Freyberg Community School

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Education institution number:
1280
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
348
Telephone:
Address:

Roberts Road, Te Atatu South, Auckland

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Findings

Freyberg Community School provides high quality education for all students underpinned by the school’s vision of ‘life-long learning’. The importance of care, and creative and critical thinking supports learning. Students learn and achieve well in an inclusive environment that values diversity, student leadership and high expectations for all.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Freyberg Community School is located in Te Atatu South, Auckland. The school has a positive ERO reporting history and provides high quality education for students from Years 1 to 6. The school’s curriculum has a noteworthy focus on local, national and global issues.

A sustained feature of the school is the inclusive and welcoming culture that it provides for students and their whānau. Community education is strongly embedded within the school ethos. A vision of ‘life-long learning’ is actively promoted by the board of trustees, staff, students and whānau. The school's core values emphasize the importance of care and creative and critical thinking and underpin an holistic approach to learning and pastoral care.

The school is led by an experienced, long-serving principal. High quality professional leadership is founded on a strong research base. The school is participating in professional development opportunities through a Ministry of Education Community of Learning (CoL) initiative. The board has a very good understanding of governance and is committed to developing and sustaining high quality school practices.

ERO’s previous review of the school in 2012 identified many areas of good performance. The ERO report also recommended some developments to improve aspects of performance. These included strengthening reflective practices to help teachers further raise student achievement, continuing to consolidate school-wide systems for supporting Māori students to succeed as Māori, and further improving outcomes for Pacific students. The school has responded very well to these recommendations.

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 very well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. The board of trustees makes very good use of analysed achievement information provided by the principal to make carefully considered decisions aimed at improving outcomes for students.

A school culture of high expectations promotes student progress and achievement. Teachers work collaboratively and have robust processes in place to set targets and review how well they are meeting them. Comprehensive analysis of achievement information is evident and informs effective teacher practice.

The school’s National Standard achievement information for reading and mathematics compares favourably with other schools locally and nationally. Effective processes are helping to accelerate achievement for some students in writing. School information shows that strategies to support Māori and Pacific achievement are monitored and reviewed, and are producing significant progress and lifting achievement over time.

High importance is placed on ‘knowing the student’. Senior staff and teachers are proactive in identifying and addressing student needs. Students are highly engaged in their learning and are supported by respectful relationships with teachers.

Students are curious and critical thinkers. They are motivated and active participants in classroom programmes. Students have opportunities to lead their learning. They work with others in a variety of ways in real life contexts. The care and support shown by students for their peers is strongly evident both in and out of the classroom.

Parents are given a range of opportunities to discuss the engagement, learning and progress of their children. Very good reporting gives students and parents a clear and comprehensive indication of how students are achieving. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) seven principles of learning have been introduced across the school and are contributing positively to student and community engagement.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum is highly effective in promoting student learning. It responds well to diverse groups of students in inclusive ways. Students who need support or extension are well catered for. A focus on equity and excellence informs the delivery of the school curriculum.

The curriculum builds on the notion of life-long learning. The aim is to give students a strong foundation for developing as future global citizens within a local community context. Students clearly display a strong sense of self belief and are confident to explore, question and ponder.

High quality and informative learning environments provide students with opportunities to extend their learning. Programmes strongly support a student-led approach. Students' enthusiasm for learning is evident and can be observed in meaningful conversations with peers and teachers. Tuakana-teina relationships contribute to a positive and respectful school tone.

Pacific students are very well supported in their learning. They have a strong sense of identity and are represented in many areas of school leadership. The school is currently engaging Pacific students and fanau in a project based trial. The board and principal could consider further ways to improve school initiatives for Pacific students.

Senior leaders foster a school culture of high expectations for teachers and students. They encourage teachers to continually reflect on, and make improvements to, their practice. The school's focus on collaboration and high quality teaching programmes underpinned by current theory helps teachers to deliver the school’s curriculum effectively to all learners.

Senior staff agree that appropriate next steps for curriculum development include:

  • finding more ways to increase student voice in the school
  • strengthening student transitions into and out of the school.

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

Māori students have a strong sense of identity. They are confident and have high aspirations to succeed. They benefit from respectful relationships and the inclusive school culture where te reo Māori is a regular feature of the curriculum. Māori whānau regularly meet to discuss their aspirations for the school and how these aspirations might be achieved. A recently established parent-led group Te Roopu Whakamanawa, supports partnerships between Māori whānau and the school community.

