Winton School

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1 Context

Winton is a full primary school providing education for children from Year 1 to 8. The school has experienced sustained roll growth in recent years which has led to the addition of five new classrooms. The school facilities include two technology rooms where children learn about hard and soft materials. These rooms are also used by other full primary schools in the district.

The school has a new principal since the last ERO review. There has been a number of staff changes in the last year, including in senior management. The school has participated in three Ministry of Education professional development projects: Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL), Accelerated Learning in Mathematics (ALiM) and Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L).

2 Equity and excellence

The school's vision for children is that they will strive for personal excellence in academic, cultural, social and physical activities. Trustees and leaders aim to achieve this through effective governance, quality teaching, high expectations and home-school partnerships.

The school has an explicit focus on supporting all students to develop and demonstrate the Winton School values. These are respect (whakaute), effort (manawanuitanga), responsibility (takohanga) and empathy (pūaroha).

The school’s achievement information shows that for the last two years just over half of the Māori children have achieved at expected levels in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Most other children achieve well in relation to National Standards in reading and mathematics. Achievement in writing is slightly lower. The school has had multiple priorities in recent years. It is now time for trustees and school leaders to focus more urgently on lifting the achievement of those children who are at risk of not achieving National Standards, particularly Māori children.

Since the last ERO evaluation, the school has:

  • developed a new vision and set of values in consultation with its school community
  • introduced a school-wide positive behaviour education programme
  • strengthened school-wide guidelines and expectations for quality teaching and professional practice
  • developed and improved systems for identifying and monitoring the progress of priority learners
  • built internal capability to accelerate the progress and achievement of children needing additional support in writing and mathematics
  • conducted a governance self review of the school's responsiveness to Māori children and whānau.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school is developing achievement targets, plans and practices to enable it to better respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. While school achievement information shows that Māori achievement levels have been of concern for a number of years, this had not resulted in specific achievement targets. In 2016, however, all Māori children who are not achieving at National Standards are targeted to have their learning accelerated.

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

Achievement information shows that a low proportion of the children identified by the school as needing to accelerate their progress in reading and writing in 2015 did so. Efforts to accelerate student progress in mathematics were more successful.

Leaders and teachers are continuing to improve the systems for identifying and monitoring children needing additional support with their learning. Leaders need to make better use of detailed classroom information to track and analyse needs and trends across the school and over time. This will support more timely identification of needs and planned actions to lift achievement.

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?

Children at Winton School benefit from a rich and responsive curriculum which is well aligned to the school's vision and values. Teachers use children's interests and activities as a way of engaging them in their learning. Older children have many leadership opportunities and valued roles to play, including supporting and mentoring younger children. Children are proud of their school. Teachers value children's language, culture and identity. The importance of language, culture and identity should be more strongly expressed through all school documentation, for example in curriculum guidelines and the strategic plan.

The school has a focus on building effective home-school partnerships. Parents and whānau have frequent opportunities to learn about their child's learning and progress and how they can support this at home. This is provided in varied forms including written, online, face-to-face and through parent information meetings. Parents told ERO they feel welcome in their child's classroom, as valued partners in supporting learning. The school wants to improve the depth and quality of its relationships with Māori whānau. It introduced termly meetings with whānau in 2015 and leaders know they need to continue to build and strengthen this connection in 2016.

Trustees and the principal have high expectations for quality teaching. This is evident in the ongoing:

  • development of clear expectations and guidelines for teaching and learning
  • focus on improving the consistency and reliability of overall-teacher judgements
  • work to describe how Education Council requirements should be evident in the school
  • encouragement and support for teachers to reflect critically on their teaching.

The principal has put in place new leadership structures in 2016 to make better use of internal expertise to support teaching practice. A number of curriculum teams (literacy, numeracy, science and cultural) have been created to build and share good practice. The priority for these teams will be ensuring that what is learned from professional development is sustained and embedded across the school. In time, the leaders will need to evaluate how well these teams support school-wide practices and contribute to expected outcomes.

