Beach Haven School - 19/06/2015

1 Context

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

Beach Haven School, on Auckland’s North Shore, caters for students in Years 1 to 6 who come from diverse cultural backgrounds. Māori students make up 36 percent of the roll. Nineteen percent of students have Pacific Island heritage. The leadership team is made up of the principal, deputy principal and two senior leaders, who lead the junior and senior school.

The 2012 ERO report noted that students generally make good progress and achieve well overall in reading, mathematics and writing. A focus for the school since the 2012 review has been on improving the quality of self-review processes. This focus includes work on the analysis and use of data, evaluative discussions about target students and work to improve communications with parents about student achievement. Staff have participated in professional learning and development in mathematics, writing and in the use of teaching as inquiry practices.

The school’s promotion and response to student wellbeing is extensive. A settled and inclusive tone in the school supports the learning of all students. Students are respected as learners and the school environment provides a vibrant place for them to engage in learning. The strong sense of community in the school is valued by students, teachers, board members and whānau.

2 Learning

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

School achievement information shows that at the end of 2014, approximately 86% of students were achieving at or above National Standards in reading, 71% in mathematics and 64% in writing. This information shows a notable improvement in student progress and achievement since 2013.

Extensive review and improvements in the teaching of mathematics and literacy programmes have resulted in positive outcomes for students. The school’s cohesive and collaborative approach to building teacher capability is resulting in accelerated student progress.

The board, senior leaders and teachers use achievement information well to make positive changes for learners. They use this information to set school priorities and achievement targets, evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives, and to inform curriculum decisions.

Teachers also use achievement information well to plan programmes that cater for their students’ different strengths and learning needs. A notable strength in the school is their effective use of data to accelerate achievement, particularly for those students who are achieving below the National Standard. There are some good examples of teachers personalising learning and supporting students to know how well they are achieving and their next learning steps. Inquiry learning approaches provide students with opportunities to lead their own learning.

The effective analysis and use of achievement information has also been an integral part of the leadership training that started in 2012. The introduction of whole-school teacher inquiry and learning talk frameworks is helping teachers to be more critically reflective on their teaching practices.

An area that should now be considered is ways in which achievement levels for those students who are already achieving at the National Standard can be further increased. This would extend the focus of teaching and learning, and increase the school’s expectations for its more able students.

Processes for collecting and using student contributions to inform self review have been strengthened. They now include focus groups, such as those for Māori students, Samoan students, students who are new to school, and students who have additional learning needs. An increased emphasis has also been placed on using teaching strategies that help students to better manage their own learning.

Students have a range of leadership opportunities, including opportunities to be student ambassadors, and to be part of the student inquiry team and/or curriculum focus groups. Students were involved in the 2013 curriculum review.

The school has inclusive and responsive practices and systems to support students with special education needs. Teachers and teacher aides have a shared commitment and responsibility for student progress. These approaches ensure that students participate fully in appropriate learning programmes and classroom activities.

Students enjoy and actively engage in their learning. They have very positive attitudes to school and support each other. This engagement is well supported by the inclusive school culture, which is increasing student involvement in decisions about school and their own learning. Leaders recognise that continuing to strengthen and embed student involvement across the school is a continuing priority.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively.

Students benefit from a broad and interesting curriculum, which has an appropriate balance between literacy and mathematics. Teacher strengths are utilised to provide students with a wide range of enriching learning opportunities, such as those connected to kapa haka, Samoan language learning, music, digital media and sporting activities. School leaders and teachers work with local early childhood services and have begun to make links to the local college to support smooth transitions for students when entering and leaving the school.

Teachers focus on making learning fun and on selecting relevant and meaningful learning contexts for children. Senior leaders and teachers constantly review programme content, contexts and teaching strategies to help ensure that they build well on children’s prior knowledge and cater for a range of learning styles.

The curriculum includes some aspects that reflect the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. Senior leaders are considering how these aspects can be extended and developed in further depth as students progress up through the school.

Teachers are well supported to deliver the school curriculum. In the last two years, the school has contracted in-depth, external reviews of the quality of teaching and learning in mathematics and literacy. These reviews have helped to build shared understandings about effective teaching practices.

Senior leaders have also used both external and internal expertise to build teacher capability and teaching practice, and to improve student outcomes in mathematics and writing. Educational coaching, the use of the ‘learning talk framework’ and the teaching as inquiry focus provide opportunities for teachers to reflect on their own practice. Senior leaders and teachers would now like to consolidate and embed inquiry learning practices across the school and in all eight curriculum learning areas. A next step for achieving this goal would be to develop indicators of effective inquiry learning to help build shared understandings and practice for all teachers. Senior leaders identify that continuing to strengthen e-learning in the school is a further priority for enriching learning experiences and promoting student progress and achievement.

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

Māori students are making good progress with their achievement. They value the inclusion of te reo Māori and aspects of Māori culture in the curriculum and school practices. In 2014, the school trialled the Māori Language Assistance Programme as part of a local cluster initiative to provide te reo Māori lessons for all students.

Māori enrichment classes are offered for students who are keen to further extend their te reo Māori. Students enjoy kapa haka, pōwhiri and performing at the annual Onepoto Festival. They value leadership opportunities and, in response to feedback from students, a Student Whānau Group has been established to enable students to be more actively involved in whānau hui.

A board member leads whānau hui to strengthen the school’s partnership with Māori whānau. Teachers have used the key documents Ka Hikitia, the Māori Education Strategy and Tātaiako, Cultural Competencies for teachers of Māori learners, to guide the school’s charter development, annual target setting and teacher appraisal processes.

Senior leaders are committed to building collaborative partnerships with the local intermediate and college to enhance Māori student success.

Next steps for the school are to:

  • develop a set of Beach Haven Primary School indicators for cultural responsiveness and for te reo and tikanga Māori to guide reviews of how well the school is supporting Māori student success and to identify areas for further review and development
  • continue to review the sustainability of the Māori Language Assistance programme, how te reo and tikanga Māori can be integrated into the school’s teaching and learning programmes and how students are being supported to develop progressive skills and knowledge as they move through the school
  • review and update the charter statement about te reo and tikanga Māori provision in the school to reflect current practices and commitment.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain current good practices and continue improving its performance.

The board provides effective governance. Trustees are well informed about curriculum developments and student achievement. Board decision making is strategic and focused on improving outcomes for students. The work of the board and school leaders is well coordinated through the school’s strategic and operational planning processes.

Leadership in the school is effective. Well developed school-wide systems support the sustainability of successful initiatives. Improvement teams ensure that there is an ongoing focus on self review and continuous improvement. Key priorities have also included building leadership capability, and improving teaching and learning in mathematics and writing. Strengthening the use of evidence‑based practices to critically reflect on teaching and to accelerate student progress is also a priority.

Self review is used well to determine the school’s future direction. Ongoing critical reflection and outcomes of reviews undertaken provide clear rationale for improvements in curriculum design and teaching practice.

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.

Conclusion

Students have very positive attitudes to school, are actively engaged and make good progress over time. Teachers are well supported to deliver the curriculum effectively. A settled and positive school tone, and effective governance and leadership support the learning and achievement of all students.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

About the School

Location

Beach Haven, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1223

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

334

Gender composition

Boys      54%
Girls       46%

Ethnic composition

Māor
Pākehā
Samoan
Tongan
Niue
South Asian
Middle Eastern
Cook Island Māori
other

36%
28%
13%
  6%
  3%
  3%
  2%
  1%
  8%

Review team on site

April 2015

Date of this report

19 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2012
May 2009
December 2005