Amesbury School - 05/08/2013

1 Context

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

Amesbury School opened in February 2012 for students in Years 1 to 6. The roll at the time of this ERO review is 125 students. Of these, 50% are New Zealand European/Pākehā, 10% identify as Māori, 28% as Asian and a further 12% as other ethnicities. This is the school’s first ERO review.

Students are provided with a high quality attractive environment that supports their wellbeing and learning. Buildings are designed in accordance with ecologically sustainable principles and reflect the school’s vision for 21st century learning. Teaching spaces are comfortable, well resourced and used in responsive and flexible ways to assist teaching and learning. Team teaching, in the two learning hubs, is organised to respond to the needs and interests of students.

The board of trustees (the board) is committed to e-learning and ensuring that multi-media resources are accessible for students and teachers. Trustees make provision for maintaining and continually developing the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) as learning tools. School leaders are developing resources that extend learning outside the school.

2 Learning

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

Teachers use achievement information effectively to inform planning and identify students' next learning steps. Amesbury School standards matrices have been developed for teachers and students to track progress and achievements in relation to the reading, writing and mathematics National Standards.

Personalised learning is well embedded. Teachers are responsive to each student's strengths and needs and develop individual programmes based on the curriculum and their knowledge of the student. This includes students with specific learning needs and those with special abilities. The personalised learning approach is supported by focused teaching of small groups of students, formed for specific needs.

Students are well engaged, motivated, successful learners. They talk confidently about their learning and why it is important. Students are genuinely involved in co-constructing and shaping their learning. They use e-learning effectively to make connections and share their ideas.

Schoolwide targets for 2013 have been appropriately identified through the collection, collation and analysis of assessment data. Specific actions for lifting the achievement of those few students below the National Standards are well considered. A next step is to increase the involvement of teachers in the analysis of schoolwide student achievement data.

The principal and senior leaders regularly report student achievement and progress to the board and community. Teachers report individual learning to their parents and whānau in a wide range of ways, including discussing and developing their child’s ‘Personal Learning Treaty’.

Parents are well informed and very involved in their child’s learning. Partnership between home and school is given priority and parents and students feel a strong sense of belonging.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum very effectively promotes and supports student learning.

The school vision of ‘learning for life, learning to live, joy for learning, joyful living’ is meaningfully reflected. There is a clear rationale for the choices made in designing the school curriculum and selecting areas of emphasis to ‘create connected, confident, actively involved, life-long learners’. Students are provided with a wide range of learning experiences. The curriculum is clearly linked to The New Zealand Curriculum and school leaders describe it as emerging and evolving, with ongoing input from teachers, students, parents and trustees.

High quality teaching, reflective of the school’s priorities, effectively promotes student engagement and achievement. Deliberate acts of teaching are targeted to students’ learning needs. Specific and constructive teacher feedback contributes to future learning. Teachers and students use ICT resources as effective tools to enable, enhance and extend learning.

Teachers work together collaboratively to reflect on the effectiveness of their practice. Regular reviews of the two teaching hubs leads to the development of specific action plans for improvement. This process will be strengthened by recording progress more consistently and evaluating the outcomes for students.

All students have weekly lessons in te reo Māori and are enthusiastic participants in kapa haka. Manaakitanga is an important part of school life.

Strong, respectful relationships between teachers and students are evident. A calm, cooperative, positive climate prevails.

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

Teachers value Māori students’ culture, language and identity and foster their leadership. Māori students are proud and successful learners.

Led by the principal, te reo me ngā tikanga Māori have an integral place in Amesbury School’s philosophy and curriculum. Teachers have regular lessons and are working to further develop their confidence and competence in using te reo Māori.

The next step is to build on established partnerships with whānau, seeking their input into planning the curriculum and helping set future strategic direction.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school has established sound processes and systems to sustain and improve its performance.

The board is focused on positive outcomes for students. Trustees consult widely with the community to inform policy development and the strategic direction of the school. They monitor progress towards strategic goals and school targets. Board members have reviewed their performance and used this information to plan for the future.

From early stages of the school’s development, the principal has provided strong curriculum leadership for Amesbury School. Her emphasis on building and maintaining respectful relationships has helped establish a collaborative learning community. School decision making is informed by educational research and the principal, senior leaders, trustees and teachers contribute to the wider learning community by presenting at conferences and through professional networks.

School leaders and staff use a number of timely formal and informal review practices to inquire into the effectiveness and impact of their performance on student learning and achievement. Areas for improvement are identified and action is taken to address these. Parents contribute to review and their input is responded to and valued. High quality self review reflects a genuine focus on improvement.

The appraisal process is very improvement focused. It includes comprehensive self reflection and appraisal goals are aligned with school priorities. Robust feedback, following observations of teaching, acknowledge teachers' strengths and ask searching questions that guide improved practice.

Focused professional learning and development is an integral and valued part of self review. These opportunities are linked to school targets and priorities. Trustees recognise the importance of ongoing development for all.

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 three years.index-html-m2a7690f7.gif

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

5 August 2013

About the School

Location

Churton Park, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

614

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

125

Gender composition

Male 50%, Female 50%

Ethnic composition

NZ Pākehā/European

Asian

Māori

African

Other European

50%

28%

10%

6%

6%

Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

5 August 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports