Hope School

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Summary

Hope School has a roll of 82 children. Since the 2014 ERO review, there have been significant staff changes, including a new principal and deputy principal. The new principal and the board of trustees are leading the school through a well-managed change process.

The principal identified inconsistencies in how achievement data was reported prior to 2016. This has now been addressed. Trends overall since the 2014 ERO review show achievement levels have remained stable with most children achieving well in reading. There are good levels of achievement in writing and mathematics. The school has identified that there is disparity for boys in writing and for girls in mathematics in relation to National Standards (NS). To address this disparity, the school has participated in a Ministry of Education professional development programme, focussed on accelerated learning in mathematics (ALiM) in 2015 and 2016. It is currently part of an intensive two-year professional programme to improve the teaching of writing. The school is part of the Waimea Kāhui Ako| Community of learning (CoL).

The school has made good progress in addressing the recommendations of the 2014 ERO report.

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

The school is becoming more effective in responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. A number of processes are becoming increasingly effective in enabling the achievement of equity and excellence. The school has a strong focus on improvement and is developing some good systems and practices for enhancing learning outcomes for children. These now need to be embedded.

At the time of this review strengths in the school included:

  • strong leadership and clear direction for the school led by the principal and board
  • high levels of parent and community support and involvement
  • teachers delivering broad and interesting programmes that were motivating and engaging children in their learning
  • the safe physical and emotional environment for children.

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

The next steps for leaders and teachers are to embed and sustain the processes underway to achieve equity and excellence.

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 becoming more effective in responding to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. The learning and progress of all children who achieve below or well below expectations in relation to the NS is closely monitored. Teachers are also beginning to develop ways to ensure they extend the learning of their more able students.

Achievement information at the end of 2016 shows that most children across the school achieved at or above the NS for reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement levels are highest for reading.

The school is aware of the disparities in writing for boys and in mathematics for girls. There is a strong emphasis on building teacher capability in order to address this. Mid-year 2017 progress data shows that most children whose learning needs acceleration in reading are making appropriate progress. Children identified as being below or well below the National Standards in writing and mathematics are also making progress, with some making accelerated progress.

In 2017, most children are achieving well in relation to the key competencies of ‘self-management’ and ‘relating to others’. Children with additional education needs are well supported as individuals and as learners to achieve success.

The school is strengthening the consistency of assessment and moderation practices in order to ensure reliable overall teacher judgements about student achievement.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school has a number of processes that are increasingly effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence.

The board has led the school well through a period of change. The charter provides clear direction for improving outcomes for all children. The appointment of the principal was strategic for the school achieving its vision and goals. The principal’s regular reports to the board clearly show the progress being made to achieve the strategic goals. The board makes good use of this information to improve outcomes for children, particularly those who need their progress accelerated. The Board and school leaders are highly committed to lifting overall achievement levels in this school.

The principal is fostering positive collaborative relationships between the board, teachers and the community. The board, the leaders and teachers are taking collective responsibility for lifting achievement, including strengthening home-school partnerships for learning.

There is a strong focus on building teacher capability and improving the effectiveness of teaching. This includes:

  • an improved appraisal system

  • relevant professional learning

  • building consistency of practice through developing shared understandings of what effective teaching looks like at Hope School.

Children’s motivation and interest in learning is supported by a broad curriculum underpinned by school values, re-envisioned by the children, and the school vision “Where a positive attitude is everything”. There is a growing emphasis on children managing their own learning and developing skills for life (key competencies) through a wide range of authentic experiences.

A noted strength is the commitment to and inclusion of te ao Māori perspectives in all aspects of the school life. This is resulting in a number of families now exploring their Māori heritage.

Internal evaluation within the school is based on the appreciative inquiry model that results in useful recommendations and actions for further improvement.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

There are many useful processes that now need to be embedded and sustained in order to achieve equity and excellence for all learners.

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

The board, principal and teachers need to continue to sustain the focus on the effectiveness of teaching and embed and sustain the useful systems that have been established. This includes:

  • further refining systems for tracking progress and analysis of data

  • building the consistency of moderation processes and practices

  • embedding internal evaluation across all aspects of the school curriculum

  • further developing school-wide guidelines to achieve consistency of practice

  • continuing to help children manage their own learning.

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:

  • build consistency of moderation processes and practices

  • refine systems for tracking and analysis of data

  • embed appreciative inquiry across all aspects of the school curriculum

  • further develop school-wide guidelines to achieve consistency of practice

  • continue to help children manage their own learning.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

18 October 2017

About the school

Location

Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

3196

School type

Contributing Years 1-6

School roll

82

Gender composition

Boys: 46

Girls: 36

Ethnic composition

Pākehā 79

Māori 1

Other 2

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

18 October 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review July 2014

Education Review May 2010

Education Review May 2007

Findings

The school continues to provide a supportive and inclusive learning environment. The curriculum offers students interesting and varied learning experiences. There are many opportunities for students to work together cooperatively. Teachers adapt their teaching to effectively meet individual students' learning needs. Leadership and governance are in a good position to make better use of self review to sustain and build on the school’s 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?

Hope School is a small, semi-rural school catering for students in Years one to six. The staff know all students and their families well. Positive and caring relationships exist between students, teachers, the board and parents.

The school fosters a family-like culture. There is a strong sense of community care and support for families and their children. The school has a well-established partnership with the local community.

