Ashgrove School - 19/08/2019

School Context

Ashgrove School provides education for children in Years 1 to 8. It has a roll of 514 students, with 10% identifying as Maori.

The school’s overarching vision is ‘Growing together for success/Tipuranga ngatahi kia angitū’. Its valued outcomes are for students to be confident/māiatanga, creative/auahatonga and collaborative/mahi tahi. The school also wants students to have the values of service/ratonga, trust/whakapono, attitude/wairua, respect/whakaute and responsibility/takohanga.

Strategic goals identified to support the achievement of the outcomes outlined above are:

  • students will develop their skills to navigate their own learning pathways in partnership with others

  • ensure the school’s environment and professional development promotes high quality teaching and learning

  • promote wellbeing, relationships and school values for all to grow together for success.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets for reading, writing and mathematics
  • outcomes related to identity, culture and language of Māori students
  • outcomes related to wellbeing for success.

Since the 2016 ERO review, a new classroom block has been added and other teaching blocks have been refurbished into innovative learning environments. In 2017, Allenvale Satellite School was welcomed on to the site.

Over the past three years teachers and leaders have taken part in a number of professional learning and development (PLD) programmes. These have been to develop schoolwide systems and understandings, teachers’ skills and knowledge in enhancing student engagement and behaviour, developing students’ agency in their learning, and collaborative teaching processes to support reflection and improvement to their teaching practice.

The school is a member of the Puketeraki Kāhui AkolCommunity 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?

Leaders and teachers are working well to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for its students. Overall the school is achieving good outcomes for most students.

School reports show that over the past three years:

  • most students achieved at or above curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics

  • boys have achieved less well than girls in reading and writing

  • reading achievement has improved for students in Years 1 to 3

  • increased numbers of students demonstrating desired behaviours

  • Māori students identify positively with aspects of their culture and language promoted by the school. 

In 2018 school information shows that Māori students were achieving as well as their non-Māori peers.

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

The school has had variable success at accelerating the achievement of students whose learning needs to progress at a faster rate.

School reports show that over the past three years approximately a third of targeted students made accelerated progress in reading and mathematics, and 10% of targeted students did so in writing in 2017 and 2018.

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?

Students learn within inclusive, supportive environments and enjoy positive relationships with each other and their teachers. Teachers effectively integrate aspects of tikanga and te reo Māori into classroom and school practices. The school’s culture is strongly underpinned by its well-developed values programme that links closely to the focus on positive behaviour. Carefully considered transitions into, within and beyond the school ensure continuity of learning, in particular for students with additional learning needs. Assessment data is used well to determine the next learning needs of all students and the level of support that would benefit them. Students have increasing involvement in setting goals for and monitoring their learning.

Leaders have established effective organisational structures to support teachers to meet the needs of students. Teaching teams work collaboratively to share their ideas and expertise to develop effective teaching programmes within their teams. The school’s well-aligned and strategic PLD is building the professional capability and collective capacity across the school. It is well supported by the robust appraisal process and connected to the topics teachers choose to grow their personal practice.

The school’s internal-evaluation processes facilitate innovation and improvement. This is seen in the ongoing focus leaders and teachers have had on improving the reading achievement in the junior school. Key contributors have been:

  • establishing high expectations for teaching and learning

  • carefully building the consistency of effective teaching

  • the appropriate use of internal and external expertise

  • purposeful use of analysed data to know the difference being made to students’ learning.

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

School leaders and teachers now need to use the learning information already in the school to:

  • know about and report on the sufficiency of progress for all students

  • help inform next steps, targets and strategic goals

  • continue to extend approaches and programmes are effective and could be transferred to other learning areas.

It would be timely for leaders and teachers to review/evaluate the effectiveness of the school’s teaching and learning programme for writing.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Ashgrove School’s 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 the:

  • strong leadership that works effectively with data to know about student achievement
  • effective systems already in place to know about the progress and achievement of all students as individuals
  • school’s evaluation practices with the intention of improving outcomes for students.

Next steps

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

  • extending systems for school-wide monitoring and reporting about student progress to ensure sufficiency and rates of progress
  • reviewing/evaluating the effectiveness of the school’s writing programme.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

19 August 2019

About the school

Location

Rangiora, North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number

3284

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 – 8)

School roll

514

Gender composition

Girls 54%, Boys 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 10%
NZ European/Pākehā 86%
Asian 4%
Other European 8%
Other 2%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

19 August 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review April 2016
Education Review December 2012
Education Review June 2009