Waiheke Primary School - 11/04/2014

1 Background and Context

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

Waiheke Primary School caters for Years 1 to 8 students. At the time of ERO’s education review in September 2011, school systems, including leadership in curriculum, were not supporting students to reach their potential. This was the main reason for ERO’s decision to monitor and support the school’s development through a longitudinal, Arotake Paetawhiti review process.

Since March 2012, the school has been involved in an Arotake Paetawhiti review. The board, working with ERO and a Ministry of Education Student Achievement Function (SAF) practitioner, identified priorities for school improvement. An action plan was formed to guide development in these areas. Regular communications between ERO, the board of trustees and senior leaders have focused on the school’s progress in addressing the agreed goals identified in the 2011 ERO report.

During 2013 a new principal was appointed to lead the school in its next phase of development. She and the board have been strategic in restructuring roles and responsibilities, and supporting teachers to improve teaching and learning in the school.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The school and ERO agreed on the following priorities for review and development:

  • strengthening the use of achievement information to improve student learning
  • aligning the school’s curriculum to The New Zealand Curriculum
  • developing leadership capability
  • establishing effective self-review systems.

Progress

The school has, with support from the Ministry of Education, developed good processes to address areas for review and development. Since the 2011 ERO review the board, senior leaders and staff have been focused on strategies to improve student outcomes.

Students are confident in talking about what they are learning and how they can develop their capabilities. Classroom displays of students’ ideas show the value teachers place on student voice. Teachers have developed useful strategies to support students to lead their own learning.

The board receives good quality student achievement information from senior leaders. As a result, the board is better positioned to support the principal in leading school improvement and teachers in their work to raise student achievement. Trustees value parent contributions and are exploring ways to strengthen partnerships that are focused on children’s learning.

Twenty-six percent of students identify as Māori. Their identity, language and culture continue to be affirmed through school protocols and through the regular teaching and use of te reo Māori. School leaders and teachers are now better able to monitor Māori students’ achievement and progress. As a result, the board is better informed about how well groups of students, including Māori and Pacific students, are progressing.

More clearly defined roles and responsibilities have supported teachers to confidently contribute to school initiatives focused on raising student achievement. Teachers have responded positively to professional learning and development with a focus on enhancing student learning. They have shown a responsiveness and commitment to accelerating the progress of students achieving below and well below the National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics.

School-wide professional learning and development focuses on teaching practices that meet diverse learners’ requirements. Teachers are increasingly aware of the importance of planning and delivering programmes that reflect the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). The good alignment between the NZC and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) promotes inquiry learning and provides a means for students to understand and use key competencies.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Progress

The school is well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance.

More consistent and good quality teaching and learning practice is evident school-wide since the 2011 ERO review. Effective monitoring of curriculum delivery by senior leaders, and targeted professional learning and development, are contributing to positive outcomes for students.

Trustees, leaders and teachers have worked collaboratively with Ministry of Education personnel to improve teaching and learning. Involvement in the Ministry of Education’s Student Achievement Function (SAF) initiative has supported the school to strengthen its internal capability to implement a sustainable cycle of planning focused on continuous school improvement.

The new principal and board have worked effectively together to build on school improvement initiatives and support sustainability by:

  • informing staff about required changes and welcoming their input
  • providing useful feedback to teachers about ways they can improve their practice to enhance student learning
  • coordinating professional learning development for teachers to ensure consistency of teaching practice
  • implementing more robust systems for assessing and moderating student achievement.

The new principal’s purpose and drive is well supported by trustees who offer a variety of areas of expertise. This positive relationship has contributed to a more settled tone in the school that is focused on what is best for students. The board is developing a sound foundation of systems and processes to sustain and build on current good practices. Trustees are now committed to using self review to inform the school’s strategic direction and continuous improvement. The board has a current focus on strengthening reciprocal relationships between the school and parents and whānau. Trustees, senior leaders and teachers are more confident to engage with parents and whānau about ways the school’s curriculum recognises their aspirations for their children and promotes high quality student learning.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

11 April 2014

About the School

Location

Ostend, Waiheke Island

Ministry of Education profile number

6922

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

202

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

British

Pacific

other European

other

26%

55%

6%

1%

6%

6%

Review team on site

February 2014

Date of this report

11 April 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

December 2011

September 2008

August 2007