Since the May 2010 ERO review there have been a number of changes in staff. The principal is long serving and actively makes professional links with other schools in the area, particularly through the local music initiative.

2 Learning

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

The school has increased and improved its use of achievement information to promote students’ learning and engagement since the 2010 ERO review.

School achievement information shows that most students are achieving the National Standards. Teachers have identified that most girls achieve better in writing, and boys in mathematics. Students’ progress is monitored over time and shows some improvements in reading, writing and mathematics.

Teachers use well-established processes for identifying, responding to, and tracking the progress of students most at risk of not achieving in reading, writing and mathematics. Students with specific learning needs are clearly identified within their class. Additional staffing and resources are provided for extra in-class support.

Since the 2010 ERO review, teachers have developed a greater understanding about how they use and analyse school-wide achievement information. Trustees now receive regular information about progress towards the school’s achievement targets and how well students are progressing towards meeting National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

Students with identified learning needs have individual learning plans that are developed with their parents and other relevant support agencies. Teachers and teacher aides provide modified programmes that allow students to be included in class programmes.

Students’ progress and learning is regularly shared with their parents. They are provided with an end of year report that clearly shows how well they are achieving against National Standards and their next steps for learning. Teachers should now review the recent changes they have made to the mid-year report to ensure that it continues to clearly provide information about how well students are progressing towards meeting the National Standards.

Students are actively involved in their school work and some students are responsible for setting their own learning goals. They regularly reflect on how well they are doing and what they need to work on next. Learning in other curriculum areas is recorded in individual journals that are also shared regularly with parents.

Area for review and development

The principal and board need to further strengthen the school’s achievement targets to ensure that they clearly identify the groups of learners who are most at risk of not achieving at the expected level.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is effective in promoting and supporting students’ learning and wellbeing.

The school vision of ‘a positive attitude is everything’ is strongly reflected in all aspects of school activities, the way teachers teach and the learning attitudes teachers encourage in students. The school curriculum provides students with good opportunities to work together and form friendships with other students of varying ages and abilities.

The curriculum places an appropriate emphasis on improving students' achievement in mathematics, reading and writing. It also provides students with opportunities to experience a broad range of interesting learning experiences in other areas of the curriculum, such as music and sport. Students with identified special needs are well included in all aspects of the school’s curriculum and learning experiences.

Teachers respect students’ contributions to their learning by encouraging them to choose resources that most interest them and involving them in decisions around topic planning. Students learn in well-equipped classrooms. There is an increasing emphasis on using electronic resources to help motivate students more in their learning.

The principal and teachers work well together to promote students' wellbeing and learning. Teachers are highly reflective and regularly adapt the curriculum and the ways they teach to better meet the interests and learning needs of students. The school’s curriculum statements reflect the current best practices.

The principal and teachers have developed useful links with local early childhood services and other schools. These links help students, including students with special needs, to transition more easily into, and between schools.

Area for review and development

The next step is for the principal and teachers to extend on the school’s current self review systems. This includes a regular cycle for reviewing all curriculum areas and specific school initiatives, such as support for students with special needs. These reviews should be used to inform and assure the board about how effective the school’s curriculum is being implemented.

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

The school is in a good position to build on the way it promotes educational success for Māori as Māori.

At the time of this review, the school had a very small number of Māori students. Teachers know these students well as individuals and have good relationships with their whānau. They closely monitor students' progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics, identify when they need additional support or extension and respond appropriately. Some aspects of te ao Māori are integrated into lesson plans, school-based learning opportunities and education outside the classroom, such as visits to relevant local areas of significance.

The principal and teachers have recently developed a useful action plan to improve bicultural aspects of school programmes and success for Māori as Māori. The next steps are for:

  • the principal and teachers to successfully implement this action plan
  • trustees to strengthen their understanding of governance responsibilities in promoting Māori success as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is in a good position to sustain and build on its performance.

The board has a strong focus on improving learning outcomes for students. Trustees works closely with the principal and staff. They are provided with useful information about school happenings and developments. Trustees and the principal make use of individual skills and strengths within the board and teaching staff.

Recent board training is resulting in clearer planning. Trustees have improved the process they use for reviewing policies and procedures.

The board, principal and teachers use a wide variety of useful ways to consult with parents.

Areas for review and development

The board and principal agree that it is timely for the board to take a greater role in developing the school’s strategic plans. This should include:

  • seeking the community and student views on the direction for the school,
  • receiving reports that relate to all of the school’s strategic aims beyond student achievement goals.

The board and principal also need to strengthen the appraisal process, including developing a formal system for appraising teacher aides. They should also further strengthen the school-wide professional learning programme to ensure it closely links to staff appraisal goals and the school-wide priorities.

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.

Some policies and procedures need to be strengthened. This includes better documenting:

  • procedures relating to dealing with parents with court orders affecting their contact with a child at school
  • procedures for managing visitors to the school
  • procedures for reporting child abuse.

Conclusion

The school continues to provide a supportive and inclusive learning environment. The curriculum offers students interesting and varied learning experiences. There are many opportunities for students to work together cooperatively. Teachers adapt their teaching to effectively meet individual students' learning needs. Leadership and governance are in a good position to make better use of self review to sustain and build on the school’s performance.

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

2 July 2014

About the School

Location

Richmond, Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

3196

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

89

Gender composition

Boys 52 Girls 37

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Other Ethnicities

82

3

2

2

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

2 July 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2010

May 2007

June 2004