Richmond School (Nelson)

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School Context

Richmond School caters for 475 students in Years 1 to 6 in Richmond, Nelson. Most students are New Zealand European/Pākehā, 13% are Māori.

The school’s valued outcomes for students are for them to be successful learners for life through developing key competencies for learning.

School achievement targets for 2019 are to improve achievement for boys, including Māori, in writing. There is a current focus on improving achievement in the key competency of managing self, particularly for junior students.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to curriculum expectations
  • achievement in science, social studies and physical education
  • key competencies
  • te reo Māori
  • wellbeing and attendance.

Staffing is stable, with a long serving principal and some recent leadership changes. Experienced trustees make up the board. Teachers have recently participated in a Teacher-led Innovation Fund project (TLIF) focused on writing.

The school is a member of the Waimea Kāhui Ako I Community of Learning.

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?

Most students continue to achieve at or above expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Many students achieve above expected levels in reading and mathematics. Similar patterns of achievement are sustained over time.

Māori students continue to achieve at similar levels to achievement overall.

The school is aware that some boys achieve less well in writing.

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

There is evidence of accelerated progress for some Māori boys in writing in 2018.

A wide range of school and syndicate targets are set annually, focused on lifting student achievement. Achievement data is well tracked and analysed, and targets are monitored through regular data-gathering and reports. Identifying and reporting the rates of progress for identified groups should help to more clearly show how well progress is accelerated for these learners.

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?

Students benefit from learning environments which are settled, respectful and well organised for learning. Children demonstrate positive engagement in learning. Their work is valued and respected.

Teachers thoughtfully support and promote learning through a range of well-considered strategies. They are working effectively to broaden the use of digital tools to support a differentiated approach to teaching and learning and promote students’ access to and engagement in learning.

Children with additional needs are appropriately catered for through well-designed learning programmes, useful systems and personnel. Staff capacity to support these learners is responsively developed through well-resourced professional learning opportunities.

Leaders promote and foster a positive culture which values and supports staff. This provides a strong platform for teachers to collaboratively plan and learn from each other. Appropriate systems and processes are in place to help teachers meet professional requirements and to improve outcomes for learners. Expectations for planning and programme delivery are clearly communicated and monitored.

Curriculum teams offer opportunities for teacher leadership and promote a consistent approach to delivery of the learning areas. Teams provide good support for teachers to build their capability and improve their teaching.

The school has a deliberate approach to consulting and informing families about the schoolwide approach to delivering te reo Māori and promoting bicultural aspects within the curriculum. Teachers provide children with a range of opportunities to participate in and learn about te ao Māori.

A comprehensive range of self review and data gathering processes are in place. These inform leaders’ and teachers’ reflection and planning for ongoing development and improvement.

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

Further development of the school’s localised curriculum is a next step. This should clearly articulate the aspirations and valued outcomes of the wider school community and the learning that matters, aligned to school vision and values. Development should also include ensuring shared understandings of culturally responsive teaching practice and show links to significant aspects of the local environment.

The school continues to build learning partnerships with students and their families to further promote their understanding of and meaningful contribution to learning and ongoing improvement.

Continuing to develop the analysis and inquiry into evidence from a range of sources to inform internal evaluation, should assist in guiding improvement.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

4 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)
  • 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Richmond School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • settled, respectful and well organised learning environments which support students’ engagement and success
  • leaders who value and support staff through fostering a positive culture that promotes a collaborative working relationships
  • systems for gathering, analysing and reporting information to guide decision-making.

Next steps

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

  • defining a localised curriculum that clearly reflects the valued outcomes of the school community and shared understandings of culturally responsive practice
  • continuing to build learning partnerships with students and their families to further promote their understanding of and meaningful contribution to learning and improvement
  • continuing to develop the analysis and inquiry into evidence to inform internal evaluation and guide improvement.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

18 December 2019

About the school

Location

Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

3216

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

475

Gender composition

Males 54%, Females 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 13%
NZ European/Pākehā 80%
Other ethnic groups 7%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

18 December 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2016
Education Review January 2013

1 Context

This school continues to provide a positive and inclusive tone and culture that is productive for teaching and learning. It is located in the centre of the Richmond community with several early childhood centres (ECCs) in close proximity. Classes are grouped into four syndicates based on year levels. Classes are well resourced for class, syndicate and school-wide activities.

There are strong relationships between the different groups within the school community. The school is well supported by its families and local community.

2 Equity and excellence

The school’s valued outcomes are defined by its vision and motto. The vision is for all children 'To be successful learners for life'. Alongside this vision is the school’s motto of ‘Akina kia kaha’/’Be strong and keep striving for the highest’.

