Trentham School - 15/12/2015

Findings

Students show enjoyment and engagement in learning. Increasing the numbers of students achieving at or above the National Standards in reading writing and mathematics is a key next step. This includes accelerating the learning of students at risk of underachieving. School leaders are collaborative professionals focused on building teacher capabilities to improve student outcomes.

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?

Trentham School in Upper Hutt caters for Years 1 to 6 students from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. Of the 407 students enrolled, 26% are Māori and 12% of Pacific heritage. Other students come from a wide range of ethnic groups. Many of these students are new to New Zealand and English language learners.

A stable school leadership team is in place. Changes have occurred to middle leadership and a reorganisation of classroom groupings is planned for next year. Increased resourcing and use of digital devices has occurred to support the development of e-learning.

Initiatives support parents' and families’ involvement in school events and learning. These include the Reading Together programme and a Pasifika Success Talanoa Project. The school seeks and responds to the views of the school community.

The school has a positive reporting history with ERO.

2 Learning

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

Leaders have developed clear guidelines, systems and processes for gathering and analysing student achievement information. They give ongoing consideration to the effective and meaningful use of data to promote students' learning and their progress.

Many students achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. However, recent progress in increasing the achievement of target group students was lower than expected, particularly for Pacific and Māori learners. The board and school leaders recognise the urgent need to accelerate the progress of a significant number of students, including Pacific and Māori learners, at risk of underachieving.

The board receives regular and comprehensive information about student achievement throughout the year. Appropriate, specific achievement targets are set in response to well-analysed data.

Teachers use a wide range of appropriate assessment tools to identify students’ needs and monitor their progress. They work collaboratively to regularly reflect on the progress and achievement of target students. A tracking process has been introduced to increase the focus on progress of groups of students within the year and over time.

Ensuring there are deliberate, planned teaching responses to accelerate learning for targeted students is a next step. This should assist the school to better evaluate the impact of teaching on improving progress and achievement.

Provision for students identified with specific learning needs is well considered, appropriate and well matched to the complex range of needs. Regular meetings help teachers and families review students' progress and outcomes.

Sound processes and practices support teachers to make robust judgements in relation to National Standards. The school seeks further opportunities for regular moderation of judgments with other schools.

Three-way conferencing supports students’ participation in assessment and enables goal-setting with families. Reports give useful information about current strategies used by students and next steps for learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum framework is well designed. It provides a clear vision and is appropriately aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum. There are clear expectations and comprehensive implementation plans to guide teaching and learning. An appropriate focus on literacy and mathematics is evident.

Students are supported to learn and work with each other in classrooms that are well organised for learning. Teachers make good use of questioning and deliberate acts of teaching to support learning. Positive relationships are evident. Students show enjoyment and engagement in learning.

Teachers work to promote students’ ownership of their learning. Leaders recognise that further development is required, including a renewed focus on assessment for learning. Planned cluster professional learning opportunities should support the use of teaching and learning strategies that help students to know about and direct their learning.

A range of support is in place for teachers to assist them to reflect on and improve their practice. All teachers engage in a process of professional inquiry as individuals and as teams. They collaboratively build shared understandings of effective practice through professional discussion and readings. Planned professional learning and development should provide further support for teachers in mathematics.

Participation in the Pasifika Success Talanoa Project is supporting teachers’ growing understanding and responsiveness to Pacific learners. There are increased opportunities for students to share and celebrate their identities, languages and cultures through the curriculum and school events. Staff are considering further ways to strengthen learning partnerships with families/aiga.

There are increased opportunities for parents to be involved in learning and school activities.

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

There has been a sustained focus on building teachers’ cultural understandings and responsiveness. A range of meaningful opportunities are provided for students and teachers to learn about te ao Māori. The use and integration of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are valued, promoted and evident in school practices.

The Ruia-School-Whānau Partnerships for Māori Learners' Success tool has been used to generate useful information from whānau Māori. A next step is for the school is to build on this to develop clear statements of the expected outcomes for Māori students at Trentham School to guide teaching and learning and enable coherent integration across the curriculum. This work should be guided by the aspirations of the Māori community and informed by Kā Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013-2017 and Tatāiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.

Further promoting equitable achievement outcomes for Māori students is a key next step.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Useful processes are in place to support the school’s inquiry, internal evaluation and knowledge building. There are strengths in the analysis of student achievement data and responsive targetsetting.

A next step is to strengthen the alignment between identified needs, expected outcomes and planned actions to better support responsive teaching and accelerated progress for targeted learners.

Trustees are focused on student success and are actively involved in the school. Staff and trustees act on findings from information gathered. Strategic and annual goals are developed and actions are monitored to guide improvement.

School leaders are considered and deliberate in establishing development priorities and direction. Good systems for communication and decision-making are evident. They provide well-selected opportunities for teacher development. Leaders should continue to strengthen and promote consistency of effective teaching practice across the school.

There is a recognised need to continue to build leadership capacity across the school to promote school priorities and the evaluation of effectiveness. A planned initiative to strengthen the ability of middle leaders to coach and facilitate improved teaching should support a more focused approach to accelerating progress of targeted learners.

School leaders demonstrate a good understanding of teachers’ strengths and areas for development. The appraisal process provides opportunities for teachers to receive useful feedback on their practice in relation to their goals and next steps for development. It appropriately aligns with teacher inquiry and includes the use of student data. In order to improve the process, teachers need to gather evidence in relation to the Practising Teacher Criteria.

The school seeks opportunities to build relationships with whānau and the wider community. They work with their local education community to enrich their learning and support students and their families.

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 show enjoyment and engagement in learning. Increasing the numbers of students achieving at or above the National Standards in reading writing and mathematics is a key next step. This includes accelerating the learning of students at risk of underachieving. School leaders are collaborative professionals focused on building teacher capabilities to improve student outcomes.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

15 December 2015

School Statistics

Location

Trentham, Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2099

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

407

Gender composition

Male 54%, Female 46%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Samoan

Asian

Tongan

Other Pacific

African

Indian

Other ethnic groups

48%

26%

6%

6%

3%

3%

2%

2%

4%

Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

15 December 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2012

November 2009

September 2006