The kapa haka group is well attended by students. This group is ably tutored and supported by students from a local high school. Students show enthusiasm and commitment to this group.

The teacher in charge of Māori success at the school has continued to have a positive influence. Good progress has been made with Māori initiatives identified in the Freyberg Community School Strategy. Senior leaders agree that it is now timely to review this strategy.

The board, senior leaders and teachers have a strong commitment to Māori success. Senior leaders and ERO agree that a next step is to consolidate and formalise the school’s approach in this area. The board could give consideration to how they might use Hautū: Māori Cultural Responsiveness Self Review tool for Board of Trustees to foster ongoing improvement and to explore Māori representation on the board.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Freyberg Community School is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The principal provides strong professional leadership. She is influential in strengthening professional capability and collective capacity across the school. She is assisted by experienced and very able senior leaders who guide staff leadership development. Senior leaders continue to strengthen partnerships between the school, parents/whānau and the local community.

The school has a well-developed and consistent process for teacher appraisal. The process promotes high expectations for teachers to continually improve their practice. Meaningful professional development is well aligned to the strategic direction of the school. A reflective school culture helps leaders to monitor the effectiveness of ongoing initiatives. Sound processes for documenting self review are evident.

The board’s governance is strategic and improvement focused. Trustees know the school and wider community very well. They have a good knowledge of school policies and procedures and are also highly reflective. Very good reporting processes ensure that trustees receive well analysed achievement data to inform their decision-making.

The school’s involvement with the Community of Learning (CoL) initiative is enhancing leadership opportunities across the school. It also provides opportunities for wider community engagement. Freyberg Community School acknowledges the positive impact that this is having for their staff, students, parents/whānau and community.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review there were no international students enrolled at Freyberg Community School. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigation confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

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

Freyberg Community School provides high quality education for all students underpinned by the school’s vision of ‘life-long learning’. The importance of care, and creative and critical thinking supports learning. Students learn and achieve well in an inclusive environment that values diversity, student leadership and high expectations for all.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

29 January 2016

School Statistics

Location

Te Atatu South, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1280

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

413

Number of international students

0

Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

Pacific

African

Latin American

Middle Eastern

other

23%

34%

23%

13%

2%

1%

1%

3%

Special Features

Arohanui Satellite Classes

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

29 January 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2012

September 2009

June 2007

1. Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Freyberg Community School in Te Atatu, Auckland, continues to provide good quality education for children from Years 1 to 6. In addition to the daily primary school education, the school site is also used for before and after school programmes, a preschool, a satellite class from Arohanui Special School and community education programmes. The student population includes a range of diverse cultures. More than thirty per cent of students are Māori or Pacific.

A safe and inclusive school culture is promoted, with a strong emphasis placed on the school’s core values. Students are confident and capable learners who are positive about their school. They are aware of their tuakana (older) and teina (younger) relationships and responsibilities with each other, and learning opportunities are provided to enable these interactions to flourish. Families feel welcome at the school.

2. Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Student engagement is well supported by teachers, who use effective teaching strategies and provide good quality teaching programmes. Teachers engage in positive and respectful interactions with children. Students are becoming increasingly confident to talk about their learning. They work in co-operative ways to enhance their learning and promote their own strengths. Classroom environments are child-centred and print rich. Children’s work is valued and attractively presented. Classrooms are settled and focused on learning.

The school’s student achievement information indicates that students are achieving well overall. It shows that a high percentage of students are achieving at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics. Approximately two-thirds of students are also working at or above the National Standards in writing. Data shows that students make good progress over time, and there are some examples of students making accelerated progress.

The school caters well for a range of student interests and abilities. Teaching programmes offer extension opportunities for students. Carefully documented individual plans for students with special needs guide in-class and teacher aide programmes. These plans are well supported by external providers and support staff are an integral part of school life.

The board and school leaders make good use of achievement information to identify children at risk of not achieving. The board resources a range of learning support programmes for these priority learners. Reports to the board could be further developed to include more specific analysis of the impact of these learning support programmes on accelerating student progress and achievement.

