Argyll East School - 20/03/2018

School Context

Argyll East School is a full primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 8. The present roll is 66 with a small number who identify as Māori. Children come from the rural Argyll East community and the townships of Otane, Waipawa and Waipukurau.

The school’s overarching vision is – “a caring country setting growing potential through challenge, creativity and play- every child every day”. Students are expected to be confident, connected, actively involved lifelong learners.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • specific achievement for those with additional learning needs including gifted and talented
  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets in reading, writing and mathematics
  • engagement and wellbeing.

The school is an active Enviro school and has developed significant wetland and dryland environments. A small farm is managed by the school to supplement funding.

Since the January 2015 ERO report, there have been staffing changes, including a new principal and new trustees. The roll has remained steady.

The school is part of Te Angi Angi Kāhui Ako. 

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 working effectively to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students. Data shows that the majority of students, approximately 85%, achieve at the nationally recognised benchmark expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

Those students whose learning needs acceleration are identified, well tracked and monitored through raising achievement plans. There is a clear focus on achieving excellent outcomes for all students.

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

Teachers clearly identify students whose learning needs acceleration. Data shows that the majority of these students made accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Where acceleration was not significant teachers developed strategies to support accelerated learning.

Over time the school can show that achievement of most students is generally high and there has been improvement in reading, writing 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?

Trustees have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities towards enabling equity and excellence for student learning. They work strategically and collaboratively with the principal, teachers and community to set and achieve a strategic direction focused on positive student outcomes. Trustees demonstrate a strong sense of community.

The principal actively involves students, teachers, parents, whānau and the community in reciprocal and collaborative learning-centred partnerships. All staff take on leadership roles across the school. Through a strong focus on students knowing and leading their learning, children are valued for what they bring to their ongoing education.

Students participate and learn in a caring and inclusive learning community. A clear curriculum framework sets expectations for high quality teaching and learning. The school makes excellent use of their environment to drive programmes and provide authentic learning experiences for students at Argyll East and other local schools.

Systematic, collaborative inquiry processes and professional learning and development align very well with the school vision, values, goals and targets. Teachers effectively reflect on and critique their practice to benefit students. They are clearly focused on positive learning outcomes for all students.

Internal evaluation and inquiry successfully contribute to improved outcomes for students. Staff work together to identify students across the school whose learning needs prioritising. Raising Achievement Plans ensure there is an ongoing focus on achieving equity and excellence for students.

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

The majority of students achieve at nationally benchmarked expectations. The staff and trustees should consider how achievement targets could be set to more clearly focus on students whose achievement needs to be accelerated.

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. 

To further improve practice the board should develop procedures and guidelines in relation to physical restraint. At the time of the onsite stage of this external evaluation the board was to amend the school’s Health and Safety Policy to reflect this.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a relentless focus on achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for students
  • a culture of collaboration among staff, parents and whānau, that maintains high expectations for teaching and learning throughout the school
  • deliberate programmes of action that are strongly improvement and future focused
  • systematic internal evaluation processes and activities that inform decision making. 

Next steps

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

  • clearly identifying how achievement targets could be set to more clearly focus on students whose achievement needs to be accelerated.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in four-to-five years.

Alan Wynyard
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

20 March 2018

About the school 

Location

Otane

Ministry of Education profile number

2542

School type

Full primary (Years 1-8)

School roll

66

Gender composition

Female 34, Male 32

Ethnic composition

Māori                                            13
Pākehā                                         50
Other ethnic groups                  3

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

20 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review                     January 2015
Education Review                     January 2012
Supplementary Review          December 2008