their achievement and the current purpose of learning. Goals set by individuals are well matched to their development and provide a shared focus by parents, teachers and students to support achievement.

Annual achievement targets in reading, writing and mathematics are well considered. Targets include all students working toward the National Standards and identification of those seen as benefiting from increased monitoring and tracking. Student needs are addressed through classroom teaching or participation in additional support programmes.

Parents are highly engaged in contributing to the educational success of their child and in the life of the school. Written reports to parents are comprehensive and include information about all curriculum areas. Conferences between parents and teachers during the year usefully support the development of shared goals to promote student engagement, progress and achievement. As part of ongoing review, school leaders are planning to review reporting to parents in 2016.

Trustees receive comprehensive achievement information to support their strategic and annual decision-making. Considerable resourcing, including funding of additional personnel, is used to ensure that students can access a breadth of curriculum experiences and are well supported to achieve success.

3. Curriculum

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

The school's curriculum is highly effective in promoting students’ educational success.

A well-established vision, shared values and beliefs are reflected in practice. Four education pillars, ‘learning to know, learning to do, learning to live and learning to be’ are evident in the design of the Seatoun School curriculum.

Students experience a wide range of relevant learning opportunities. Enrichment programmes across the curriculum promote students' acquisition of cultural, creative and educational skills. Integrated learning units are delivered through an inquiry approach, assisting students to pose questions of interest and develop skills in using and presenting findings.

Review of curriculum documentation for writing is planned. Teachers are developing a revised statement to better match current practice. Review is timely and should capture changes that have occurred to assessment practice. Consideration should be given to reflecting the principles and intent of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Students access a suitable range of digital technologies to assist their learning. In 2016, the school plans for students in Years 7 and 8 to bring their own device to support their learning.

Senior students enthusiastically participate in leadership roles. These are valued and contribute to the development of individual competencies as students undertake responsibilities in and around the school.

Students are engaged and learning well. School leaders and teachers have shared beliefs and expectations for teaching and learning. Leaders know teacher strengths and areas for ongoing development.

Teachers are trialling a formal process to intentionally inquire into the effectiveness of their practice. Evaluation of this process at the end of the year will inform further changes. Leaders are currently reviewing appraisal processes and practice to provide greater rigour and support for growth and development.

School personnel actively foster student wellbeing to ensure positive learning outcomes. Learners identified with complex needs receive appropriate intervention. Individual education plans are collaboratively developed to establish specific goals to guide their development of skills and knowledge. Parent involvement contributes to shared goals that are well matched to student needs.

Close links with the school community support teaching and learning and extend curriculum opportunities. An interest-based home learning programme provides a wide range of challenges aligned to the development of students' key competencies.

Transition into and through the school, and from Year 8, is well considered and responsive. On entry, students and families familiarise themselves with the school and share expectations and aspirations. Useful information is shared as students move through the school. Senior students are well prepared for transition to secondary school.

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

Māori students participate purposefully in all aspects of school life. They develop positive relationships with teachers and their peers. Useful links with Māori whānau contribute to school initiatives and assist curriculum development.

Teachers include relevant contexts and experiences that reflect Māori students’ culture and language, in teaching and learning. Key strategic goals focus on continuing to review and guide the curriculum, responsive to the aspirations of Māori whānau, and building on success.

To extend current practice and further strengthen the curriculum and teachers' response to Māori learners' culture, language and identity, leaders and teachers should:

  • develop agreed expectations aligned to Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners
  • continue to build capability and confidence to include te ao Māori through the four pillars and across the curriculum.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

Seatoun School is very well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance through the provision of:

  • effective governance practice to meet legislative requirements and community aspirations
  • high expectations for educational success shared by parents, staff and students
  • inclusive strategic planning that reflects a collective response to achieving agreed educational priorities
  • collaborative leadership that provides clear direction matched to school and national priorities, inclusive of achieving positive educational outcomes for Māori and Pacific students, and promotion of success for all
  • purposeful self-review that effectively sustains current practice and guides ongoing improvement.

In discussions with ERO, the principal and school leaders agree the next step is to continue to build evaluative practice to develop leaders' and teachers' collective knowledge about what works in promoting valued student outcomes.

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.

Conclusion

Students achieve success and participate in a rich and varied curriculum that promotes their social, academic, creative and cultural strengths and interests. Leadership and governance effectively promote the school's collaboratively developed strategic priorities. Parents and whānau are highly engaged in school life and supported to actively contribute to the success of their children.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

27 October 2015

About the School

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2987

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

439

Gender composition

Female 52%,

Male 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Chinese

Indian

Other ethnic groups

7%

73%

3%

3%

3%

11%

Review team on site

September 2015

Date of this report

27 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2011

August 2008

October 2005