Albany School - 07/02/2011

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Albany School, situated on Auckland’s North Shore, continues to provide students with a high standard of education. The school caters for students from Years 1 to 6 and currently has a roll of 654, including a small number of Māori and Pacific students. The guiding vision of ‘where learning makes a difference’ and the school values are well understood. Both the school vision and values provide a positive foundation for teaching and learning.

Children are confident and capable learners. They are proud of their school and enjoy positive and affirming relationships with each other and with staff. Children respond well to the high expectations for learning, and enjoy the wide range of learning opportunities they receive.

Comprehensive student achievement information provides evidence as to how well students are achieving in relation to national norms. Teachers use data to inform academic targets and carefully monitor strategies designed to improve student achievement. Most students achieve at or above expected achievement levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Senior leaders have very good processes in place to monitor the progress of groups of students, including Māori students.

Albany School has a history of positive ERO reports. Since the 2007 ERO review, trustees and school leaders have continued to work strategically to improve outcomes for students. The principal and her knowledgeable and capable senior leaders form an effective team. Teachers have an ongoing commitment to professional learning and development and value leadership opportunities. High quality teaching is evident throughout the school, and is supported by well selected teaching and learning resources.

Parents are supportive of the school and are involved in many aspects of school life. Trustees have a clear understanding of their governance role and are committed to building their own capability. Highly effective processes, systems and structures support the governance and management of the school. These practices are well monitored and promote a dynamic school culture that reflects the commitment of students, teachers, senior leaders and trustees to fostering continued improvement in student learning and achievement.

Trustees, senior leaders and teachers have the capability to sustain the planned developments outlined in this report.

Future Action

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

2. Albany School’s Curriculum

How effectively does the curriculum of Albany School promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

School context

Albany School continues to provide students with a high standard of education. The school roll has stabilised after experiencing rapid growth over time. Since the 2007 ERO review, the board has continued to keep pace with building and infrastructure developments.

Areas of strength

Inclusive school culture. The school values of respect, excellence, aroha, creativity and honesty are well understood and provide a positive foundation for teaching and learning. Students have a strong sense of belonging in the school and report that they feel safe. Māori students benefit from opportunities to succeed as Māori. Teachers extend students’ thinking by engaging them in respectful, reciprocal interactions.

Parent involvement. Parents are highly supportive of the school. They are involved in school events and the daily life of the school. Good use is made of translators for families who are speakers of other languages. Parent group meetings and whānau Māori hui provide a useful opportunity for the board and staff to respond to parent feedback.

Continued good practice. Children continue to benefit from good practices, identified in earlier ERO reports, including:

  • professional leadership that is collaborative, consultative and focused on learning;
  • an ongoing commitment by staff to participate in professional learning and development;
  • teachers extending children’s learning through successful integration of the curriculum;
  • appropriate teaching and learning resources that are readily available to students and teachers; and
  • parents who are well informed about their child’s achievement.

Student progress and achievement. School practices are enabling teachers to use assessment data effectively. Professional learning discussions based on achievement data enable teachers to identify students’ strengths and needs and to design specific teaching strategies to enhance student outcomes.

Student achievement information provides clear evidence as to how well students are achieving in relation to national norms. Teachers use baseline data to inform academic targets and identify specific action taken to improve student achievement. High quality monitoring and ongoing evaluation provides a useful record of progress towards achieving targets.

Overall school data shows that most students achieve at or above expected achievement levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Senior leaders have very good processes in place to monitor groups of students, including Māori students and ESOL students. Informative reports to the board about curriculum developments and collated student achievement are used to improve student outcomes.

Student learning and engagement. Albany School’s curriculum promotes student learning; engagement, progress and achievement very effectively. Student learning and engagement are well supported by:

  • offering a broad curriculum that includes a wide range of learning opportunities for children, including Māori, Pacific and Korean perspectives;
  • providing learning activities and content that are relevant and authentic;
  • promoting eco-friendly and environmental practices;
  • incorporating the key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum, which are regularly reinforced by staff; and
  • using high quality teaching practices, including useful oral feedback to support students’ next learning steps.

Self review. Self review is used effectively, and is promoted by the board and school leadership team. Trustees have accessed external expertise to formalise self review and develop their own model of ‘Governance as Inquiry.’

The leadership team and board consult widely, and seek aspirations of staff, students, parents and whānau. They are responsive to the feedback they receive. In this way appropriate plans and initiatives are developed and evaluated.

Agreed priorities for development

High quality self-review practices enable the board of trustees and senior leaders to identify the next stages of school development. ERO endorses their priorities.

Student-led learning. Senior leaders and teachers are committed to further developing formative teaching and learning practices. Teachers could explore ways for students to manage their learning and gain a greater understanding of their own achievement and how to progress. Students are poised to take more leadership in making decisions about how they can achieve learning goals that are negotiated with their teacher.

