Havelock North Primary School

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Education institution number:
2573
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
484
Telephone:
Address:

9 Campbell Street, Havelock North

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Findings

Havelock North Primary School has made significant progress since the February 2015 ERO report. A robust policy framework and good systems and processes are now in place for promoting student wellbeing. The board, senior leaders and teachers are continuing to strengthen and embed improvements in their response to Māori students.

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?

Havelock North Primary School caters for Year 1 to 6 students, in the centre of the village of Havelock North. The school has a growing roll, with 82% Pākehā, 12% Māori and an increasing number of students from other ethnic groups.

Since the February 2015 ERO report, the school has experienced significant changes in personnel including:

  • a new board chair and a number of trustees elected in 2015
  • a new principal appointed mid-2015.

The previous ERO review found many areas of strength related to learning, curriculum and sustainable practices. However, significant improvements were needed to school policies and practices related to student wellbeing and responses to support Māori learners. Following the 2015 ERO report, the then board and principal developed goals within their annual planning, in consultation with ERO. This has provided a framework to guide improvements in key areas.

External support was sought to build internal capability so that changes are sustained and enhanced.

This 2016 ERO report evaluates the progress made and how well placed the school is to sustain continuous improvement.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The February 2015 ERO report identified the following as key areas for improvement:

  • systems and practices to support student wellbeing
  • school effectiveness in promoting Māori success as Māori
  • the board’s policy and procedural framework for guiding school operations in areas of personnel, health and safety and student wellbeing.

Progress

The school has successfully addressed the areas for development. The board and senior leaders have strengthened systems and structures that support sustainability. Significant improvements are evident.

The board has rigorously reviewed and subsequently developed a well-defined framework of policies and procedures for supporting:

  • health, safety and student wellbeing
  • good practices in relation to personnel
  • dealing with and reviewing traumatic experiences and critical incidents in the school.

Clear schoolwide guidelines for implementing wellbeing strategies, interventions and programmes are in place. These assist teachers to act with a sense of agency, based on the needs of students and their responsibilities under legislation. Active monitoring of the wellbeing of students supports timely responses.

Leaders respond to wellbeing needs of adults. Systematic processes for induction and professional learning and development assist teachers to develop skills to effectively support student wellbeing.

Evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building have significantly improved. Multiple sources of evidence are used to find out about student wellbeing, identify vulnerable students and recognise areas for improvement.

In response to evaluation findings, leaders and the board have strengthened curriculum programmes that support students to learn and develop skills in self-management and relationships with others. Leaders are actively promoting students' involvement in leading change.

School values are in the process of being redefined with the community and students. Students spoken to by ERO articulated important ways of behaving and treating others, well-aligned to the schools values in the charter. Notions of respect, aroha, resilience and excellence support students’ care and sense of belonging.

Since the previous ERO report, a more collaborative approach is being taken to improve school capacity to foster Māori success as Māori. A ‘think tank’ team of teachers and leaders is leading curriculum development to include additional Māori language and cultural references within learning programmes.

The board and senior leaders have used Hautū: Māori Cultural Responsiveness Self Review tool for Boards of Trustees to help decide how well the school is positioned and actions for the future. Next steps include:

  • further curriculum development to more explicitly reflect New Zealand Curriculum principles
  • continuing to deliberately and more strategically raise teacher capability in responding to Māori students
  • extending the growing relationships with whānau Māori into community empowerment and strong learning partnerships.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance. Significant progress is evident in strengthened policy and procedural frameworks, sound governance and systems that support student wellbeing and improved internal evaluation.

High levels of student achievement have been sustained and improved since the previous ERO review. Student progress, in relation to schoolwide targets, is more clearly reported to the board.

School leaders are developing further clarity in analysis, collaborative sense-making and evaluative commentary in reports to the board about student wellbeing. This should help target setting, strategic planning and internal evaluation for ongoing improvement.

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

Havelock North Primary School has made significant progress since the February 2015 ERO report. A robust policy framework and good systems and processes are now in place for promoting student wellbeing. The board, senior leaders and teachers are continuing to strengthen and embed improvements in their response to Māori students.

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

Joyce Gebbie Deputy

Chief Review Officer Central

27 June 2016

About the School

Location

Havelock North

Ministry of Education profile number

2573

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

534

Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

12%

82%

6%

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

27 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2015

October 2010

July 2007

Findings

Students have increasing opportunities to lead their learning. Well-considered development initiatives contribute to improved teaching and high levels of achievement for most groups of students. The board is presently focused on strengthening frameworks for effective governance and introducing systems to review and support the wellbeing of students.