Teachers help children to know about their learning, progress and achievement. Teachers know the children well as learners and as individuals. They are using achievement information well to plan how to support children in their classes. Team leaders are regularly discussing children's progress with teachers.

The principal and leaders provide trustees with achievement information. This information needs to:

  • be better analysed and include evaluative commentary about what has worked and why
  • include information that shows how well all learning support interventions have accelerated student progress within the school
  • make recommendations about what is needed to further support children and their learning, or programmes that may be required.

Through recent review, trustees have identified the need to raise student achievement, particularly for Māori children, as a key priority. The school's strategic plan should be simplified so that this focus is more prominent. Raising student achievement should also be explicit in all other systems, including annual plans and appraisal goals for the principal and teachers.

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 need to be accelerated
  • respond to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how teaching is working for these children
  • do not always or systematically act on what they know works for each child
  • have a plan in place but have not yet built teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children.

Trustees and leaders are motivated to make improvements. From the beginning of 2016, they have shown a stronger focus and determination to improve the achievement of children whose learning needs accelerating. They acknowledge that raising the achievement of Māori children is now an important priority. They are in the early stages of developing plans to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children. Planning needs to be further developed to prioritise the specific actions trustees and leaders need to take. Trustees and leaders need to ensure ongoing monitoring to evaluate the impact of what they do.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should use the findings of this evaluation, the Effective School Evaluation resource, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to develop a Raising Achievement Plan to further develop processes and practices that respond effectively to the strengths and needs of children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s Raising Achievement Plan and the progress the school makes. ERO is likely to carry out the next full 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)

24 May 2016

About the school

Location

Winton

Ministry of Education profile number

4052

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

276

Gender composition

Female 52%

Male 48%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Other

79%

16%

5%

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

24 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

February 2012

June 2008

June 2006

1 Context

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

Winton School, in Central Southland, provides students from Years 1 to 8 with a good range of enjoyable learning experiences. Trustees, senior leaders and teachers have worked together to continue improving the school’s culture and the strong focus on learning.

The school’s vision is for all students to have the qualities needed for life-long learning. Students learn and interact with one another in ways that put into action the school’s values of respect, responsibility, excellence and cooperation.

Students have pride in their school. There is an overall, positive attitude throughout the school, shown in improved rates of attendance and higher levels of student motivation for learning. The focus for teachers is on purposeful learning rather than on managing social behaviours. Students feel safe and settled.

Good links have been made between the community and the school. Partnerships between home and school are strong. The principal and teachers communicate with each other and with parents about students’ learning and well-being.

School leaders have placed a focus on information and communication technologies (ICT) that are benefiting learning, teaching and management. The school’s aim is to make ICT a part of how things are done ‘anywhere, anytime’.

2 Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Reports to trustees at the end of 2010 show that about:

  • three quarters of all students were at or above the reading and writing end-of-year National Standards expectations
  • four fifths of all students were at or above the mathematics National Standards.

Achievement reports in 2011 show that, overall, students have made good progress between Terms 1 and 3, with most progress seen in reading.

Areas of strength

Students benefit from good to high quality teaching. The teachers have high expectations for each student for both learning and behaviour. These expectations are shared with them and students respond with success. Teachers have ongoing discussions with students about their progress and achievements. They teach with a sense of purposefulness. Their deliberate acts of teaching are based on careful consideration of assessment information to identify specific learning needs.

The learning environment in and beyond the classrooms supports, celebrates and stimulates students’ learning. This environment is a result of:

  • the caring relationships between teachers and students and among students
  • how teachers see students as confident, competent learners
  • the school’s values being known and followed by all in the school community.

Students, teachers, leaders and trustees use achievement information well. This is evident at:

  • teacher level to monitor progress and identify future learning needs with students
  • syndicate level to identify annual targets and monitor the progress in achieving these
  • management level to track the progress of groups of students and report to the board
  • trustee level to consider impact of initiatives on rates of progress and plan for the future.

