Hillsborough School

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Education institution number:
1313
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
364
Telephone:
Address:

Belfast Street, Hillsborough, Auckland

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Summary

Hillsborough School caters for around 400 children from Years 1 to 6. The roll currently includes seven percent Māori, 11 percent Pacific and 21 percent Indian students. The 2014 ERO review identified that the school was highly inclusive and this good practice continues.

The board consists of long serving and new trustees. They have a professional approach to their stewardship role, and are considering ways to expand their governance skills. A new principal was employed at the end of 2016 to replace the previous long-serving principal.

Since the 2014 ERO review the school has joined the Puketāpapa Community of Learning (CoL). Teachers have participated in professional learning focused on strategies to raise student achievement and positive behaviour management. Two innovative learning environments have been developed for senior students.

Trends in achievement over the previous three years show results in all the National Standards have remained consistent. Approximately 80 percent of students achieved the standards in reading and mathematics, and close to 70 percent in writing. Disparity between Māori and non-Māori children has been significantly reduced over time. However, there is disparity remaining between the achievement of Pacific and non-Pacific students in reading and mathematics.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, for all children. This progress is supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.Learners are achieving well.

The school community has high expectations of children to succeed. Teachers are focussing on children having greater ownership of their learning journey. Trustees and senior leaders are aware that implementing internal evaluation procedures is a priority to further support ongoing improvement to children achieving equitable outcomes.

Classroom programmes are characterised by the school’s vision of ‘REACH their potential’, and the values ‘make positive choices, challenge yourself and show kindness’. Children demonstrate these values in the way that they monitor their own learning journey, and collaborate with others.

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school responds very effectively to meeting the achievement needs of Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. However, more effective strategies are required to reduce the achievement disparity between Pacific and non-Pacific children.

Senior managers have very good systems in place to respond to the needs of children with additional learning needs. The special education needs coordinator (SENCO) identifies individual needs early, and focused support is provided to progress students’ achievement. Data show that children are progressing at expected rates.

The school’s 2016 achievement information shows that by the end of Year 6 the majority of children achieve the standards for reading and mathematics. Currently, there is a strategic focus on the writing programme with the aim of raising overall achievement. Senior leaders are also taking positive steps to decrease a widening gap in writing achievement between male and female learners in the senior school.

The board is assured that teachers’ judgements about children’s achievement are robust and reliable. Teachers use a range of school-based and standardised assessment tools, and make good use of assessment information to plan how to progress children’s learning. They also moderate assessment samples in their teams and school-wide. Senior leaders and teachers have worked with other CoL schools to moderate their assessment of children’s writing.

Teachers place value on knowing their learners, and their families and whānau. This has led to responsive and positive learning relationships to support children and their engagement in learning.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Hillsborough School has many useful processes that support the achievement of equity and excellence.

A strong leadership team with a clear vision guides teachers to meet the needs and enhance the strengths of children. There is a strong emphasis on increasing student’s understanding and ability to monitor their individual learning progress and achievement.

Senior leaders place high value on supporting the development of each teacher’s leadership and teaching skills. Teachers have access to useful external and internal professional learning based on the school’s vision and direction. There are also many opportunities for teachers to lead initiatives focused on increasing equity and excellence. As a result, teachers have a shared sense of purpose and common understandings about children’s learning.

Children are learning across the breadth of the New Zealand Curriculum and learn in caring and inclusive environments. The curriculum is responsive to the community’s aspirations. This is evident in the way teaching programmes incorporate the Hillsborough School’s values, identified learning skills and the well-established children’s inquiry approach.

Senior leaders and teachers are catering well for children’s diverse needs. Children with additional needs have their progress monitored closely. The board ensures that appropriate resources are available to enhance children’s learning, and support them to access the curriculum.

The school has an increased focus on providing opportunities for Māori to succeed as Māori, and for all children to increase their knowledge of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. External support is helping children and teachers to build their confidence to use te reo Māori, participate in kapa haka,waiata and aspects of tikanga.

The board continues to concentrate on ways to enrich parent partnerships. The school values the multicultural diversity of the community, and cultural aspects are integrated into learning programmes. Senior leaders provide purposeful consultation opportunities for the community to gather parent aspirations and expectations. This information is used to inform board policies, and to make appropriate changes to procedures and systems.

