Plateau School

We maintain a regular review programme to evaluate and report on the education and care of young people in schools.

We are in the process of shifting from event-based external reviews to supporting each school in a process of continuous improvement.

There may be delays between reviews for some schools and kura due to Covid-19 and while we transition to our new way of reviewing.

Read more about our new processes and why we changed the way we review schools and kura.

Find out which schools have upcoming reviews.

Education institution number:
2959
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
141
Telephone:
Address:

Molloys Road, Te Marua, Upper Hutt

View on map

School Context

Plateau School is located in Te Marua, a semi-rural district north of Upper Hutt. The roll of 158 Years 1 to 6 students includes 26 who identify as Māori.

The school’s focus is on all students achieving to their full potential. The overarching values include: participation and adaptability; perseverance and resilience; openness and honesty; responsibility and risk taking; empathy and respect for people and the environment; and a commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi.

Achievement targets aim to raise the rate of progress for all students deemed at risk of not achieving at expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • other areas across the curriculum.

A new deputy principal was appointed in February 2018. Many of the teaching team have been at the school for some time.

The school belongs to the Upper Hutt cluster of schools.

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?

School reported data for the end of 2017 states that most students achieved at and above expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

Over time Māori and boys have not achieved as well as expected in reading and writing. Some reduction in this identified disparity is evident.

Students with additional learning needs are well catered for by teachers and external providers. Over time their progress is closely monitored to measure their successes and consider appropriate next steps in learning.

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

Some students’ progress has been accelerated.

Leaders are yet to report regularly to the board on the accelerated progress for targeted students at risk of underachievement.

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?

Leaders and trustees lead a strategic approach and implement practices that align systems and processes for ongoing improvement, deliberately focused on positive outcomes for students. They have high expectations that all students will progress and achieve as lifelong learners from a wide range of experiences.

Staff address disparity with well-considered learning initiatives and wellbeing support. Individual student needs and strengths are very well known. High and clear expectations for students’ learning, progress, achievement and wellbeing are evident, understood and supported by sound systems.

Students and staff enjoy respectful relationships. Learners are well engaged in caring, collaborative and inclusive environments. The community contributes to and supports the sense of belonging and wellbeing. Families have a range of well-considered opportunities to engage with staff about their child’s learning.

Teachers and leaders are highly reflective and closely consider purpose and expectations for students involved in introduced programmes and initiatives. They work collaboratively and this contributes to the positive learning environment. Teachers respond to data and engage in professional learning such as for the play-based learning initiative and using modern learning environments to further engage students in their learning. As an outcome of change most students have greater choice and opportunity for a range of positive experiences.

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

The strategic goal to improve outcomes for priority learners and reducing disparity is key for ongoing development. The importance of evaluating the intended outcomes of the goal, to determine the success or otherwise, is understood. Increasingly formal internal evaluation is being undertaken and this should include a focus on, and reporting of, accelerated progress of those students at risk of underachievement.

The curriculum has clear links to The New Zealand Curriculumand promotes students knowing about what they are learning and what they need to do to improve. In the enacted curriculum local environmental considerations are well addressed. Strengthening the curriculum framework is a next step to include local contexts, including bicultural perspectives and broader themes.

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:

  • a reflective, collaborative culture that promotes improved practice and student outcomes

  • coherent systems and processes that include useful monitoring of student learning

  • knowledge and increasing use of internal evaluation that informs decision making.

Next steps

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

  • trustees and staff continuing to focus on the outcomes of those most at risk of not achieving so that their learning is accelerated

  • including expectations for biculturalism and local contexts in the documented curriculum.

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

7 August 2018

About the school

Location

Te Marua, Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2959

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

158

Gender composition

Female 50%, Male 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 18%
Pākehā 80%
Other ethnic groups 2%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

July 2018

Date of this report

7 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2015
Education Review June 2012
Education Review May 2009

Findings

Relationships are positive, supportive and affirming. Students are on task and engaged in their work. They enjoy success in academic, sporting, artistic, cultural or leadership activities. In 2014, a majority of students achieved at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.  Leaders continue to review and develop curriculum and assessment processes.

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?

Plateau School is located in Te Marua, a semi-rural district north of Upper Hutt. At the time of the review the roll was 160 students, with 20% identifying as Māori.

It is an active Enviro-School with a strong commitment to sustainable practice. The outdoor environment, including the extensive adjacent native bush area, is well used to promote and support student learning. A pre and post-school child care service is offered.