The school’s achievement information shows that over the last two years around 80% of children achieve at or above the expected level in reading and mathematics. Since 2013 there has been a school-wide lift in mathematics achievement. Writing achievement is slightly lower and is a key priority for 2016 across the school. Māori children achieve at similar levels to others in writing and slightly lower in reading and mathematics. The school’s annual reports against the New Zealand Curriculum’s key competencies show children achieve at very high levels for all competencies. Reports also show that children are making good progress in developing their te reo Māori against the school’s progressive programme.

Since the last ERO evaluation, the school has had a major focus on mathematics, and te reo and tikanga Māori. Teachers and leaders have continued their development in and resourcing of ICT for teaching and learning. Leaders have strengthened the school’s appraisal system. Significant progress has been made in achieving appropriate school-wide consistency of practice in curriculum delivery.

Teachers use a wide variety of assessment practices, and continue to work on refining and developing these. The recent focus on mathematics is an example of how a whole-school focus on using a variety of teaching and assessment approaches has resulted in changes to the way the subject is now taught and assessed.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school is very effective in responding to its Māori children whose learning needs to be accelerated.

Teachers and leaders have effective systems in place for identifying children who are at risk of not achieving. A variety of tools and processes are used to assist in the identification.

School leaders have useful learning-based relationships with local ECCs. For most identified children, support is in place before they start school. This support includes individualised transition programmes to meet needs. The senior leader effectively coordinates the systems and support with syndicate leaders and class teachers.

The school responds in a range of ways to help address the specific needs of Māori children who need support with their learning. Support is from well-trained teacher aides, and the use of specific programmes and resources. Each syndicate sets targets in response to analysed syndicate-wide assessment information. These targets have strong links to the school-wide targets. Class teachers identify target groups in reading, writing and mathematics. They make very good use of the gathered assessment information to determine next learning steps for each child. The progress of these children is regularly monitored. Teaching programmes are adjusted if teachers find insufficient progress is being made. Teachers and leaders build effective relationships with parents that benefit children's learning.

The school’s 2015 data shows that about half of the small target group accelerated their learning in two of the focus areas.

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

The school is very effective in responding to other children whose learning needs acceleration.

The strategies for identifying and responding to learning needs, described above, are in place for all children.

In 2015, over half of those who needed to accelerate in reading and mathematics did so. Just under half of the target group for writing accelerated their progress to move from below to at the expected level.

The school recognises the value of collating, analysing and reporting school-wide rates of progress. ERO recommends leaders report to the board the rates of progress in relation to achievement of school targets at least twice yearly.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence?

The school is very effective in enacting its vision, motto and key priorities.

Children are proud of their school and are able to talk about the vision and what it means for them as learners. They know their teachers have high expectations for their learning and behaviour. The school’s vision and motto are very evident in the school. They were developed in consultation with parents and are regularly reviewed to ensure they are still current. There is a strong alignment from the vision through the strategic priorities to strategic and annual planning, targeted professional development, appraisal and effective teaching and learning.

Children experience a broad range of learning experiences. Of significance is the persistent focus and explicit teaching of key competencies leading to children developing positive dispositions for successful learning. Children learn in settled, well-organised and attractive classrooms. Relationships between children, and between children and adults are respectful. Programmes are planned carefully to address the different needs and abilities within classes and the school. These important factors create environments that provide rich opportunities for children to learn.

Since the last ERO review, teachers and leaders have had an increased focus on providing a bicultural curriculum for all children. The concepts of manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, mahi tahi and ako are highly evident throughout the school.

The shared approach to leadership has built a strong, collaborative and coherent culture. Teachers and leaders know their particular roles in the school’s priority areas for development. They reflect deeply on teaching practices and things that are important to the school, and are committed to each child achieving well.

There is a culture of ongoing improvement. The school has a very strategic approach to building professional capacity within the staff. Meaningful use is made of the range of information collected to base developments and improvements on.

The board of trustees is regularly informed of student achievement and curriculum programmes. Trustees use the information to make strategic and resourcing decisions. Best practice in the reporting was seen when the reports were evaluative and showed the impact teaching programmes and interventions have had on student achievement and progress. To strengthen the school’s internal evaluation further, leaders should make reports more consistently evaluative.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement needs to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

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

6 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 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.
  • Processes for appointing staff.
  • Stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions.
  • Attendance.

Compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

25 May 2016

About the school

Location

Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

3216

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

435

Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Asian

Other

11%

83%

1%

2%

3%

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

25 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

January 2013

November 2009

August 2006

 Exemplar Review - Richmond School - Reading- April 2019

In April 2019 ERO published an Exemplar Review for Reading please read it here