Baverstock Oaks School - 01/06/2010

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Baverstock Oaks School, located on the rapidly growing urban fringe of East Auckland, provides a very good standard of education for students from Years 1 to 6. Since the school’s first ERO review in 2007, the board has successfully managed a growing roll, the loss of Year 7 and 8 students to a newly opened junior college,ongoing property developments, and a growing and changing staff.

The shared vision for the school, established by the founding board, principal, staff, students, and community in 2005, remains strong. Since the 2007 ERO review, the vision has been reviewed by the school community and staff. The values and core beliefs of the school are clearly articulated by the principal and are supported by parents, teachers and children. The board and principal provide the school with effective governance and leadership.

Students are confident, motivated learners. They engage well with each other and enjoy an increasing partnership with their teachers in their learning. Students are respectful of each others’ cultural backgrounds and value the rich experiences and different languages that their peers bring into the school. Students who require extra support or extension are identified and provided with suitable learning and leadership programmes. They work in an environment in which expectations for learning and behaviour are clear.

School achievement information shows that most students achieve at, or slightly above, national expectations in literacy and mathematics. The standard of teaching across the school is very good. Teachers are receptive to new ideas and use effective teaching strategies. Robust appraisal systems support teacher development, and a well considered professional development programme for all staff enhances the quality of education provided for students.

The board of trustees has identified that a priority for the school in 2010 is to consider ways of sharing the richness of New Zealand’s heritage with other cultures. There is a need to raise awareness of bicultural values and practices within the school curriculum.

The board, principal and staff are focused on helping students to achieve educational success. The school has effective self-review processes in place to ensure the ongoing improvement of programmes and systems. ERO and the board of trustees agree that the next stages of school development should focus on further developing the school’s learning cycle so that it includes all the components of an inquiry approach to learning.

Future Action

The board of trustees has demonstrated that it is governing the school in the interest of the students and the Crown. The board, together with the principal and school leaders, continues to focus on improving student learning: engagement, progress and achievement. ERO is likely to carry out the next review within three years.

2. Baverstock Oaks School’s Curriculum

How effectively does the curriculum of Baverstock Oaks School promote student learning: engagement, progress and achievement?

School context

Since opening in 2005 the school has grown extensively, from an opening roll of 57 students to a roll in excess of 800 students by the end of 2008. At the end of 2008 a Ministry of Education initiative removed Year 7 and 8 students to a new junior college. New housing developments in the area, two new primary schools opening close by, and a change in the school zoning boundaries by the Ministry, have meant ongoing fluctuations in the school roll since the 2007 ERO review. At the time of this review the roll was just over 600.

The board and principal have continued to work together to govern the school effectively and provide strong professional leadership. The principal has a focus on developing leaders within the school. The restructuring and expansion of the senior leadership team in 2009, and the creation of a larger leadership team of whānau leaders, ensures that knowledge and leadership opportunities are shared throughout the school.

Professional leadership of the school is strong, and has a focus on promoting student learning. The principal has clearly articulated expectations of teachers. The senior leadership team is highly knowledgeable about curriculum and works alongside teachers to analyse student assessment information. Teachers are well supported in their professional practice by access to ongoing professional development, robust performance managements systems, and an effective advice and guidance programme for provisionally registered teachers.

The board and staff provide many opportunities to build positive partnerships between home and school to support learning outcomes for students. Parents are well informed about current learning through school newsletters and regular gatherings. The board actively seeks input from the community to contribute to reviews carried out in the school. Senior leaders encourage an open-door policy where relationships are built with families on an individual basis. Students take part in home and school progress interviews.

Areas of strength

Student engagement. Students are engaged purposefully in classrooms and are focused on learning. They are given opportunities to self assess and to provide other students with comments about what they have done well and what they need to do to improve their learning. Students are encouraged to set goals that support them to become self-managing learners. An increased focus on students becoming responsible for their learning is evident in classrooms.

Resources for teaching and learning. The board has planned effectively to provide resources for teaching and learning. Students and teachers have access to high quality buildings, equipment, and materials, including information and communication technologies (ICT). The board also invests in teachers and well trained learning assistants to teach and manage programmes and interventions that support students with special needs and students who are not achieving at expected levels.

School curriculum. The Baverstock learning cycle provides the basis for curriculum delivery in the school. This learning model was developed with the school’s foundation staff and embraces the school’s shared vision and values. Ongoing review and a considered implementation plan have seen these vision and values align well to the key competencies and principles of The New Zealand Curriculum. Staff have developed a set of key competencies to show the sequence and progression of students’ learning and development over their years at the school.

Teaching practices. Teaching across the school is of a very good standard. Teachers set clear expectations and give step by step instructions to guide students’ learning and to help them to experience success. Teachers make good use of ICT to support student learning and a good pace of learning is evident in classrooms.

