Greytown School

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Summary

Greytown School is located in southern Wairarapa. It caters for children in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this ERO review there are 366 students enrolled, including 16% who identify as Māori. Greytown has seen increased growth and diversity of its population in recent years, with a significant number of families living in the town and surrounds but working in Wellington.

Since the August 2014 ERO report, a new principal and assistant principal have been appointed. Most trustees are new to the board. The school has an enrolment zone in place. There is strong support for children’s learning and the school from the community. The school is an Enviro School. Students work alongside external organisations to promote sustainable practices and clean environments.

Greytown School is a member of the South Wairarapa Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

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

The school is strengthening systems and working positively to respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The board of trustees and school leaders have identified the need to:

  • revise the vision, direction and strategic plan in consultation with the school community

  • review the school curriculum, including assessment practices and the voice of the learner.

The school should continue to strengthen appraisal, inquiry and internal evaluation for ongoing improvement and sustainability of practice.

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and other learners remains.

The school agrees to:

  • continue to develop more targeted planning to accelerate progress for learners

  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and learners’ progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

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 is working positively to respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school reports that most children achieve at and above National Standards expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. There is disparity of achievement for Māori children in reading, writing and mathematics and for boys in reading and writing. The school is beginning to use longitudinal data to track achievement trends across year groups.

Through the school’s participation in Accelerating Learning in Mathematics (ALiM) and Accelerating Learning in Literacy (ALL) there has been a clear focus at class and syndicate level, to lift student achievement. Teachers have strengthened systems to identify, track and monitor children’s progress and achievement.

Moderation in writing occurs at syndicate and schoolwide level. The school has identified a need to strengthen processes to support schoolwide consistency in making judgements about children’s learning. Leaders and teachers identify that moderation in reading and mathematics is a next step.

Sound systems are in place to identify and allocate resources to students requiring additional learning support. A good range of programmes and initiatives meet their identified needs. The school works positively with families and whānau and external agencies to enable children to engage in learning where they experience success.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school is strengthening systems and processes to support the achievement of equity and excellence.

There is a strong focus by the board, leaders and staff to be responsive to all children. This is supported by a number of initiatives within the school including Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L), restorative practice and the SHARP (safe, honest, achieve, respect, pride) school values. The values are deliberately promoted and modelled and underpin expectations for teaching and learning across the school.

The school plans to review the curriculum to incorporate what the school community values for children, and current best practice.

Trustees have good processes and systems to undertake their responsibilities. There is a focus on developing and maintaining positive relationships across the school community. New trustees are building a shared understanding of promoting equity and excellence through stewardship.

School leaders work collaboratively to promote ongoing improvement to school conditions to support equity and excellence. The value of self review and evaluation to inform improvement is recognised.

The school continues to strengthen relationships with early learning services and secondary schools to support children’s transitions and pathways through education.

The newly implemented appraisal process guides ongoing teacher improvement through professional learning and inquiry into practice.

There is a deliberate focus on establishing a shared understanding and commitment to ensuring that the school is culturally responsive and that Māori students experience success. Teachers are building their capability and confidence in te ao Māori to embed this across the school.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

Progress has been made in developing processes and practices for achieving equity and excellence.

The board of trustees and school leaders have identified the need to:

  • revise the vision, direction and strategic plan in consultation with the school community

  • review the school curriculum, assessment practices and using the voice of the learner.

The school should continue to strengthen appraisal, inquiry and internal evaluation for ongoing improvement and sustainability of practice.More effective use of achievement and other data would enable trustees, leaders and teachers to evaluate the impact of programmes and interventions on student progress and achievement.

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.

Appraisal audit

The school appraisal process meets the requirements for issuing and renewing teacher practising certificates. The process is improvement-focused and provides opportunities for teacher goal setting and reflection.

Going forward

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

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and other learners remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the learners whose progress and achievement need to be accelerated

  • need to continue to develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of each learner

  • need to further build teacher capability to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • continue to develop more targeted planning to accelerate progress for learners

  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and learners’ progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop to support the school to continue to develop effective planning and monitoring processes to support equity and excellence for all children.

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

26 October 2017

About the school

Location

Greytown

Ministry of Education profile number

2850

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 - 8)

School roll

366

Gender composition

Male 60%, Female 40%

Ethnic composition

Māori 16%

Pākehā 79%

Other ethnic groups 5%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

26 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2014

Education Review August 2011

Education Review October 2008

Findings

Learning experiences in science, social science, technology and health are well planned for students. Many students achieve in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Purposeful teaching supports positive student engagement. Parents receive comprehensive achievement information. The school should continue to strengthen self-review practice to inform decisions that improve curriculum performance.

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?

Greytown School is located in Wairarapa. The school caters for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this ERO review there are 337 students enrolled, including 23% identifying as Māori.

The school is well resourced to appropriately support student learning. The outdoor environment promotes student involvement in sport and physical activity. Students access all weather playing surfaces and suitable equipment. Planted garden areas reflect the student focus on environmental education.

Areas identified for development in the August 2011 ERO report have been positively progressed.

2 Learning

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

Achievement information is purposefully used to make positive changes to student progress and achievement.

Teachers gather and effectively analyse a range of assessments to determine levels of student achievement and monitor progress. Data is well used to group students with similar needs for classroom teaching. Moderation of assessment information informs reliable and valid National Standard judgements.