Teachers have increasing opportunities to discuss achievement data and specific strategies to raise student achievement with school leaders and other teachers. They carefully identify priority learners and closely monitor their progress. Some teachers provide high quality evaluative comment about these students. School leaders would now like to promote greater reflection and evaluative critique amongst teachers to improve teaching as inquiry.

Learning progressions and goals in reading, writing and mathematics are visible in classrooms, and students can identify the goals they are working on. School leaders acknowledge that continuing to support students to talk with greater understanding about their learning is a next step for the school.

Good processes are in place to support the implementation of the National Standards. Parents receive useful information about their children’s progress and achievement in relation to National Standards and curriculum levels. Students are included in formal discussions with parents about their learning goals, progress and achievement. Having good information about children’s next steps is helping parents to become more involved in their children’s learning.

3. Curriculum

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

Freyberg Community School’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning and engagement. It gives students a broad a range of learning experiences in which they can enjoy success. The curriculum is closely aligned to the school’s core values and the principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum. Curriculum design priorities include:

  • promoting the school values and the key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum as part of the school’s culture of caring and creativity
  • using inquiry teaching and learning models to help students learn strategies for taking greater ownership of their own learning and to become critical thinkers
  • resourcing information and communication technologies to enhance the learning process
  • initiatives that foster students’ emotional and social competence.

Student learning and engagement are well supported by a focus on the core curriculum and on a range of learning opportunities, including those linked to the performing arts, sports and learning other languages. Notable features of curriculum implementation include:

  • education outside the classroom that fosters service within the community
  • specific short-term initiatives that promote student learning and engagement, such as mau rākau training and waka ama
  • an emphasis on celebrating student success.

Smooth transition to school processes are promoted through the on-site pre-school that helps familiarise young children and their families with school life. School leaders are also making greater connections with the local intermediate school, which should help older students to make the transition to their next stage of schooling.

School leaders acknowledge the importance of continuing to design a curriculum that is culturally responsive for diverse cultures, including Māori and Pacific learners. It would be useful to include the aspirations of students and parents in ongoing curriculum review and development.

School leaders recognise the need to review the school-wide te reo Māori implementation plan. Continuing to build teachers’ confidence and finding ways to improve their use of te reo Māori will enhance teaching programmes and the curriculum.

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

Particular aspects of the school curriculum that serve all children, also promote educational success for Māori learners, as Māori. Approximately twenty percent of students in the school identify as Māori. Achievement information indicates that Māori students achieve well.

A teacher who has developed a useful long-term plan to progress Māori matters in the school has led professional development for teachers. School leaders agree the next step is to consult with the board, staff, students and whānau to further enhance the plan. Including their aspirations will strengthen the plan and provide greater impetus to progressing educational success for Māori learners.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The board is well placed to sustain and improve school performance. Both new and experienced trustees participate in regular training. Trustees are knowledgeable about their roles and school operations. The board responds proactively to information provided by school leaders to make resourcing decisions that promote student learning, engagement and achievement.

The board’s vision is clearly stated in the charter and there is appropriate alignment between governance, management and leadership processes. The board and school leaders have well developed processes in place to guide self review. These processes are effectively used to identify strategies for raising student achievement and to support school improvement.

The experienced principal identifies talents and strengths in staff and members of the community and ensures this expertise is used well. This approach values the contributions of others and fosters the leadership capabilities of school staff.

School leaders provide parents with opportunities to share information and to discuss topics such as managing bullying and strategies for helping students to keep themselves safe.

School leaders are aware of current research materials that help promote greater success for Māori and Pacific students. Gaining a greater understanding of these resources as a board and staff, and with parents, whānau and aiga, should help the school identify specific goals for further improving outcomes for Māori and Pacific learners.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review there was one international student attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review processes for international students are thorough. These processes foster effective transitions and ongoing consideration of international students’ welfare, wellbeing and inclusion. Their progress and achievement is closely monitored and appropriate learning support programmes are provided, as needed.

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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

19 October 2012

About the School

Location

Te Atatu South, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1280

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

360

Number of international students

1

Gender composition

Girls 52%

Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Indian

Samoan

Middle Eastern

African

Cook Island

Latin American

Niuean

Tongan

other

31%

20%

12%

11%

10%

4%

2%

2%

1%

1%

1%

5%

Special Features

Arohanui Satellite Classes

Review team on site

August 2012

Date of this report

19 October 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2009

June 2007

May 2004