Weedons School - 29/02/2016

Findings

Weedons School is inclusive and welcoming. Students have positive relationships with adults and each other. Teachers know students well, including their strengths and needs. Student learning, engagement and wellbeing are effectively supported. They are provided with rich learning experiences. The school is well led and managed. Robust systems are in place to ensure legal accountabilities are met.

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?

Weedons School has an inclusive and welcoming culture. The curriculum has a strong focus on caring for the environment. Students have positive relationships with adults and their peers. School leaders and staff members know all students and their families well.

The school has strong links with the local community. Parents are actively involved in the life of the school, including an active ‘Friends of Weedons’ group. Many community groups regularly use the school’s facilities. This includes an after-school care programme.

The board, principal and teachers have responded well to the 2012 ERO review. This has included a review of the way they report to parents and a significant improvement in the quality of the school’s annual targets.

2 Learning

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

Leaders and teachers make effective use of achievement information to promote positive student learning, progress and engagement.

The board, school leaders and teachers have a strong focus on raising achievement for all students. The school’s annual achievement targets clearly identify areas of specific learning needs and are easily measurable.

Teachers use a wide range of assessment tools to plan for group and individual learning needs. School leaders have identified that their next step is to extend opportunities for teachers to moderate student achievement with other schools.

Students’ achievement is highest in reading against the National Standards. Teachers’ targeted initiatives and planned strategies have improved achievement results in mathematics. The focus is now on strengthening teaching practices and programmes to improve achievement in writing.

Teachers know students well and closely monitor their wellbeing, progress and achievement. Students most at risk of not achieving are provided with specific classroom interventions and a wide range of additional programmes. The school has a broad definition for students’ special abilities. These students’ talents are well recognised. A number of initiatives are in place that support this learning and engagement.

Parents are kept informed about how well their children are learning. Student achievement reports have been reviewed and modified. Parents are provided with useful and detailed information about learning and achievement across all learning areas. Teachers identify explicit next steps for learning and helpful ways parents can support their child’s learning at home. School leaders and teachers are reviewing how they can ensure achievement in relation to National Standards for students in Years 1 to 3 is reported within appropriate timeframes.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is effective in promoting student learning and engagement. The ‘Weedons Way’ values underpin all aspects of the school’s culture and practices. The Māori value of whanaungatanga has recently been added to reflect the family-like culture of the school.

Students are provided with rich and meaningful learning experiences within, and beyond the school. They have easy access to a wide range of resources. Digital technologies are integrated purposefully to support and extend learning and teaching.

Teachers are provided with detailed guidelines and clear expectations for teaching and learning. They work well together and share ideas and best practice. Teachers are highly reflective about their practice and what works best to help students’ progress. School leaders now need to extend the ways that teachers inquire more deeply into their practice.

Students are actively involved in their learning. They know the purpose of learning activities and receive helpful feedback from teachers about their progress and next steps for learning.

Teachers encourage students to work together and support each other as they learn. Older students work well with younger students. Senior students are given increasing responsibility for their own learning. The principal and teachers have identified that students need more opportunities to be involved in decision making about their learning.

Students have purposeful opportunities for student leadership. Their opinions are valued and used by leaders to inform decision making. The school places a strong emphasis on environmental education. Students are actively involved in aspects of caring for the school and learning about sustainable practices.

The next step for leaders and teachers is to further refine aspects of their curriculum review process.

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

Māori students’ educational success as Māori is positively promoted. School leaders and teachers know all their Māori students well and have identified each student’s strengths and learning needs. Teachers have specific strategies in place to support and extend learning of their Māori students.

School leaders and teachers give prominence and value to Māori culture. All students have many meaningful opportunities to learn te reo and tikanga Māori. The next step is to extend the teachers’ confidence and capability in these areas.

Māori whānau have regular opportunities to share their views. The board and staff are responsive to feedback and make changes as required. The school has increased links with and support from local iwi. Māori representation on the board is supporting increased Māori involvement and understanding.

School leaders agree that it is timely to consider the best ways to reflect Māori values more prominently in the school’s key documentation.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and continue its ongoing performance. The board, leaders and teachers are highly reflective and have a shared focus on positive outcomes for student learning and wellbeing.

The school is well led and managed. The board and principal work well together. Teachers’ strengths are recognised and utilised effectively. They are provided with appropriate and targeted professional learning opportunities both within and beyond the school.

The principal keeps the board well informed through regular and detailed reports. These reports could be further refined to be more manageable for board members.

The board is proactive and focused on raising student achievement. Trustees are knowledgeable and have a variety of experience and expertise. The board has robust systems in place to ensure trustees meet their governance role.

School leaders and the board have an ongoing process for self review that informs appropriate decision making and change. This process also provides assurance that the board is meeting its governance obligations. There is close alignment between the school’s key documents and identified priorities.

The board and school leaders regularly consult with parents, students and the community. They use this information well as part of their ongoing review process.

The principal and teachers benefit from the close working relationships they have developed with other educational providers, including an active cluster of local schools and early childhood centres

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

Weedons School is inclusive and welcoming. Students have positive relationships with adults and each other. Teachers know students well, including their strengths and needs. Student learning, engagement and wellbeing are effectively supported. They are provided with rich learning experiences. The school is well led and managed. Robust systems are in place to ensure legal accountabilities are met.

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

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

29 February 2016

School Statistics

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3585

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

154

Gender composition

Boys 54%; Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Other ethnicities

84%

11%

5%

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

29 February 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2012

August 2009

February 2006