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

1 Context

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

The roll at Havelock North Primary School has increased since the 2010 ERO review. Of the 516 students who attend this Year 1 to 6 school, 14% identify as Māori and 1% as Pacific.

A new school vision: ‘Learning Excellence at the Heart of the Village’, reflects the school’s location in the centre of Havelock North.

A new deputy principal joined the senior leadership team in 2012.

2 Learning

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

The school makes good use of achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ progress and achievement.

Students’ achievement and progress is very well tracked and monitored by teachers and senior leaders. Teachers use well-established systems to share information with senior leaders on a regular basis. Senior leaders report school-wide achievement in relation to National Standards, to the board, twice a year. The data is analysed to show comparative achievement for girls, boys, Māori students, Pacific students and year levels.

The board has established a goal of 90% of students meeting National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics each year. Very high numbers of students meet National Standards expectations and the school met the board goals in writing and mathematics in 2013. Data is analysed to determine groups of students who are not achieving as well as other groups.

Currently, the particular groups that need more support from the school include Māori boys and students in Years 2 and 3.

Information reported to the board is not clearly showing how effectively school initiatives are accelerating the progress of learners at risk of not achieving in relation to National Standards. Trustees have recently recognised this and requested further information.

The board and senior leaders should consider setting specific targets for these groups. This should assist leaders to further align school initiatives for these learners with teachers' professional learning and development, and regular reporting to the board on progress towards the targets.

Students with special needs are well considered. A range of support is provided and their progress is monitored closely. Teachers work closely with parents of these students, and value their ideas about how learning programmes can best serve their children. This approach, that involves a two-way partnership, could be usefully extended to include the parents of other priority learners.

Teachers collaborate in a wide range of forums to implement programmes that support learners at risk of poor outcomes. Team meeting discussions are focused on achievement and encourage sharing of teaching practices that have assisted students to progress.

Reporting to parents is comprehensive. Student achievement is shown clearly in relation to National Standards and teachers share specific strategies that parents can use to enhance learning.

  • Teachers and leaders analyse data to find learning needs and look for trends and patterns in the achievement and progress of individuals or groups of students. Sometimes this leads to a deeper inquiry about ‘why’ these might be so, and what may need to change or be done differently. However, the tendency is to follow the initial analysis of data with lists of actions that are already in place. It is important to encourage much deeper inquiry and reflection before deciding actions and to reflect this level of analysis and ‘sense-making’ explicitly in reports to the board.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum successfully promotes and supports student learning in many ways.

The board’s charter goal is to ‘develop an optimal learning environment at the heart of the Havelock North village’. This includes review of how classrooms and other areas of the school are used, and of teacher knowledge, practice and relationships. To this end the board has started to provide collaborative learning spaces for teachers and students. A further goal is to ‘develop well-rounded and capable students, who are able to shine and be positive citizens in society’.

The school curriculum is being adapted to better support these goals. Increasingly, parents, community experts and local resources are used to enrich students’ learning. High levels of parent support are evident for the wider curriculum. Teachers focus on providing students with chances to collaborate, lead their own learning and have a choice in curriculum. A student-inquiry approach is developing. In 2013, it was trialled and a model and structure is now in place to guide teachers’ practice.

The use of digital technology is growing. In 2014, three rooms trialled bring your own device (BYOD) and used blended e-learning approaches. This project has positive impacts on student engagement. A charter objective is to expand the use of digital devices over three years.

ERO observed purposeful, inclusive environments with clear expectations for learning articulated. Students were positively engaged and focused on learning.

The school embarked on the development of its mathematics curriculum three years ago, in response to lower achievement data in this area when compared to literacy. Mathematics is now integrated throughout the curriculum and the developments have resulted in a marked improvement in student achievement, with most students meeting National Standards in this area in 2013. A specialist mathematics teacher works alongside teachers to embed the new teaching approach. She also works with students who need additional support. Senior leaders plan to extend this approach to literacy.

Clearly written documents and guidelines promote consistency for teachers and students in curriculum delivery. Senior leaders know about the quality of teaching school-wide and areas of development for individual teachers. They provide support and guidance for teachers to meet established expectations in teaching and learning.

