Appleby School - 10/06/2019

School Context

Appleby School is located in a semi-rural setting, on the outskirts of Richmond, Nelson. It caters for students from Years 1 to 6. At the time of this review the roll was 125 students, with 10% identifying as Māori.

An area within the school grounds holding significant historical and cultural value to the local iwi, Ngāti Kuia, is valued and celebrated.

The overarching vision is that ‘students’ needs, interests and aspirations are at the centre of everything we do’. This is underpinned by the values of diversity; transparency; a positive environment; honesty and integrity. Valued outcomes are for learners who will get involved, respect themselves and others, are well organised, work hard, are competent thinkers and have resilience when challenged.

The 2019 charter goals are to continue the high levels of equity and excellence in student achievement, and to explore ways to implement and embed the digital curriculum.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • accelerated progress in relation to school achievement targets
  • additional learning needs, including gifted and talented students
  • attendance.

Professional development in 2018 was focused on raising achievement in writing through the ‘Accelerating Literacy Learning’ initiative (A.L.L). This continues to be a focus for 2019.

Since the April 2014 ERO report, there have been a number of staff changes, including the appointment of a new principal commencing in 2019.

The school is a member of the Waimea Kāhui Ako |Community of Learning.

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?

School achievement data for 2018 shows that almost all students achieve at or above school expectations in reading and mathematics, and most students achieve in writing. At the end of Year 6 this is particularly evident, where all students achieve at or above expected curriculum levels in reading, and almost all meet expected curriculum levels in writing and mathematics.

Māori student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics, is consistently higher than their peers, over time. Addressing some disparity for boys in writing is an ongoing priority.

Students with additional learning needs are very well supported to participate, progress and achieve in relation to appropriately-developed Individual Education Plans.

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

In 2018, acceleration of learning is evident for many students, including Māori, at risk of not achieving, particularly in writing, and also in reading and mathematics.

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?

Well-considered, collaborative and cohesive approaches to teaching and learning enable excellent and equitable outcomes. Clear expectations and guidelines promote a consistent approach for teachers responding effectively to students’ strengths, interests and needs. Trustees are well informed about the achievement and progress of all students.

Sound systems and well-considered assessment tools effectively support leaders and teachers to gather robust achievement information. This informs strategic resourcing and decision-making. Teachers use this information appropriately to recognise and respond to students’ interests and learning needs. Students at risk of not achieving are effectively identified.

Students experience a purposeful learning environment. Relationships among students and with teachers are positive and respectful. This promotes students’ wellbeing, sense of identity, belonging and engagement in their learning. Student voice is valued. The school’s valued outcomes are clearly evident and promote responsibility and choice in their learning.

Students’ engagement is effectively fostered through well-considered activities and links to the local environment. The school’s vision, history and local themes are clearly evident in the programme. Students participate and celebrate success in a wide range of academic, sporting, artistic, cultural and leadership activities.

A robust appraisal system, well-aligned to the school’s strategic priorities, is effectively used to grow teacher capability.

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

Trustees and leaders agree that the documented curriculum needs further review and development to better reflect the localised curriculum that is currently practised. This should more clearly reflect the bicultural nature of Aotearoa New Zealand. A culturally responsive curriculum for Māori learners should be clearly articulated, based on a shared vision and indicators of success for Māori, informed by whānau and iwi aspirations.

Leaders and teachers reflect and report on the effectiveness of programmes, interventions and practices to make changes and respond to student needs. Further developing a documented, shared understanding and processes for internal evaluation is a key next step. This should better support trustees, leaders and teachers to know what has the most significant impact on student well being and learning.

Current trustees have indicated they will not be standing for re-election. As the new board of trustees forms it will be important that they build their understanding of their roles and responsibilities, particularly in relation to employment practices and health and safety.

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 Appleby School 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:

  • a purposeful learning environment that promotes students’ wellbeing and engagement in learning
  • collaborative and cohesive approaches to teaching, learning and leadership that enable consistently high levels of student achievement
  • a robust appraisal process for growing teacher capability that promotes positive outcomes for students.

Next steps

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

  • reviewing the school’s documented curriculum to ensure it is current, localised and reflects the bicultural aspect of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • developing an internal evaluation framework to better measure the impact of practices and actions on valued outcomes for students.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure systems and records for complaints, police vetting, teacher certification, employment practices, and emergency drills are complete and are appropriately stored
  • ensure confidential matters are formalised through the in-committee process
  • prioritise the implementation of an annual performance agreement for the new principal.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

10 June 2019

About the school

Location

Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

3180

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

125

Gender composition

Boys 52%, Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 10%

NZ European/Pākehā 83%

Other ethnic groups 7%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

April 2019

Date of this report

10 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review April 2014

Education Review February 2011