Students are well supported to have a good knowledge and understanding of their learning. They have a growing awareness of the part they play in progressing their learning. They are able to talk about:

  • their learning and the learning process
  • where they are in their progress
  • their goals and next steps, and how they might get there.
Area for review and development

A next step for teachers and leaders is to extend and consolidate their practices related to assessment and reporting, including those for National Standards. This should include:

  • increasing the level of involvement students have in reporting their achievement
  • building on the good practices happening throughout the school
  • having a consistent understanding of what being ‘above’ a National Standard is.

How well does the school promote Māori student success and success as Māori?

Over the last three years, the number of students who identify as Māori has increased. At the time of this review there were 32 students identified who as Māori, which is 13% of the school’s roll.

End-of-year 2010 reports to the board show that about two thirds of the Māori students were achieving at or above National Standards for reading and writing. About three quarters of the students were at or above the mathematics National Standards. Achievement information for 2011 shows that, overall, students have made good progress during the year, with most progress in reading.

The school has a strong commitment to providing a bi-cultural environment for all students. Teachers and leaders are in the early stages of developing the leadership in this area and extending teachers’ skills, knowledge and confidence in teaching te reo and tikanga Māori.

In 2010 the school formed a kapahaka group. All students, Māori and non-Māori, are welcome to be part of the group. The group has taken part in regional events and competitions and performs locally. Anecdotal evidence shows the positive impact participation in kapahaka is having on many students. For example, students have increased confidence, improved attendance and have a more positive attitude towards school. The kapahaka group is well supported by the whānau of the students.

School leaders identify the need to continue to build the partnership between the school and their Māori community. This will provide an ideal opportunity to explore together what success for, and as Māori could be for Winton School.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports students’ learning.

Areas of strength

A major contributing factor to this effective curriculum is the school’s positive culture of learning. The school has successfully established its vision, values and a balanced and broad curriculum. These are very evident throughout the school.

Notable features include:

  • well-planned learning initiatives for reading and numeracy
  • the appropriate integration of the arts into topics of inquiry
  • the integrated use of ICT
  • the wide range of second languages for Years 7 and 8 students.

Teachers clearly and quickly identify from achievement information those students who need support or extension. Programmes to support or extend students are put in place, resourced and evaluated for their impact over time. Students who are new to the school are quickly identified for any learning needs. They are supported to make whatever extra progress they need to, to reach the school’s expectations and to progress towards National Standards.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school’s culture of on-going improvement in all areas of its operations ensures that it is well placed to sustain and improve its good performance. The following areas of strength support this.

Areas of strength

Teachers, leaders and trustees are focused on raising students’ levels of achievement and rates of progress. Trustees and leaders have useful processes to review the effectiveness of the curriculum, associated teaching practices and board operations. Information is gathered from all those involved in the area being reviewed. Recommendations and actions planned as the result of reviews are clearly followed through.

The principal promotes leadership capacity in others. He has developed a collaborative teaching team with a focus on improving learning for students. He and other leaders know the quality of teaching throughout the school and are working strategically to lift that quality where the need for is improvements is identified.

Professional development opportunities are well chosen and linked to individual teacher and school needs. Teachers and leaders make good use of external expertise.

Teachers use effective processes to:

  • reflect on the impact of their teaching
  • identify next learning and next teaching steps
  • explore new ideas and integrate them where appropriate into their teaching practices.

As a result of this improvement focus, changes are put in place for the benefit of students. These changes are coherent and sustainable.

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
  • 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

10 February 2012

About the School

Location

Winton, Southland

Ministry of Education profile number

4052

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

246

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

Other

77%

13%

1%

2%

7%

Special Features

Base school for 2 teachers of learning and behaviour (RTLB)

Review team on site

November 2011

Date of this report

10 February 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

June 2008

June 2006

March 2005