Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon School

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School Context

West Spreydon is a Years 1 to 6 school in Christchurch, with a roll of 336 students. Just over a quarter of the roll identify as Māori and another quarter as Pacific or other cultural heritages. West Spreydon School’s vision recognises that the school is an important part of the local community, its history and its future. The school is a member of the Kahukura Community of Practice.

The Board of Trustees’ mission is ‘to raise student achievement in all areas of endeavour.’ The guiding whakatauki of the school is; ‘Whāia te iti kahurangi, ki te tuohu koe me he maunga teitei.’ The school aims for every child to leave the school knowing that at least one teacher loved him/her.

The school states that it has three overarching values; Attitude, Adventure and Achievement and aims for students to be their best by being:

  • thinkers

  • respectful

  • adventurous

  • creative

  • connected.

The school has very recently implemented a new strategic plan, aligned with the Kahukura Community of Practice, future-focused goals. It plans to continue to:

  • build teacher and community capability and connection

  • develop the West Spreydon School environment to provide opportunities that reflect the unique, cultural context of the school.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement and progress in relation to standards in reading, writing, mathematics and across a range of curriculum areas

  • specific achievement reports in relation to outcomes for students whose learning needs to be accelerated

  • outcomes related to identity, culture and language.

Since the last ERO review in 2013, the school has experienced considerable roll growth and increasing cultural diversity. Teachers are undertaking professional learning in the areas of raising achievement in mathematics, attachment and deeper learning theories.

The board is a mix of experienced and new trustees.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is effectively achieving positive outcomes for the majority of students.

Levels of achievement in relation to the National Standards for reading and writing show a downward trend over the last three years. The levels of achievement in mathematics have been fairly stable. By the end of Year 6 most students achieve well in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school is aware there is disparity in outcomes for Māori and Pacific students and for boys. Students with additional learning needs are well supported to achieve against their personal goals.

The school is able to show that the positive relationship focus it has for all its students is effectively supporting the wellbeing, sense of belonging and engagement of students.

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school has good information about individual students and some cohorts of students. However, school processes do not effectively enable leaders to identify and report rates of progress to show how well students are accelerating.

Culturally responsive teaching and learning practices are contributing to increased rates of accelerated learning for some Māori and Pacific students. Māori, Pacific and other students’ achievement is closely monitored and individual students are provided with programmes to suit their particular needs.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

The school has a number of processes and practices that are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence. The school has built strong community networks that support both learners and whānau. These relate to building positive, learner centred relationships. Teachers regularly seek and successfully use a range of approaches to involve students, families and staff in decision making for the school.

The board, school leaders and staff promote students’ wellbeing effectively. They recognise that promoting students’ emotional and physical wellbeing is the foundation to students’ learning, progress and achievement. Students experience high levels of care and positive interactions with their teachers.

Culturally responsive teaching and learning practice is developing at all levels of the school and students benefit from the strong visibility of their cultures. This has been the result of ongoing professional learning and development from both internal and external providers. There is a strong commitment from trustees and teachers to learn te reo Māori.

School leaders are effectively building teacher capability to raise student achievement through their commitment to and emphasis on collaborative practice. The school is part of a Community of Practice with neighbouring schools. There is a specific focus on raising achievement and positive outcomes for groups of students whose learning needs acceleration. This is particularly evident in mathematics.

Trustees, leaders and teachers have some useful internal evaluation processes that are continuing to inform improvements and outcomes for students. The board accesses a range of student data and some evaluative information and uses it to support strategic resourcing of approaches directed at improving student outcomes.

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

Some areas of the school’s processes need to be strengthened and embedded to increase the effectiveness in achieving equity and excellence. The work that has begun on curriculum needs to be continued. Curriculum guidelines need to be more explicit about expectations for teaching and learning in essential learning areas to ensure students’ learning pathways are consistent and coherent over time.

The board needs better assurance that all students are making sufficient progress in their learning. School leaders and teachers need to continue strengthening the use and reporting of school-wide learning data to know:

  • if all students are making sufficient progress each year

  • how well all students are achieving the school’s valued outcomes

  • the impact of programmes on student learning throughout and at the end of the year.

School leaders and teachers need to continue to build moderation practices across the school.

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.

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 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the culture of collaboration and innovation among trustees, leaders, teachers, parents and whānau, that are building collective capacity and improving outcomes for students

  • providing a safe and inclusive culture that celebrates diversity and promotes success by systematically responding to needs of students and their families

  • culturally responsive and effective school-whānau-community relationships and connections that focus on the learner and promote success.