Plateau School is part of a Learning and Change Network to grow staff capability and enhance partnerships with families and whānau. Regular whole-school professional development, in writing (2014) and mathematics (2015), seeks to enhance teacher practice, student learning and achievement. School leaders continue to address matters identified in the June 2012 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

The school is developing its processes to effectively use student achievement information to promote engagement and learning.

School leaders report that a majority of students achieved at or above in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics in 2014. This information also shows that Māori students are achieving at similar levels to their peers in the school. Parents, families and whānau receive appropriate plain language reports on their children's progress and achievement.

The school uses a wide range of assessment tools to identify students’ progress and levels of achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement information is well used to inform schoolwide decision making, school targets and to identify students in need of additional help or extension. Teachers use data to guide planning, reflect on practice and group for instruction. Appropriate systems and interventions support students with special learning needs.

Teachers are collaboratively refining processes related to making overall teacher judgements. Leaders know the importance of regularly reviewing and adjusting moderation practice to further improve consistency and reliability.

School leaders recognise the importance of continuing to focus on developing teachers' use of student achievement information. Ongoing professional development to support the consistent, deeper analysis and use of classroom data should enhance teacher planning to meet identified student needs. This should also strengthen teachers’ ability to monitor progress and evaluate the impact of teaching strategies and programmes.

3 Curriculum

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

Students’ learning is well supported by the broad curriculum. There are many opportunities for students to participate and celebrate success in academic, sporting, artistic, cultural or leadership activities.

School leaders are developing a new curriculum framework to underpin all aspects of school life. A range of voices have contributed to key aspects of the Plateau School approach. There is a strong literacy and numeracy focus throughout the curriculum document.

Teachers maintain positive, supportive and affirming relationships with their students. A range of appropriate strategies is used to engage students with learning. Staff have a collective focus on, and responsibility for student wellbeing.

A robust system supports teacher reflection on practice that is research and evidence based. These reflections contribute to whole-staff professional discussion. There is ongoing, externally facilitated, schoolwide professional development programme on effective teaching and assessment of mathematics.

Leaders recognise the importance of continuing the review and development of the overarching curriculum framework as identified in the 2012 ERO report. It is important that this review develops clearly articulated expectations for systems and processes to implement integrate and monitor:

  • school values, key competencies and principles of The New Zealand Curriculum
  • the use of local contexts, knowledge and experiences
  • expectations for the inclusion of te ao Māori and bicultural practices in schemes and unit plans
  • culturally-responsive teaching practices
  • the coverage of all learning areas and initiatives such as Enviro-Schools.

Having specific indicators for best practice in each of these areas should promote shared understanding, common approaches and the effective evaluation of outcomes.

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

The school values aspects of tikanga Māori. A range of strategies is in place to build Māori students’ sense of belonging. These include kapa haka, leadership roles and schoolwide timetabled te reo Māori classes. Regular whānau hui give Māori parents opportunities to contribute to school programmes and future direction.

School leaders have begun investigating Ministry of Education documents Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013-2017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners to help review and define culturally-responsive teaching practices to support Māori students. Key strategies have recently been to be given prominence in the school’s strategic and annual planning.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

School leaders recognise that continuing to address a number of areas identified in this report will leave them better placed to sustain and improve their performance.

Board members bring a range of skills and valuable community links to their governance role. They access appropriate, targeted training and focus on student achievement and improvement. School leaders are enthusiastic and passionate about their school and its students. There is a collective commitment to growing and developing teaching practice and staff capability.

The school has a positive, affirming and highly supportive culture that is inclusive and welcoming. The holistic wellbeing of each student is a priority. Parents, whānau and community are highly supportive, with large numbers actively involved in many aspects of school life.

Trustees and leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that rationalising and aligning significant aspects of school operation is a priority. Key points include:

  • clearly defining and communicating expected purpose, framework and outcomes for initiatives and change
  • evaluating the impact of these changes, initiatives and processes to ensure positive developments are embedded and sustained
  • managing the move from paper-based to online systems to ensure procedures are well monitored and appropriately completed.

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

Relationships are positive, supportive and affirming. Students are on task and engaged in their work. They enjoy success in academic, sporting, artistic, cultural or leadership activities. In 2014, a majority of students achieved at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Leaders continue to review and develop curriculum and assessment processes.

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

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

28 July 2015

School Statistics

Location

Te Marua, Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2959

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

160

Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Māori
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

73%
20%
  3%
  4%

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

28 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2012
May 2009
April 2006