South End School - 16/02/2018

Findings

The school has strengthened a range of processes and systems to support schoolwide improvement since the 2015 ERO review. Teachers have improved programmes and increased opportunities for all students to experience success. Further development is required in curriculum, appraisal, internal evaluation and policy development.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

South End School caters for Years 1 to 8 students from Carterton and the wider Wairarapa district. It provides two pathways of learning to deliver The New Zealand Curriculum. Eighty six students are taught in the Montessori stream and 54 in the mainstream. Of its 140 students, 44 identify as Māori and 84 as Pākehā.

A Ministry of Education (MoE) senior adviser, a Limited Statutory Manager (LSM) and Student Achievement Function (SAF) practitioner have provided support and guidance over the past two years. The board has received training and support from the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA).

A new principal took up her appointment in Term 3, 2017.

The school continues to build stronger links with the community. It is involved in the South Wairarapa Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

The July 2015 ERO review identified key areas for ongoing development. These were to:

  • develop and document the South End School curriculum to ensure clear and consistent schoolwide expectations for teaching and learning
  • develop policies, procedures and practices in relation to the Montessori perspective to support consistent schoolwide practices
  • continue to develop teachers’ cultural competency through improved appraisal
  • improve the alignment of strategic and annual planning
  • improve systems, procedures and teaching practices to identify, accelerate, monitor and report the progress of target students
  • better target schoolwide professional development to improve school leadership, teacher assessment and teaching practices, and appraisal
  • develop self-review practices to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching and learning.

Progress

Good progress has been made to develop documents that provide for the different philosophical approaches in this dual medium school. The school and the Montessori Trust have reviewed and endorsed a memorandum of understanding to address a key concern identified in ERO’s 2015 report. The focus on equitable opportunities and outcomes for students is evident. There are now schoolwide expectations to support consistent practice.

Following the 2015 ERO review, work commenced on revising the curriculum. Improvements made show a curriculum for both mainstream and Montessori provision. Guiding documents for literacy, mathematics, health and physical education are in the early stages of development.

Student achievement has improved. There is evidence of accelerated progress for target students. School reported information shows Māori students are achieving similarly to non-Māori in reading, writing and mathematics in the mainstream. There is still some disparity between Māori and nonMāori in the Montessori classes. Overall, students in the Montessori classes are achieving slightly better than in the mainstream. The school has identified mathematics as an area for professional development in 2018.

Teachers are developing knowledge and skills in te reo and tikanga Māori. Their practice is supported by the kaiawhina who advises on the Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Education Strategy. The children are embracing learning about the Māori worldview. They are growing in confidence. Their kapa haka performances are contributing to the school’s growing community links.

The previous appraisal system was not sufficiently robust. The principal has addressed this and there are now clear processes in place. These processes still need to be documented.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school has made considerable progress in addressing the areas for improvement identified in the 2015 ERO review.

Strategic planning and annual planning is more aligned. The board has developed appropriate systems. It has addressed equity issues between the two streams, personnel management and financial concerns. Positive reciprocal relationships with local community groups have been developed.

The schoolwide self-review process has informed decision making and should be enhanced by making it more collaborative and evaluative at all levels.

The principal has a sound understanding of how to continue curriculum and school culture development. South End School is now in a position to embed new initiatives and continue to improve its performance.

Key next steps:

Leaders and teachers should:

  • continue developing the curriculum and associated programmes to better respond to students’ diverse needs
  • improve understanding and use of internal evaluation to ascertain the effectiveness of teaching programmes, initiatives and strategies.

Trustees and the principal should continue to develop more targeted planning to accelerate progress for learners.

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

The school has strengthened a range of processes and systems to support schoolwide improvement since the 2015 ERO review. Teachers have improved programmes and increased opportunities for all students to experience success. Further development is required in curriculum, appraisal, internal evaluation and policy development.

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

16 February 2018

About the School

Location

Carterton

Ministry of Education profile number

2992

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

140

Gender composition

Female 73, Male 67

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Asian
Other ethnic groups

31%
60%
2%
2%
5%

Special features

A dual medium school: Mainstream and Montessori

Review team on site

December 2017

Date of this report

16 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Supplementary Review

July 2015
December 2011
August 2010