Hedgehope School

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Education institution number:
3964
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
24
Telephone:
Address:

2250 Winton-Hedgehope Highway, Hedgehope, Invercargill

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School Context

Hedgehope School is a small rural primary for students in Years 1 to 8 located in Central Southland. It has a current roll of 27 students from a diverse range of ethnicities.

The school mission is to: inspire students to be curious, to discover, explore and actively engage in their dynamic learning community. The mission statement is underpinned by the REACH values for children to be: Respectful, Enduring, Adventurous, Compassionate and Happy.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics in relation to school expectations
  • wellbeing for success.

Since the 2015 ERO review, the school has a new principal and teaching staff. There is also a predominantly new board with a new board chair.

The school is an Enviro and Positive Behaviour for Learning school.

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?

The school is effective in achieving positive outcomes for most students in reading, writing and mathematics.

Levels of student achievement have been trending upwards over the last three years. Almost all students in mathematics, and most students in writing and reading, have achieved above the school’s expectations in 2018. All Māori students achieve at or above school expectations in these learning areas. There is disparity for boys in all three learning areas.

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

The school’s information shows that it is highly responsive to Māori and other students whose learning needs acceleration. It is effective in accelerating the progress and achievement of students whose learning needs to be accelerated.

Students’ progress and achievement is closely monitored. Individual students for whom English is a second language are provided with programmes designed to support their particular needs.

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?

Strong relational trust is evident at all levels of the school community. The principal and teachers have created an environment that supports openness, collaboration and risk taking and receptiveness to change and improvement. They value parents, whānau and the wider community engagement and actively involve them in the work and life of the school.

The school curriculum is enriched by community and cultural resources. Reciprocal learning opportunities lead to increased participation, engagement and achievement.

The curriculum is highly responsive to students’ needs and interests and provides real life, authentic opportunities to learn. REACH values are a key driver for learning and wellbeing and are very evident in all aspects of school life. Learning is integrated and purposeful across the curriculum. Students whose first language differs from the language of instruction are well supported to access the curriculum.

Students have sufficient and equitable opportunities to learn. They have a voice in decision making about their learning, are developing student agency, and regularly plan, carry out and reflect on real life and authentic projects within and beyond the school.

Assessment activities are inclusive, authentic and fit for purpose. They provide meaningful evidence of achievement and progress and a basis for determining next steps. Students’ learning benefits from the supportive, caring relationships they have with their teachers and each other. Learners with additional needs experience a collaborative wrap-around approach to success schoolwide.

Teachers work in a collaborative environment. They use a range of strategies to motivate and challenge students’ understanding and thinking of the world around them. Teachers regularly reflect on and review their practice to support improvements for learner outcomes. They know their students well, cater for individual learning styles, and build on their prior knowledge, culture, language and identity.

The board is committed to equity for all students. They significantly resource programmes and staffing to support learning outcomes for all.

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers need to:

  • build the rigour of internal evaluation by strengthening analysis of school-wide data

  • use analysed data to better know the impact of learning programmes and targeted actions to raise achievement.

To strengthen their capability, the board needs to access training to gain a clearer understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

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 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • supportive, caring relationships at all levels of the school that respond to students’ needs and promote their wellbeing and learning
  • a responsive, localised curriculum that identifies and reacts to the needs and interests of children
  • the board’s commitment to teaching and learning programmes that support equity for all students.

Next steps

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

  • build the rigour of internal evaluation by strengthening analysis of school-wide data
  • use analysed data to better know the impact of learning programmes and targeted actions to raise achievement
  • strengthen the capability of the board by accessing training to gain a clearer understanding of roles and responsibilities.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

6 May 2019

About the school

Location

Central Southland

Ministry of Education profile number

3964

School type

Full primary (Years 1-8)

School roll

27

Gender composition

Boys 14 Girls 13

Ethnic composition

Māori 6
NZ European/Pākehā 13
Filipino 4
Other ethnicities 4

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

6 May 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review October 2015
Education Review February 2011
Education Review February 2008

Findings

This small school is welcoming and caring. Older students work and play well alongside younger students. Students progress and achieve very well in literacy and mathematics. They enjoy a broad curriculum that makes good use of local resources, people and places. The school is well governed and led.

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?

This is a small rural, Year 1 to 8 school with two multi-level classes. Class numbers are intentionally kept low. Students describe their school as welcoming and a place where everyone gets on with each other. Caring and respectful relationships are very evident.

