Bellevue School (Newlands) - 16/05/2018

School Context

Bellevue School (Newlands) caters for children in Years 1 to 6 in the Wellington suburb of Newlands. At the time of this ERO evaluation 13% of the 308 children attending identify as Māori, and 7% as of Pacific heritage. The school is ethnically diverse with 25% having English as an additional language.

The school’s vision states ‘At Bellevue School we are active, connected life-long learners’ and is reinforced by the guiding values of confidence, respect, responsibility, resilience and inclusion. The motto is ‘E tipu e ako- Where learning grows’.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • the progress and acceleration of targeted learners
  • participation in specific initiatives and interventions.

The school is a member of the Newlands 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?

Most students achieve at or above expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement levels have remained stable over time in reading and mathematics, with improvement occurring in writing.

2017 achievement data indicates that:

  • girls achieve better than boys in reading and writing
  • boys and girls achieve similarly in mathematics
  • Māori students achieve similarly in reading and writing and less well than their peers in mathematics.

The board and leadership have identified specific cohort groups in mathematics and writing for acceleration in 2018.

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

The school continues to develop its effectiveness in responding to students whose learning needs acceleration. There is evidence to show that some students make accelerated progress.

There has been a closing of the disparity gap for Māori and Pacific students and their Pākehā peers since the July 2014 ERO report. By the end of Year 6 nearly all students reach curriculum expectations in reading, most in writing and the large majority in 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?

Board systems and practices effectively support trustees to carry out their roles and responsibilities. There is a focus on promoting enhanced student learning outcomes. A self review plan is in place.  

A deliberate and considered approach to strengthening acknowledgement of identity, language and culture for Māori students and their whānau is evident. Building a shared understanding of cultural competencies by staff has been undertaken since the previous ERO review. The Māori Learning Profile sets clear expectations for teaching and learning, determined in collaboration with whānau. Aspirations of whānau Māori are sought and valued to inform strategic direction and contribute to a culturally responsive curriculum. All learners are given opportunities to participate in meaningful learning experiences that reflect Māori culture language and identity.

The school continues to thoughtfully review and develop the curriculum to be highly responsive to the increasingly diverse needs of their students’ wellbeing, culture, language and identity and learning. The school has reported a significant shift in teachers’ pedagogical understandings through considered exploration of evidence-based best practice, education theory and research. 

Teachers use a range of effective strategies and deliberate actions to engage students in purposeful learning. High expectations for positive behaviour, structured learning environments and student self-management skills contribute to engagement. Students’ wellbeing, sense of belonging and engagement in their learning are promoted. Regularly sharing of students’ learning with families and whānau supports increasing engagement and achievement.

Teachers develop caring, collaborative learning communities that are inclusive of diverse learners. Appropriately designed systems, and responsive planning and resourcing contribute to the delivery of effective programmes to cater for increasing numbers of students with identified and complex needs.

Appropriate appraisal processes are consistently implemented for teachers and the principal.

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

Trustees, school leaders and teachers are using internal evaluation and inquiry to reflect on practices and systems. The next step is to further develop understandings of evaluation to determine the impact and significance of practices to better inform future decision making.

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. 

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016, (the Code). The school does not have any international students currently enrolled. It annually attests to the New Zealand Qualification Authority that expectations of the Code are met. Annual self review indicates in detail what the school is doing to provide for international students, but not how effectively the outcomes have been achieved.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • parent partnerships that support students’ interests, engagement and learning
  • teacher reflection, inquiry and collaboration that carefully consider and research effective teaching practices that are responsive to students.

Next steps

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

  • deepening understandings of evaluation to determine the significance of initiatives and actions taken to inform ongoing improvements to school practices and the impact on outcomes for students
  • strengthening the curriculum to provide guidelines across the essential learning areas that effectively inform implementation.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Patricia Davey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

16 May 2018

About the school

Location

Newlands

Ministry of Education profile number

2806

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

308

Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%,

Ethnic composition

Māori                                   13%
Pākehā                                 45%
Pacific                                    7%     
Indian                                   14%
Asian                                       7%
Other ethnic groups          14%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

16 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review             July 2014
Education Review             June 2011
Education Review             May 2008