Leaders collate data at set times during the year to appropriately show student progress, set annual targets and report to parents and trustees. Reported data at the end of 2013 showed many students achieved in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

Overall Māori student achievement improved from 2012 to 2013. Many students achieve in mathematics and reading. The school has targeted the achievement of writing for selected Māori learners in 2014. Extending the planning for this initiative to measure outcomes should enable staff to clearly determine the strategies that accelerate progress.

Annual targets identify students requiring specific teaching to progress and accelerate their achievement. To strengthen outcomes and review, school leaders should clearly identify the priority group, align relevant actions and expected outcomes to clearly show how the school plans to raise their achievement.

Parents receive comprehensive information about their child’s achievement. A range of opportunities are provided throughout the year for parents to meet with teachers and discuss learning in the classroom. Written reports provide a clear indication of students' progress in relation to the National Standards and other curriculum areas.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum appropriately supports student learning and engagement. Achievement in literacy and mathematics are priorities. The agreed vision, mission and guiding principles promote shared aspirations for student success and connect the school's strategic goals. Learning in science, social science and technology are well planned through student inquiry.

A strong emphasis on sport contributes to high levels of student participation in physical activity. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are a feature, supporting digital learning opportunities. All students in Years 6 to 8 access a laptop to support their learning and tablets are currently being introduced in junior classes.

School leaders identify that review of curriculum guidelines is planned. EROs evaluation affirms teachers should collaboratively document agreed expectations for effective strategies and learning priorities in their curriculum statements.

The school is participating in the positive behaviour for learning (PB4L) initiative. Students and teachers demonstrate a clear understanding of agreed strategies to assist classroom engagement. Alignment to learning in the key competencies benefits students and creates a positive environment for learning.

Students are well engaged in the classroom. Through observation of teacher practice the principal, has a clear understanding of teachers’ strength and areas for ongoing support. Classroom environments are well organised. Teachers share the learning purpose and support learning through conferencing students. Syndicate leaders demonstrate well-considered strategies to suitably include students in the learning process. Continued sharing of these effective strategies between teachers should build consistent practice across the school.

Teachers are working to strengthen their capability to inquire into the impact of their practice. A useful model guides this process. Teachers share outcomes collaboratively with their peers.

Students identified with special or complex needs receive appropriate support. Extension programmes are available for students with identified strengths. The special education needs coordinator (SENCO) leads processes to support planning, monitoring and tracking of student progress. Student learning is individualised with relevant individual education goals. Teacher aides facilitate individual learning goals. External specialists are accessed to support students' inclusion in the curriculum. Trustees are well informed about provisions made to meet the needs of students. To further develop practices, information to trustees should specifically show the impact of resourcing on initiatives and programmes.

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

Māori students participate purposefully in all aspects of school life. Relationships with teachers and peers are positive.

The school has maintained a partnership with the Papawai Marae. Students participate in local environmental initiatives usefully linking the place they live with the cultural context of the school.

Many teachers include relevant context and experiences for Māori learners to meaningfully reflect their identity, culture and language in teaching and learning. Students participate in kapa haka. To further strengthen practice, leaders and teachers should continue to:

  • develop teachers' capability to confidently include te aō Māori across the school curriculum
  • build cultural leadership to promote further development and sustain practices
  • build reciprocal partnership with whānau and iwi to include their cultural aspirations in the school’s curriculum.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Strengthening review and evaluation practice should further sustain and improve the performance of the school’s curriculum.

Useful guidelines support curriculum and syndicate review. Syndicate planning is clearly linked to schoolwide achievement priorities. Making planning more specific to the needs of students who require accelerated achievement is likely to provide a better basis for review, improve outcomes and benefit students.

School leaders are reflective and collaborative. They facilitate regular teacher discussions to consider student progress. This is promoting a shared understanding of agreed strategies to increase student achievement and engagement.

Leaders continue to strengthen the appraisal of teachers and support staff. Appraisal includes clear alignment to indicators in the Registered Teacher Criteria. These provide a basis for teacher reflection. Goals link to personal development and schoolwide achievement priorities.

Teachers receive feedback from their peers and leaders. Considering how teachers gather evidence and evaluate the impact of their practice on student progress and achievement is likely to strengthen this process. Extending syndicate leaders' involvement and building their capability to provide constructive feedback against agreed teaching expectations should improve teaching and benefit students.

Trustees demonstrate a range of useful skills to provide sound school governance. They participate in training to support their understanding of governance practice. They have developed clear roles and responsibilities to support governance. Strategic and annual planning links to their priority goals of supporting student learning, engaging the school community and promoting appropriate school operation.

Trustees are currently developing a communication strategy to strengthen their engagement with parents and the community. This initiative should contribute to the board’s strategic partnerships and provide transparency in their governance practice.

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

Learning experiences in science, social science, technology and health are well planned for students. Many students achieve in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Purposeful teaching supports positive student engagement. Parents receive comprehensive achievement information. The school should continue to strengthen self-review practice to inform decisions that improve curriculum performance.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

13 August 2014Image removed.

About the School

Location

Greytown

Ministry of Education profile number

2850

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

337

Gender composition

Male 57%, Female 43%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

23%

76%

1%

Review team on site

June 2014

Date of this report

13 August 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2011

October 2008

February 2006