Winchester School (P North) - 13/08/2018

School Context

Winchester School, is a contributing school in Palmerston North. The multi-cultural roll of 332 children includes 19% who identify as Māori and 4% of Pacific heritage.

The stated vision for students is to learn in a welcoming dynamic environment fostering creativity and lifelong learning. The valued outcomes for students are to be: confident, creative, connected, communicators.

In 2018 the school’s achievement targets are focused on raising achievement in reading for students in Year 2 and 6, and for boys across the school.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the levels of The New Zealand Curriculum

  • wellbeing for success

  • specific literacy interventions.

A new principal was appointed in middle of term 2, 2016.

The school is part of the Palmerston North City and Rural Schools 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 school supports most students to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes. Since the March 2014 ERO evaluation achievement has remained high.

End of year achievement information for 2017, reported that almost all students including Māori achieved at or above curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Leaders are aware that boys are not achieving as well as girls in writing.

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

Those students whose learning requires acceleration are well known to the leadership team. The school is strengthening their approach to these students.

In 2017, the school was successful in accelerating the learning for some students who had previously been below expectations in reading.

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?

Appropriate internal and external professional learning and development is supporting the implementation of a range of initiatives to support student learning and wellbeing.

Students experience a broad curriculum with a wide range of learning opportunities. There is a strong focus on developing key competencies for successful learning. Students are well supported to be confident, independent and self-managing learners. Cooperation and enthusiasm for learning is highly evident. Deliberate teaching strategies are used to promote collaborative teaching and learning practices.

Priority is given to the pastoral care and wellbeing of students. Leaders and teachers recognise the importance of building connections and relationships with children and their families to support learning partnerships.

Leadership has a considered approach to change management. Leaders promote and participate in teachers’ learning and development, to build capacity to undertake inquiry for improved student outcomes. Emergent leadership is fostered and students have multiple opportunities to develop their leadership potential.

The board actively represents and serves the community in its stewardship role. Trustees recognise the importance of focusing on student learning and working collaboratively with leaders to resource programmes and initiatives.

Responsive systems and processes are in place to identify and support those students with additional learning needs. The school works well with external agencies. Those with high needs are well supported to participate and engage in learning alongside their peers, through individual planning and appropriate use of resourcing.

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

Leadership is aware of the need to further strengthen the alignment of long-term planning, teachers’ appraisal, internal evaluation and reporting to the board. Strengthening this alignment should support a more coherent approach to review and decision making for improvement.

Building on the current process of tracking and monitoring of student progress and achievement to include information from school entry is a next step. This should enable the school to determine the difference made, value added and priorities for further development.

While reflection and inquiry are regularly used to inform decisions for improvement, further developing a shared understanding of internal evaluation school wide is needed. This should assist trustees, leaders and teachers to better measure the impact of initiatives, programmes and teaching practices on improved outcomes for student learning.

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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the considered approach of leaders to change management that supports the focus on school wide improvement

  • achieving outcomes for students, that show consistently good levels of achievement

  • the broad curriculum that provides students with a wide range of learning opportunities.

Next steps

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

  • internal evaluation to better measure the impact of programmes, initiatives and teaching practices on positive outcomes for student learning.

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

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

13 August 2018

About the school

Location

Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number

2484

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

332

Gender composition

Female 50%, Male 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 19%

Pākehā 56%

Pacific 4%

Asian 7%

Other ethnic groups 14%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

13 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review March 2014

Education Review October 2009

Education Review June 2006