The board maintains sustainable systems to ensure it meets legislative requirements. There is a coherent performance management system for teachers, which is evidence-based and closely linked to progressing children’s achievement.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

Trustees and senior leaders are aware that ongoing improvement hinges on implementing evidenced-based internal evaluation procedures to gauge children’s achievement of valued outcomes. As part of this, they acknowledge that school priorities are to:

  • develop a school-wide concept of what accelerated learning should look like, and use this as a basis for evaluating how well programmes are promoting valued outcomes for children
  • develop further ways for children to have input into their contexts for learning so that the curriculum becomes increasingly relevant and ‘child-driven’
  • continue exploring ways to enhance the bicultural aspects of the curriculum
  • further strengthen partnership with Pacific families
  • enhance stewardship knowledge and processes through external training, and further develop systems for evaluating the board’s effectiveness.

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

  • 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.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Learners are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to

  • strengthen school-wide internal evaluation to gauge children’s achievement of valued outcomes
  • enable children to experience greater personalised learning

  • develop curriculum and other approaches that more effectively support Pacific learners.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

24 November 2017

About the school

Location

Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1313

School type

Contributing

School roll

408

Gender composition

Boys 50% Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
Chinese
other Asian
Middle Eastern
Samoan
other Pacific
other

7%
28%
21%
12%
8%
5%
5%
6%
8%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

24 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2014

February 2010

December 2006

Findings

Hillsborough School provides Years 1 to 6 students with very good quality education. Students experience positive relationships with their teachers and each other and are supported to be collaborative. Teachers provide an interesting and challenging curriculum. The school is appropriately focusing on further promoting educational success for Māori students.

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

1 Context

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

Hillsborough School provides very good quality education for its Years 1 to 6 students. The school has an increasingly diverse cultural community with over 30 ethnic groups identified. This cultural mix includes 8 percent Māori students and 16 percent from Pacific nations. About a quarter of students speak English as a second or additional language. The school provides effective programmes to support these students, and celebrates the richness that their cultural diversity brings. In addition, the school has highly inclusive practices for students with special educational needs.

Students benefit from school leaders, teachers and support staff who are long serving and experienced. There are high levels of parent involvement, and many parents and staff have generational connections to the school. Most students attend the school for the whole six years of their primary education. These factors help students to feel secure in the school environment and contribute to their strong sense of belonging. Students, staff and parents are proud of their school and its attractive, well maintained grounds, classrooms and facilities.

The school has a history of positive ERO reporting. The 2010 ERO report identified many strengths, and these continue to be evident. Since this time the school has engaged in a number of professional learning initiatives, including a recent focus on promoting student learning through the use of digital technology.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

Student achievement information is used very well by school leaders and classroom teachers to make a positive difference to student engagement, progress and achievement.

Most students achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The majority of Pacific students achieve at or above the National Standards in reading and writing and make good progress over time. For most groups of students, the school’s National Standards results compare favourably with other schools nationally.

Students who are not achieving to expectation are quickly identified and very well supported by classroom teachers and/or by very capable and experienced teacher aides. Student progress and achievement is closely monitored by teachers and senior leaders. The deputy principals keep well informed about the progress and achievement of all students including students with special educational needs and those who are learning English as a second language. These strong levels of accountability ensure that all students are appropriately supported to reach their potential and succeed.

Teachers use data effectively to plan and modify learning programmes for students. They are continuing to build their confidence in making overall teacher judgements about student achievement in relation to the National Standards. This ongoing professional learning includes teachers moderating samples of student work within and across syndicate areas. It also includes the very good practice of moderating student work with other schools. Team and staff meetings focus on discussing evidence and sharing strategies to improve outcomes for students.

Parents receive very useful reports about their children’s progress and achievement. The principal provides the board with comprehensive information about the progress students are making towards meeting achievement goals and targets. Senior students especially are being supported to increasingly understand their own learning.

The school is now well placed to build on this important element of student centred learning and further support students to understand their own learning steps. The school also recognises that they could enhance support for parents to be partners in their children’s learning, especially with the growth of e-learning throughout the school.

3 Curriculum

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

The school continues to deliver an integrated, meaningful curriculum that focuses on students’ strengths, interests and experiences. Students are very well supported as they start school, as they move through the school and when they leave to attend new schools. The school’s curriculum very effectively promotes student learning.