Next steps

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

  • completing the work that has begun on the school’s localised curriculum, philosophy of teaching and moderation guidelines, to ensure a coherent and consistent pathway for students’ learning

  • building shared understanding and processes to measure acceleration and sufficiency of progress so that trustees, leaders, teachers, whānau and students know that students’ needs are being met in a timely manner

  • evaluating the effectiveness of interventions and ensuring more timely reporting to be assured of the sufficiency of students’ progress and achievement.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Dr Lesley Paterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

17 January 2018

About the school

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3588

School type

Contributing (Years 1-6)

School roll

336

Gender composition

Girls: 49%

Boys: 51%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā: 49%

Māori: 26%

Pacific: 10 %

Other: 15%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

17 January 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review: August 2013

Education Review: March 2010

1 Context

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

West Spreydon School provides a safe, friendly and inclusive learning environment. The school has very close home and school partnerships. All staff know students and their families very well. The principal and teachers actively encourage regular contact with parents. They use many ways to keep parents informed about students’ learning and school happenings.

The board and staff have built very close relationships between the school and local community. There is significant involvement from a wide variety of groups. This includes providing assistance with school programmes and extensive additional resources to support students’ learning and wellbeing.

The board and staff have a clear focus on the future direction of the school and improving learning outcomes for all students. The school promotes everyone being a learner.

The school has made significant progress in addressing the recommendations from the 2010 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

The school makes very good use of student achievement information to improve outcomes for students.

Findings

School data shows that most students are achieving at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students achieve at or better than their peers. Some Pasifika students’ achievement is lower than their peers. Strategies are in place to support their learning and raise their achievement.

Student achievement information is very well used at all levels of the school to support student learning. Students with specific learning needs are identified early and monitored closely. The school provides quality learning programmes for individuals and small groups of students. These are having a considerable impact on their learning and progress.

The board, senior leaders and teachers have a shared understanding of and responsibility for students’ progress and learning. The board receives regular, detailed reports about student achievement and how well students are progressing against the school’s identified targets. Parents receive useful and regular achievement reports in relation to the National Standards and other learning areas.

The learning support and English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programmes are well led. Teacher aides are provided with clear guidelines and opportunities to extend their knowledge and skills. There is a strong commitment to making a difference to improving students’ learning.

Senior leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that assessment practices should be reviewed. This includes strengthening the range of achievement information that is collected in aspects of literacy and mathematics, and extending moderation practices.

3 Curriculum

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

West Spreydon School’s curriculum is highly effective in promoting and supporting student learning.

Staff know students well and have a shared responsibility for their learning and wellbeing. Students told ERO that they enjoy school and feel well supported. Teachers show a strong belief that all students can experience success and make progress. They have high expectations, and students are aware of these.

ERO observed high levels of student interest and motivation in their learning. Teachers use a wide variety of ways to engage students. This includes the meaningful use of ICT. Students receive regular and very detailed feedback about their learning. They are able to talk positively about their own achievement and their next steps for learning.

Senior leaders have developed supportive guidelines and structures for teachers. Teachers work well together, regularly sharing ideas and considering ways to improve their teaching. They benefit from high quality professional development that links directly to the school’s identified priorities.

Senior leaders and teachers have identified, and ERO agrees, that it is now timely to review the school’s curriculum to ensure that it still reflects current school practices and beliefs.

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

The school effectively promotes educational success for Māori as Māori.

Māori students told ERO that they enjoy school, and that teachers care for them and have high expectations for their learning. They felt proud to be Māori and their knowledge and expertise was valued.

A number of staff are attending external training to learn about Māori language and culture. All teachers participate in well led professional development. This focuses on ways to improve Māori success as Māori, as well as teachers’ te reo and tikanga Māori knowledge and skills.

The wide range of opportunities for all students to learn about Māori culture is well supported by the local community.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The governance and leadership is strong.

The principal and senior leaders have high expectations for student learning and for teachers as professionals. They know the strengths of staff and where extra support is required to improve learning outcomes for students. The principal and senior leaders promote a reflective culture that builds on teachers’ understanding and use of high quality teaching practices.

The board is well led and provides effective governance that significantly contributes to students’ learning and wellbeing. Trustees have very good understanding of their governance roles and responsibilities. They have worked closely with the principal and senior leaders to develop strategic goals that give strong direction for the school’s future. There is a cooperative working partnership between trustees, the principal and staff to achieve a shared vision for learning and teaching.

The school undertakes frequent curriculum reviews. The principal and senior leaders have identified the need to develop a more consistent self-review format that gives the board more detailed information about the effectiveness of school programmes.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

22 August 2013

About the School

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3588

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

205

Gender composition

Girls 52%

Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

Filipino

0ther ethnicities

59%

26%

5%

4%

2%

4%

Review team on site

May 2013

Date of this report

22 August 2013

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2010

December 2005

September 2002