Wellington S D A School - 25/09/2018

School Context

Wellington S D A School, Porirua, is a small, integrated Seventh-day Adventist school providing for students from Years 1 to 8. At the time of this review there were 65 students on the roll, with 47 identifying as of Pacific heritage, five as Māori and eight as Asian.

The school’s vision is ‘Connected to God, Connected to Others and Connected Learning’. ‘GROW’ values of ‘Godliness, Rich relationships, Ownership of learning and Wisdom in decision-making’ are the school’s valued outcomes. Strategic goals aim to ‘motivate, challenge and engage akonga’ through ‘working positively and collaboratively to experience equitable learning outcomes’.

Annual targets for 2018 focus on accelerating the progress of those students who need it, in writing and mathematics.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in relation to reading, writing and mathematics.

Teachers have participated in professional learning and development (PLD) in mathematics and in collaborative practice and digital learning. Some trustees have undertaken board training.

Since the July 2015 ERO report, there have been significant changes in board membership and some staff changes. A new principal and assistant principal were appointed in 2016. A number of children receive support from English as a Second Language funding.

The school is a member of Te Puna Mātauranga Kāhui Ako.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The majority of students achieve at or above school expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Pacific students are achieving better than other groups. Most Māori students and boys achieved at or above expectations in mathematics.

Disparity in achievement between boys and girls has been evident since the previous ERO report. This has lessened over time. Māori learners’ achievement has improved during this time. Data for 2017 shows that girls are achieving better than boys in writing. Boys achieve better than girls in reading and mathematics.

Recently analysed 2018 midyear data, indicates that boys are achieving better than girls in reading, writing and mathematics.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school has data to show that students who require support to achieve well make good progress over time. Additional learning support programmes contribute to improved student outcomes. There are examples of some students making accelerated progress through this focused approach.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The principal and staff and highly collaborative. They know their students well and share a holistic approach to their learning and wellbeing. Classrooms are settled and welcoming and interactions are respectful. Teachers have clear expectations that are well understood by their students and draw on a range of effective strategies to engage and promote active participation in learning.

Thoughtful curriculum design, planning and enactment provides rich and authentic opportunities for children’s learning. Participation in mathematics PLD, supported with additional staffing, has improved student achievement.

A range of effective strategies and resources is used to support students with additional learning needs. Suitable external support is accessed.

Trustees, leaders and staff develop and grow strong partnerships with the school community. Families, aiga and whānau are welcome and highly involved in school activities, events and celebrations. A range of appropriate, effective communication strategies is used to inform and promote community participation.

The board is committed to promoting the school’s special character and serving the community. Well considered resourcing enables students to experience success as learners. Trustees proactively and strategically develop networks with the local community that extend and enrich the curriculum.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Trustees, leaders and staff should continue to develop a local curriculum that includes shared expectations for effective teaching, learning and assessment practices and acknowledges the school’s unique place in its community, faith, whakapapa and history.

The principal and teachers should build their understanding of appraisal, inquiry and evaluation for improved teaching and learning. Strengthening the teacher appraisal process and inquiry should lead to increased knowledge, skills and capability. Strategic evaluation should enable leadership and staff to align key systems and processes and evaluate the impact of their practice on student learning outcomes.

Strengthening the analysis of achievement information to identify trends and patterns should enable trustees, leaders and teachers to better monitor and systematically evaluate the impact of teaching strategies and student outcomes.

3 Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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 the following:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • finance
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relationto the delivery of the health curriculum.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  • consult the school community, at least once every two years, on the delivery of the health curriculum.[Section 60B, Education Act 1989]

To improve current practice, trustees should strengthen their review of health and safety policies, procedures and related practices.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • the shared approach by the board, leadership and staff that grows and contributes to students’ holistic development, wellbeing and learning success

  • strong partnerships with the parent community that support learning and provide students with a range of opportunities and experiences.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • strengthening the curriculum so that it clearly states the expectations of teacher practice and acknowledges the unique place of the school within its community

  • building shared understanding of appraisal, inquiry and evaluation to improve teaching and learning

  • strengthening the analysis of trends and patterns in achievement information to more strategically address disparity and evaluate the impact of teaching on student outcomes.

The school has requested, and ERO will provide, an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard Director

Review & Improvement Services

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

25 September 2018

About the school

Location

Porirua

Ministry of Education profile number

4150

School type

Integrated Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

65

Gender composition

Male 34,

Female 31

Ethnic composition

Māori 5

Pacific 47

Asian 8

Pākehā 5

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

25 September 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, July 2015

Education Review, June 2013

Education Review, April 2010