Wilford School - 06/04/2018

Findings

Progress has been made since the 2015 ERO report, in assessment and growing teacher capability. Strengthening planning and evaluation, for new and changed programmes and initiatives, to improve student outcomes remains a priority. Curriculum development and review has started and systems have improved for tracking and monitoring student progress. Supporting and enhancing the growing Ngā Puāwai programme is a priority for trustees and leaders.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

1 Background and Context

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

Wilford School is a full primary school situated in Petone, Lower Hutt. It caters for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this review, 27% of students identified as Māori and 10% as of Pacific heritage.

Within the school two full immersion classes cater for students in Years 1 to 6. Ngā Puāwai Whānau base their programme on Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. Student progress and achievement is assessed against Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori

There have been several changes of personnel since the November 2015 ERO report. There are two new deputy principals, a new leader of Ngā Puāwai Whānau and a number of new team leaders. There have been a number of changes in membership of the Board of Trustees.

The board has continued to support leadership and curriculum development for the principal and teachers. The school has accessed a number of Ministry of Education support services and a Limited Statutory Manager has been appointed to guide and support trustees with significant aspects of school operation.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The November 2015 ERO report identified a number of key areas for ongoing development. These were for trustees and leaders to develop and implement: 

  • a consistent schoolwide approach to assessment
  • an overarching Wilford School curriculum framework, in consultation with staff and community
  • clear expectations for teaching practice
  • an effective Ngā Puāwai Whānau structure and level of te reo Māori language programmes
  • robust appraisal processes focused on developing the principal’s leadership and growing teacher capacity and capability. 

Progress

Leaders have made good progress in identifying, tracking and monitoring the learning of students at risk of not achieving. Appropriate tools are used to gather relevant achievement information. This data is appropriately analysed for patterns and trends and is shared with trustees to support decision making and review.

Clear expectations have been developed for the use of student achievement information by teachers in planning, teaching and reporting. Moderation processes have been strengthened with leaders now considering judgements to be more reliable. Students with identified high learning needs are appropriately supported.

Individual teacher inquiry is being embedded. Inquiry processes were initially focused on group or team investigations. Teachers are now working on more specific individual investigations looking to develop and improve their practice.

Leaders have developed an increasingly collegial staff approach to teaching and learning. Professional Learning Groups provide a structured system to support the sharing and growth of effective teaching practices and strategies. There is a schoolwide focus on growing students’ ability to take increased responsibility for their learning.

Ngā Puāwai became a full immersion Māori medium class from the start of 2016. An active whānau group provides good support for teachers and trustees. Student numbers have grown so there are now two classes operating.

Key next steps

Considerable work and development has improved systems and processes for the use of data in planning teaching programmes and reviewing school operation. Trustees, leaders and teachers should more deeply analyse information to shift practice from a focus on what has happened to one that leads to a better understanding of why this happened, and as a result, identify what next steps to take to make the desired improvement.

A number of new initiatives and programmes have been introduced. To ensure that they meet their intended purpose and effectively support teaching and learning, leaders should:

  • develop a full, thoroughly documented plan for each initiative
  • identify and articulate key intended outcomes and indicators of success
  • provide explicit expectations for participants
  • thoroughly evaluate progress at key points in the process.

The recently developed appraisal process meets basic requirements. However it is not being operated in a robust, rigorous manner. It is important that the principal can assure trustees that all aspects of the system are completed for each teacher to a satisfactory standard. Endorsements for renewal or issuing of Practising Certificates for teachers need to be consistently supported by robust, thoroughly documented evidence.

Although curriculum development has been ongoing, there remains considerable work to be done. A well-documented, localised curriculum for both Ngā Puāwai and mainstream classes is needed.  This should include expectations for both Te Marautanga o Aotearoa and The New Zealand Curriculum and how they link as students move between Ngā Puāwai and mainstream at Year 7.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Wilford School has made progress in improving and reviewing its performance.

Trustees are supported by the Limited Statutory Manager in using more reliable achievement information to better inform and support decision-making. This knowledge is beginning to be used to review the effectiveness of programmes and initiatives.

Although there has been a range of professional development support for growing school leadership regular changes in personnel and roles indicates this remains an area for continued focus.

The Ngā Puāwai classes have new teachers for 2018. Ensuring there is a comprehensive curriculum, high quality professional support and advice and guidance is essential to ensure equitable and excellent outcomes for those students.

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.

School leaders have introduced new appraisal processes that should support teacher growth and improvement. It is not consistently followed through for all staff. In order to improve practice the principal and trustees should ensure that all staff appraisals are rigorously completed. 

4 Recommendations

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education consider continuing the intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to bring about the following improvements:

  • curriculum development, including Ngā Puāwai programme
  • planning and evaluation
  • leadership and appraisal.

Conclusion

Progress has been made since the 2015 ERO report, in assessment and growing teacher capability. Strengthening planning and evaluation, for new and changed programmes and initiatives, to improve student outcomes remains a priority. Curriculum development and review has started and systems have improved for tracking and monitoring student progress. Supporting and enhancing the growing Ngā Puāwai programme is a priority for trustees and leaders.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

Alan Wynyard
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

6 April 2018

About the School 

Location

Petone

Ministry of Education profile number

3072

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

311

Gender composition

Male 50%, Female 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

27%
51%
10%
12%

Special Features

Two Ngā Puāwai Whānau immersion classes (Year 1 to 6)

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

6 April 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

November 2015
October 2013
March 2009