West Harbour School - 22/12/2014

Findings

West Harbour School promotes student learning and well being effectively. Students benefit from a curriculum that is meaningful and relevant. Leadership is effective and parent and community partnerships are valued. A positive school tone supports the learning of all students.

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?

West Harbour School is located in West Auckland and caters for Year 1 to 8 students who are predominantly of Māori and Pacific descent.

A new principal was appointed in 2013 and the leadership team has increased from three to four, with an assistant principal and two associate principals. This change has created more opportunities for leadership in other areas of the school.

An inclusive and caring school culture is evident. Many families, trustees and staff have long-standing relationships with the school. A strong commitment to building partnerships with parents and the local community continues to be a distinguishing feature of the school. A West Harbour Community Hub is being constructed onsite as part of a local initiative to strengthen links within the community.

The 2011 ERO report noted that student engagement levels were high, students with diverse backgrounds or those who had additional needs were respected and included, and that board and management decisions were centred on strategies to further promote student engagement and progress. These aspects of good performance are still evident.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

School achievement information shows that two thirds of students are consistently achieving at and above the National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics. The achievement of Māori and Pacific students reflects the achievement of the school population. Girls are achieving better than boys in relation to all three National Standards.

Teachers share assessment information with students. Students are actively involved in decisions about how to further improve their achievement and show ownership of their learning. Senior leaders are beginning to use achievement information effectively to set appropriate school achievement targets for different groups of students who are not achieving well in relation to the National Standards.

School systems are being put in place to use achievement information to inquire into the effectiveness of teaching practices. This is supporting teachers to focus teaching on priority learners with a greater sense of urgency. There is a need to develop systems to measure student progress over time at school. This would give the school more information to identify the value the school makes to student achievement.

The school has inclusive and responsive practices and systems to support students with special learning needs. Student enjoyment and engagement in the learning process is clearly evident. Staff have high expectations of students and believe in them as capable, competent learners. Students talk about their learning with confidence. The school is beginning to consider how they can build on the strong pastoral relationships with parents to more effectively build collaborative partnerships that are focused on learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively.

There is clear alignment of the curriculum to the school’s mission statement ‘Inspire, Enrich and Equip’. Students appreciate the breadth and variety offered in the curriculum. There is a strong focus on making learning relevant and on providing real life experiences to stimulate learning and engagement. An integral part of the curriculum is a focus on learning how to be a learner. Engagement with the local and wider community is valued in the school curriculum.

Teachers are supported to deliver the curriculum well. Professional learning and development decisions guide curriculum directions. Physical learning environments are purposeful, meaningful and assist the learning process for students well.

Future priorities to further enhance the school curriculum include:

  • continuing to build teacher capability and understanding in te reo and tikanga Māori in order to support the consistent implementation of the school-wide programme
  • developing a strategic approach to providing second language learning for Year 7 and 8 students
  • ensuring school curriculum documentation reflects the current emphasis and practice.

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

Of the school’s 321 students, 104 identify as Māori. Achievement information indicates that Māori achievement is similar to the whole school population, with approximately two thirds of students achieving at and above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Raising Māori student achievement in literacy and mathematics is appropriately prioritised in the school’s strategic goals.

Māori students are confident learners and their culture is valued. Students benefit from opportunities to participate in cultural groups. Further extension and enrichment of te reo and tikanga Māori in the school curriculum should increase opportunities for Māori students to celebrate their backgrounds and cultural heritage.

The school has identified the need to develop a more strategic approach, using Ka Hikitia-Accelerating Success 2013 - 2017, to promote success for Māori, as Māori. This includes increasing teachers’ knowledge and understanding of culturally responsive practices, and continuing to strengthen partnerships with parents, whānau and the community to support Māori aspirations for their children’s learning.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

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

Leadership in the school is effective. There has been a successful transition to a new principal. The increased number of senior leaders supports the school’s greater focus on teaching and learning. A school culture where all staff and students are seen as leaders is being developed. The positive environment in the school allows people to try new things and learn from each other. This is building on from the strong, respectful relationships that have been a longstanding feature of the school.

There is evidence the school makes good use of external and internal self review to support ongoing positive outcomes for students.

The board of trustees has good working relationships with the school management and community. Trustees and leaders have a strong commitment to consulting with parents, whānau and the community and to continuing to strengthen these relationships with the school. The board has overseen a successful review of the school’s vision and mission statement and are now well placed to identify key priorities to take the school into the next phase of the school’s development.

Trustees are aware of the need to strengthen governance practices and school systems to better inform the board’s decision-making processes and to give assurance that the school is meeting legislative requirements.

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

West Harbour School promotes student learning and well being effectively. Students benefit from a curriculum that is meaningful and relevant. Leadership is effective and parent and community partnerships are valued. A positive school tone supports the learning of all students.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

22 December 2014

About the School

Location

West Harbour

Ministry of Education profile number

1566

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

321

Gender composition

Boys 54%

Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Cook Island Māori

Asian

Indian

Middle Eastern

Tongan

Tokelau

other Pacific

other

32%

14%

25%

6%

4%

3%

3%

2%

1%

6%

4%

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

22 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2011

June 2008

June 2005