Recent roll growth has resulted in the Ministry of Education funding a second teacher. Linked to the dairy industry, there is ongoing movement of students in and out of the school. There are also an increasing number of students with English as a second language.

The school is well supported by parents and the wider community. Parents are very involved with fundraising, property development and school events and activities. Special areas in the school grounds have been developed to encourage physical exploration and challenge.

The school’s vision for its students is ‘Reaching for greatness’ – Respect, Excellence, Aroha, Cooperation and Huarahi (pathway). This vision is emphasised in school programmes. The school has recently become an Enviro-school. Students have enjoyed rich learning experiences linked to this, such as composting, grafting plants, growing, selling and using a wide variety of produce.

Since the 2012 ERO review, a new principal and teachers have been appointed. The school has addressed the recommendations in the last 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 good use of assessment information to respond to the individual needs of each student.

Students achieve very well against the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Students who transfer from other schools are well supported and quickly catch up with their peers. Within a short time these students feel valued members of the school community.

Students can confidently talk about how well they are achieving, their goals and next learning steps.

Senior students feel that their work is set at the right level of challenge. They regularly assess their own work against useful criteria.

Teachers have a deep knowledge of each student’s learning needs, strengths and interests. They ensure that all curriculum areas are regularly assessed. In particular, they carefully track each student’s progress in literacy and mathematics over their years at school.

Teachers quickly identify students who need extra help with their learning and those needing extension. They keep parents very well informed about their children’s learning and how well they exhibit the school’s vision and values.

The next steps are to:

  • ensure that the school’s targets related to student achievement are specific and measureable
  • extend assessment practices to include cross-school moderation and some standardised assessment tools.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum strongly supports students to be successful, confident and competent learners.

Students are very positive about their school. They learn in a caring and supportive environment. They know how to work well independently and in small groups. They support each other in their learning.

Students benefit from a broad and relevant curriculum. This includes:

  • good use of local resources, places and people to enrich students’ learning
  • increasing use of digital technologies
  • a strong visual-arts programme
  • well-planned experiences to extend students’ oral language
  • many opportunities for senior students to develop their leadership skills.

The school has very detailed curriculum guidelines that help build school-wide consistency. They include:

  • explicit detail as to what effective teaching and learning should look like
  • clear progressions for each year level in literacy and mathematics.

The principal effectively reviews different curriculum areas. Reviews include:

  • student views
  • reflection on what is working well and what could be improved
  • useful recommendations for improvement.

The next steps are to:

  • develop a te reo Māori plan that provides for progression in learning
  • strengthen the ways that Māori language and Māori perspectives are included into day-to-day learning
  • develop a careers education programme and resources for Year 7 and 8 students.

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

The school strongly supports Māori students to be successful in their learning. It is beginning to explore how it might better support Māori students to stand proud in their culture.

Māori students achieve well against the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

The principal is committed to developing her understanding of Māori culture. The newly appointed teacher has an interest and skills in teaching te reo Māori.

The next steps are to:

  • better gather the views of Māori whānau
  • review relevant school policies and procedures.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to continue to improve how it supports its students.

New trustees show a strong commitment to providing the best for students. This is evident in the funding of an extra teacher to maintain two classes with small class numbers. New trustees have benefited from professional development and are keen to further develop their understanding and confidence as governors. They have a positive relationship with the principal. Together, they regularly seek and respond to the views of their community.

The new principal is a capable professional leader. She shows a strong commitment to ongoing learning for herself and her staff. She keeps trustees well informed about student progress, achievement and school programmes. This helps trustees to make well-informed resourcing decisions.

The principal ensures ongoing review of different curriculum areas and programmes. These reviews are evaluative and improvement focused. They often include student and parent views.

The next steps are to:

  • simplify the school’s strategic and annual plans so that these better reflect key priorities for development
  • regularly update the board about the school’s progress against the goals in the strategic and annual plans.

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

This small school is welcoming and caring. Older students work and play well alongside younger students. Students progress and achieve very well in literacy and mathematics. They enjoy a broad curriculum that makes good use of local resources, people and places. The school is well governed and led.

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

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

27 October 2015

About the School

Location

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

3964

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

27

Gender composition

Girls: 17

Boys: 10

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Asian

18

5

4

Review team on site

September 2015

Date of this report

27 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2012

February 2011

February 2008