Students experience learning programmes that are carefully linked to learning behaviours and school values. They have very good opportunities within each school day for highly challenging and interesting learning. Students and teachers benefit from a school culture that encourages and supports them to take risks, and be innovative and creative.

Classrooms are settled and purposeful learning environments and students are highly engaged. A school wide focus on collaboration as part of the school wide e-learning initiative is currently providing ample opportunities for students to work and learn with each other. Senior students have good opportunities for leadership, and a broad co-curricular programme provides further learning experiences in sport, performance and culture.

Teachers skilfully blend reading, writing and mathematics tasks into all curriculum areas. They focus on being responsive to student needs and interests. Students have very good opportunities for learning science, technology and the arts. Māori, Pacific and other cultural contexts are blended into learning programmes.

The school’s strategy to promote Pacific student success is led by the principal and one teacher. The principal agrees that a more sustainable approach would be to extend the leadership of this strategy to include parents and more staff.

Teachers and teacher aides are valued and respected as trusted professionals. They are collegial and work collaboratively to plan and teach interesting learning programmes. They engage in useful professional learning that enhances their practice. A current focus on e-learning is promoting the use of digital technology throughout the school. This e-learning initiative is expected to be a focus for the next few years, along with planning for more open and modern learning environments.

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

There are 30 Māori students at the school, making up 8 percent of the roll. Parents spoken to during the ERO review appreciate the warm and welcoming school environment. The school’s strategic plan, developed by the principal, identifies opportunities for increasing te reo Māori ōna tikanga throughout the school. Since the 2009 ERO review, the principal has been teaching basic te reo Māori to every class in the school. She also leads a cultural group for the varied cultures in the school and has written a school waiata.

Māori student achievement is a concern for the school. Achievement in relation to the National Standards is lower than other schools locally and nationally, especially in reading and maths. The board, principal and deputy principals recognise that to promote Māori students’ progress and achievement, and success as Māori the key next steps include:

  • developing a strategic plan in partnership with Māori parents and all staff
  • promoting leadership of parents and staff in raising the academic performance of Māori students and in leading te reo Māori ōna tikanga throughout the school
  • using the Ministry of Education strategy Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013-2017 with all staff and the board of trustees to build a shared, school-wide understanding and responsibility
  • using Tātaiako - Cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners, in teachers’ appraisals.

The board of trustees should make Māori student progress and achievement, and success for Māori a significant part of its regular strategic discussions. The board could also consider using cooption and other strategies to have Māori trustees on the board. This could help to strengthen links with the school and wider Māori communities, and provide a Māori perspective on board matters.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Trustees are mostly new to governance with one experienced trustee remaining on the board as part of the board’s succession plan. Trustees bring varied professional backgrounds to their governance roles. They are knowledgeable and committed to promoting ongoing improvements for the future direction of the school.

The school benefits from experienced leadership. Teachers feel well supported by their leaders. Strong professional relationships between teachers and the deputy principals promote ongoing change and improvement. Change is very effectively managed using well considered and respectful approaches.

Self review is very well understood and used at the classroom and senior leader levels of the school to promote positive improvements for students. Teachers and leaders inquire into areas they identify as needing further improvement, using current research and visiting other schools. The teacher appraisal process is also very well managed. It promotes high levels of professional accountability. It also involves teachers setting goals to support their professional learning and development. These goals are well aligned to the school’s strategic direction and all focus on improving outcomes for students.

The board has taken steps to ensure that the principal's appraisal is robust and includes opportunities for critical reflection and input from various sources. This good approach is likely to provide a higher level of challenge and support for the school’s professional leader.

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

Hillsborough School provides Years 1 to 6 students with very good quality education. Students experience positive relationships with their teachers and each other and are supported to be collaborative. Teachers provide an interesting and challenging curriculum. The school is appropriately focusing on further promoting educational success for Māori students.

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

Steffan Brough

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

28 August 2014

About the School

Location

Hillsborough, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1313

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

388

Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European Pākehā

Indian

Chinese

Middle Eastern

Samoan

Fijian

Sri Lankan

Tongan

other Pacific

other

8%

37%

21%

9%

5%

4%

2%

2%

2%

2%

8%

Review team on site

June 2014

Date of this report

28 August 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2010

December 2006

February 2003