Westbrook School - 11/06/2018

School Context

Westbrook School is located in a western suburb of Rotorua. It provides education for students in Years 1 to 6. The school roll of 535 includes 199 Māori, 21 Pacific and 30 students who are from a range of other nationalities.

The school aims to provide the best possible educational outcomes for all students. The school’s motto is ‘Me ako ngātahi tātou - together we learn.’ Its vision is for students to experience success through creative, innovative and collaborative practices. The school prioritises the values of whanaungatanga, respect, responsibility, initiative and excellence.

The school’s charter has a number of strategic goals including:

  • improving student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • developing culturally responsive practices

  • monitoring student attendance and engagement.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

Since the previous review in 2014, there have been some changes to the teaching team and a large number of new trustees appointed to the board.

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?

Raising overall levels of achievement is an ongoing priority for the school.

The school’s achievement data from 2014-2017 shows the majority of all students are achieving at or above expected levels in reading and mathematics and less than half in writing. Achievement has declined in reading and mathematics over the past four years.

There is significant disparity in achievement for Māori and Pacific students in reading, writing and mathematics. Girls are achieving at significantly higher levels than boys in reading and writing and at similar levels in mathematics. This pattern of disparity for all groups has remained consistent over time.

The school’s entry data shows that an increasing number of students entering school each year are not at expected levels in literacy and mathematics.

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

The school is responding well to some Māori and other students whose learning needs acceleration.

The school can show accelerated progress for some of the targeted Māori and at-risk students in reading, writing and mathematics.

As a result of targeted intervention, school data shows a large majority of Māori students and boys in Years 5 and 6 made accelerated progress in mathematics in 2017. School data also shows high levels of accelerated achievement in oral language for Year 1 Māori and at-risk students in 2016 and 2017.

By the time students reach Year 6 most are achieving at expected levels in reading.

School data shows that students with special needs make appropriate progress in relation to their individual learning goals.

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?

Leadership is highly collaborative and enables effective partnerships for learning. Leaders are deliberately building teacher and middle leadership capability through a variety of strategies, professional learning and guidance. Leaders provide strong pastoral care for students and staff and personalised support for parents, families and whānau. They work with local iwi and hapū to enhance school and community partnerships and promote students’ language, culture and identity. Well-developed partnerships for learning are contributing to improved outcomes for the majority of students, particularly in reading and mathematics.

The school has a strongly inclusive culture for learning. The school’s vision and values of ‘The Westbrook Way’ are well embedded and are positively supporting learning and behaviour across the school. The school’s curriculum enriches cultural learning experiences for all students and supports their sense of belonging and engagement. Students with additional learning needs are well included through a personalised approach to planning. There are respectful relationships with parents and effective liaison with external agencies and community groups to meet the ongoing needs of the students and their families. Trustees generously fund additional learning support programmes to enable equitable opportunities and outcomes for students.

Teachers plan and use deliberate strategies to improve learning. Students whose learning is at risk are identified and monitored in classrooms. Planning is specific for individual and group needs and is detailed and thorough. Teachers scaffold and support students’ learning through links to prior knowledge and the clear use of learning intentions. Calm, settled environments, positive, affirming relationships and culturally responsive practices enhance learning. These deliberate strategies have led to improved outcomes for at-risk students, particularly in reading, mathematics and oral language.

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

Aspects of internal evaluation require strengthening.

Priority should be given to:

  • strengthening targets to focus on all students whose learning needs acceleration

  • strategically monitoring and reporting on rates of progress and acceleration for at-risk students over time

  • inquiring into what is making a difference for learners and the specific effects of programmes and interventions

  • strengthening consultation and review to gather parent and whānau views and aspirations and inform strategic planning and direction for the school

  • trustees accessing formal training to support them in their internal evaluation and governance roles.

There is need to implement a planned approach to student agency in learning. Leaders and teachers should consider ways to develop consistency of formative assessment practices including feedback and feed forward to students. Focus should be given to increasing students’ knowledge of their own learning and next steps, especially for at-risk students.

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 relation to curriculum.

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

  1. comply with the requirement to adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once in every two years, after consultation with the school community
    [Section 60B Education Act 1989].

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership for learning that focuses on improving outcomes for students

  • a positive culture for learning that supports students’ individual needs and enhances wellbeing

  • teaching practice that is focused on raising achievement for students at-risk.

Next steps

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

  • internal evaluation processes and practices to raise levels of achievement for all students at-risk of not achieving

  • empowering students to reflect on their own learning pathways.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

11 June 2018

About the school

Location

Rotorua

Ministry of Education profile number

2077

School type

Contributing (Years 1-6)

School roll

535

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 37%
Pākehā 53%
Pacific 4%
Asian 3%
Other 3%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

April 2018

Date of this report

11 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2013
Education Review August 2010
Education Review October 2007