Student achievement. School achievement information shows that most students are achieving at, or slightly above, national expectations in literacy and mathematics. This information is used well at the classroom level by teachers to guide their planning of teaching programmes and to report to parents on student progress. Achievement is reported to the board.

Monitoring progress and achievement. Senior leaders have now created student profiles on the school’s computer school management system, and the school is well poised to provide the board with executive summaries of student achievement, showing patterns and trends for all groups of students and showing students’ progress over their time at school.

Areas for development and review

Building an inquiry learning model for curriculum delivery. Senior leaders have identified the need to clarify, document, and embed shared understandings of ways in which the school’s learning cycle is taught as an inquiry approach to learning. This documentation should provide teachers with appropriate guidelines for delivering a consistent inquiry approach to learning across the school. Senior leaders would find it useful to track delivery of the school’s curriculum to ensure that a balanced curriculum is provided.

Promoting biculturalism and nurturing the potential of Māori and Pacific students. The board acknowledges that the school could increase students’ awareness of bicultural values and practices within the curriculum, and could provide more opportunities for students to learn about New Zealand’s dual heritage. These opportunities should contribute to all students’ knowledge and would celebrate the bicultural backgrounds of the school’s Māori students.

It would also be useful for the school’s curriculum teams to use the Ministry of Education documents, Ka Hikitia: Managing for Success and the Pacific Education Plan, with all staff at regular shared planning meetings to consider ways of nurturing the potential of the school’s Māori and Pacific students. It is timely for senior leaders to collect, analyse and report on data in relation to the engagement, progress and achievement of Māori and Pacific students.

3. Recommendation

ERO and the board of trustees agree that the next stages of school development should focus on developing the school’s learning cycle so that it includes all the components of an inquiry approach to learning, and enables children to take more responsibility for their own learning.

4. Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of Baverstock Oaks 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 checked the following items because they 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.

ERO’s investigations during the course of the review did not identify any areas of concern.

5. Future Action

The board of trustees has demonstrated that it is governing the school in the interest of the students and the Crown. The board, together with the principal and school leaders, continues to focus on improving student learning: engagement, progress and achievement. ERO is likely to carry out the next review within three years.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

About the School

School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

604

Number of international students

6

Gender composition

Boys 54%, Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 23%, Māori 6%, Indian 28%, Chinese 15%, Pacific 8%, African 6%, other ethnicities 14%

Review team on site

March 2010

Date of this report

1 June 2010

Previous ERO reports

Education Review, May 2007

To the Parents and Community of Baverstock Oaks School

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

Baverstock Oaks School, located on the rapidly growing urban fringe of East Auckland, provides a very good standard of education for students from Years 1 to 6. Since the school’s first ERO review in 2007, the board has successfully managed a growing roll, the loss of Year 7 and 8 students to a newly opened junior college,ongoing property developments, and a growing and changing staff.

The shared vision for the school, established by the founding board, principal, staff, students, and community in 2005, remains strong. Since the 2007 ERO review, the vision has been reviewed by the school community and staff. The values and core beliefs of the school are clearly articulated by the principal and are supported by parents, teachers and children. The board and principal provide the school with effective governance and leadership.

Students are confident, motivated learners. They engage well with each other and enjoy an increasing partnership with their teachers in their learning. Students are respectful of each others’ cultural backgrounds and value the rich experiences and different languages that their peers bring into the school. Students who require extra support or extension are identified and provided with suitable learning and leadership programmes. They work in an environment in which expectations for learning and behaviour are clear.

School achievement information shows that most students achieve at, or slightly above, national expectations in literacy and mathematics. The standard of teaching across the school is very good. Teachers are receptive to new ideas and use effective teaching strategies. Robust appraisal systems support teacher development, and a well considered professional development programme for all staff enhances the quality of education provided for students.

The board of trustees has identified that a priority for the school in 2010 is to consider ways of sharing the richness of New Zealand’s heritage with other cultures. There is a need to raise awareness of bicultural values and practices within the school curriculum.

The board, principal and staff are focused on helping students to achieve educational success. The school has effective self-review processes in place to ensure the ongoing improvement of programmes and systems. ERO and the board of trustees agree that the next stages of school development should focus on further developing the school’s learning cycle so that it includes all the components of an inquiry approach to learning.

Future Action

The board of trustees has demonstrated that it is governing the school in the interest of the students and the Crown. The board, together with the principal and school leaders, continues to focus on improving student learning: engagement, progress and achievement. ERO is likely to carry out the next review within three 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 the information; and
  • teaching strategies and programmes implemented to give effect to the school’s curriculum.

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

ERO also builds on the school’s own self-review information. That is, 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.

ERO also gathers information during the review to contribute to its reports on national education evaluation topics. Comments relevant to this school are included in the report. 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
  • Board Assurance Statement including student and staff health and safety.

It also integrates external review with school self review by taking the most useful aspects from external and self review to build a picture of the school and its context.

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.