During 2014, an initiative to link Māori concepts and knowledge across the curriculum was developed. This initiative, kapa haka and the use of te reo Māori in classrooms gives all students opportunities to experience te ao Māori. A school-wide reflection at the end of 2014 on activities used, showed that to be embedded in the curriculum a wider distribution of leadership is necessary. A teaching team approach should better support the inclusion of te ao Māori within classroom programmes.

Pacific students are well known individually and their achievement and progress well tracked. An opportunity exists to reflect Pacific cultures more explicitly within the curriculum.

Given the current charter intentions and developments within the curriculum, it is timely to review guiding documents and make explicit:

  • the context in which the curriculum is located (what ‘learning at the heart of the village’ means in terms of curriculum delivery)
  • the place of the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum – especially Treaty of Waitangi, Future Focus and Inclusion
  • what a curriculum that is culturally responsive looks like in practice at this school.

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

Māori students’ achievement and progress is well known and data is used to support ongoing progress in classroom learning. Little is known about the engagement of students in the wider curriculum and how effectively the school is promoting students’ success as Māori.

In-depth self review and development is needed to strengthen the school’s approach in this area. The review and subsequent planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation phases of any new initiative should include collaboration between iwi, whānau, trustees, senior leaders and teachers.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The principal and other senior leaders focus strongly on building leadership. They encourage teachers to share and use their expertise and develop their professional practice.

Teachers systematically inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching. The well-defined teaching as inquiry process promotes collaboration and professional accountability. Teachers’ inquiry topics are useful and these are promoting staff to reflect more deeply on the impact of their practice for students at risk of poor outcomes. Teacher appraisal is developing more rigour alongside such inquiry.

New school-wide developments are thoughtfully considered, deliberate and well led. A robust cycle of self review and development is used. Decisions to implement new initiatives, such as the mathematics development and the digital learning trial, are based on sound information. This includes the use of student achievement data, research findings and at times parent feedback. Implementation is well resourced, people are kept informed, systems are put into place to support consistency of practice and a framework for action is developed. Monitoring and evaluation involves gathering information from a variety of sources to measure the impacts of the initiative.

  • The next step to improve self review is to establish more explicitly what the criteria for success will be prior to beginning the development. This should assist with measuring outcomes for students more easily.

The board is very focused on improving its governance. Trustees recently engaged an external advisor to review policies, practices and decision-making processes. This was particularly in relation to operational practices around personnel, health and safety and their response to a serious issue in 2014 involving the conduct of a teacher employed by the school.

The board needs to clarify its understanding about balancing the obligations of being a good employer with processes to ensure students are safe. It has begun the urgent work needed to enhance the effectiveness of the school’s current policy and procedural framework in providing guidance and direction. This is especially in relation to:

  • appointments policy and procedure
  • processes for responding to concerns and complaints
  • ensuring child health and safety
  • governance roles and responsibilities
  • expectations for reporting about operational items of risk or sensitivity.

The board has retained the external advisor to help to strengthen the principal’s performance agreement and appraisal. The board intends to make the appraisal more focused on student outcomes and linked more strongly to strategic goals.

Robust processes to systematically inquire into the effectiveness of student wellbeing policies, programmes and practices are not well established. It is timely to conduct a wide-ranging review into the extent to which the school promotes and responds to student wellbeing. Gathering the views of students, staff, parents and whānau should be part of this review.

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.

During 2014, a serious issue involving a teacher employed by the school had a considerable impact on the full school community. Following the teacher’s resignation there was a significant delay in the board following the mandatory reporting requirements to the New Zealand Teachers Council.

  • The board must ensure that it reports immediately to the New Zealand Teachers Council if a teacher resigns from a teaching position and that, within the 12 months before the resignation, the employer has advised the teacher that it was dissatisfied with, or intended to investigate any aspect of the teacher’s conduct. [Education Act 1989 Section 139AK]

The board should clarify school procedures so that they align with the mandatory reporting requirements under the relevant sections of the Education Act (1989).

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education consider providing support for the board to continue bringing about improvements in relation to operational policies and practices around personnel, health and safety and student wellbeing.

Conclusion

Students have increasing opportunities to lead their learning. Well-considered development initiatives contribute to improved teaching and high levels of achievement for most groups of students. The board is presently focused on strengthening frameworks for effective governance and introducing systems to review and support the wellbeing of students.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

24 February 2015

About the School

Location

Havelock North

Ministry of Education profile number

2573

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

516

Gender composition

Female 54%

Male 46%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

Other ethnic groups

74%

14%

1%

3%

8%

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

24 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2010

July 2007

August 2004