Westshore School - 06/08/2014

Findings

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for improvement?

The school has made significant progress since the 2012 ERO review and has addressed the identified areas for improvement. Trustees understand their governance role. Staff work collaboratively to promote positive outcomes for students. Improving achievement for Māori students remains a focus for the school. Teachers promote students' self-management skills and cooperative learning.

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

1. Background and Context

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

Westshore School is a Years 1 to 6 school in Napier. It has a roll of 117 students, of whom 22% identify as Māori. Relationships are positive and affirming between students and staff.

The school has embraced cooperative learning on all levels. Staff use strategies designed to support a quality teaching and learning programme.

The August 2012 ERO report identified significant areas for improvement. These included: strengthening professional leadership, curriculum implementation, teachers’ use of assessment, use of self review to inform and monitor school performance and effectiveness, and review of policies to ensure implementation of the National Administration Guidelines (NAGs). Additionally there was a need to implement an effective performance management process.

Over the past twenty months the school has participated in an ongoing ERO evaluation process to support improvement. During this time the school has accessed appropriate external professional learning and development (PLD) to support trustees and staff in their roles. They have worked positively with providers and shown a determined focus on improvement.

2. Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

Senior leaders and trustees developed an action plan with key areas for development and improvement as identified in the previous ERO report. Actions and outcomes have been monitored throughout the process.

The main goals have been to:

  • develop and implement teaching and learning programmes that are aligned with The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC), giving priority to literacy and mathematics
  • ensure various legislative requirements are met
  • report to parents in relation to National Standards
  • consult with the school’s Māori community
  • put in place systems to appraise the principal and teachers
  • consult with community on delivery of the health curriculum
  • establish guidelines to support staff in the use of assessment data
  • provide teachers with schoolwide PLD
  • strengthen self review.

Progress

The school has made significant progress in the areas identified in the previous ERO report. This is evident in schoolwide documentation, policy and practice, and in teaching and learning initiatives designed to accelerate students’ progress.

The collaboratively developed curriculum is underpinned by cooperative structures and is clearly aligned to the NZC. The curriculum document:

  • prioritises literacy and mathematics
  • outlines clear guidelines and expectations for teachers in the areas of programme delivery, planning, assessment and moderation to inform overall teacher judgements about students' achievement.

Teachers effectively use a wide range of strategies to promote learning. Students are engaged in their learning and talk confidently about their tasks and activities. They support and treat each other respectfully. Classroom routines are well established and positive teacher and student relationships are evident.

Data for 2013 indicates that the majority of students are achieving at and above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students’ achievement is below that of their peers. School leaders have developed annual achievement targets to promote the progress of students achieving below and well below National Standards. Accelerating progress and achievement of Māori students must continue to be a priority.

The progress of targeted students is regularly monitored. Teachers share successful strategies and reflect on the effectiveness of their practice. Parents receive comprehensive information about their children’s progress and achievement in relation to National Standards.

The principal regularly reports to the board, sharing analysed data and next steps for teaching and learning. Students’ progress is closely monitored and they are given appropriate assistance and support. Teachers are now using a range of suitable achievement data to monitor students' individual needs. Trustees are highly interested in, and use this information to identify needs, trends and patterns to make decisions about future planning.

Overall judgements about students' achievement in relation to the National Standards have been strengthened through moderation and extensive schoolwide discussion. Data sharing and decision-making are regular activities led by school leaders. Analysis of achievement trends and patterns across gender, ethnic and year groups informs decisions about annual improvement targets and related planning.

Appraisal has been strengthened to promote teacher development. The process is well considered, aligned to school priorities and the Registered Teacher Criteria and supported by PLD. It provides opportunities for teachers to reflect and discuss progress towards their goals. Refinements to strengthen the evidence base and include focused observations of practice should promote ongoing professional growth for teachers.

The principal’s appraisal has been completed by an external provider. An action plan aligned with school goals has been developed in response.

Trustees and school leaders consult meaningfully with parents and community to help inform practice and operation. They acknowledge that priority should be given to consulting with parents of Māori students to further develop the school’s curriculum.

3. Sustainable performance and self review

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

Progress

The board and staff have demonstrated that they have the capacity to sustain and improve the school’s performance. They have worked in a focused way to address areas for development identified in the previous ERO report.

The board is well informed about student achievement, curriculum development and school priorities. Training has supported trustees to increase understanding of their roles and responsibilities. They are focused on the school being a key part of the local community and continuing to improve student achievement.

Appropriate priorities and direction have been set in the strategic plan to move the school forward. Through the board’s strategic and annual planning process, a sustainable cycle of self review is in place. Schoolwide understanding of self review continues to develop. Strengthening the evaluative aspect of review should continue to assist current practice and decision-making for improvement.

The board and staff should embed the developments identified in this report to continue to improve student learning and governance practice.

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

The school has made significant progress since the 2012 ERO review and has addressed the identified areas for improvement. Trustees understand their governance role. Staff work collaboratively to promote positive outcomes for students. Improving achievement for Māori students remains a focus for the school. Teachers promote students' self-management skills and cooperative learning.

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

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Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

6 August 2014

About the School

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2733

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

117

Gender composition

Male 55%

Female 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

22%

73%

5%

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

6 August 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2012

April 2009

May 2006