Teacher development initiative. Senior leaders are developing a school-wide initiative to support teacher performance. The model is based on personalising learning for teachers and includes coaching and mentoring opportunities. Professional learning discussions will provide a forum for teachers to share the high quality teaching practices that are clearly evident in the school. Developing teachers’ capabilities and strengths in a focused and meaningful way will enhance teaching and learning practices, and increase teachers’ enjoyment of their professional expertise.

3. Provision for International Students

Albany School is providing its international students with good quality education and pastoral care. Students are assessed on entry to the school and placed in appropriate classes and programmes. Well developed and delivered teaching programmes ensure that students make good progress. International students are well integrated into the school’s community and enjoy opportunities to participate in a broad curriculum.

Compliance with the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students and the Provision of English Language Support

Albany School is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

4. Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of Albany School completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • board administration;
  • curriculum;
  • management of health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management;
  • financial management; and
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO looked at the school’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records. ERO sampled recent use of procedures and ERO also checked elements of the following five areas that have a potentially high impact on students’ achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment);
  • physical safety of students;
  • teacher registration;
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions; and
  • attendance.

5. Future Action

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

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

7 February 2011

About The School

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

Decile1

10

School roll

654

Number of international students

9

Gender composition

Boys 52%

Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand/European Pākehā 58%

Māori 4%

Korean 12%

African 6%

Chinese 6%

British/Irish 3%

Indian 2%

Australian 1%

Filipino 1%

Pacific (Fijian, Tongan, Samoan) 1%

other ethnicities 6%

Review team on site

November 2010

Date of this report

7 February 2011

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review, August 2007

Education Review, May 2004

Accountability Review, December 2000

1 School deciles range from one to ten. Decile one schools  draw their students from low socioeconomic communities and at the other end of the range, decile 10 schools draw their students from high socio-economic communities. Deciles are used to provide funding to state and state integrated schools. The lower the school’s decile the more funding it receives. A school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides.

To the Parents and Community of Albany School

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Albany School.

Albany School, situated on Auckland’s North Shore, continues to provide students with a high standard of education. The school caters for students from Years 1 to 6 and currently has a roll of 654, including a small number of Māori and Pacific students. The guiding vision of ‘where learning makes a difference’ and the school values are well understood. Both the school vision and values provide a positive foundation for teaching and learning.

Children are confident and capable learners. They are proud of their school and enjoy positive and affirming relationships with each other and with staff. Children respond well to the high expectations for learning, and enjoy the wide range of learning opportunities they receive.

Comprehensive student achievement information provides evidence as to how well students are achieving in relation to national norms. Teachers use data to inform academic targets and carefully monitor strategies designed to improve student achievement. Most students achieve at or above expected achievement levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Senior leaders have very good processes in place to monitor the progress of groups of students, including Māori students.

Albany School has a history of positive ERO reports. Since the 2007 ERO review, trustees and school leaders have continued to work strategically to improve outcomes for students. The principal and her knowledgeable and capable senior leaders form an effective team. Teachers have an ongoing commitment to professional learning and development and value leadership opportunities. High quality teaching is evident throughout the school, and is supported by well selected teaching and learning resources.

Parents are supportive of the school and are involved in many aspects of school life. Trustees have a clear understanding of their governance role and are committed to building their own capability. Highly effective processes, systems and structures support the governance and management of the school. These practices are well monitored and promote a dynamic school culture that reflects the commitment of students, teachers, senior leaders and trustees to fostering continued improvement in student learning and achievement.

Trustees, senior leaders and teachers have the capability to sustain the planned developments outlined in this report.

Future Action

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

Review Coverage

This report provides an evaluation of how effectively the school’s curriculum promotes student learning - engagement, progress and achievement. ERO’s evaluation takes account of the school’s previous reporting history and is based on:

  • what is known about student achievement information, including the achievement of Māori and Pacific students;
  • decisions made to improve student achievement using assessment and selfreview information; and
  • teaching strategies and programmes implemented to give effect to the school’s curriculum.

ERO also gathers information during the review to contribute to its national reports. The national reports are published on ERO’s website.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

General Information about Reviews

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve educational achievement in schools; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the government.

Reviews are intended to focus on student achievement and build on each school’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting integrates the following:

  • school curriculum;
  • national evaluation topics –contribute to the development of education policies and their effective implementation; and
  • the Board Assurance Statement, including student and staff health and safety.

ERO’s review is responsive to the school’s context. When ERO reviews a school, it takes into account the characteristics of the community from which it draws its students, its aspirations for its young people, and other relevant local factors.

ERO also builds on the school’s own self-review information. ERO is interested in how a school monitors the progress of its students and aspects of school life and culture, and how it uses this information to improve student learning.

This helps ERO to answer the major evaluation question for reviews:

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

Areas for Development and Review

ERO reports include areas for development and review to support on-going improvement by identifying priorities. Often the school will have identified these matters through its own self review and already plans further development in those areas.